Sunday, 19 May 2013


Did you know it is World Baking Day today?

We've all been encouraged to step in those kitchens...and step outside the comfort zone and be a little braver with our baking by creating a cake, biscuits, just something sweet and delicious that we've never done or attempted before....'s a link to the website that has been set up...and for people a little stuck for ideas, they've teamed up with 100 different chefs, from tv fame, restaurants and home bakers etc to supply recipes....suited for all ages and abilities...PLUS an Ultimate Challenge Cream Puff Cake from Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss fame...gone on...dare you make it!

For all you Facebookers, they also have an FB page for you to join in chat and upload pics in order to share your creations of the day.

So...what have I done?

Well...Baking isn't a hardship for me - give me any excuse to get in the kitchen and get those baking utensils out...and I'm there.....but, deciding what to do has been a little bit tricky. Today I'm a little stretched for time....I have commitments today so much as I was really tempted to try the Buddy Challenge, I sadly cannot, and so I picked a couple of things that could be all completed by mid morning before I head off out (after posting this too, of course). What to do that was 'out of my comfort zone' was also a poser...because aside from cooking something I truly hate (no point in that, if I can't enjoy sampling my creations) I'm not easily fazed by baking and will give anything a what to do...what to do....

On searching the WBD website for inspiration, my OH pointed out this recipe

Barbara Richards - 5 Cup Health Crunchies

...on the basis that it's a sort of healthy thing...and since basically none of my baking creations come under the 'healthy' would be something different for me to try.

There was one problem, contained coconut!

I HATE coconut!...

almost as much as I hate raisins, currants and sultanas!

"Well, since when has something in a recipe ever stopped you....change it...put in something you DO like"...was his reply!

So I did...

and here's the result

The recipe calls for 5 equal cup measures of ingredients (hence the name of course) but I tweaked it slightly and the coconut was substituted by a third a cup each of chopped hazelnuts and walnuts, plus the oats were increased by one third of a cup still maintaining a 5 cup measure in total. I also used dark brown sugar to give more depth in colour and flavour. The recipe instructions and baking times were all the same.
If I may say so, they are stunningly delicious! We've just sampled some fresh baked and warm from the oven and they're slight soft and gooey, and cakey....but I also think once they've cooled and crisped up a bit, they'll be even more moreish!

I have a feeling these are going to become a regular bake in this household and make a lovely change from flapjacks. They are also ripe for even more adaptation - we think adding dried fruit...and even grated apple would work...and maybe some chocolate to create a slightly more sinful version!

Can't wait to experiment!

There will be no waiting for another World Baking Day to come along though...I think next week is more like it!

Aside from that I also baked bread...

nothing new there...but it was Soda Bread, and made with buttermilk (the proper traditional way) and is a little out of my comfort zone because I'm so used to bread made with yeast and kneaded, left to prove etc - this stuff uses Bicarbonate of Soda for the raising agent...and no kneading or proving's a case of mix it, shape it, cut it, bake it...and 30 mins later you're done!

I used a Paul Hollywood (bread god!) recipe from his book 'How to Bake'.
Now, don't laugh!...but Whoops, this is what happened! It sort of exploded out a little too much. Tradition has it that you shape the dough into a ball, and then deeply slash through in a cross shape before baking....this is to let the bread devil out. Paul, in his book tells you to cut almost to the base, but I didn't...and even so it still expanded and opened out to this extent. I think the Devil...AND all his mates have quite comfortably been let out of this one lol!

Oh might look a little misshapen...but as long as it tastes good I'm happy!

Once more...A Happy World Baking Day to you...

now get in those kitchens...and bake!