Wednesday, 30 July 2008

DB 4: Beauty Or Beast

It's funny to think that this is already my fourth Daring Baker challenge (of five months; June was not the month for me). I'm almost feeling like one of the gang. I've stopped checking my cupboards for DB hitmen when I play around with a recipe, my family think they've started having monthly birthdays, and I'm even getting the hang of little 'kapow!' sound effects when I finish a challenge...

Not that Daring Bakers are superheros, or anything.

At least, not by day.

The one area that tends to be my downfall (other than, you know, reading recipes) is presentation. This has always been a problem with my food (hello; it gets all mashed up in your stomach anyway) but since starting this blog it's something I've been working on, even if my mother does consider this a betrayal of the principles installed in me since birth.

I felt I was doing pretty okay with this gateau. I'd taken the precautionary measure of doubling the glaze, since I always always screw that up (see: DB3, Opera Cake), and I'd prepared for the praline buttercream stage by piping half a batch straight into my mouth -- okay, I didn't do that. I just wanted to. Phwoar -- so I thought I could handle this pretty well.

And it did work. It actually did.

It was just afterwards that I realised that I'd ended up with a cake representation of Belle's dress in Beauty & The Beast.

...This was, of course, totally deliberate. I completely wanted to end up with an edible homage to my favourite Disney film. Mm. Yes.

Speaking of 'mm, yes': this cake. Ohhh yes.

(I have to admit that I have finally purchased a set of American measuring cups for the purposes of Daring Baker challenges, which are very hard to translate to metric without a decent set of scales. I'll continue to give proportions in metric here for most things I make, but DB recipes are going to be the exception, just so I can copy and paste the recipe without giving myself a headache. Sorry, sorry. I know, I'm a traitor to the cause.)

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter

1 Filbert Gateau
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Filbert Gateau
Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.

1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided
¼ & ¾ cups
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)

Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan.

1. Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.

2. Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.

3. Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute. Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.

4. Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.

5. With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking. Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.

Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers

1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.

Praline Buttercream

1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup praline paste
1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)

Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.

Swiss Buttercream

4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows. Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside.

Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*

On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.
Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together.

Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

Praline Paste

1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.

Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble.

*Remember – extremely hot mixture.* Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Apricot Glaze
Good for one 10-inch cake

2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.
Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze
Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake

6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, Cointreay, or dark Jamaican rum (optional)
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside.

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!

Assembling Cake
Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.

Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-ich blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.

Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.

To garnish the cake, fit a 12 – 14-inch pastry bag with a #114 large leaf tip. Fill the bag with the reserved praline cream. Stating ½ inch from the outer edge of the cake, position the pastry tube at a 90 degree angle with the top almost touching the top of the cake. Apply pressure to the pastry bag, moving it slightly toward the center of the cake. As the buttercream flows on the cake, reverse the movement backward toward the edge of the cake and finish by pulling the bag again to the center. Stop applying pressure and press the bag downward, then quickly pull the tip up to break the flow of frosting. Repeat, making 12 leaves evenly spaced around the surface of the cake.

Make a second row of leaves on the top of the first row, moving the pastry bag about ¾ inch closer to the center. The leaves should overlap. Make a 3rd row, moving closer and closer to the center. Add a 4th row if you have the room. But, leave a 2-inch space in the center for a chopped filbert garnish. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.

Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Beatin' The Heatin' (With A Bit Of Cheatin')

I know I've been all bitter and twisted over the total lack of summertime here in England, but all the same I've been getting urges to make ice cream since I came back from my holiday to Mallorca (Spain). Specifically, coconut ice cream - I must have eaten about a billion gallons of the stuff, but it was ridiculously good.

Of course, that wasn't the only coconut my friends and I encountered on our travels...

...but that's another story (his name, if you're wondering, is Angry Ted. He is currently sat in an empty champagne bottle in a corner of my bedroom, wearing a flower garland, a mini sombrero, and his trademark angry frown).

Anyway, by some totally bizarre coincidence, out of nowhere, today is a summer's day (I mean with like, sunshine, and heat and everything), so now seemed the time to throw these two recipes at you (two recipes! I'm so generous today. That's the sunshine talking).

Actually I think I suspect why this is. As it happens, Grace from A Southern Grace is hosting a 'Beat The Heat' event, calling for any kind of food as long as it requires no heat to make.

Here is where I start cheatin', cause I have to admit to some heatin'. And rhymin'. And knocking 'g's off verbs.

On the other hand, Grace does say in the rules that ice cream makers are allowed. And as I've made a sorbet and an ice cream here WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS, and none of that troublesome machinery, I'm hoping I have space to talk my way out of the rules a bit. If not, I'll only submit the pineapple sorbet recipe (which involves no heatin' at all) and just casually happen to also have a coconut ice cream recipe featured here too, by utter coincidence.

Not that you need an ice cream maker to make ice cream. I've neverever used an ice cream maker. It only takes two seconds or so on the hour, and if you're in all evening anyway where's the inconvenience? If people start commenting me saying 'I'd love to make this but I don't have an ice cream maker' I'll beat them up. YOU DON'T NEED ONE TO MAKE ICE CREAM. THINK OF YOUR ANCESTORS.

Pineapple Sorbet
I can't for the life of me find where I got this from.

1/2 pineapple, peeled and cored (500ml puree or 2 cups)
8-10 tbsp sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) water

1. Slice the pineapple into chunks and puree them in a blender with the sugar and water until smooth. Taste to see if you need to add any more sugar.

2. If you're gonna be swanky with your ENTIRELY UNECESSARY ice cream maker here, chill the mixture and then churn in your machine, according to manufacturer's instructions. Pour into a freezer proof bowl and return to the freezer.

3. If you're gonna be cool and old-school, pour the sorbet into a freezer proof bowl and return to the freezer. Once an hour, open it up and beat it to hell with a whisk or metal spoon (I use a metal spoon) to get out the ice crystals. You need to do this maybe four times to get a smooth texture, and then you can leave it to freeze for good.

The next thing you need to know is that this coconut ice cream is godly. I might just be filled with general goodwill towards mankind/dessert as a result of the good weather, but my sister will testify that upon eating the models in the photograph above (the reason I will never get into fashion photography; my sessions always end with a feeding frenzy) I stood around the kitchen shouting things like, 'THIS IS THE BEST ICE CREAM IN THE WORLD' and 'KILL ME NOW, SO I CAN DIE HAPPY' and 'DKGNSJKKSN YUM YUM' for about ten minutes.

If this appeals to you... haha.

Coconut Ice Cream
Adapted from Murphys Coconut and Rum Ice Cream

180g (1 cup)Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
175ml (3/4 cup)Cream
175ml (3/4 cup) Coconut milk
240ml (don't know how much that is in grams, sorry) (1 cup) Desiccated (dried and shredded) coconut
260ml (1 1/8 cup) Milk
1 tbsp Lemon Juice

The original recipe included 4 tbsp of Malibu or similar coconut rum, which I left out, despite actually having some. I think I was too lazy to go upstairs to get it.

Yield: 6 Servings (HA.)

1. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow. Bring the milk to a simmer and beat it into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.

2. Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat. Add the coconut milk. Stir until the custard thickens slightly (around 70C). Use a thermometer, as at 75C the eggs will scramble! (As I'm sure you can guess, I have no time for thermometers and such. Pfft. I did without). Refrigerate over night.

3. Toast half of the desiccated coconut over medium heat in a dry saucepan, stirring all the time, until they turn a golden colour. Allow to cool. (The original recipe had less coconut and toasted it all, but I only toasted half and left the rest plain, for the difference in texture; I was trying to recreate the stuff I had in Mallorca, which didn't have toasted coconut flakes).

