Hi everyone, slightly different format for today’s post. The usual recipe is just below, but I was recently invited to take part in the “Seven Link Challenge” by Kay from PureComplex.com. I’ve been reading quite a few posts from various blogs on this subject recently and was hoping someone might invite me to join in the fun, so thank you Kay! The challenge consists of posting seven links, from your own blog, which all fit into the seven, pre-defined categories and, you can then invite up to five other bloggers to participate.
Choosing the seven links was not always easy – what is also a little difficult is finding one of my blogging friends who hasn’t yet done this challenge, but it’s a great way to re-visit old posts and see how things have changed over the months. Without further ado, here are the links!
1) The Most Beautiful Post: Hamburgers
There’s something about these ingredients which lend themselves really damn well to being photographed and I was very pleased with how everything turned out. When I’d finished writing it all up I was frankly in the mood for another one right away 😀
2) The Most Popular Post: Fish and Chips with Onion Rings
I wanted to say my Pancakes recipe, but that was my one and only accepted photo to FoodGawker.com, so the traffic for that post is skewed. All the same, I’m still surprised by just how popular the Fish and Chips post was, and it accounts for 1.48% of all the traffic on the site.
3) The most controversial post: Spinach and Goat’s Cheese Pie
I don’t really cause a lot of controversy in my posts (hopefully), although someone told me in no uncertain terms that a recipe I’d written up was “wrong”. Apparently it results in clumpy pastry instead of binding nicely and additionally it’s “bland”. Well, it’s not my best recipe ever, but sometimes I want basic flavours, there’s nothing wrong with that. As for the clumping pastry? Well, I can only assume that’s caused by incorrect conversion between US and metric perhaps?
4) The most helpful post: Carrot Top Pesto
It seems that not so many people were familiar with the idea of using good old Carrot Tops in a pesto so hopefully at least one bunch has been spared the compost heap thanks to me so far!
5) The post that was surprisingly successful: Fast Chocolate Cupcakes
This post has 0.77% of all traffic on my site, and while that may not sound like much, that does place it in 10th spot of “Most viewed pages”. I gotta say… these cupcakes are perfectly nice, but when you compare them to the myriad other cupcake sites around the web these are very uninspired… and the photography is just terrible!
6) The post that did not get the attention it deserved: Millionaire’s Flapjacks
Not a single comment – for shame?! Actually this was a toss up between Rocky Road but I decided in the end that the Flapjacks get it. They were most time consuming, and I even made a video!
7) The post I am most proud of: Oat Cakes
This will probably sound odd, but the post I’m most proud of is also one of my most simple! I love eating Oat Cakes, but they’re expensive as all anything to buy, and I can’t even get them in France. Making these, I realise now there’s no need to fret any more because they literally taste exactly the same as bought ones, which makes me pretty darn happy 🙂
And now… I just need to find some people to nominate? Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that, as far as I can see, and can remember, Jenny and Shilpa, from Baking Devils, and Kelly from Inspired Edibles haven’t participated in this rather fun little challenge yet, so Jenny, Shilpa and Kelly? If you’re interested, I’d love to see your answers to the above questions and thanks again to Kay for nominating me!
Now for the promised recipe:
Serves: Makes approx 25-35 cookies
Approx cost: €3.50
Approx calories (per cookie): 100
Approx preparation time: 30 minutes
On a recent trip to England I brought back with me some Spelt Flour. I’ve read a lot about Spelt recently on various blogs and was pleased to have the opportunity to try it. Of course, as soon as I lug a bag of flour back from England I notice that they’re selling it in France – “épeautre”, in case anyone cares. In any case, I dutifully stowed it inside my kitchen cupboard, not entirely sure what I was going to do with it. I also had a bag of Rice Flour in the cupboard and while it’s wonderful to have “non-standard” things in your kitchen, what’s not so great is when you have no idea what to do with them. Well, I just happened to have a bag of candied stem ginger in the drawer too and thus a not so fiendish plan was hatched to brew it all up into a delicious batch of cookies.
I don’t often “experiment” too much when it comes to baking. Previous disasters have taught me that you don’t mess about with flour and eggs. Sure, add in some additional chocolate and what not, but successful baking is hard. It’s not a case of sticking a piece of meat on fire and grilling until brown. This is all about chemical processes and whatnot and so, apart from a few exceptions, for the most part I tend to stick to tried and tested recipes. This time however – I decided to kick back a bit. Ok, a cookie recipe isn’t exactly rocket science, but it’s my cookie recipe and here we go – the fruits of my labours. The first batch lasted about 1 day here. I made another batch, double-quantities last night and they seemed to go down well with some of my colleagues! Of course, now I’m out of candied ginger… I guess I’ll need to figure out how to make it myself! Hope you’re all having a good day 🙂
– 125g Spelt Flour
– 125g Rice Flour (Normal flour will do if not available)
– 170g Butter, softened
– 90g Caster Sugar
– 90g Dark Brown Sugar / Molasses Sugar
– 60g Candied Stem Ginger
– 1 Egg
– 2 tsps Baking Powder
– 2 tsps Ground Ginger
– 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
– 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- Pre-heat your oven to ~180 degrees Celsius and then place the soft butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy and slightly more pale in colour.
- Add in the Ground Ginger, Baking Powder, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg and the Egg and mix well. Chop the Candied Stem Ginger into small chunks (not too small!) and mix into the mixture as well, before finally sifting in the two different types of flour and mixing everything together well to form a stiff paste.
- Once all the flour has been blended in take small lumps of the mixture and roll into balls in your hand. The lumps should be about the size of a “not too heaped teaspoon”, if you get what I mean 🙂 Place the balls onto a greased cookie sheet or baking tray and flatten them gently using a fork. Remember to allow space between each cookies as they will flatten and spread out during cooking!
- Bake in the oven for around 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven), until just starting to brown on top, before removing and allowing to cool in the tray for a few minutes. When you can pick them up with a spatula, gently transfer them to a cooling rack and leave to cool. Enjoy!