January: Fresh Starts!

New year, and a whole load of fun stuff to catch up on. I seem to have become somewhat easy to buy presents for as I got several cookbooks for Xmas. This, however, has certainly helped in my new plan to keep my baking motivation up; in April I’m running the London Marathon and my chosen charity is Medicins Sans Frontiers. To help raise money, I plan on regularly baking for my colleagues at work.

My first offering came from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible – a rich, indulgent chocolate torte. Whilst the topping was easy enough – very similar to making a cheesecake top – the base was something I’d never made before, a thin, sweet sponge that meant the cake wasn’t too heavy.

Thing I learned from baking this cake – using a springform tin would be better in the future for getting chilled cakes or dessert easily and onto the plate.

This week I made something simple and reliable – raspberry and white chocolate muffins. There’s a multitude of recipes for these on the internet but I normally turn to the BBC Good Food section. These proved pretty popular at work – I think that it’s easier to sell individual cakes than slices of something bigger.

Things I learned from making these cakes – I need to practice getting the time of baking exact, as I never seem to get a clean peel of the case from the cake.

Finally, for a challenge I ordered some moulds to have a crack at making my own Easter Eggs. The actual shaping of the melting chocolate is easier than you’d expect but the real challenge appears to be getting the lip of the halves precisely formed seems to be the challenge.

Things I learned from making these – you can actually get a bit sick from the smell of melted chocolate.

Sorry about the lack of pictures – I’ll make sure this gets rectified for my next post.

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