4. Stir the coconut, rum (if using) and the lemon into the refrigerated custard. Whip the cream and gently fold in the custard. Realise you have forgotten you have a driving lesson and panic.

5. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer. Same instructions apply as for the sorbet if you don't have an ice cream machine.

This also reminds me to remind you that there's still loads of time to enter my own summer event, Welcome To Wonderland - if you're cookin' up (there go my 'g's again) anything whimsical or wonderful pleaseplease submit it and make a young girl happy. As you can guess, I smile upon cheaters.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries

I imagine that as around 80% of you read this, you are basking in glorious heat. Perhaps you are steaming from the red-hot lasers of the sun's rays. Perhaps you are too weak to lift your eyelids, and are instead resting your sweaty forehead against your computer screens in exhaustion, attempting to comprehend what I'm blathering on about now. Perhaps you are flailing in agony as your blood boils in your very veins.

Yeah? Well, screw you. I'm bloody freezing, and my skylight has started to leak. Welcome to the UK.

It may be monsoon season here, but it's not all bad news. For starters; we're awash (boom boom) with fresh fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, cherries... which apparently aren't berries, despite deceptive rhyming. I genuinely didn't know that, although I suppose the lack of 'berry' at the end of the name should have given it away.

Something else I didn't know about cherries: they apparently reduce your chances of developing diabetes!

The amount of sugar I live on probably significantly increases my chance of developing diabetes. Thus, I have found the perfect solution:

Cherry cheesecake!

No, listen. I have a scientific basis for this, and everything. The cherries, right, counter-act the sugar in the cheesecake. Therefore, you have a completely neutral chance of developing health problems as a result of overindulgence. And by the same logic, surely, the cherries counteract any calories or fat in the cheesecake? You could eat this entire cheesecake, yes, and have effectively consumed nothing at all. Therefore it follows that you absolutely should eat as much cherry cheesecake as possible (within the limits of your stomach exploding, which my cherry vs. sugar hypothesis doesn't cover). **

I've sort of lost my scientific link now, haven't I?

**Disclaimer: Indigo has pulled this out of her arse as an excuse to singlehandedly demolish a cheesecake intended to feed eight people, and takes no responsibility for cavities/diabetes/obesity/stomach-explosion that may occur as a result of you taking her scientific argument too literally. Not that any of those things will occur. Provided you eat enough cherries.

'Ent science a beautiful thing?

There's only one thing better than science. And that's cheesecake.

Cherry Cheesecake Slice
Recipe from BBC Good Food
Follow the link!

A couple of things. 1) Use good quality shortbread biscuits, not rubbishy ones (I have done it both ways, and it makes a difference. The photos are the cheap biscuits - what, I'm a cheap person - but with the nice ones you get a lovely crumbly buttery cheesecake base, so much better than regular digestives.) and 2)Don't put in the oven and then go off to watch telly and completely forget about it - I saved it more-or-less in time, but it wasn't as good as the first time I made it.

Still good though. Still sugar-neutal, this-isn't-going-kill-you, Indy-should-quit-science amounts of Good. Ohh yes.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Fight The Fear Of Filo

I never understood what the problem was with filo pastry (sorry if that makes you want to slap me, cause I know some people fear it. I do avoid yeast when possible, if that helps? I thought so). My mum uses it pretty often, and I prefer it to say, puff pastry. I just never considered it a problem medium, so to speak.

A 'medium'. Ahaha. For my art.

...No, it's okay for me to laugh at that. It's just rude when you do it.

On the subject of my pastry masterpieces (imagine me saying all this very sarcastically by the way, or else you might want to slap me again. Generally speaking I often deserve it, but let's at least wait for the opportune moment), I hereby present to you a work of art to rival the pyramids...

...and also some filo pastry, spinach & ricotta studel affair rubbish.

(I jest, once again. This is delicious). It would probably look better if I were a better cook - I fear poetry is my true calling, sorry everyone - but this doesn't reflect on my filo ability. Or filobility, if you will. I am confident in my filobility. I take pride in it.

