White chocolate cheesecake

Album: Handel, Organ Concertos Opus 7 / Egarr (Harmonia Mundi)

Those who favour understated phrasing should avoid this highly-spiced recording.

Michael McCarthy: Singing the praises of a humble plum

Nature Notebook: In France it is prized, as one of the supreme fruits of high summer

Spoofs? Don't make us laugh

The latest crop of parody films has marred the genre

Rhod Gilbert and the Cat that looked like Nicholas Lyndhurst, Pleasance Courtyard

Not only is Rhod Gilbert a fantastic comedian, he's a fantastical one. He lives and dies by weaving a fictional tapestry, the weight of which could drag him under at any moment. Once, his intricate illusion went by the name of the made-up town of Llanbobl, but for the last two years he has asked us to inhabit a new world, one of pain in the face of the trials of everyday existence, the comedy equivalent of Portmeirion in The Prisoner.

The wild brunch: Skye Gyngell's hearty mid-morning meals

Fresh fruit, simple, natural produce - and soft, fluffy pancakes...

David Randall: Our raspberry response to all the other po-faced months

The silly season is upon us, and promises to live up to expectations of daftness

Shore thing: Mark Hix's simple, sensational recipes will make your beach picnic go with a swing

Beach picnics can be fun if you make sure that you are reasonably organised about your preparation and packing – the first priority, of course, being a decent cool box with plenty of ice packs. Another good tip is to freeze down lots of soft drinks in advance, such as smoothies or fruit crushes in plastic bottles, and then pack them in among your picnic to keep other items cool – with the added benefit of having ice-cold drinks on hand, too.

Ripe for the picking: Skye Gyngell makes the most of plump, summer fruits

The hottest June for years has given us an abundance of summer fruits – and there’s no more refreshing way to consume them than in a thirst-quenching cordial or a sweetly fragrant jam

Raspberry cordial

Makes just over 1 litre

Extravagant, escapist and extremely expensive

As the recession bites into even the biggest budgets, John Galliano revisits Dior's heritage for post-War glamour. Carola Long reports

Rose syrup Prosecco

This is a lovely summer aperitif – it looks elegant, tastes delicate and is a lovely way to begin a meal.

Raspberry ripple ice-cream with rose syrup

I love ice-creams that contain a fruit ripple, it is old-fashioned and nostalgic to me. To ensure an ice-cream that really ripples, make sure that both the custard and raspberry purée are well chilled.

Just add flower: Skye Gyngell's summer dishes with the delicate flavour of roses

One flower captures the scent of the season better than any other – and for Skye Gyngell, roses are also perfect for delicately flavouring summer drinks and dishes
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas