While almost everyone else is worrying over how many calories they’re eating this month, I have been thinking about what baking frontiers I need to conquer this year. And I’m still working through my Christmas chocolate, which got topped up on Friday when I left for my new job!
I haven’t done much baking yet this year but I have made some resolutions…it’s not about cutting back, or cutting down, it’s very much about ramping up and getting better. I returned from our Christmas break determined to get my kitchen shipshape and Bristol fashion: flour has been dispensed into plastic tubs, packets of sugar rediscovered (no need to buy any for quite a few months now it seems!), defrosted the freezer (unidentfied meats found) and even cleaned the oven. The latter pair I did whilst hungover on Sunday which I am impressed I managed to achieve since the only other time I left the sofa was to make cups of tea.
So yes, whilst it may look like things have been quiet I can assure you they most certainly have not. I even made some cupcakes – two tone frosting! It’s honestly the first time I’ve made cupcakes in at least a year and it was actually quite fun! More cupcakes for 2013 I think…
Enough of what I have done and more about what I will do! Here’s the top five foodie things I plan for 2013…do let me know what you are planning for 2013, I love to hear what you are up to out there!
Number 5 – Meringue
I’m pretty damn useless at making pavlovas. I don’t know what it is but I just can’t seem to get it right. They’re always too sticky and too brown even though I have loyally stuck to the cooking times and oven temperatures. But 2013 is the year I will conquer the meringue, yes it is!
Number 4 – Heston’s Lemon Tart
I’m talking about this recipe. I’ve made it a couple of times but without a proper thermometer I’ve never got the filling to be the right amount of wobbliness. Last year I conquered the sweet pastry case by getting pushing it into the tin rather than rolling it out (it breaks way too much). This will be the year I get it right from start to finish!
Number 3 – Icing biscuits
I have some great biscuit cutters but I find it really hard to ice them just like Biscuiteers. I get shaky hands which it comes to find detail and the piping nozzle I have is just a tiny bit too big. I also always end up covering the entire kitchen in icing! I made some plainly decorated snowflake biscuits for Christmas but I didn’t sift the icing sugar and it ended up lumpy and a nightmare to pipe with. Practice makes perfect…
Number 2 – Cheese making
I’m a little bit obsessed with Stephanie aka Clockwork Lemon’s blog and she has been working through a book of cheeses to make at home. My mother has always told me you need unpasteurised milk but what you really need is unhomogenised milk which is a lot easier to get and rennet is available at Lakeland. I need to make at least one cheese this year! There’s loads of recipes on Cheesemaking.com.
Number 1 – Cured meats
Last year my wonderful mum gave us a chorizo making kit, and mincing adapter for our Kitchen Aid. It’s been sitting mostly unused (apart from one time we made burgers) because we didn’t have anywhere to put the sausages whilst they were curing. But mum came up trumps again and made us a special cabinet with a mesh front so we can store them. I also got the Cured book by Lindy Wildsmith so now I have no excuse not to try making my own cured meats!