Over the last year or so I’ve tried to be more structured in the way I bake. That might means noting down where a recipe is from, tweaks I’ve made or how I’ve constructed a recipe from various places, rather than just chucking stuff in and hoping for the best and totally failing to replicate it later on, or using a recipe I found online and never being able to find it again. My bullet journal, which I use to order my brain, is basically lovely layout pages interspersed with scribbles covered cake mix. Once those scribbles are a secure method, I write them up and stick them in a huge book my mum and sister gave me when I went to uni (it also has some excellent life tips in from my mum!). Although the system isn’t new, I have been making more of an effort and its been paying off in spades – no more dredging though endless screenshots of recipes and google search histories. Continue reading
For me, January is not a month of giving things up. Resolutions have never really appealed, and denying myself is not my style. However, the though of trying Veganuary, where you eat vegan for January, has been ticking over in my mind for a while. I’m keen to try and reduce my environmental impact, and alongside other ethical shopping habits, veganism seems like a good way to do that, .
The lead up to Christmas gets me excited for lots of different reasons, and in recent years it has helped to spark a creativity that had been lying dormant and unfulfilled. Planning a cake for a family gathering, baking edible gifts for friends or making decorations all give me a sense of calm that I can struggle to achieve otherwise. Although I do all these things throughout the year, Christmas combines one present-giving event for everyone with long dark evenings, perfect for cosying up with a project.
Sometimes cake ideas come to me fully formed, sometimes they come from needing to use up leftovers, and sometimes I get a fun new toy I can’t wait to play with. A few weekends ago on a trip to TK Maxx to buy some pretty pots for some of my plant jungle (is 27 plants in the living room too many? If it is I don’t care!), I spied some Halloween cookie cutters. My cookie cutter collection didn’t have anything spooky in it at all, so I decided to buy them as a little treat.
Stroopwafels are one of my favourite biscuits ever – gooey, crisp, caramel-filled and improved by sitting over a cuppa. Whats not to love? I’ve had the pleasure of many stroopwafels in my time, from the supermarket packets that light up an office when someone decides to splash out, to an incredible fresh honey stroopwafel in a hipster cafe in Amsterdam, but never even considered they they were an achievable dream at home.
There are certain recipes that the first time you make them, you know they’re going to be a reliable friend for a long time. Dan Lepard has provided several of these (roast cocoa cookies, anyone?), and a few weeks ago I finally got round to buying one of his books, Short and Sweet. Settling down with some sticky tabs and a cup of tea, I ended up marking about a third of the recipes as ones to try, and these Rye, Raisin and Chocolate Cookies were the most tempting of the lot.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. I first had these Easter biscuits at my boyfriend’s family’s house, as one of about 10 amazing bakes made by his mum. She kindly gave me the recipe and I’ve been making them ever since.
Calling everyone with a nut allergy – nut-free macarons are not just a possibility, they’re also totally delicious! Traditionally made with almond meal, ground pumpkin seeds can be used as a simple replacement, and the outcome is completely delicious.
I have to admit that for me, Valentine’s Day is not a big deal. Neither me or the boyf are particularly fussed about it, and with his birthday a few days before I’m always out of present ideas. Although we don’t celebrate the day itself, baking is the way I show love to him all throughout the year (even if that love is sometimes just a big heap of leftover scraps, or a photo!). I though it would be great to share a recipe you can make for everyone you love, romantically or otherwise.