Still Baking

Nigel Slater's sausage and potato pie
Where has 2018 gone to? And while it was evaporating around me, have I been baking? Yes. I am not going to write a dreary list of what I've made but I'll share some of the highlights.

Back in February I took out Nigel Slater's "Real Food" and made his sausage and potato pie. It was delicious. I used sausages containing black pudding. A little bit fiddly but worth the effort. "Quality!" said the younger offspring. "Put it on the 'make again' list."

In the same month I made Yotam Ottolenghi's plum, marzipan and cinnamon muffins, which I first baked five years ago. On that occasion I went to the trouble of making fresh plum compote according to the recipe. Subsequently I've used jam out of jar. Life's too short.

Other bakes in February were muesli muffins, banana gingerbread (Paul Flynn's old reliable recipe) white chocolate fruit and nut slice.  
Simnel cake (Irish Times, 2005)
 March saw me haring madly around the kitchen. 
I made two simnel cakes for Easter, one from an old Good Housekeeping recipe, the other (pictured) from the Irish Times (2005). Both were good but in different ways. 

Other bakes were rock buns, florentines, oatmeal crunch (actually, I supervised the younger offspring as he made them), sausage, chicken and apple pie, and a banana and ginger teabread. 

April was a little calmer. I produced courgette and raisin tea loaf, chocolate and almond butter brownies, lemon-frosted pistachio cake, and blondies (the latter two recipes can be found in Norfolk's Own Cookbook). 

May was not so busy. All I made were a frosted lime cake and a rosemary cake.
Lavender and lemon drizzle cake

June was hardly any more productive. The onset of the hot weather is my excuse: why would I be stuck inside sweltering next to a hot oven when I could be sweltering out in the garden? 

I did manage to rustle up some brownies (Gill MacLennan's recipe) and a lavender and lemon drizzle cake (Paul Hollywood's Puds and Pies). 

Despite the July holidays I entered the local baking competition again, entering lavender biscuits and a coffee, walnut and cardamom cake. I received two second prizes. I was happy with that. 

Liam Charles' knickerbocker glory cheesecake

I upped my game in August, producing Ottolenghi's clementine and almond syrup cake, coconut oatie biscuits, and crusty lemon bake. But the piece de resistance was the knickerbocker glory cheesecake from Liam Charles' recipe. It was absolutely glorious. 

We're now just halfway through September and I hope to get back in to the baking saddle.  

There are many ways in which to be creative. Baking might not be one of the more obvious ways, especially when one is only following someone else's recipe. Be that as it may, I enjoy baking and the various steps: reading through recipes, spotting one that makes me think, "Mmm! That looks good and I bet it will taste good too!", and then making the time to bake. I like to be able to follow the steps and to feel in charge. And who would deny that other people's enjoyment of the end product is gratifying? 

Looking forward to licking more wooden spoons, 



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