Meet 'Great British Bake Off' legend Mary Berry in Offaly at the National Ploughing Championships

Could you bake up an afternoon tea treat for the great Mary Berry?

Offaly Express Reporter

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Offaly Express Reporter

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Meet Great British Bake Off's Mary Berry at the National Ploughing Championships

Meet Great British Bake Off's Mary Berry at the National Ploughing Championships

Queen of Cakes and former presenter of the hit show Great British Bake Off Mary Berry will be the guest star at the National Dairy Council’s National Ploughing Championship’s stand this year.

The Ploughing Championships will be held in Screggan,  Tullamore, between September 18 and 20.

The National Dairy Council (NDC) is inviting members of the public to create a treat that can be served at Afternoon Tea at Ploughing with Mary. It can be sweet or savoury but must contain dairy produce in some form. The three best recipes will be selected and the finalists will present their delicacy for tasting by Mary and guests and enjoy afternoon tea at the NDC Stand at the Ploughing Championships.

Practical as always Mary advises anyone entering to "practice the recipe". "It must be the very best of Irish dairy produce and the best of its type, whether that's a quiche, tart or cake - we don't want to see curdled custard or separated filling, the pastry must be beautifully done, it has to have great flavor and beautifully presented. No soggy bottoms". 

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The judges for the competition will be Chandima Gamage Head Pastry Chef at Dromoland Castle, Irish Food Writer, Lilly Higgins and Ciara Leahy, Consumer Editor of the Irish Farmers’ Journal.

Food Writer and judge of the Great Irish Bake-Off Lilly Higgins says, “I am delighted to be involved with this competition and to meet the baking legend that is Mary Berry! My experience of being a judge on the Great Irish Bake Off will certainly help in picking the best entries for the Afternoon Tea at Ploughing. I am huge fan of baking myself and really look forward to seeing the variety of recipes that will be sent in. My advice would be to keep it simple and execute it well, whether it’s a cake, tart, quiche or even a sandwich, get the basics right and it will be delicious!”.

Each finalist will receive a €300 voucher for Ballymaloe Cookery School and an Afternoon Tea Hamper filled with Goodies, free entry into Ploughing and the chance to have Afternoon Tea with Mary Berry.

Mary said "I'm looking forward most to meeting people and food producers and tasting some good Irish food. Irish stew is one of my favourite dinners, even better with a chunk of soda bread. My mother used to make it when I was young and I still make it for my children and grandchildren." She likes travelling but is happiest at home.

"We have such wonderful produce here: great dairy, vegetables, fruit and meat, all homegrown so we know where it comes from which is hugely important. You just can't beat a good crumble or pie with homegrown berries or a stew with neck of lamb," she remarks excitedly. And of course, the afternoon tea and slice of cake."

Entrants must provide recipes to include full details on ingredients, method, cooking times and a picture.Full details of how to enter, terms and conditions are available at www.thecompletenatural.ie/eventful/competition-time-dare-to-dairy-with-mary-berry/

Entries can be sent by email to competitions@ndc.ie or by post to Dairy Competition, The National Dairy Council, The Studio, 55c Maple Avenue, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin A94 HY83.

Closing date is Friday, August 10. Clearly mark your entry DARE TO DAIRY WITH MARY.