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How a Victorian cook at a stately home became 2018’s most unlikely YouTube star

A Victorian cook working behind the scenes in a stately home might just be this year’s most unlikely YouTube star. The recipes of Mrs Avis ­Crocombe, cook to the 3rd Lord and Lady Braybrooke at Audley End House in Saffron Walden in Essex from 1881 to 1884, have now ­garnered more than 12 million views around the world.

Her 140-year-old recipes, originally cooked over coals rather than using electricity, include roly-poly pudding, Christmas gin punch and even a Victorian take on curry. One video, which shows how to make cucumber ice cream (earthy, yet refreshing, with a glug of brandy), even beat that of a strawberry ice cream recipe posted ­online by Jamie Oliver (who hails from nearby Clavering),…

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