I choose to blog instead. Ai. Two weeks to go. Then it's ALL OVER. For a year at least before I chose to inflict myself with this again. Enough of the life story, may as well get with the good stuff.
Over the year I've picked up several new cookbooks - not least because my brother has a book club deal with work and therefore gets cheap cookbooks. Hence I got Delia's "How to Cheat" in my cookbook collection (and inexplicably the ready made mash in the freezer which I didn't buy!) I'm not for slating her, she made money out of it and she CAN cook. Plus one of my favourites as previously mentioned, Silvano Franco is the queen of quickie food.
More interesting books however are the now very popular cupcake ones. I bought two. Not on purpose mind! I actually bought one, lost it, so bought another one (because I can, can, can...)
The first is "The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake book". Personally I found the mixture too sweet and they made too many. Normal people have one tray for twelve muffins to use for cupcakes. One does not need to make 24. However, there's a variety of cakes at the back which I fully intend to make. Even funnier was my "future sister in law" has a mate who had a tea party - and I could see the cakes from the pictures, were very faithful representations!! The gauntlet, has been thrown shall we say?
Cupcake book 2 is more frequently used. It is originally called "Cupcakes!" by Elinor Klivans. The recipe calls for sour cream, which is slightly annoying because I don't think it's an exact pot. However, it's not too sweet and tastes quite nice. (Never in my youth did I think I'd try different recipes for what is just fairy cake mixture or victoria sponge in cups!!) I've made several recipes from this book, some more popular than others, but definite experiments going on here. One fantastic one is the vanilla cheesecake cupcake which is deliciously cheesecakey, top to bottom crumb cupcake gives a nice texture of, er, crumb, and top-hats were a different foray into American baking since we don't have them over here.
Thus far I've made the vanilla cheesecake ones several times and they've been scarfed quite promptly by the people at work (old work place!). I like victims for my experiments and I'm not shy.
They've eaten a dubious banoffee pie and my sister's workplace have been fed some overdry brownies from Nigella's "How to be a domestic Goddess". Lord knows why I keep trying from that book.
For me, the only recipe that has worked fantastically has been the philadelphia cheese brownies which are a miracle of lusciousness. FYI, just before you commit to reading my blog you might want to know that I tend to bake with margerine. Butter takes too long to soften (I use the microwave occasionally) and for some reason feels more fattening (when you melt butter over the hob it FEELS like it's just stuck to your face and bathed you in fat). That's not to say I always avoid butter, but if I'm lazy I won't make the effort to slice and dice the hard stuff to soften. The exception to this rule is when you melt it with chocolate or are making scrambled eggs. Then there is no substitute...
Have a look at the cupcakes and let me know what to make next. These days we have a pool going where someone shouts a number and I make the nearest cupcake to that page.