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Welcome to Blackberry Cottage ramblings, please do leave comments.


Courgettes, courgettes and more courgettes.

Kate Saunders | 6th August 2019

If you’ve ever planted a courgette plant you know how many courgettes you get in return. I’m going to give you a fabulous tip for keeping courgettes But, we don’t just plant one courgette plant do we!! It tends to be at least 4 to 6 plants, and if looked after well, they produce an … Continue reading Courgettes, courgettes and more courgettes.

Aubergine Chocolate Mousse

Kate Saunders | 24th July 2019

    Oh my, when I challenge myself to create something a little different with aubergine, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to create, I didn’t want another cake, I was thinking more of a dessert. Enter the new Aubergine Chocolate Mousse, and yes whilst it might take you a little while to … Continue reading Aubergine Chocolate Mousse


The Gleaming Aubergine

Kate Saunders | 2nd July 2019

Beautiful, glossy, plump, deep purples, creams and reds They are now at their best – this is their time to shine – the gleaming aubergine. Did you know that the aubergine is in fact classed as berries, therefore a fruit, not actually a vegetable. Who hasn’t walked past them in a shop and thought they … Continue reading The Gleaming Aubergine

It’s May – shall we pick some nettles?

It’s such a great thought, we have all this free food that is so nutritious on our door steps, if only we knew how to use it.  I always feel that when we arrive in May, we are now really into the warmer weather and this time of year I love nothing better than to go foraging.

This month we are going to start with a very simple foraging food that I am sure most of you will be able to find in the hedgerows, or if you are like me in the garden.  The humble nettle.

I know what you are thinking, ‘Kate I am going to get stung’, yep, you will get stung if you do not have a good, thick pair of gloves or washing up gloves to protect your hands, I would also cover any exposed skin too.

We will be looking at how to choose the right nettles, picking them, what they are good for, how to get the best from them and how to use them by creating recipes.

If you would like to make a start, we have a fantastic Nettle Pesto Recipe, here .


Let’s start with where to find them as I don’t think you need much advice on what they look like, I think most of us will have been stung one time or another by them.  They are on most continents, you will be able to find nettles in any untended ground, gardens hedgerows and woodland from early spring.  Many gardeners consider nettles as weeds, but they have been used since medieval times to treat many conditions, painful joints and muscles, anaemia, eczema, arthritis, gout, hay fever and as a natural detoxifier.


They were known as the spring tonic and no medicine cabinet would have been without this tonic in it. Why are they so powerful? They have high levels of vitamins A and C are rich in calcium, manganese which helps the body absorb iron and vitamins easier. 

Join me this month on our nettle foraging and cooking via my blog and social media feeds.

Next week will be looking at the best nettles to use and how we can incorporate them in our food.

But I will leave you with this little fun-fact, in the Second World War, when vegetables were in short supply, nettles were a great source of green vegetable, and were widely picked and eaten.

Orange Juicer

Kate Saunders | 6th February 2019

Hello Long time since I popped onto my blog and had a quick chat with you all. Last year when running my courses I was always being asked where could you get the equipment that I was using, graters, tins, etc. But the item that most people wanted to get hold of was my hand … Continue reading Orange Juicer

Book – Cakes with Secret Ingredients – from aubergine to zucchini

Our book is here!!!!!!

The long awaited arrival of our book, it has been talked about a lot over the last three years, in that time I had been creating and tweaking recipes.

At the start of this year (2018) it was time to create the book. Firstly over a three month period we baked every cake around seven times, so we know that everyone works and is delicious. We had a team of fantastic taste testers who gave us valuable feedback.


After we knew that each cake worked we then commissioned our wonderful food photographer and food stylist, no kidding they took over our house for six weeks, when I say took over, they actually knew where everything was in our house better than I did.

And then started baking the cakes all again, taking a total of 12580 photos over the 6 weeks. Now that is a lot of photos.


When I thought about starting a book, I really didn’t think it was going to be such a huge task, how wrong could I be.

At least I had the support and help from some wonderful people who helped to create all my ramblings and notes, that were inevitably covered in cake mixture into some sort of recipe.

And, I am proud to say that I have employed all local people to help, it is amazing what talent is local to you when you start to look around, everyone is in about a 10 mile radius of where we live #supportlocal

So there it is, 800 cakes baked, 12580 photos, hours of reading and checking equals one cookbook with over 100 recipes, using 27 different vegetables.

Which resulted in one big tea party at the end.


We are very proud of this and hope you will all love it as much as we do.

Books are available on our website, they will be dispatched end of September £24.99 including p&p.

Link to order:


Happy baking

Kate x

Pumpkins Galore

Kate Saunders | 28th October 2017

Thank you for popping by.  If you heard me earlier today on BBC Berkshire talking about pumpkins I was talking how to use all the pumpkin, and promised some recipes that I was talking about. You might be getting ready, or possibly already have carved your pumpkins and will no doubt have some waste.  Don’t … Continue reading Pumpkins Galore

Feast and Forage

Kate Saunders | 3rd May 2016

  Sometimes instead of me teaching, it is lovely to go on a course and learn something new myself. As you may know I’m always keen to learn new foodie ways and love the outdoors, so what better way to combine the two.       My husband and I headed down to the New … Continue reading Feast and Forage

Rhubarb Curd

Kate Saunders | 14th April 2016

  Rhubarb Curd Even though most people consume rhubarb as a fruit, botanically speaking it belongs to the group of vegetables.     We’ve all had lemon or orange curd, but rhubarb is also fantastic variant, I use curd on toast, swirl it into ice cream, with pancakes as a filling in sandwich cakes, or … Continue reading Rhubarb Curd

Competition Time...

Kate Saunders | 17th March 2016

Fancy winning a delicious 5 cake selection box of Blackberry Cottage cakes for the next 5 months? You can choose from chocolate, gluten-free or a variety selection, a little box of yumminess every month. You can enter via Twitter or Facebook       Twitter: Post a tweet with the mention @Blackbery_Cott and the answer … Continue reading Competition Time…

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"Just want to say, your Christmas pudding was amazing and you have a customer for life. Everyone comments on how nice it was!"
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"Enjoying a late night wedge of Parsnip Fruit Loaf courtesy of @Blackberry_Cott from the @thamefoodfest today #yum"
Lynne, Nottingham
"Arrived very quickly and beautifully wrapped. Amazingly tasty, couldn't believe they were gluten free and made with vegetables. I'll be back for more yummy treats."
Sam, London
"We had some of your amazing cakes at the Goring Food Festival yesterday, they were delicious!"
Wendy, Wallingford
"We all thoroughly enjoyed the day with you, we learnt so much and were amazed at how easy it is to use vegetables, different flours, less sugar and fats."
Ellis, Basingstoke
"Guess what I did last night…. Made chocolate cupcakes, with butternut squash & spinach! They are delicious. Made with rice flour too, & no butter. Thank you for your inspiration."