Bake-a-boo baker launches new cookbook

DURING the last four years afternoon tea has been reinvented for the modern era in the West Hampstead tearoom Bake-a-boo.

Now the shop’s owner Zoe Berkeley has written a cookbook so fans can make her innovative, tasty and allergy-friendly creations in their own kitchens.

The bubble gum pink ultra-feminine tea shop on Mill Lane specialises in delectable cakes and afternoon tea spreads and Ms Berkeley, who is allergic to wheat and dairy products, decided to devise alternative recipes for cakes for the burgeoning number of people suffering from food intolerances.

Many of the cakes are gluten, wheat, dairy or sugar free but Miss Berkeley insists that they taste as good as the real thing.

She said: “The whole concept of bake-a-boo is that we have something for everyone allergy-wise and the recipe book refects that – it gives people with allergies a chance to bake great cakes and have tea parties in their own homes.

“One of the most popular things at the shop is our themed tea parties for hen nights or birthdays, so I wanted to incorporate that idea into the book.”

The book, which launched this week, contains 80 of the tea shops most popular bakes. It includes classics like the traditional Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle cake and more adventurous recipes such as pumpkin and chocolate cake and Earl Grey cupcakes.

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Born and brought up in West Hampstead, Ms Berkeley is very much a local girl. She attended nearby Beckford primary school and went on to Hampstead School.

She said: “I’ve moved to Crouch End now but I lived here for 21 years and I have really good memories of this area. I loved going to Beckford. I can hear their bell ringing in the morning and some of my old teachers even come into the shop to buy cakes and have a cup of tea. I didn’t go to school to study baking or anything so I tend to make simple and easy cakes. If I can make them anyone can.”