Whitley WI Baking (WI members only)

Our Baking Beauties Group usually meet on the last Friday of the month at 1:30 in Whitley Village Hall – please look on the calendar to check details.

Jonty Jones and Chris Jones lead the group with a different baking idea each month. The group started on Zoom during the pandemic and has gone from strength to strength.

Members each make their own cake/product to bring along to the meeting. We go round the room for each person to explain how they made their cake and where the recipe came from. Sometimes the most entertaining input is from members who confess what an absolute disaster they produced!

We then all have the opportunity to have a small sample of the different offerings.

Members aren’t always able to make something, but are still very welcome to come along to sample other peoples cake and enjoy some social time.

Our Next Meeting

Our next meeting is on Friday 26th April. We are all baking Welsh Bara Brith cakes. The best chef will be asked to provide for the Cheshire Show!

Our Recent Meeting(s)

  • A huge ‘birds nest’ Chocolate cake,
  • A Lemon Drizzle Simnel Cake… The secret is to grate the marzipan inner layer
  • Chocolate coated roasted almonds.. The flavour enhancer secret is to put one crystal of salt on each chocolate almond

  • Mixed Easter chick, rabbit and flower biscuits. The Rabbits bob tail was butter icing coated in coconut.
  • Easter egg biscuits – with Crushed eggs

We had a special guest at Baking Beauties – maybe she will follow in her Grandmother’s footsteps, join Whitley WI and bring lots of ideas along to the Baking group!

February 2024 – Valentine Bakes

Our baking group welcomed a new member this month and we are sure she will be an inspiration to our baking ideas. Valentine Day was the theme so hearts of all shapes and sizes adorned our table. Plum shuttles or Valentines buns promoted a discussion. These buns are similar to tea cakes and made in the 1800 as a gift on Valentines day. Lastly, a Persian Love cake from the 1600’s. This cake has a mix of spices and rosewater and not to everyone’s taste. Apparently this cake was made by a lady to woo a Prince. One wonders if it was an acquired taste!

This month we decided to focus on Scottish baking as it is so close Burns Night. There was an amazing array of baking laid before us to try – Dundee cakes, Shortbreads,, Oatcakes, Black bun, Cranachan, Fly Cemetery (a Scottish fruit slice). Haggis sausage rolls and Scottish eggs completed our table. We also discussed the history of some of our food contributions, as well as the baking methods and failures.

What a festive table we had when all the different Mini Treats were set out – a Feast for the eyes, and for our taste buds at the end of the afternoon! Some members brought along their favourite recipes, but most experimented with new ideas.

We had traditional favourites including Panettone, Stollen, Florentines and different mince pies – chocolate, frangipane and coated with coloured baubles. There were lots of different biscuits, mini cakes, strawberry Santas, fudge and savoury pastry snacks. A lovely afternoon.

Here are some pictures of our treats – all very mouthwatering and tasty


We had a few Parkin variations, with and without oatmeal and a discussion on syrup versus treacle. Pumpkin featured in a wonderfully shaped bread, a ghostly decorated cake and a wonderful pie! Chocolate spiders and cheese straws impersonating witches fingers finished off the spooky theme!

Our Bakers decided to take a break from cooking, and opted to go out for an Afternoon Tea instead. Pesto at Cabbage Hall provided a delicious spread, with an Italian theme, and a good time was had by all.

Baking Beauties explored a ‘Taste of Europe’ this month and enjoyed tasting brioche, focaccia, tiramisu, macarons, mille feuilles, Sicilian lemon flan, Portuguese lemon biscuits and a Portuguese raspberry and almond cake. It was Interesting to see how ground almonds keep cropping up in different recipes!
All very tasty but unfortunately not good for the waistline!

Baking Beauties met in June with bakes featuring summer fruits. Strawberries and raspberries were the main stars but pink gooseberries, blueberries and even coconut made an appearance. Ann T’s meringue cake filled with cream and strawberries was the showstopper but all the bakes were delicious.

Jonty gave us a brief history of the muffin including a rather macabre story about the muffin man who lived on Drury lane who lured children to their death using a muffin tied to a piece of string!
There was also much discussion about whether you add dry ingredients to wet or wet ingredients to dry! No firm conclusion was reached but the end results were all very tasty!

Baking beauties looked at Irish recipes and members brought along a few classic soda breads, some with seeds or oats and even caramelised onion. All were delicious with butter especially the ones that were still warm!

The Irish barmbrack was also popular. This recipe requires the fruit to be soaked in sweet tea before baking and the result was a very moist fruit loaf. An Irish twist on the pasty saw corn beef combined with vegetables to make a tasty snack. Guinness did make an appearance in a very chocolatey Guinness cake!

The Baking Beauties group had decided to trial the recipe given in the Cheshire Show schedule for gingerbread. We had a lively meeting with 9 members of the beauties talking about their gingerbread experiences

Despite the recipe missing out one vital instruction- when to add the sugar, we all had a good go and produced a variety of different characters. Our biscuits varied from very hard biscuits to really – some decorated perfectly, others a little more basic.

A bit more work needed before June but at least 3 of us are going to enter the Cheshire show for fun. This won’t include Jonty – after her experiences she is definitely giving it a miss!
Next month will be anything connected to Ireland as it is St Patrick’s Day in March. Cakes biscuits or anything you fancy. The date is Friday 31st March. 1.30 at Whitley village hall for a refreshing meeting.

Nine members met to offer their recipe, some to honour a family member, others searched very old cook books for inspiration. This resulted in a variety of bakes including a luncheon cake dating back to 1899 using a lot less sugar than todays cakes, and still tasted delicious. Other bakes included egg custard, tea breads, apple cake, walnut bars, Anzec biscuits, meringues and sticky chocolate cake.

Jontyn spoke about the original gingerbread of Ormskirk which dated back to the 1800’s. This was served on trains in the area by gingerbread ladies. An annual event still takes place to honour it’s success. A recipe book from Pat’s mum gave us a completely different recipe.

Chris gave us some interesting background to the origins of mince pies, and members shared their stories/recipes of what they had brought along. Some made their own mincemeat, some made their own pastry, others used frozen pastry. There was a real variation, with several trying frangipane varieties. We also had some shop made mince pies for comparison.

Meetings during 2022

February – A cake containing a vegetable
March – An Easter recipe
April – Jubilee biscuits
May – a citrus flavoured bake
June – a cheesecake
July – scones
September – a wonderful display for our September Show, refreshments courtesy of Baking Beauties
October – A bake incorporating jam
November – mince pies

Comments are closed.