We browse the aisles with Rosalind Miller who makes show-stopping cakes for royal weddings, and once made a two-metre-high gingerbread house.

Smoked salmon

'The best easy dinner after work, with scrambled eggs and a little avocado.'

McDougalls premium supreme sponge self-raising flour

'This is a very low-gluten flour made especially for cakes. It’s a bit more expensive than standard flour, but the difference it makes to texture is amazing – you get a much lighter and fluffier cake.'

Rose water

'I make lots of cakes for royal weddings in the Middle East, and rose is a very popular flavour. I was recently asked to make a Persian love cake, which involved a saffron and cardamom sponge with rose and pistachio buttercream. Beautiful.'

Butterkist toffee popcorn

'Pop this in a bag with edible gold dust, and give it a shake. The result is glittery popcorn! It’s a great topping for cakes.'

Vanilla pods

'Put these in a bottle of vodka, leave it for a few days, and you've got a delicious homemade vanilla extract.'

Sainsbury's blue food colouring

'I mix a bit of this with some yellow Dr Oetker colouring to make a great pale-green icing that's perfect for leaf decorations.'

Salted caramel green tea

'I do like a cup of tea while I’m working on new cake designs. This one might sound odd, but it’s lovely.'

Pistachio nuts

'I keep nuts around for snacking; it’s just too easy to eat cake otherwise! My ex-husband is Persian, and his family bring over the most wonderful pistachios.'

Cognac

'The trick to a great fruit cake is to soak the fruit in Cognac for three or four days beforehand so it plumps up.'

 

About the author

Leah Hyslop
Leah is our lovely food director. You'll most likely find her scoffing cake in our test kitchen...