Massive apologies, yet again for my lack of blogging, but don't fret, it isn't down to no baking! Hell no! I've still been baking like a trooper, and this post is just a quick recap so you can see what I've been up to and then, hopefully I shall post again straight after this (or maybe tomorrow) with my rather epic birthday cake...
First, I shall start with a few of the amazing baking purchases I've made over the last few months! I've been buying like a mad woman and have notched up another 5 baking books since I last posted, well I think it's 5 it may be more! I snapped up Cake Angels by Julia Thomas and The Birthday Cake Book by Fiona Cairns for so many fabulous reasons! For a start The Birthday Cake Book is spectacular, I bought it to be inspired for my friends birthday cake and it certainly didn't fail!! I also bought Cake Angels because it contains gluten, wheat and dairy free cakes and baking recipes which, if you've read my other posts, is something that I really want to give a go and there are so many mouth watering recipes in there that i want to try, for example the sticky toffee tray bake! One word - yum!
On the same theme of buying gluten free cook books I finally managed to buy Harry Eastwood's Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache! I posted that everyone should buy this book in my last minute christmas stocking fillers post and I am so happy that I finally have my greedy little paws on it! I especially want to try the Caramel Swiss Roll with Passionfruit Cream! I class this book as not only one my favourites because of its sumptuous recipes and Harry's clever use of vegetables and ingredients, but this is one of my 'pretty' books! It's so lovely to look through and I love how the recipes have been themed to the seasons of the year! Please people, go and find this book!
Now, I suppose I should stop talking about the books, (that's just the bookseller coming out in me), and crack on with what baking treats I have come up with.
I promise you I haven't been idle and just reading these books, nope I've happily made chocolate banana loaf, my first ever marble loaf and my monthly flapjacks for a start! Banana loaf or bread, is something I remember baking with my mum from a young age, and I believe it's one of my dad's favourites, so it felt appropriate that I made a loaf for when they came up to see me a couple of months ago and luckily I didn't disappoint! In fact my parents seemed rather disappointed that they couldn't take the whole load home with them. Compliment or what!?
However, I couldn't write a post of my baking exploits if I didn't mention my entry in the first competition from Jo Wheatley! I was so blooming excited! It was all tied in with the release of her new book and the challenge was to recreate her Chocolate Birthday Cake. It was like fate, I woke up in the morning intending to bake that cake for another friend's birthday and just happened to look on Facebook and saw she was putting up this competition! I couldn't believe it! I spent all day baking this and was the FIRST person to enter! I ended up getting something crazy of over 70 likes and so many lovely comments, I still can't believe it considering it was my first ever entry into a baking competition. I didn't go on to win, but honestly the level of competition was outstanding and I was just so happy that i got the courage to compete and I had such a wonderful response! Jo has since then continued to put up more baking competitions, but I haven't yet had the chance to enter another but at least now I can!
Phew, sorry for the massive ramble, but now you should be up-to-date on my baking activities! However I shall leave you with this last final comment... I HAVE A TICKET TO THE CAKE AND BAKE SHOW 2012 in Earls Court in September!!!!! I will finally see the baking queen herself Mary Berry, as well Paul Hollywood and maybe even Jo Wheartley among so many other talented bakers!
Look out for my next post on my 1920's inspired birthday cake...