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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Vanilla macaroons

I hate almonds. A lot. The taste of them in sweet things is just utterly unpleasant. So why exactly did I think it was a good idea to make some? Well, I know that they’re supposed to be difficult to make, a little prone to throwing a tantrum in your oven and breaking your heart, and I felt like taking on the challenge. I was absolutely thrilled when they emerged from my oven all pretty and not an exploded mess (don’t get me wrong, I’m not pretending they’re perfect, but I think they look pretty damn good for a first attempt). But now I have 14 macaroons sitting in a tupperware tub which I have no intention of eating. Come inside for more pretty macaroon photos

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Chorizo and thyme fougasse

I can’t imagine that there’s even one person in the whole world who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread. When I do my weekly grocery shop I have to stop myself scoffing all the bread on the way home. And, as with pretty much everything (except maybe things like cars), homemade is even better. (Perfume isn’t better homemade either. Remember when you were a kid and you made perfume with water and rose petals? At first it smelt really nice, but after a few days the water went really yellow and it smelt kind of sickly sweet verging on rotten. Homemade perfume definitely isn’t better than shop bought. Nuh uh). Click here if you love homemade bread (homemade perfume, not so much)

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Chocolate sticky toffee pudding

You didn’t think he only got a main course, did you? Every birthday meal needs a dessert! Chris is rather fond of this sticky toffee cake and that is what I was originally going to make for this birthday. But then I ordered a copy of Green and Black’s Ultimate Chocolate Recipes and came across this recipe. Sticky toffee pudding AND chocolate? Yes please. So I suggested it to Chris (because I was just thinking about what Chris would like for his birthday, obviously. Not because I really, really wanted chocolate sticky toffee pudding. No no no. Not at all.) and he agreed that it sounded like something he’d want to put in his face. So I made this and we put it in our faces and I was so happy I could have exploded. Get in my face, toffee!

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Happy Halloween! Did you go to a halloween party? Did you dress up? Did you make halloween-themed baked goods? Did you, did you, did you? Where was it? What did you wear? What did you make? Hmmmmm? I did not go to a party or dress up, but I did make these pretty orange and black cupcakes 🙂 Enter if you dare… it’s only cupcakes, silly

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I have a soft spot for loaf cakes. They’re not flashy. They don’t need to dress up all pretty. They’re happy just the way they are, simple and tasty. And everyone else is happy with them the way they are too, because they totally rule your face. I wish I were a loaf cake. Or something. Click here if you wish you were a loaf cake too!

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These cakes just say autumn to me (not literally, that would be mental. And would I still have the heart to eat them if they could talk? I’m so glad they can’t talk.). I think it’s the warm, fudgey flavours of the toffee and the autumnal orange of the fudge and icing, and sticky toffee anything is just great comfort food. While this cake is still my favourite of any sticky toffee dessert, these cupcakes are delicious and definitely worth a make. You want some sticky toffee? Yeah you do!

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So guess what. Before this recipe, I’d never made chocolate chip cookies. I know. Mental. But I really hadn’t. Ever. When I realised this, I wondered why I hadn’t. But now I know: I was waiting for this recipe to come along, so that my first attempt would be AWESOME. Wait! There’s cookies!

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If you were to count my chocolate cookbooks (why do I always seem to be counting my cookbooks?), you would find that I have ten of them. Ten cookbooks devoted to chocolate. That is how much I love chocolate. And I have five more on my Amazon wishlist. Why? What is wrong with me? I shall tell you: Nothing, you fool. Why wouldn’t I want ten chocolate cookbooks? Chocolate is amazing. And after making this recipe from Willie’s Chocolate Bible, I shall be buying the book to add to my collection. Come in if you love chocolate!

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This weekend I had to go old school with my baking. My electric scales broke and I had to dig out my cheap dial scale I got when I first went to uni which only has marks every 50g. It was scary. It was inaccurate. It was impossible to measure 80g. It… worked! It worked! The cake worked! And the icing! Despite the primitive measuring method! Phew. That was tense. Were you tense? Have some cake. It totally helps. Come in, there’s cake!

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Are Mars bars the finest chocolate bar ever created? Yes. Yes they are. Mars bars have got me through many an afternoon at work and I would eat several every day if I could. They are possibly my favourite chocolate bar and I decided I needed to make a cupcake based on them. Turns out these are my favourite cupcakes too! (more…)

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