Yes, I have my share of disasters in the kitchen. But sometimes – sometimes – things work out rather well.
Below are this year’s classic home-cooked champions (excluding the Christmas Buns, that is – they arrived too late in the day).
With the exception of Numbers 5 and 8, all the recipes are available on this website – so if you like the sound of them, get into the kitchen and BAKE.
10. Pud-Hog Slob Slop
It’s hardly the most beautiful of bowlfuls – but is definitely the quickest lump of comfort food I’ve ever made.
Gooey, milky, warm and sweet, all it takes is a microwave and some very basic ingredients.
Customise with a dollop of Jam, Honey or Salted Caramel, and your stomach will greet it with glee.
9. Yum Rum Balls
Baking gone bad? Don’t throw your cake crumbs away: recycle them into a box full of chocolatey, boozy balls.
Good for presents – even better for personal piggery.
8. Marmite Chocolate Cupcakes
An invention of supper club hostess MsMarmitelover, I tried these out a few months ago and promptly fell in love with them.
Along with the richness of those moist sponge bases, their indulgent Marmite-flavoured cream and frosting make these more like miniature puddings than cupcakes – have more than one and you’ll probably need to lie down.
Perfect for lovers of salty sweetness (and die-hard Marmite fans).
Get the Chocolate and Marmite Cupcake recipe from MsMarmitelover’s website (it’s the second one down on the page…)
7. Dessert Tortillas
SURELY the next sweet sensation?! A warm, freshly made Tortilla (plain- or Cinnamon-flavoured), stuffed with whatever you fancy.
I ate mine with Chopped Banana, Cinnamon Cream and Brown Sugar and it was AWESOME – quite possibly my favourite breakfast treat of the year.
They even freeze well too…
6. Orange and Dark Chocolate Buns
As you regular Ogglers know, in the last few months I’ve become rather obsessed with making Buns. These Orange and Dark Chocolate bad boys were my first yeast-based experiment, and boy did they do me proud.
A super soft dough, thick chunks of Dark Chocolate, and the zing of Orange extract…
Who wouldn’t want to shove one in their Bun-hole?
5. Cinnabon Substitute
This recipe was introduced to me by my pal Mimi after both of us caught the Cinnabon bug.
In an effort to recreate that gooey Cinnamon goodness at home (avoiding the high prices – and at least some of the naughtiness), she found an alternative on the web and brought round the results.
They were truly wonderful: so squishy and well lubricated (both with Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Butter) that they squelched with every bite.
Trust me, folks: if you don’t have a Cinnabon in your vicinity, these are the next best thing.
4. White Chocolate and Cranberry Blondie
This could well be stickiest, naughtiest thing I’ve made (nay, eaten) since embarking on this blog. Even when cooked it comes out part-baked, with a strata of White Chocolate syrup beneath its caramel-coloured crust.
Even so, in my humble opinion, it’s the texture that Blondies should be: wet, crisp, and chewy – with added textural variation from the jewel-like Cranberry chunks.
Just make sure you have a spoon ready – or things could get very messy.
3. Raspberry Cheesecake Blondie
Overkill, you say?
You couldn’t be more wrong.
This majestic creation consists of three of the tastiest tiers you can imagine: on the bottom, a gooey White Chocolate slab; on the top, a tart Raspberry Cream; and between them, a layer of thick cooked Cheesecake.
Having toned down the levels of sugar involved, the final product was thankfully not oversweet – more a complementary balance of Berries and Chocolate.
Though I say so myself, It looks rather splendid too…
2. Hot Buttered Rum
This recent addition to my repertoire blew my mind back in October.
Being my first encounter with sweet buttered drinks, it was destined to make a pretty big impression.
Having entered my world via Choc Tales (a Chocolate and Cocktail event held in Dean Street) its creators (Manhattans Project) were kind enough to keep it there by passing the recipe this way.
If you haven’t yet tried it, you must. Every mouthful is like nectar: a beautiful blend of Rum, Butter, Apple Juice, Golden Syrup and warming Spices.
On Christmas Day, it’ll be my tipple of choice.
Heck. On every day it’ll be my tipple of choice.
1. Peach, Almond and Goat’s Cheese Cheesecake
LOOK AT IT.
Isn’t it glorious?!
I still can’t believe this was made with my own fair trotters – but made with my own fair trotters it was.
The Pud-Hog Blog aside, this is by far my proudest creation in the last twelve months, and not just for its snazzy yellow pattern.
Inspired by food from the south of France, its ingredients work in (surprisingly) perfect harmony: the Almond Biscuit bottom, the sweet Goat’s Cheese, White Chocolate and Honey insides, the juicy slivers of Peach adorning the top…
While Goat’s Cheese is usually not my favourite flavour, in this it works wonders – but I guess you’ll have to try it to believe it.
Light, creamy and full of zing – get the recipe here and feel free to send me the results.