As well as setting health/lifestyle/fitness goals in the new year, I also like to set myself some cooking/baking based challenges as well. This helps me to be decisive and selective about which recipes I really truly want to have a bash at, while it also helps me to stick to a realistic baking timetable. (I have come to realise over the many years of my baking addiction that I just can't make everything: not only is it terribly expensive, but also not good for my waistline!)
Last year I set myself the challenge of having a go at one brand new recipe each month. I'm pleased to say that I managed to make 9/12, which isn't a bad effort considering how busy last year was.
So, here are the results of my 2014 Baking Challenge...
LUCY'S BAKING CHALLENGE 2014: The Roundup
The three bakes on my list that I didn't get round to trying were:
- Bacon & Onion Suet Pudding
- Baked Alaska
- Millionnaire Shortbread
I'm not going to judge myself too harshly though, as I did find the time to bake all of these in 2014 as well as the recipes on my baking challenge list...
Zucutto - Gin & Tonic Cake - Chocolate/Vanilla Marble Cake (Rose Piped Choc Frosting)
Two First Birthday Cakes (BERT) - Cherry/Mascarpone Victoria
Waffles - Custard Creams - Peanut Butter Banoffee Cake
Iced Vanilla Biscuits - Treacle Tart - Banoffee Marshmallow Cake
Hummingbird Cake - Quiche Lorraine - Tangle Pie
Cheese/Onion "Biscuits" Scones - Marble Cake - Doughnut French Toast
Comte Cheese Bakes - Marshmallow - 3D Xmas Biscuits
Whisky Waffle Pudding - Christmas Dinner Cake - Viennese Whirl Topped Mince Pies
I don't think that's too bad an effort - and that isn't even everything I baked...I have just picked my favourite ones to feature in this post! :-)
So with last years challenge deemed a success I decided it would be sensible to set myself a new goal of 12 more brand new bakes for 2015, just to keep me focussed!
I've had a long hard think and here are the 12 recipes I've decided I'd love to have a go at during 2015, they are all recipes I've never ever made before, and I'll blog about each one as I complete them.
I'm under no illusion that I'll just stick to only these 12, but, they are the 12 that I'm really serious about trying above all others...
LUCY'S BAKING CHALLENEGE 2015
- Liverpool Tart - Lemon desserts are always top of my list, this tart uses whole boiled lemons, much like the Mary Berry Whole Lemon Cake I made last year, just in tart form.
- Iced Gems - an old school favourite of mine and my sisters, saw a fab recipe for these here that I can't wait to try.
- Jam Doughnuts - I keep seeing these on Bake Off and am desperate to try them, who doesn't love a doughnut?
- Monkey Bread - I saw this on a baking blog I love called Kymmy's Kitchen and knew I just HAD to make it.
- Jam Roly Poly - My school dinner favourite, I can't believe I'm yet to make this - 2015 will be the year I conquer it for sure.
- Simnel Cake - This Easter classic is something I've been meaning to make for ages - I'm especially excited about making my own almond paste (marzipan).
- Orange Marmalade - Marmalade is my favourite of all the jams/preserve/conserves/jellies and it would definitely feature on my top 10 foods list for sure, I just love it - lord knows why I've never made it before.
- Bread Pudding - I will use my mum's recipe which has been her 'signature bake' for years. I absolutely love it but I'm yet to give it a try myself. If you've not had bread pudding before think fruit cake meets bread & butter pudding!
- Bacon & Onion Suet Pudding - I didn't get round to it last year, but this will definitely feature as a 2015 dinner in The Bishop household.
- Ferrero Rocher Brownies - I saw this recipe just last night on Jo Wheatley's baking blog Jo's Blue Aga...now then, don't shoot me down too quickly BUT I have a baking confession to make... I, Lucy Bishop, baking fanatic have NEVER EVER made a brownie. 2015 will change that - how can I call myself a baker without having a decent brownie recipe in my repertoire?
- Sweet Potato & Spring Onion Waffles - I found this great looking recipe from Jo Blogs Jo Bakes, and being determined to put my Sage Smart Waffle Iron to more use, I'm going to embark on a savoury waffle experiment with these.
- Jalepeno & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Poppers - My favourite buffet food of all time, I happened upon this recipe on Pinterest and I just cannot WAIT to taste one of these hot from the oven!!
2015, you're going to be a very delicious year indeed!
Do you set yourself yearly challenges for your own hobbies?
What bakes are you planning (if any) for the year ahead?
I'd love to hear from you!