Saturday, 3 August 2013

Moving House

My dearest readers,

The Cook's Sponge, alive and cooking since June 2012, is moving house. For a while now I have been considering creating a blog that encompasses more than cooking, and the time has come. It makes sense, I believe, to incorporate this blog in to the new one. I have certainly slowed down recently when it comes to cooking and writing, life is catching up with me a bit. I don't imagine I will post as often about cooking as I used to, but hopefully you'll find other topics along the way to interest you, and I am inspired to get back in to it.

I feel a tinge of sadness at the end of this chapter, but I am trying to fend it off, as this is not an end, just a change. I have loved this first year of blogging, thank you for joining me, and may it continue!

Come and join me over at... The Sponge

Here's a glimpse of what's coming up soon, food-wise, on The Sponge:

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Only Glucose

I've been all geared up to let you know about some exciting progress with my glucose baking, when I have come across some rather difficult information about eating both glucose and sugar. A very kind friend recently gave me a copy of the follow up to David Gillespie's "Sweet Poison," called "The Sweet Poison Quit Plan. How to kick the sugar habit and lose weight."

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Apricot and Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding

I don't know if I convinced you regarding bread and butter puddings last time I gave them a try, though I see there was some interest and maybe even some willingness to come round to the idea. I was pretty convinced myself, enough so to try another version that I came across recently.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I visited a friend last week and arrived just as she was finishing off baking. Great timing huh? Her teenaged children had been eating, and raving about, red velvet cupcakes so she decided to make some for the first time. I was fascinated of course, and barged in, stirred the icing, licked the icing, read the recipe and asked a million questions. When it comes to something a little bit different like this, I am always curious to know what makes it different. What IS a red velvet cupcake?

Monday, 6 May 2013

Victoria Sponge

I think I MAY have done it. No doubt you will remember my sponge challenge, and the raging success I had with the Cornflour Sponge. But while I was happy to bask in the glory for a short while, I soon realised that I still hadn't mastered a Victoria Sponge, or, some would say, a real sponge. I still hadn't really nailed it, and I was still feeling a little defeated.

Something happened the other day that made me want to get back in to the kitchen, and back to the sponge challenge. I think it was the fact that I had a few moments of child-free daylight hours - an extremely rare thing of late.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Anzac Biscuits

It's been a while, and I must admit it's a very gentle return, as there's not much here that's new. Though I'm actually not convinced I have made Anzac biscuits before (!!) so it was a little something different for me. Thursday was Anzac Day in New Zealand and Australia, the day when we remember those members of the Australia New Zealand Army Corps who fought and died at Gallipoli in World War 1, and indeed all who have died fighting on behalf of our countries in many wars.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns

Reuben hopped in to bed with me the other morning after the Monkey Clock told him he was allowed to get up, and I decided it was time I explained Easter to him. You see, apart from it being probably the most important event to have happened in the history of the world, we have this whole "Easter" "Esther" problem to contend with. It has arisen (ha ha) a couple of times - we saw hot cross buns in the supermarket a while back, and when I said they're for Easter, I admit it did sound a lot like "they're for Esther."

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes

We're not strictly soaking up new knowledge today as there's not a lot here that's new, but I thought I'd like to tell you about my cupcake experimenting. Cupcakes, I have to say, are awfully trendy, which has sort of put me off them a bit. I've never really been a trendy girl, as many of you will know. I started baking brownies only years after everyone else did, I started wearing leggings only when they became mainstream, and the phrase "lol" has never and will never cross my fingertips (that didn't count).

I kept away from cupcakes for a long time because I didn't see a great need for them in my life and, if faced with a choice, I would always go for a slab of cake rather than a cupcake. But I concede, they are quite fun to bake, fun for kids (well, other people's. Mine won't eat them) and, it turns out, fun to have in the freezer.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Panko Breadcrumbs

I have a refreshing change for you today. It's not baking! I've been curious about panko breadcrumbs for a while, and my supermarket conveniently placed them in a basket by the fish counter, so after walking past them for a few weeks I finally fell for their trick and bought a packet. But at least my curiosity has been satisfied.

