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Makes about 8  

Plain, meaning without added fruit, but light, airy and just the right amount of crusty surface makes these scones the perfect backdrop to preserves and clotted cream. You can make them with buttermilk and natural yoghurt in place of the milk, and you can use 1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and 2 level teaspoons of cream of tartar with plain flour if you want to experiment, but the recipe below seems equally good to us and the ingredients are always available. 40g spreadable butter 225g self-raising flour, sieved 1½ level tablespoons golden caster sugar pinch of salt 110ml milk, plus a little more (if needed) a little extra flour A baking sheet with a non-stick liner, and a 5cm plain (or fluted) cutter   Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7   Begin by rubbing the butter into the sieved flour quickly, using your fingertips, then stir in the sugar followed by a pinch of salt. Now, using a knife, mix in the milk little by little, and when it’s all in, flour your hands and knead the mixture to a soft dough (you may find you need just a drop more milk if it feels at all dry).   Place the dough on a floured pastry board and with a rolling pin (also floured) lightly roll it out to a thickness of about 3cm. (This thickness is vital. The reason scones don’t rise enough is because they are rolled too thin.) Then take the pastry cutter and tap it sharply so that it goes straight through the dough – do not twist or the scones will turn out a strange shape!   When you have cut as many as you can, knead the remaining dough together again and repeat. Then place the scones on the baking sheet, dust each one with flour and bake near the top of the oven for 12–15 minutes. When they’re done they will have risen and turned a golden brown. Then transfer them to a wire rack and eat as soon as they are cool enough, spread with butter, jam and clotted cream.  

Recipe extracted from Delia’s Cakes, out now, published by Hodder & Stoughton, £25. © Delia Smith 2013. To watch demonstrations from Delia’s Cakes go to the DeliaOnline Cookery School at


If I had a pound for every… goes the old cliché. So here it goes again. If only I had a pound for everyone who has praised this cake, rich pickings! Although this is made here with butter and lard, you could make it with just spreadable butter. 225g plain flour 2 level teaspoons baking powder 40g butter, at room temperature 40g lard, at room temperature 1 large egg, beaten 110g caster sugar 4 medium bananas, peeled 50g walnuts, roughly chopped zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon 1 rounded tablespoon demerara sugar A Silverwood loaf tin (or a standard 2lb loaf tin), lined with a 2lb traditional loaf tin liner (see for further details on tins)   Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4   First sift the flour and baking powder into a roomy mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down, then add the butter, lard, egg and caster sugar. Now, using an electric hand whisk, mix to combine all the ingredients for about one minute until you have a sandy texture.   Then in a separate bowl mash the bananas to a pulp with a large fork and briefly whisk them into the cake mixture. Now fold in the chopped walnuts and orange and lemon zests. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin, level it off on top with the back of the spoon and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake on a lower shelf so the top of the tin is aligned with the centre of the oven for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight tin in its liner.  

Recipe extracted from Delia’s Cakes, out now, published by Hodder & Stoughton, £25. © Delia Smith 2013. To watch demonstrations from Delia’s Cakes go to the DeliaOnline Cookery School at


Serves 2 3 small bread rolls, warmed, halved and buttered For the topping: 3 large eggs, hard-boiled 1 rounded tablespoon fresh snipped chives 4 spring onions, very finely chopped (including most of the green as well) ½ teaspoon butter 1 tablespoon mayonnaise Salt and freshly milled black pepper   To garnish 1 box fresh cress   As soon as the eggs are cool enough, peel them, discard the shells and place the eggs in a bowl with the rest of the topping ingredients. Now take a large fork and mash like mad until the eggs are thoroughly blended with the rest of the ingredients. Then pile it on to the rolls and sprinkle each one with the cress before serving.  

Recipe extracted from Delia’s Complete How to Cook,
out now, published by Ebury Press, £37. © Delia Smith 2009.
 For more Delia recipes go to

Delia's Cakes - Delia Smith  

Delia Smith shares recipes from her new book, Delia's Cakes, for the perfect Mother's Day afternoon tea treat!

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