It’s National Baking Week this week and if like us you’ve over-indulged a little on Cocktail Week and Chocolate Week last week, then why not kick back and bake a few cakes?

We made a classic Victoria sponge as it would be a great opportunity to try out some of the vanilla bean paste that we’ve been sent a little while back from Porter Foods. The results were pretty surprising.

Baking skills aside, the cake had an intense vanilla flavour and was fragrant like when you’re working with real vanilla pods. Certainly our tasting panel wasn’t complaining! Why not try it yourself in a standard Victoria sponge recipe? Or alternatively try these delicious ones from Porter Foods themselves.

Vanilla and white chocolate cheesecake


125g butter
225g digestive biscuits
150g white chocolate
275g double cream
1 sachet powdered gelatine
200g cream cheese
1 sachet Porter Foods Vanilla Bean Paste


  1. Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a saucepan and mix in the crushed biscuits.
  2. Press the mixture into a lightly oiled springform tin.
  3. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  4. Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks, then melt the gelatine in 3 tablespoons of hot water.
  5. Combine the melted chocolate, gelatine, cream cheese and Porter Foods Vanilla Bean Paste until you have a smooth mixture, then fold in the whipped cream.
  6. Pour the mixture on to the top of the biscuit base and spread evenly.
  7. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 90 minutes.
  8. Top with fresh fruit.

Vanilla rice pudding


150g Arborio Risotto Rice
550ml full-cream milk
25g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
2 sachets of Porter Foods Vanilla Bean Paste
200ml creme fraiche


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.
  2. Bring a medium size ovenproof dish of water to the boil.
  3. Add the rice an boil for 5 minutes, then drain it.
  4. Place the milk, butter and sugar in the same pan and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the Porter Foods Vanilla Bean Paste, then cover with a circle of parchment paper, then the lid.
  6. Place the dish in the oven, turn down the heat to 150C/130C fan/gas mark 2 and cook for 40 mins by which time the rice should be tender.
  7. Let the rice cook and allow to absorb the milk.
  8. Stir in the creme fraiche and chill for several hours.
  9. Serve at room temperature with poached fruits.

You can buy the vanilla bean paste from or at the Virtual Farmers Market: It’s available in 4 x 9g sachets RRP £4.25 or in a 270ml squeezy bottle costing £14.25.