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Running joke becomes a reality as popular Highland cafe Bad Girl Bakery looks to publish first cookbook

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Bakery bosses have recipe for success as they sign off new cookbook with help of enthusiastic team.

Husband and wife team, Jeni and Douglas Hardie of Bad Girl Bakery in Muir of Ord are raising a glass to their business after announcing their first publishing project is now well underway.

Jeni, who was the driving force behind the cafe and baking firm initially, has swapped her apron for pen and paper after spending the past seven months penning her favourite recipes which will now appear in her new cookbook.

A “labour of love” which her whole team has been involved, Jeni is thrilled about the opportunity and is looking forward to the books release date of November 2.

The front cover of Bad Girl Bakery’s cookbook.

Kitchen Press

Dundee-based publishers Kitchen Press, who specialise in food writing, are the publishers of the book which is said to boast around 100 recipes when finished.

She said: “We still can’t quite believe it. I own around 200 cookbooks and we never in a million years thought we’d write a cookbook. There’s a running joke in the bakery that when we make something nice we say ‘that one’s going in the book’ and now we’re actually writing a book! We’re so delighted.

“Kitchen Press got in touch with us last autumn and they said they would love to work with us. I know their work and I just couldn’t believe it.

Douglas and Jeni Hardie.

“We’re at the stage where we’ve submitted all the recipes. Kitchen Press have published The Seafood Shack’s book and Mountain Cafe in Aviemore’s book, too. They are our food heroes and we can’t believe we’re in their company now. Kitchen Press actually test all of the recipes and make them all. They’ve been making cake for months now. It is just a case of editing the text, getting the layout and producing the photography in May to do now.

“The hardest part was picking all of the recipes and we’ve submitted over 100. Now it is just building it.”

What expect in it?

Best known for indulgent cakes, bakes, biscuits and savoury items, fans of Bad Girl Bakery can expect to find some old favourites as well as never seen before recipes that Jeni and her team have conjured up.

One of the indulgent Bad Girl Bakery treats.

“It is mainly focused on cakes and bakes, but there’s sweet and savoury options to try,” said Jeni.

“Some of the recipes are suggestions on what to do with leftover cake, or some are really detailed on how to make a fancy cake, it is a big, broad range of things. Everything is about making the most of your treat. The recipes are quite indulgent, too.

“We’ve written so many new recipes for the book which has been so much fun – we’ve had to trial them all which has been equally as much fun. Knowing not much about books it is a much longer process to pull together than I thought!”

Testament to the team

With the bakery team giving Jeni their full support in helping develop the recipes to a perfect standard, it is the front of house team who have been playing the role of guinea pigs after taste testing multiple baked goods over the past few months.

She added: “I’m so proud of what we have achieved so far and I haven’t done this myself, the team are very much all involved. I have a fantastic team and we would try recipes and tweak them to make them better. There’s three front of house, three of us in the bakery, and another two in savoury kitchen.

“They have all tasted so many cakes. We wanted to have lots of our old favourites everyone would recognise and we all started as home bakers with no professional training, and we’re now writing our own recipes and figuring out the textures and flavours we want them to have.

“We’re a really close team here and for those who aren’t involved directly with the recipes, they have really supported us. Douglas hasn’t written any recipes but he has allowed me to free up my time to be able to do it.”


Focusing on the present, Jeni and Douglas are looking forward to reopening the cafe on April 26 and welcoming customers back to the venue for the first time in months due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Bad Girl Bakery cafe.

“We’re very, very excited about reopening,” said Jeni. “It is going to be good. We’ve got a new menu revamp and lots of things happening so we’re going to reopen with a bang. We’ll try and put this last year behind us and think positive going forward.”

The book will be available to purchase from Bad Girl Bakery, Kitchen Press, Waterstones, Blackwells, Toppings, all independent bookshops in Scotland and online at Amazon, Wordery and Bookshop.

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