Kate Levick can’t understand folk who say their are too busy to cook.
“Baking and cooking helps me unwind after a long week at work and running around after the kids,” says the manager at Grade II listed Aizlewood’s Mill business centre.
The mum of two, of Crystal Peaks, especially loves to cook the food she grows herself. Kate, 41, says: “I learnt to cook with my mum as a child, using recipes passed down from my grandma. I love it. My other passion is the allotment I’ve had for the past two years. My strawberry patch has expanded and I’m expecting a bumper crop this year - plenty for the Aizlewood’s Mill Wimbledon Fortnight Wii Tennis Tournament which ends on Sunday, and for one of the charity cake sales we hold.”
Kate’s Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
Makes 24 shortbreads. cost: £3.40
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
100g sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour, sifted
100g strawberries, chopped
250m double cream
2tbsp icing sugar
Fresh mint for decoration
Preheat oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Mix together the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add the vanilla, then gently mix in the flour until completely incorporated. Using your hands, squeeze the mixture together into a ball of dough.
Gently roll dough out to about 5mm/¼in thick on a floured work surface. Cut using a biscuit cutter. Transfer biscuits to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and chill in fridge for 15 minutes to ensure they hold their shape during baking. Sprinkle each with a pinch of granulated sugar then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
Whip cream and icing sugar to soft peaks, stir in half of the strawberries and spoon onto cooled shortbread. Decorate with strawberries, a sprig of mint and a dusting of icing sugar.