Television -Rachel Allen’s Christmas Cake Diaries (Good Food, Friday, December 7, 7pm)

It’s that time of year when people who wouldn’t normally be caught dead in a pinny find themselves digging the baking tins out of the back of the kitchen cupboards as they contemplate making a cake.

So, Rachel Allen has returned at just the right time to give us some seasonal inspiration, including ideas for putting a fresh twist on some old favourites.

If you’re already fed up of mince pies, maybe mincemeat muffins, complete with eggnog icing, will sound a bit more appealing.

There’s also a spice pear and ginger cheesecake for those who don’t really like Christmas pud, and if you’re expecting to find a lot of fruit in your stocking this year, Rachel has an idea for using it up with her Clementine cake.

But if you do have a taste for the traditional, she’s also rustling up a Christmas cake with a rich fruit sponge and almond paste.