To see us into a new year and indeed a new decade, our January theme was ‘Something New’. When everyone arrived there was a lot of “I’ve never made…”; many of our bakers had tried out recipes new to them, some had opened new recipe books for the first time, others had trialled new bits of baking kit or new techniques. We even had two new bakers baking for the first time.
Most of our bakers were drawn to cakes and other sweet bakes, but Heather gave us a lovely savoury to start the evening off: Cheese Scones served with Homemade Tomato Chutney, the first time she’d made either of these.
New tins were the order of the day for Chelsea’s Mini Black Forest Cakes and Jan’s muffins (she said she can’t believe she’s never made muffins before) – and she gave us two flavour combinations: Coffee & Walnut, and Lemon & Poppyseed. Vicky’s authentic and tasty Madeleines were also the product of a new tin, and like the first two, were very successful. Freezing the tin before baking (to ‘shock’ the mix into rising giving that classic nipple on the back) was also a new technique for Vicky. Sadly Jayne’s Lemon & Blueberry Muffin Tops in special jeans moulds didn’t meet with quite the same level of success – lack of rise meant the promised Muffin Tops didn’t materialise. She felt her new éclair tray was also problematic, but the resultant Chocolate, Coffee and Walnut éclairs were produced very tasty indeed.
Our two new bakers Ian and Bob both opted for citrus flavours, Bob making his first ever cake and going for a classic Lemon Drizzle with loads of flavour. Ian’s Orange Syrup Loaf Cake was the first time he’d made anything other than a Bran Loaf. An unusual gluten free recipe using almonds and polenta it was also delicious and moist. Hopefully Ian and Bob will join us again soon for more new-to-them baking.
Last but by no means least was Cat’s Fig Rolls – tasting exactly like they did back in the day. I haven’t had one of the these for years, and they used to be my favourites. Cat said the biscuit dough (a recipe from a new book) was difficult to handle but they certainly got the thumbs up.
Great to welcome two new faces this month – as they found out we’re not competitive, we just enjoy baking and eating cake! If you’re interested in joining us just come along and bring your bake to share – sweet or savoury.
Here’s a run down of the full list:
Jan H – Coffee & Walnut and Lemon & Poppyseed Muffins
Heather – Cheese Scones with homemade Tomato Chutney
Ian – Orange Syrup Loaf
Bob – Lemon Drizzle Cake
Cat – Fig Rolls
Vicky – Madeleines
Jayne – Chocolate, Coffee & Walnut éclairs and Lemon & Blueberry Muffins
Chelsea – Mini Black Forest Cakes