Extras
 

There's still time to snap up a crafty gift for Christmas that will look great and keep little ones busy in the holidays

Katy Holland: Raising money for schools and not a cremated muffin in sight

Are we there yet? An innovative new holiday club

Baking Cakes in Kigali, By Gaile Parkin

At the heart of this African novel is Angel Tungaraza, a Tanzanian woman who has recently moved to Rwanda with her husband Pius and their five orphaned grandchildren. Menopausal and putting on weight, she is an enthusiastic baker of delicious, brightly-iced cakes, which she sells to friends and neighbours. But Baking Cakes in Kigali is not simply a warm story of family life and friendship. For it is set six years after Rwanda's genocide of 1994 – "those hundred days while violence was tearing this country to pieces like a chicken on a plate".

Dense beetroot and chocolate cake

Makes one medium-sized cake

Bites: The key to seduction: a good soufflé

While Gordon Ramsay ponders the fall-out from his latest brush with the red-tops, TV world ushers in a new chef du jour. Eric Lanlard, the expletive-free protégé of Albert Roux, who's baked for the Beckhams and Madonna, has just bagged his first series, Glamour Puds (on Discovery), where he lures the ladies with gingerbread soufflés.

Minor British Institutions: Rock cakes

Like one or two other of our small but much loved institutions, the rock cake seems to have crumbled away a little lately, almost unnoticed. It does seems a long time since they were a common sight, now supplanted perhaps by those US-style muffins that landed in the mid-Eighties.

Fancy restaurants are going to the wall. Could this be the perfect time to open a tearoom?

Orange Pekoe: 3 White Hart Lane, London SW13, tel: 020 8876 6070

Cut a slice of the action: Cake makers' creations can be wedding show-stoppers

When the pop singer Gareth Gates married Suzanne Mole this year, one feature that stood out, apart from the grins on their faces, was the huge five-tier cake: a heady combintation of chocolate, Bailey's truffle, lemon cake, carrot cake and champagne truffle. While much is made in the Hello!-world of wedding dresses and venues, often the cake gets gobbled down and not a word more is said.

The Ten Best Cupcakes

Chow down on our selection of scrumptious cupcakes.

Cupcake wars: Celebrity favourite Sprinkles launches a legal bid to lick the competition

They are America's biggest food craze since gourmet coffee. Now frosted cupcakes have cemented their standing as a staple of the national diet – by tapping into the business community's insatiable appetite for legal disputes.

Swinton takes on Cannes with cup cakes and Scottish rain

When Tilda Swinton announced plans for a film festival in her home town of Nairn in north-east Scotland, she said she wanted it to be the antithesis of the glitz and glamour of Cannes. As it opened yesterday, the Highland weather was doing its bit to help. "I did a rain dance last night and it seems to have worked. What better place to be on a rainy August afternoon than in a cinema?" she said.

M&S takes biscuit: teacakes cost Treasury £3.5m

The humble chocolate teacake cost the Treasury £3.5 million today. That's the price of a VAT mistake which classified Marks & Spencer teacakes as chocolate biscuits.

The Old Country, By Sam North

What is it with the English aristocracy? There are far more deserving objects for our compassion, yet Sam North's masterly creation, Lord Woodford – a self-centred, bristle-moustached, scarlet-faced, alcoholic aristo who's never done a day's work in his life – milks the reader's sense of pathos until it hurts. And makes you laugh at the same time.

Dark chocolate cake

This cake is probably the easiest dessert in the world to make; it simply requires good-quality chocolate. It is exceptionally dark and rich – with no added sugar. The smallest slice is all you need.

Close-up: Claire Ptak

Chez Panisse couldn't hold on to this pastry chef. Can east London do better?

Driver who ate alcoholic cake will be banned

A woman who claimed she had eaten Christmas cake laced with whisky is facing a drink-driving ban after a High Court ruling yesterday.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003