Life has been hectic over the past few months, we have been getting work done in the house, painting, spring cleaning, getting ready for baby (which needless to say includes worrying over EVERYTHING!), preparing for the Special Olympics Games Ireland as Little Sister is part of the Leinster ladies basketball team, along with our normal full time jobs, commuting and just general life. So when faced with a chance of updating the blog and taking a nap, the nap always won, hands down.
This is me, all of the time.
I can’t always face cooking dinner these days and thankfully Chub has been stepping up to the mark but I have squeezed in some weekend baking, thanks to the worse than normal longing for all things nice. So here’s what I’ve been making…
Chocolate and pecan krantz cakes. I spotted these in the book Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi that I got from Santa back in 2012 and had ear marked them to make ever since. Fifteen months later I finally got around to it. They were good but not amazing; I would like to try a chocolate and orange version in the future.
Raspberry and pear bakewell tart, recipe from the Carton House cookbook. This Carton House pastry is the BEST sweet shortcrust pastry I’ve came across and it doesn’t even need blind baking! I used the recipe for my rhubarb bakewell tart also.
I used the last of my precious stash of sweetened shredded coconut imported from New York to make these chocolate macaroons by Smitten Kitchen. They were perfectly nice but I wish I saved my coconut for some cupcakes.
I made this One Direction cake for my friend’s little girl’s birthday. Chocolate biscuit cake with maltesers and crunchie inside.
I bought the Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery book last summer and greedily read it cover to cover and yet until a few weeks ago, I had never made anything from it. The recipes are amazingly detailed and if you consider baking to be a science already then this book takes it to a whole new level. Weighing eggs and 2.1g of baking soda out to make cookies was a bit beyond my patience threshold, but they were nice pecan oaty cookies. I also made these carrot cake muffins with a streusel topping but cheated slightly by using a streusel topping that I already had stashed in the freezer. The batter for the muffins needs to be rested over night in the fridge so they make great morning muffins with no hassle.
I attended a hen night in Donnybrook Fair; we were split into two groups to take part in ‘Chef Idol’ and had to cook a three course meal. I was assigned the roulade along with another friend; we made a pretty mean roulade even with sabotage thanks to the other team sneakily turning up our oven. But sadly we missed out on the top prize, this still makes me sad. I loved the roulade filling, cream mixed with greek yogurt which gave a lovely tang and lightness(!) to the finished dish. Will definitely be making this again. (Oh and I made the wedding cake for the hen too, but that’s another post!)
I made Dan Lepard’s chocolate custard muffins as gift for a friend, these were lovely, exactly what a chocolate muffin should be and the recipe is very forgiving as I ran out of cocoa and used nutella instead.
And since the baby loves carbs (and sugar and ice-cream) I made bagels for the first time in years and they were so good spread thickly with cream cheese.
So I guess that’s a summary of what I’ve been up to; along with being the cat slave, she taps on the door to exit the room and we have to promptly open the door for her. And because she is a cat, she wants back in the room approximately two minutes later. I wish I was a cat, napping all day and being accepted for being indecisive.
Next on my hit list has to be a victoria sponge that is heaping with raspberry jam and softly whipped cream just like this one from my favourite Dublin cafe, The Pepper Pot Cafe.
What have you been busy baking?