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Meet Mary Berry at the National Ploughing Championships

05 Jul 2018

Meet Mary Berry At The National Ploughing Championships

We are delighted to announce that Queen of Cakes, Mary Berry will be the Star Guest at our stand at this year’s National Ploughing Championships being held in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly 18th – 20th September 2018. Would you like to meet Mary Berry? Yes? Great. Keep reading….

To celebrate Mary’s attendance at the Ploughing, we are launching a really exciting competition. We are inviting you to create something unique and delicious 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” says Mary.

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!”.

Prizes: 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.

How to enter: Send your recipes to include full details on ingredients, method, cooking times and a picture.

Full details, terms and conditions

By Email:

By Post: Dairy Competition, The National Dairy Council, The Studio, 55c Maple Avenue, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin A94 HY83.

Closing date for all entries is 5.00pm Friday 10th August, 2018.

Clearly mark your entry DARE TO DAIRY WITH MARY

Top Tips for entrants from Chandima Gamage Head Pastry Chef at Dromoland Castle

  1. Mini scones are one of the most popular foods for an Afternoon Tea. They can be sweet or savoury, and complex or plain. From basic buttermilk scones, savoury cheddar mustard scones, sweet cinnamon scones….the list is endless
  2. Finger sandwiches are also really popular for Afternoon Tea and we serve them at Dromoland Castle. Popular fillings include egg salad, cucumber, smoked salmon and roast beef and horseradish. To make them extra special, try making your own homemade bread.
  3. Think of colour and texture for your entry, it has to stand against other savoury and sweet delights so it’s good if it has a distinctive taste.
  4. As you will have to carry your delicious treat to the Ploughing, think about making something that doesn’t collapse or spill out on the journey. For example, a stunning strawberry mille-feuille with fresh cream might look fabulous leaving the kitchen and then collapse on arrival!
  5. If you have time and can afford the treat, try visiting some of the top hotels in Ireland for Afternoon Tea to get inspiration!

Pic: Dare to Dairy with Mary Judges, Food Writer and judge of the Great Irish Bake-Off Lilly Higgins and Chandima Gamage Head Pastry Chef at Dromoland Castle.