*I mean, I do use bought filo sheets. You realised that, right? God, it's like you don't know me at all.

Filobility. Fility. Filability.

The Oxford English Dictionary should just employ me already.

Spinach, Ricotta & Pine Nut Strudel
Recipe from Good Food Vegetarian Summer 2008
Serves 8, 230 cals p/s
Prep 35 mins, Cook 30 mins

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, finely sliced
2 crushed garlic cloves
15g sage, roughly chopped
350g spinach leaves, shredded
350g ricotta cheese
50g pine nuts, toasted
freshly grated nutmeg
6 sheets filo pastry (about 33x24cm)
50g butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Heat oil in a large frying pan, then fry the onion over a low heat for 10-12 mins until caramelised. Stir in the garlic, then cook for a further 1-2 mins. Add the sage and spinach, then immediately transfer to a bowl. Add the ricotta, pine nuts and fresh nutmeg to taste (I overdid the nutmeg a bit) and season well.

2. Lay two sheets of filo pastry on the work surface with the long side nearest you, and overlapping by 2.5 cm to make one double width sheet. Brush with a little of the melted butter. Top with two more sheets and brush with more butter. Spoon the filling along one of the long edges. Fold the short ends in over the filling, then roll up the pastry.

3. Place the strudel, seam down, on a baking sheet and brush with more melted butter. Scrunch the two remaining sheets and arrange them over the strudel. Drizzle over any remaining butter, then bake for 25-30 mins until golden and crisp. Transfer to a serving plate or board and slice to serve.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Welcome To Wonderland - Party Time!

Dear fans loyal blog readers,

Some of you may know It may come as a nasty surprise to you to learn that my 18th birthday falls on the 16th of August, and that the day before this is my first blogiversary! (I know; my blog and I are twin souls. We're nearly as close as I am with the Queen) (aw, I wish I shared the Queen's birthday. That would be cool).

What better excuse for a blog party, I hear you cry? No better excuse! None at all!

Here's the deal.

I am, despite gravest misgivings, hosting my very first blog event. (At this point I will say, please participate, or I will cry and feel a fool) (Not really) (Well, maybe really). Between now and the 8th of August, I'd love it if anyone who wanted to be involved blogged something fitting the below criteria and emailed me with it, for a roundup on the 9th of August.

My real-life party is extreme fancy dress; imagine a charmingly whimsical (albeit probably with a macabre edge, because I am really a sadist) Wonderland, if Wonderland tripped down Harajuku Street, bounced between Oz a couple of times, circled Disneyland Castle, detoured through the Sixties and ended up in Noel Fielding's wardrobe.

(When describing this to my friend, she gave me a long look at this point and said slowly, ' basically, you're having an LSD themed party?' Er, yes. Thankyou, Alison).

Anyway, I'd love to have food to fit this theme-in-inverted-commas, and since I have exhausted all my imagination on the above drug trip plan, this is where you come in. The criteria are:

  • It must be food that I can serve at a party, since I'd love to try your recipes for the real thing.
  • The theme is anything whimsical, weird and wonderful (WWW, since this is my online party. Ohoho. Sorry, I'll stop making jokes).
  • Think trompe d'oeil food, layers, spirals, food on sticks , bright colours &c. &c.
  • Entries can be sweet or savoury, and in any measurements (I can translate pretty quickly now)

Once you've blogged your entry (including a link to this post, please), email the following to outoftheblue.x[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk with 'Welcome To Wonderland' as the title:

  • Your name and location
  • Blog name and URL
  • Post URL
  • Picture
  • Name of entry

If you don't have a blog, just email me your name, the recipe and a picture and I'll include it in the roundup.

For more ideas of the kind of thing I'm planning, check out a couple more links - something like this would be suitably random, these are ridiculously impressive, Bakerella should just cater for me already, and I am one billion percent making these.

Really hoping to hear from you!!