Sunday, 25 October 2015

Let There Be Cake by Trisha Ashley

My latest book, A Christmas Cracker, is set in a small hamlet near Little Mumming. This was the scene of Twelve Days of Christmas, so you will be able to see what some of those characters are doing now – and one in particular plays quite a central role in the new book. But I’m not going to say any more than that – you will have to wait and read it to find out who it is!

As usual, there are some recipes at the back including one for my Igloo Cake – and here’s one I prepared earlier! A miniscule Father Christmas is landing on the roof, which takes some doing when your sleigh is drawn by a team of frisky reindeer, but the two Eskimos look quite happy about it. I used a fruit cake recipe, but sponge or a traditional Christmas cake one would work just as well.

My Christmas cake recipe is the same as the wedding cake one in the back of Wedding Tiers, only instead of soaking the fruit in dry sherry for three days, I use dark rum, like in this one I made for the Novelistas Christmas party last year. (As well as talking about writing, we engage in a lot of cake-related activities!)

The cake I made for the Wedding Tiers book launch was shaped like an Elizabethan pomander, my most complicated cake yet. I baked a round cake in a huge Christmas pudding tin, and then covered it in marzipan, followed by fondant icing. Then I put an icing ribbon round it to divide it into four with a bow at the top and studded it all over with rosebuds. For a couple of weeks beforehand, whenever I had a few minutes to spare, I’d make a few icing roses. By the time it was covered, I could make them in my sleep.

It was just as well I’d taken some pictures, because the Novelistas demolished it in minutes, and all that was left was a scattering of white rosebuds and a few crumbs!

I could write an autobiography of my life punctuated cakes: Diary of a Fruitcake, anyone?

Crumbs!




This post originally appeared in the October issue of Trisha Ashley's newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

**THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED**

You can win a signed copy of A Christmas Cracker, as well as a set of cat-shaped cookie cutters. The competition is open to all, just leave a comment below - it's that simple! (Closes midnight on Friday 30th October).


Things can’t possibly get worse for Tabitha. Framed for her boss’s dodgy dealings – passing sparkling wine off for vintage fizz – she’s got an eight month prison sentence! Her boyfriend's dumped her and given her cat away to a shelter.

But rescue comes when a kindly prison visitor puts her in touch with Mercy. A master of saving waifs and strays and impressed with Tabby’s creativity – paper-crafting is more Tabby’s thing than swindling! – Mercy wants her to breathe new flair into her ailing cracker business. Together with a staff of quirky ex-cons they’ll save Marwood’s Magical Christmas Crackers!

But someone’s not happy. Mercy’s nephew Randall wants to turn the mill into a shopping centre and he thinks Tabby’s a fraudster. So suddenly her future happiness depends upon winning the brooding nephew round. Tabby’s been through so much already, she’s not going without a bang!


36 comments:

  1. I want the lovely roses one and I want it NOW!!! But I will give you back the marzipan. I'm massively impressed by these, Trisha - I will hold my hands up now: I am over 50 and have never baked a cake. :^D

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  2. I love Trisha's books ! She tells a great story and doesn't have to rely on sex to sell her books. I've just read A Christmas Cracker and loved it.

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  3. A signed copy and a set of cookie cutters? That would set me up nicely for Christmas.....love the cake pictures, by the way :o)

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  4. Trisha's cakes always look fabulous. I would love to win a signed copy as it is my birthday next week and that would make a fantastic gift. As for the cat cookie cutters ,well that would be the icing on the cake for me, everyone knows I am the crazy cat lady!

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  5. I was given one of your books last year The 12 days of Christmas, to read and enjoyed it so much when I saw your new one for this Christmas I just had to have it.. So getting a signed copy and some cookie cutters would be wonderful. Can't wait to snuggle up and read this one.

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  6. Captivated by the photos - Great British Bake Off next stop! Love the sound of the book

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  7. I adore Trisha Ashley books and to win this signed one and cat cookie cutters would be a cracker of a gift.

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  8. Can't wait to read 'A Christmas Cracker' - love all of Trisha's wonderful books!!

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  9. Can't wait to read this book it sounds fab xx

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  10. So looking forward to the new season and settling in with a new 'Trisha' book!

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  11. Am wondering if my cats would eat biscuits made with such cutters. Leopold and Chuck Norris and the Gremlin are probably mad enough.

