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This has been my breakfast of choice over the past few weeks. These lovely dark-skinned figs have been in the shops for about 25 pence each, and I’m making the most of them whilst they are still in season. I love the preserved ginger – a delightful little kick first thing in the morning.


  • 4-5 stoneless, partially rehydrated prunes 
  • the zest and juice of half an orange
  • 1 ball of stem ginger (the kind you buy preserved in a jar with ginger syrup), sliced
  • a drizzle of ginger syrup
  • 2 fresh figs, sliced

Ideally, this should  be prepared the night before, to allow the prunes to soak up the lovely juices: simply add the figs just before eating.

SERVES 1 (no-one else in my family will even consider eating this).




One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is take part in my local Parkrun; a free, timed, 5k run around our hilly park. It has a great community, and for some reason there is always a lot of cake. Each week over 70,000 runners take part in various Parkrun events across the world.  A few Saturdays ago it was my home Parkrun’s second Birthday, so we celebrated with… cake. My contribution was these lovely little carrot and orange cakes.


For the cakes

  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • a squeeze of orange juice
  • 200g self-raising flour, sieved

For the frosting

  • 300g cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia cheese)
  • a squeeze of orange juice
  • 50-60g icing sugar

The cakes

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Prepare a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Melt the butter, add the sugar and whisk together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, a little at a time and continue whisking.

Fold in the carrots and a little orange juice.

Fold in the flour. Make sure all the ingredients are full combined.

Divide the mixture between the  paper cases, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Test with a skewer.

Allow to cool.

The frosting

Whisk together all the ingredients until nice and smooth, you may need to add a little more icing sugar depending on how much orange juice you have squeezed in.

Spread a little over each cake.

Decorate as you like – I used these little coloured stars, but you could use orange zest, or a mini fondant carrot, or whatever.

The top tip

I made my cakes the night before the Big Event, but I was worried that if I iced them they would get soggy overnight. As an experiment I iced and decorated a couple of cakes the night before. The icing was fine but the colour in the decorations ran a little, so perhaps save the final touches until just before the big cake reveal.

Helen Walton & her picnic table

Photo: Lisa Power.

Here's one I made earlier

Here's one I made earlier

Hi, my name's Helen and I live in London with my husband and two children. When I started piping the potato on my shepherd's pies, my husband suggested that it might be a good idea for me to find an outlet for my creativity, so here we are. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the extra twist is that I don't eat meat (I do eat fish though) and Jim, who loves meat, is always on a diet. Here are a few recipes that I have enjoyed making for my family.

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