Ballymena bound

Published Thursday, 25 April 2013
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Well, it's been another week of firsts for me. Each edition of The Magazine so far and I've found myself doing all sorts of things I'd never done before.

From driving a tractor when I was in Armagh to zip wiring in Newcastle and this week I found myself embarking on another HUGE personal challenge - baking in Ballymena.

Yes, I know, it is embarrassing to admit but I had never baked a cake before. The shame.

I have to fess up that I'm a failure when it comes to domesticity. (Sadly, I didn't inherit my mum's fabulous culinary skills, legendary around the north coast.)

However, all was not lost and thanks to a visit to the beautiful home of Northern Ireland's baking guru, Jenny Bristow, I have finally conquered my fears and baked a cake - a Plum cake if you don't mind - and do you know what? It was so simple and soooo delicious.

Stephen and the kids wolfed it down when I got home. The challenge now is to try and recreate in my own kitchen!

I'll keep you posted!

You can find Jenny's recipe at the end of this blog if you want to give it a go yourself.

Jenny Bristow and Sarah Travers cook some cake

This week I also paid a visit to The Dogs trust in Ballymena which has grown considerably over the years with more and more unwanted pets needing new homes.

On Sunday you can watch me trying out as a volunteer and catching up with the Dogs Trust patron, Eamonn Holmes who tells us about the latest love of his life - a little lady called Maggie.

Eamonn Holmes and Sarah Travers visit the Dogs Trust

Every week on The Magazine we're joined by different guest presenters and making her debut this weekend is the model and columnist Gemma Garrett as she checks out a new and exciting way to get around one of our biggest tourist attractions.

Oh and how could I forget the highlight of my visit to Ballymena with a trip down memory lane with smooth talking lothario, Jackie Fullerton, as we take to the dancefloor at the old Flamingo ballroom.

Get your coat Jackie - you've pulled!

See you Sunday. 7.30 on UTV.

Don't forget you can follow us on Twitter @UTVMag.

And if you've missed an episode of The Magazine (or just want to watch it again!) you can catch up on the UTV Player.

RECIPE: Plum Cake

4 eggs
8oz caster sugar
8 oz softened butter
10oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Grated lemon rind
Demarara sugar
Icing sugar
4 Firm Plums

Mix in a large bowl the sugar, butter and flour. Add the baking soda, a pinch of cinnamon and the lemon rind. Transfer mixture to a loose-bottomed tin and smooth.

Quarter the plums and place around the tin on top of the mixture. A sprinkle of demarara and then bake in the oven for 40 mins at 200deg.

Once cooled dust with the icing sugar - et Voila!

Send me your cake pics to

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Comments Comments
do in lisburn wrote (638 days ago):
Recipe for the plum cake (which I hope to make) is 1 teaspoon of baking powder not baking soda.
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Sarah Travers
Sarah Travers

Sarah is the presenter of UTV's The Magazine.

A journalist by trade, Sarah worked for BBC Northern Ireland for 17 years before joining the UTV team in 2013.

The mum of two hails from Portstewart where she still lives. Her passion is people and their stories and she says she likes nothing more than a good blether and a night out with the girls.

'Treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself' is Sarah's motto. She says it's stood her in good stead over the years.

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