I'm not sure if it is the crazy weather we're having (at one point today I sat in the sun and thought I was getting burnt but now I am wrapped up inside with the heater on while it howls and rains outside), the huge aftershock we had today (a real doozy, the whole house felt like it was lifted and then smashed back into the ground), or just a general desire to go nuts in the kitchen, but I have really challenged myself in the baking department over the past day or so.
Firstly I made a chocolate and orange cake of Nigella Lawson's - from this blog. It wasn't so hard, but used muscavado sugar which was a little exciting for me. It was delicious and moist but unfortunately I don't have photos to prove it.
Then after reading this post this morning (that blog is an odd one - it's kind of sponsored by Fisher & Paykel and so you would expect it to be a bit sucky but it's actually pretty nice - they have lovely photos and good recipes), I got all excited about Belgian Biscuits and got down and dirty with a rolling pin.
These are a fiddly cookie if ever there was one - firstly you have to make the dough then refrigerate it, then roll it, bake the cookies, fill them with jam, ice them and then sprinkle them with red sugar that you also have to make along the way. What was I thinking? And the whole process was interrupted by the aforementioned aftershock and the ensuing phone calls and texting... Anyways, it was worth the effort because Belgian biscuits are probably in my top five of favourite cookies..
...and I had two sets of visitors and I took some round to a friend's place, so I was also able to be showered in baking praise which is always gratifying. Except for Sylvia (age 3) who outright told me she didn't like the cake. Ah well, you can't please everyone.