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Alicia Markova; Thokozile Masipa; Erica Jong; Women's erotic writing

A profile of Thokozile Masipa, the ground-breaking female judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial, by BBC Southern Africa correspondent Nomsa Maseko. Jenni Murray presents.

A profile of Thokozile Masipa, the ground breaking female judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial by BBC's Southern Africa Correspondent Nomsa Maseko. Tina Sutton on her new biography of the British ballerina Alicia Markova. A classic interview from the Woman's Hour archive - Erica Jong on her books Fear of Flying and Any Women's Blues - who is writing feminist erotic fiction now? Louise Doughty and Nichi Hodgson discuss. And cook the perfect Black Forest Gateaux with Clare Clarke. Jenni Murray presents.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Eleanor Garland.

Available now

58 minutes


  • Thokozile Matilda Masipa

    Duration: 07:47

  • Dame Alicia Markova

    Duration: 08:40

  • Cook the Perfect: Black Forest Gateau

    Duration: 05:30

  • Erotic Literature

    Duration: 14:00

  • Black Forest Gateau Tasting

    Duration: 01:28

Thokozile Matilda Masipa

The verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial is due around September 11th. The woman presiding over the trial is one of a few black female judges in South Africa. Since becoming a high court judge in 1998, Thokozile Masipa has presided over numerous ground-breaking trials. But despite gaining so much media attention over the years, she remains reserved and averse to the spotlight. She was born in Soweto in October 1947 and is now age 66 but has had an interesting and varied career. Jenni Murray speaks to Nomsa Maseko, the BBC Southern Africa correspondent.

Cook the Perfect: Black Forest Gateau

With the Great British Bake Off now in its fifth series, and with 7 million viewers, it seems that baking really has never been so popular. But for pastry chef Claire Clark her passion for baking far precedes the recent fad. Growing up in a household where every biscuit and treat was made from scratch, she inherited a talent for baking but it wasn’t until her musical ambitions were dashed that she decided to pursue a career as a pastry chef. Since then she’s worked in the world’s best restaurants. Her new book 80 Cakes From Around The World brings together her favourite recipes from her travels. She shows us how to cook the perfect Black Forest Gateau. 

Dame Alicia Markova

A new biography of Dame Alicia Markova tells the story of the woman who was born Lilian Marks in North London and went on to become ‘the People’s Ballerina.’ From travelling to Monte Carlo at the age of just 14 to join Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, to captivating audiences with her ethereal performance in Giselle, to founding the English National Ballet, Dame Alicia played a central part in the ballet world throughout much of the Twentieth Century. Tina Sutton’s new biography is based on unprecedented access to Dame Alicia’s private diaries and correspondence.  Tina joins Jenni to talk about, ‘The Making of Markova.’

Erotic Literature

From The Woman’s Hour Collection Jenni talks to the American author Erica Jong, a writer who shocked the male critics by creating unapologetically sexual heroines who celebrate sexual pleasure and seek sexual freedom. Erica discusses the protagonist Leila Sand in her 1990 novel ‘Any Woman’s Blues’, and reveals what women learn from her novels and how she reacts to the critics who call her work ‘pornography’. Jenni is joined by Nichi Hodgson, author of ‘Bound To You’ and Louise Doughty, author of ‘Apple Tree Yard’, and asks how erotic fiction has changed since the nineties, how ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has impacted on erotica and whether today’s heroines are sexually free or too submissive.

RECIPE: Black Forest Gâteau

RECIPE: Black Forest Gâteau

A Black Forest gâteau, or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte,  is not a Black Forest gâteau if it does not contain the ingredient after which it was named. Schwarzwälder Kirsch, a white liqueur made from cherries, comes  only from the Black Forest region of Germany.  The combination of chocolate, cherries and cream  with the cherry liqueur is irresistible. Originally red  sour cherries, also from the Black Forest area, would  have been used. This recipe uses black cherries and griottines, but do experiment and find your favourite. 


Chocolate cake

200g caster sugar

115g plain flour

60g cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

90ml crème fraîche

2 medium eggs

1 tablespoon milk

125ml cold coffee

50ml vegetable oil


Cherry filling

1 orange

425g can of black cherries

50g caster sugar

½ cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon cornflour



100g caster sugar

100ml water

4 tablespoons kirsch


Whipped cream

500ml whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

25g icing sugar


To decorate

250g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids) or Candy Melts melted

a little icing sugar

12 griottine cherries



Heat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Grease an 18cm square deep cake tin and line the base.


Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the crème fraîche with the eggs, milk and cold coffee until well combined. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Whisk just until a smooth batter is formed. Add the vegetable oil and whisk again to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25–35 minutes, until the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger and  a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool.


Meanwhile, make the cherry filling. Peel the zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler. Drain the juice from the cherries into a pan and add the sugar, the juice from  the orange, the orange zest and the cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil  and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, leave to stand for  5 minutes, then take out the cinnamon stick and orange zest. Bring back to the boil. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water in a bowl. Pour the boiled juice on to the cornflour, whisk to combine, then return to the pan. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 3–4 minutes, whisking continuously. Add the drained cherries, turn the mixture into a clean bowl and leave to cool. Make sure the cherries are completely cold before assembling the cake.


For the syrup, put the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the kirsch, then leave to cool.


Whisk the cream, vanilla and icing sugar to firm peaks.


To assemble the cake, cut it horizontally into 3 layers, set the base on a cake card and, using a pastry brush, soak it with the kirsch syrup. Spread the base with a 0.5cm layer of whipped cream. Put some of the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a 2.5cm plain nozzle and pipe a border of it around the edge of the cake. Fill the centre with half of the thickened cherries. Place another layer of sponge on top and repeat the process. Top with the final layer of sponge and press down gently to level the cake if necessary. Mask the cake completely with the remaining cream. Place in the fridge to chill and firm.


Meanwhile, make the chocolate shavings and curls. Pour the tempered chocolate or melted Candy Melts on to a marble slab and quickly spread it with a palette knife to level it out as thinly as you can. As soon as the chocolate has set, take a large chopping knife and, holding it at a 45-degree angle,  push at the chocolate in an upward motion to make chocolate curls.  It really does not matter if they are all sorts of shapes and sizes. If the chocolate breaks, it is because it has become too cold. Just scrape if off the marble, re-melt and try again.


Use the smaller flakes of chocolate to decorate the sides of the cake and the outer edge of the top. Pile the curls into the centre, dust with icing sugar and finish with the griottine cherries.


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Producer Eleanor Garland
Interviewed Guest Nomsa Maseko
Interviewed Guest Tina Sutton
Interviewed Guest Louise Doughty
Interviewed Guest Nichi Hodgson
Interviewed Guest Clare Clarke


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