The Best of 2013

I’ve never done one of these before, but actually, it’s quite easy to forget what went wrong, and what went well in the past year of baking, cooking, and yes, all those non-culinary activities you get up to in life. So here goes!

The year started off with me having lost some of my baking mojo, having tucked myself up into my cubbyhole of a London bedroom to watch films and eat bagels by the dozen. I did pick up enough by February to make a gorgeous four-layered chocolatey cake.

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On a theme of cake, I wanted to test out flavours I hadn’t tried before in baking, and thus out came these syrup-soaked Lemon and Pistachio cakes, that were light, moist and absolutely divine I really ought to bake them again soon!

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As Spring crept into my life, onwards with a burst of baking activity. It became all about Ottolenghi and French patisserie. I finally cracked macarons….

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Made some pretty tarts….

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Chocolatey tarts…

IMG_0261And absolutely yummy amaretti!

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Then I went off onto my travels and no baking was done for quite a few months, but there was plenty to come when I came back. Summer had arrived and with this, lemon sponge and fresh strawberries, savoured in the soft afternoon sunlight with good friends.

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With Autumn, I revisited the fiery flavours of ginger in these simple but absolutely mouthwatering fork biscuits

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And saved the best of the windfall apples well into December, as with pride, I produced an Apple Pie at last to be proud of! It’s all in the stewing folks.

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Then into the final stretch of 2013 with festive bakes galore, topped with this delicious Gingerbread House! I felt so proud after completing this – a real way to end the year of baking, and looking forward to many more gingerbread creations in 2014?

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I don’t want to dedicate too much space to all the things that went very wrong but believe me there were plenty!

There was the weird-tasting Ottolenghi pear and amaretto cake, and apple and olive oil cake; soggy puff pastry apple tart; bland butternut squash risotto; somewhat raw homemade pizza; sickly lemon yoghurt cake; just plain wrong apple and blackberry open pie….yeah there were a few mishaps.

So there we have 2013 in a nutshell. Wonder what 2014 is going to bring? Meringues? More pies? Roulades? Brain cake à la Mary Berry? Perhaps I will even include something savoury into the hotlist next time? (hahahahahaha…as if)

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