Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 4: Mary explores the historic Jurassic Coast, famous for fossils, beautiful coastal towns and delicious seafood. Mary can’t wait to share the delights on offer and meet the people passionate about preserving and showcasing them. Mary has always been a fan of the beautiful British coast. As well as visiting this very stretch of shoreline as a girl guide camping out on the Jurassic cliffs, she has special memories of childhood holidays and trips with her own children at the seaside. So many of Mary’s favourite ingredients come from the sea, and there are always new ones to discover.
She meets 21-year-old scallop diver Sam Shuker. He learnt everything he knows from his fisherman dad, going on his first scallop dive at just 14. Now with his own boat, Sam is proudly carrying on the family legacy, and Mary joins him at sea to learn all about it. Back on the beach with his catch, Mary cooks the delicious scallops with garlic, king oyster mushrooms and tarragon. Mary also gets the chance to talk to the local fishermen harvesting sugar kelp seaweed along the shore. Packed with nutrients and incredible for the environment, Mary learns how this wonderful ingredient is grown commercially. She then heads off to sample local chef Nigel Bloxham’s innovative new seaweed recipes.
No trip to the Jurassic Coast is complete without a quick bit of fossil hunting, so Mary joins local fossil hunter Nigel to see what they can discover along the ancient shoreline. Along the way, Mary also has some mouthwatering dishes to share, from the rich and creamy French classic moules mariniere to her fresh nori noodle salad, a vibrant dish packed with Asian flavours. For a hearty meal after a day on the coast, Mary’s simple chicken, spinach and tomato lasagne will hit the spot, and her beautiful salted caramel cake is a tasty treat for sharing.
Dame Mary Rosa Alleyne Hunnings, known professionally as Mary Berry, is an English food writer, chef, baker and television presenter. After being encouraged in domestic science classes at school, she studied catering and shipping management at college. She then moved to France at the age of 22 to study at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, before working in a number of cooking-related jobs.
Berry’s first job was at the Bath Electricity Board showroom and then conducting home visits to show new customers how to use their electric ovens. She would typically demonstrate the ovens by making a Victoria sponge, a technique she would later repeat when in television studios to test out an oven she had not used before. Her catchment area for demonstrations was limited to the greater Bath area, which she drove around in a Ford Popular supplied as a company car.
Her ambition was to move out of the family home to London, which her parents would not allow until she was 21. At the age of 22, she applied to work at the Dutch Dairy Bureau, while taking City & Guilds courses in the evenings. She then persuaded her manager to pay for her to undertake the professional qualification from the French Le Cordon Bleu school.
She left the Dutch Dairy Bureau to become a recipe tester for PR firm Benson’s, where she began to write her first book. She has since cooked for a range of food-related bodies, including the Egg Council and the Flour Advisory Board. In 1966 she became food editor of Housewife magazine. She was food editor of Ideal Home magazine from 1970 to 1973.
Her first cookbook, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, was published in 1970. She launched her own product range in 1994 with her daughter Annabel. The salad dressings and sauces were originally only sold at Mary’s AGA cooking school, but have since been sold in Britain, Germany and Ireland with retailers such as Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Tesco. She has also appeared on a BBC Two series called The Great British Food Revival, and her solo show, Mary Berry Cooks, began airing on 3 March 2014.
An incredibly moreish salted caramel cake using a little tinned caramel and light muscovado sugar to give the sponge a lovely caramel flavour. The rest of the caramel goes into the icing which is topped with salted caramel fudge for an indulgent cake with a beautifully moist texture.
- Grease and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
- Measure the baking spread, sugars, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, milk, 3 tablespoons of the caramel and the salt into a large bowl. Beat for 2 minutes using an electric hand whisk.
- Spoon into the prepared tins and level the surfaces. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until well risen and coming away from the sides of the tins. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, to make the icing, measure the butter and icing sugar into a bowl. Whisk together with an electric hand whisk until pale and creamy. Add the salt and the remaining caramel from the tin and whisk until just mixed. Make sure you don’t overbeat as it might split.
- Place one cake on a stand or serving plate and spread a third of the icing over the top. Place the second cake on top. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the chopped fudge. Cut into wedges to serve.
Chicken lasagne is a wonderful dish for all the family. I’ve cheated with the white sauce and made a quick creamy sauce instead. There are fewer layers than in a traditional lasagne but it’s still creamy and delicious. Soaking the lasagne sheets in water first ensures they will cook quickly.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- To make the chicken mixture, put the oil in frying pan over a high heat. Add the chicken pieces and fry quickly until golden but not cooked. Add the chilli, garlic and mushrooms and fry for a few moments. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
- Measure the cornflour into a small bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of water until smooth.
- Add the crème fraîche and parsley to the pan with the chicken and stir. Pour in the cornflour mixture and stir until thickened. Set aside.
- To make the sauce, combine the tomatoes, sun-dried tomato paste and thyme in a bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix well.
- Soak the lasagne sheets in a shallow dish filled with boiling water for a few minutes until soft.
- Spoon a third of the chicken mixture into the oven dish. Spoon a third of the tomato sauce over the chicken. Arrange 3 lasagne sheets on top. Repeat the layers again. Finish with a final layer of chicken mixture and sauce (making three layers of chicken mixture and sauce, and two layers of lasagne sheets). Sprinkle the top with grated cheddar and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden-brown and cooked through. Serve with salad or green vegetables.