Thursday, 29 December 2011


I can’t believe 2011 is over already! It seems to have raced past, particularly towards the end in the run up to Christmas. It seems really not that long ago that I was writing up my 2010 round up. With 2012 just around the corner, I wanted to look back at my favourite bake from each month. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and I’m really looking forward to the coming year, I hope to really stretch my baking and this blog so keep reading! Happy New Year!

January – Celebratory Chocolate
This Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart is one of my favourite things I’ve ever baked, not just in 2011. It wasn’t 100% perfect but it was such a decadent treat and the combination of textures and flavours were absolutely delicious.
caramel tart

February – Benedict Bars
These were a simple bake but really moreish – nutty, jammy, sticky goodness. And the best bit? The recipe makes a very large tray full.
benedict bars March – Mini Orange Drizzle Cakes
These zingy little cakes really cheer up a kitchen on a gloomy day – I think they’d be perfect when its been raining for several days, when you’re at a loss for inspiration or as a gift for somebody who is ill because they wake you up and make you smile.
orange cake April – Passion Fruit Curd Tart
From one sunny recipe to the next, this tart was a perfect way to look forward to the not too far off summer. It was a lot of effort and not stress-free but the results were so very worth it.
passion fruit curd tart

May – Sticky Rhubarb and Ginger Cake
I always love baking with rhubarb – it’s such an intriguing and pretty fruit. This cake was what I made during rhubarb season this year and was a recipe I’d love to repeat.
rhubarb cake

June – Apple, Vanilla and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing (from July…)
In June I was in the midst of twenty three (23!!) important exams and so my blog was sadly empty. However, I can’t choose a favourite July recipe so here’s the apple cake – a treat of a layer cake, with rich cream cheese icing and a moist, apple studded sponge.

apple cake

  July – White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies
I don’t know why, but whenever I make a white chocolate cookie on this blog it immediately becomes one of my top hits. This was no exception and for good reason – rich, moreish, soft but with perfect crunchy edges, tart raspberries – what’s not to like?
white choc

August – Mini Pork Pies
The first savoury appearance in this list and its well deserved. This post involved a recipe for a delicious and adorable pie that involved lots of techniques new to me but was so much fun to make with my friend E., combined with a rant about pork pie jelly.

pork pie

September – Plum Frangipane Tart
I love making tarts -  hence this being the 3rd in this list – but this one was different due to not having to blind bake the pastry before adding the frangipane. It turned out perfectly and was a delicious Autumnal treat.
plum frangipane tart

October – Parmesan Biscuits
These biscuits come from Simon Hopkinson and were such a hit. I say things are moreish a lot, but these really were – I had to photograph them very quickly before they were all eaten. And with the dough taking two minutes to make, I think I’ll need to repeat this recipe very soon…

parmesan biscuits

  November – Love Bakery Book Review
I was lucky enough to be sent a book to review and it made the most delicious Chocolate Orange Cupcakes – moist, rich and full of flavour. The book didn’t fail on the classic recipes either, the Lemon Cupcakes were packed with citrus zing and I regretted only making half a batch!
lemon cake December – Cherry Chocolate Snow Cookies
Ok, so there’s not the largest choice here, but these cookies would always deserve a mention. They were full of Christmas flavours, easy to whip up and made a cute festive gift.
cherry choc cookie

Friday, 23 December 2011

Cherry Chocolate Snow Cookies

I’m back! And just in time for Christmas – only two days to go! Cookies come in to their own at Christmas, I think, as part of cookie exchanges, gifts for party hostesses, decorations for the Christmas tree or simply as a last minute and simple festive bake. There are a never ending amount of recipe variations and cookies are a great way to incorporate many Christmassy flavours into one mouthful – such as in these cookies. With chocolate, sweet dried fruit, a snowy icing sugar covering and a little bit of virtue from oats, these make the perfect holiday treat.DSCF8884 If you’ve left a present last minute, or have a unexpected visitor now coming for Christmas lunch, these cookies will make the perfect gift – everybody else will be jealous! The dough is really quick to make because you add the egg, butter and sugar all at once, saving you time in the busiest period of the year. The recipe comes from Dan Lepard who originally uses dried cranberries – obviously a very appropriate flavour for Christmas. However we didn’t have any so I used dried sour cherries instead which have the same chew and sour taste and so were just as delicious. The cherries worked nicely with the dark chocolate – all coming together to make a perfect Christmassy bite. Enjoy!