Wednesday, 7 November 2012

November - a month of much learning!

So there I was on a Friday night, sitting quite happily on the sofa, flicking through my Paul Hollywood 'How to Bake' Book.  OH casually leans over, checks out the page I'm on and remarks "those look really nice, can you make some for our walking trip tomorrow?"  Now, we were heading up to Wales at the crack of dawn to go walking with a group of friends for OH's brothers 40th birthday, so how could I refuse.  Or is it just I take any excuse to try out new recipes???

The treats on offer were 'Chocolate, Peanut and raisin clusters', or as mine looked, 'Mini cow pats'.  Looks can be deceiving.

A really quick recipe that required you to melt part of the chocolate (a good excuse to use the 90% cocoa bar I had in the cupboard - I did combine it with other less powerful chocolate!) with some butter, castor sugar, golden syrup and vanilla extract over a pan of simmering water.

Mix together the remaining chopped chocolate, peanuts and raisins (I had sultanas in the cupboard so used these instead) and add in some sifted flour and cocoa powder.

The melted ingredients were added (my sugar didn't want to dissolve, but I carried on anyway) and stirred together, before using a ice-cream scoop to place similar sized blobs onto a lined baking sheet.  How it will all hold together is beyond me!

They were then baked in the oven for 15 minutes, before being allowed to cool and firm up on a wire rack.

Despite being a bit crumbly, they worked brilliantly as a trail snack, giving a massive energy boost.  No doubt equally good with milk chocolate and / or white chocolate with cranberries.  The possibilities are endless.

Mini cow pats aside, the most exciting part of November is all the creative workshops I've got to look forward to.  A bit like the No.36 Bus, they all come along at once! This Saturday I'm off with my friend Jane to try a Sourdough Bread Workshop at The Panary.  More inspiring recipes to bring home hopefully. 

Later in the month I'm back at the amazing Cowslip Workshops for their Christmas Bonanza Workshop.  It'll be the third time I've been down to see Jo and her brilliant team.  This time Mum is coming along and we are looking forward to making a long weekend of it. 

To top it off, I'll be back less than 24 hours before having a go at a Vintage-style cupcake decorating evening with Charlotte from Frog Hollow Catering.  Phwew!  I'm gonna be busy, that and hosting my first Afternoon Tea with my newly acquired eclectic Art Deco crockery collection.

Should be a fair bit to blog about then...........................................

Happy baking!

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