Cake baking and decorating is making a huge comeback. Cooks everywhere are keen to get back into the kitchen and feel the comfort and security that comes with the lingering smell of a cake baking in the oven. In this world of cakes and scones and sponges and puddings, there is your amateur home cook, and then there is Merle Parrish. The latest MasterChef sensation, Merle, 78 years old, has won just about every prize there is in the competitive baking world. She has been competing from the age of 7 in state cookery competitions, and became a judge herself in 1988 when she completed her CWA (Country Women's Association) Judges' Certificate. Here, at last, are some of Merle's secrets shared. Her famous Peach Blossom Cake (which was a hit on MasterChef, when she cooked off against contestant Billy and won); her prize-winning Chocolate Cake; her scones, tarts, slices, biscuits and sponges. Prize-winning recipes, all.