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  12. I feel guilty chasing another signed book, what with Trisha providing one for our charity event; but this one would be a great gift for my missus at Christmas.(Save me a few shilling too!) Once again Trisha thanks for helping 'Children in Need'.

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  13. I have enjoyed reading all of trisha's books and can't wait to read this new book

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  14. Love Trishas book, there's a deep comforting warmth about them. I would love to win a signed copy of the new one but in the event I'm not lucky enough to, it will certainly take pride of place on my Christmas list so that I can read it over the holidays

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  15. Have just started A Christmas Cracker and was hooked from the first page.

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  16. The cakes are beautiful, I love the igloo!!!
    Can't wait to read the new book!!

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  17. a purrfect gift for my cat mad friend who I'm encouraging to read more

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  18. Books and cake the perfect combination ����

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  19. Christmas would not be Christmas without reading Trisha's book always sets me up for the Christmas season..

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  20. Hi Trisha, loved meeting you at the Exeter Story Prize giving. We are getting a new kitten on Friday so the cookie cutters would be apt ;) Awed by your cakes, the igloo is my fave... Or maybe the rosebuds... Or...

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  21. Trisha's books are always on pre-order, never miss one, though having a signed copy does make it extra special. Recipes are always a wonderful bonus.

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  22. I have been looking forward to Trish's latest book but am teasing myself with anticipation by reading Twelve Days of Christmas all over again. What a fabulous way to prepare for my festive season 😁. The perfect afternoon, coffee, chocolate (or cake) and a wonderful book to escape into. Bliss

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  23. I have been looking forward to Trish's latest book but am teasing myself with anticipation by reading Twelve Days of Christmas all over again. What a fabulous way to prepare for my festive season 😁. The perfect afternoon, coffee, chocolate (or cake) and a wonderful book to escape into. Bliss

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  24. Have your new book ready to read as soon as I finish my current book, can't wait to get started, your books always inspire baking after them and are great to go back to time and again

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  25. What beautiful cakes! I have NO skill in this area, so I'm extra impressed. You have the magic touch. I'm so looking forward to the new book.

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  26. I love Trisha's books. They always cheer me up and make me remember to look for the good things in a situation. Xx

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  27. I love Trisha's books. They always cheer me up and make me remember to look for the good things in a situation. Xx

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  28. I love Trisha's books. They always cheer me up and make me remember to look for the good things in a situation. Xx

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  29. Cakes look beautiful, but am desperately trying to get ahead of the game so I can enjoy Christmas. Can't wait to read the new one, but am revisiting Sticklepond again just now. ��

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  30. Love your books Trisha, already bought my copy so it would be a lovely gift for my mum who loves your books too if I win Xx

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  31. I first came across your books when searching for "Christmas" on Kindle when I first got it, and luckily found "Twelve Days of Christmas". I've loved all the books since then, but Twelve Days and now Christmas Cracker look like joining Dickens' Christmas Carol as must-read build up to Christmas for me from now on!

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  32. What gorgeous cakes. Your book is high on my TBRList, if it is as good as the cakes......

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  33. Oh, these cakes are amazing! I am passionate about cakes! And of course, I am a fan of Trisha's books! I can't wait to read the newest one! ��

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  34. I have finally started a Christmas cracker! and im hooked only a couple of chapters in! which i knew i would be as I LOVE Trisha's books!! I've been reading Twelve days of Christmas the past 2 years in the run up to Christmas and the festive time of year would not be the same with out it :) I Love Christmas! and cant wait to read some more of the new book :) Thank you Trisha for writing such warm comforting magical Christmas books for us to enjoy :) xxxxx

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  35. Sophie Wolfersdorff8 November 2015 at 21:08

    Oh dear, I thought I have to leave the comment on Facebook. Never mind! I can't wait to start reading the new book because my favorite book is "Twelve Days of Christmas" and I am dying to know what happened to Holly & Jude. I always like it when you mention old characters, it feels like family. I have started to try some recipes (only easy ones), so thanks for the pics!

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  36. That looks good. I am so impressed with all this stuff. We had a brilliant Christmas DIY bash at local event venue. The spot had cozy atmosphere and we had just brilliant time with our family and friends. Completely enjoyed this day a lot!

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