Just one pic today I'm afraid. Only truly professional food bloggers are prepared to let their dinner go cold for the sake of photographs.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Baking Top Tips

It occurred to me recently, when visiting a non-baking friend, that there are plenty of us who have never been taught some of the basics when it comes to baking. I really believe that anyone can bake if they just know what to do. You don't have to have the knack, just a few facts! I've put together a few of my top tips for baking but also, more importantly, what are yours?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sesame and Oregano Lavosh

Around the time I was getting excited about making crackers, a friend of mine was visiting her niece who had not only recently given birth and brought a newborn home (enough of an achievement don't you think?), but was also was also pulling crackers out of the oven and serving them up to her guests with blue cheese.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sweet Poison by David Gillespie

My journey in sugar reduction got serious after I watched The Bitter Truth, a seminar by Dr Robert Lustig (see my summary here). Most of my motivation has come from him, however I have also recently read "Sweet Poison. Why Sugar Makes us Fat" by David Gillespie, and I have found his research to be extremely influential. If you are either interested or yet to be convinced regarding our need for sugar reduction, I highly recommend you have a read. I picked it up at my local library, but have since bought a copy. In the meantime, here's a brief summary for you.     

Monday, 18 February 2013

Sugar Time

Well it's time I asked. How's it going? Your new reduced-sugar life I mean. Have you given it a go? Are you eating less sugar? Are you convinced that you need to?

Actually, I know quite a lot more than you may think...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Summer Jam

My friend Summer emailed me recently to talk about the possibilities of making jam with glucose. I've never made jam before, though hope to one day, so really didn't know what I was talking about. Summer has, however, and we had quite a discussion about the properties of sugar and about pectin in fruit and decided it was well worth a try. So she went away and did the hard work, while I just watched my letterbox for a few days until some was delivered.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Cornflour Sponge

It's probably time I told you the truth. I've been trying to achieve a few things soaking-up-culinary-knowledge-wise and they've been miserable failures. I mean really miserable. I suppose there is nothing wrong with posting about failures, but instead I have decided to plug away on these in secret, and reward you when I get a result. And my goodness what a *triumph* I had this week!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Oat, Chocolate and Cinnamon biscuits

Someone kindly delivered me a batch of oaty chocolatey cinnamony biscuits recently. It's amazing how much baking you get when people are thinking of you.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Annabel Langbein's Ultimate Chocolate Cake

I believe that cakes are good for celebrations, but I have also discovered over recent months that baking is good for the soul. So when my soul and I didn't know what to do with ourselves this afternoon, we baked.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Scottish Oatcakes

Kent's Mum likes to cook and bake things she has never done before (perhaps she should write a blog), and we have often been recipients of her experiments. Recently she dropped off a few samples of some Scottish Oatcakes, and I must say they didn't look very appealing. They just looked so plain, but I think I also expected some unpleasant flavour lurking beneath. But I had a try, and they were indeed plain, pleasantly plain, fairly crunchy, and just right for carrying butter/cheese/avocado/cream cheese, or whatever you like on your crackers. 

I have been looking at cracker recipes lately, I'd love to be able to make my own, and just needed to decide on a recipe to begin with and get going. Reuben loved Gran's Scottish version and I was curious, so what better place to start.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

This time of year

Happy New Year friends! I'm having real trouble getting started today. They say you should never start a post saying sorry that you haven't posted for a while, so I won't do that, but perhaps you could just read in between the lines? It's been a tough few weeks. In my upside down life the best times become the worst times, and getting through Christmas was a challenge. You will be proud of me though, we put up the Christmas tree and I bought presents for all. I even finished making those Christmas stockings that bring back memories of this time last year. And yes, I made some food for Christmas Day...