“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973)

Food-related thoughts including recipes by a Mum of three small children from Devon.

Email: kate [at] amerrierworld [dot] com

Leave a comment


  1. cptn

     /  January 5, 2008

    Hi, just wondered if you’d be interested in a food column on http://www.peoplesrepublicofsouthdevon.co.uk

    Drop us a line.

    All the best

  2. Teresa

     /  June 2, 2008

    Hi Kate,
    Thanks so much for all your research into solving the mystery of flour differences.
    I do a lot of baking, mostly from Rose’s book, and all from American recipes. I have been battling with recipes troubles the past five while living in Scotland. One question I have for you is…do you know or would you recommend a really super, traditional british fruit cake recipe? I am doing a wedding cake this month and would love to track down an exceptional fruit cake recipe. Thank you so much for your time and assistance. As a mother of two, I can imagine with three, you are very busy indeed. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. Thanks for your kind comments, Teresa 🙂 . My favourite-ever fruitcake (and one I requested for my birthday cakes when I was little) is made by my Mum. I’ve asked her if I could share her recipe and she’s happy … so, I’m waiting for my Dad to email it to me. More later … 🙂

  4. Here’s my Mum’s recipe 🙂

    Oven – cool: Gas 1-2; Fan 120 degrees C
    3 1/2 to 4 hours

    9″ round tin or 8″ square tin
    lined with greaseproof paper and a band of brown paper or foil tied around the outside. I also place a double sheet of foil over the top (loosely) for most of the cooking time.

    1 lb currants
    8 oz sultanas
    8 oz seedless raisins
    4 oz ground almonds
    2 oz flaked almonds
    6 oz glace cherries, halved
    10 oz plain flour
    A pinch of salt
    1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
    A heaped tablespoon of marmalade
    10 oz butter
    10 oz soft dark brown sugar (I once used 12 oz mistakenly and it was lovely!)
    6 eggs, beaten
    Lots of brandy!

    Mix together the currants, sultanas, seedless raisins and cherries. Pour over a goodly amount (6-8 tbsps) of brandy and stir. Cover with a tea-towel and leave to stand overnight (I often add a little more brandy before going to bed).

    Next morning, add the lemon and almonds (and a little more brandy!).

    Sift together the flour, salt and spices and mix with the fruit.

    Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.

    Beat the eggs gradually into the mixture.

    Gradually fold in the flour and fruit mixture – towards the end add the marmalade and 3 tbsps of brandy.

    Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, spread it evenly and make a slight dip in the centre.

    Bake in the lower part of the oven.

    When cooked and cooled, remove from tin and place upside down on a wire rack. Prick the bottom and sprinkle over 3 or 4 tbsps of brandy.

    Wrap in foil and leave until ready to decorate.

  5. Teresa

     /  June 9, 2008

    Dear Kate,
    I feel so honored to be able to use your family recipe. Please say thank you to both your parents for their assistance and a big thank you to you as well. I have printed it out and will keep with my treasured favorites. I love the additions, and extra additions, of brandy. Am I at any time, supposed to allow myself a bit of brandy as well?
    Thanks again.
    Teresa Macpherson

  6. realfoodlover

     /  September 1, 2008

    You may be interested in my new food blog competition!

    It’s about real food and the prize is the DVD, Our Daily Bread, released on 8 September 2008.

    This tiny url will take you to my blog competition http://tinurl.us/8bfdcd

    And appropriately for A Merrier World, the blog features Emma’s Bread from Devon!

  7. Hello!

    I have nominated your blog for the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 award, its now your turn to nominate another 7 blogs you think are worthy.

    It’s a great way of finding new blogs so I hope you will take up the challenge!

    Kindest Regards


  8. Teresa

     /  September 12, 2008

    Hi there Kate.
    I am supposed to make a three dimensional birthday cake in the shape of Bently or Rolls Royce.
    I don’t have a three-D car cake pan and was wondering if this is something you have done in the past and if you have any valuable tips.
    Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.

  9. Hi Teresa 🙂
    The only ‘3D’ cakes I’ve made have all been from Debbie Brown’s book, 50 Easy Party Cakes. You basically bake a square/rectangular cake (she recommends using a fairly solid cake recipe) and cut this up into building blocks. These are ‘glued’ together with buttercream to create a shape, then covered with fondant icing and any extra bits and bobs that are necessary for the overall picture. I don’t think there’s a Rolls Royce or other such car in this book, but there’s a vintage car in her book of ‘Cakes for Men’ if you’re feeling adventurous!! You could probably design a simpler version by playing around with a few cardboard boxes as a starting point.
    Hope that helps 🙂 Do let me know how you get on 🙂 .

  10. realfoodlover

     /  October 23, 2008

    Hi Kate, I thought I had your email address but I cannot find it now. So, please email me elisabeth[dot]winkler@yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk with a an address where I can send a special prize for your great post. I will blog about this properly (and not in telegramese!) as soon as time allows! Warm wishes Elisabeth

  11. Oh gosh, what a lovely surprise! I feel very honoured – thank you!

  12. PS – the email address you gave doesn’t work for me 😦

  13. realfoodlover

     /  November 4, 2008

    Hi Kate. My latest post ‘Bread to Breast’ is about my two winning entries, including yours.


    I look forward to sending you your prize and do let me know on my blog what you think of it.

    I loved your Halloween post and the witch turned fairy despite months of rehearsal.

  14. I just found your blog after searching on google as my daughter has announced she wants a unicorn cake for her 5th birthday in December! Such great ideas especially the rainbow cake!

  15. Hi, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Blast Off Biscuits « A Merrier World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: