2016-06-03 12.57.34-2

Salted Cardamon Rye Shortbread

Fancy layer cakes and lemon cheesecake stuffed with cream are the absolute best, but sometimes I want to bake something quick and substantial with a good savoury edge.  2016-06-03 12.57.34-2

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Strawberry, Orange Liqueur and Black Pepper Layer Cake

Strawberry, Orange Liqueur and Black Pepper Layer Cake

In my mind, summer is the best time of year hands down. Swims in sun-dappled lidos, lazy walks in the park, idyllic picnics in leafy parks and drinking outside late into the night. Sometimes the reality lives up to the dream. But of course, the inevitable British weather puts a bit of a dampener on things, no pun intended.Strawberry, Orange Liqueur and Black Pepper Layer Cake

 

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Nut-free Dukkah from Always Add Cinnamon

Nut-free Dukkah

One of the most frustrating things about having a nut allergy is severe fear of missing out (FOMO).

There are so many foods that look bloody delicious but I’ll never be able to try. I just know if I could eat them I’d be such a nut enthusiast! So I fantasize about macarons, frangipane tarts, nut butters and other delicious (I’m assuming!) nutty goodies and then plot to create my own nut-free versions.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

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Salted Roasted Cocoa Cookies    

Salted Roasted Cocoa Cookies      

The power of salt to make delicious sweets even more delicious is well documented, case in point being salted caramel. I’ve been converted to salt with chocolate since watching a Heston Blumenthal TV programme on chocolate, where he recommended adding salt to dark chocolate to make it taste sweeter. It sounded a bit mad at first, but after giving it a go with some chocolate mousse I can confidently confirm that a pinch of salt does indeed make dark chocolate sweeter without losing its intensity and richness. It also makes it taste more expensive. IMG_1329

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Lemon Rose Cupcakes side view

Lemon Rose Cupcakes and Resolutions

Happy 2016!

I want to start the year by setting some goals for myself for this blog, as all my good intentions for 2015 slid a little! Hopefully by setting them out here I’ll stick to them. Here they are:

  1. Post more. I have tens of blog post which have photos, or a recipe, or a description, but not all three. I’ve spent so many hours wasted taking photos I’m really proud of and then not posting them in time for the season. (Christmas, I’m looking at you) I’m going to make time and aim to post fortnightly.
  2. Practice and improve my photography.  There’s only so many tutorials and tip round-ups you can read before realising that the way to improve is to take more photos. So that’s what I’ll do. (Follow me on Instagram to see how I’m doing with this one)
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If I only published posts I was 100% happy with, I’d never publish anything. The whole point of this blog is to share my baking and have fun, so I’m going to stop taking it all so seriously.

So in the spirit of my resolution, and in sharing some tasty cakes, I want to share some really simple lemon curd filled lemon cupcakes I made for a friend’s birthday in 2015. At this party, a friend of a friend asked if I was the Ruth who had a food blog because their girlfriend had read it and thought it was great! It made me incredibly happy for such a small things. And the cakes went down pretty well too!

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Nut-free Biscotti

The Great British Bake Off Round Up

My challenge to myself to make all of the technical challenges from The Great British Bake Off has stalled slightly. And by that I mean VERY far behind. I will get there in the end though.

There are a few of the technicals that I won’t be making, as there as some things that were far too nutty or far too insane (tennis cake, I’m looking at you).

For for the technicals I miss I’ll make a signatre or showstopper from the same week instead.

So as well as making the technical challenge each week for The Great British Bake Off Challenge I’ve been doing a couple of extra baking challenges on a more ad hoc basis. For biscuit week I also made

Biscuit week bonus – Biscotti

I’ve never actually eaten biscotti (damn nut allergy), so I wanted to give making them ago so I could try them! I started off with a basic Leith’s recipe and played around a bit. These have cranberries and sunflower seeds and are dipped in dark chocolate.

Verdict: Great dunked in tea

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Mojito Layer Cake top view

Mojito Layer Cake

I very rarely bake any thing that is both totally delicious and totally gorgeous.  And that’s not false modesty. Occasionally I make some particularly pretty biscuits which taste … fine. More often I make a great tasting loaf or cake or pudding which gets no more dressing up than a dollop of yogurt when I eat a slice.

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