The Great British Bake Off star was the godmother to Viking Alsvin at the naming ceremony in Amsterdam this year. Here she tells us why she’s so delighted with her new role, and shares a favourite recipe.
It seems to me that river cruising is a hidden gem, full of adventure and exploration, and I am so proud to be a godmother to my very own ship. What I loved about this experience was the opportunity to learn. I am fascinated by people and as someone who likes to teach, learning comes hand in hand — in particular the local food specialities and traditions shared through food on board Viking River Cruises.
Naturally when on board Viking Alsvin I visited the kitchen to see what was cooking. It was superb to see all the wonderful ingredients they use on board a Viking river cruise and it was so lovely to see the chefs cooking from scratch and creating fresh, local delicacies on the ship. I’ve never been on a river cruise before, but now that I have my own ship the world is my oyster.
I wouldn’t say I am an experienced traveller, but it is certainly something I am interested in. I think a country that I would like to go back to is New Zealand. I am fascinated by New Zealand life and history and I love learning about these things. I feel it is such a beautiful, rich country that takes you a step back in time, which I like.
I’ve always wanted to visit the islands of the Azores. The sun and natural beauty entice me. Its main industries are agriculture, including dairy farming and fishing, and there is always a food element to any destination that intrigues me. I love tasting and sampling local cuisine.
It inspires my recipes.
Mary’s latest book is Mary Berry Cooks (BBC Books, £20).
Lemon Drizzle Traybake
225g (8 oz) butter, softened
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
275g (10 oz) self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons milk
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
175g (6 oz) granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Cut a rectangle of non-stick baking parchment to fit the base and sides of a traybake tin or roasting tin, 30 x 23 x 4 cm (12 x 9 x 1 ½ inches). Grease the tin and then line with the paper, pushing it neatly into the corners of the tin. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3.
Measure all the ingredients for the traybake into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended. An electric mixer is best for this but you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula. Level the top of the mixture in the tin gently with the back of the spatula.
Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the traybake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger in the centre and is beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
Allow the traybake to cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift the traybake out of the tin still in the lining paper. Carefully remove the paper and put the traybake onto a wire rack placed over a tray (to catch drips of the topping).
To make the crunchy topping, mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a small bowl to give a runny consistency. Spoon this mixture evenly over the traybake while it is still just warm. Cut into squares when cold.
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