Tuesday, 11 January 2011

My baking challenge

It's January, we got paid for December BEFORE Christmas, and although there are still another 2.75 weeks until the next payday, I have all but run out of money. Lots of book bloggers are doing the TBR dare, where they just read books from their TBR pile. I'm making a spin on this and I've decided that my baking for the next few weeks must be driven by the things that I have in the cupboard rather than baking recipes that I spot on a whim! Obviously I have plenty of flour, different spices butter, and will buy eggs, but the additional ingredients should all come from what I have in. Raisins and currents will also count as staple ingredients and I might buy the odd bar of chocolate. But apart from that, I must work with what I have, and use at least one ingredient from the stash each time. Sadly that means that the sachertorte is on hold, but I think I will make that delight for Valentines Day!

So, I thought I'd start by assessing what was in my cupboards, and this is what I found:

And that's not even including some things which I forgot to include - namely tins of coconut milk, a tin of treacle and a jar of pumpkin puree, Or the half empty packets - I have some figs somewhere, half a tub of custard powder, the box of rice crispies and many more sunflower seeds. Or the frozen fruit in the freezer!

I also took a picture of all of the bits and pieces that I have which I could use to decorate cakes with!

Here are some ideas:
- white chocolate and dessicated coconut in "Snowfall shortbread" from the Eat me book
- chocolate gingerbread men - on top of some ginger cupcakes
- treacle tart (have never tried this, but I spotted a recipe in the new Nigella book - may try adapting it to make it gluten free as enjoyed some wonderful gluten free treacle tarts from Asda recently)
- Christmas pudding cupcakes from the Eat me book - yes, it's a bit late, but the recipe looks so good - brandy butter flavoured icing = YUM!
- more mince pies?
- almond cake
- chocolate custard sandwich
- chocolate rice crispie cake

I also discovered some marmalade flavoured cookie dough in the freezer so I must make that too! I may not have much money but at least K will not suffer cake withdrawal!

I started with the Snowfall shortbread, as it has become a tradition that I make K some millionaire's shortbread after major sporting events and on Saturday he did a 200k bike ride as part of his training for L'Tour D'Etape next July. It's essentially millionaires shortbread but using white chocolate, and with dessicated coconut sprinkled on the top to make "snow". A fun variation!

(Picture kindly taken by K as the light is so much better during the day!)


  1. The diversity of your cupboards is delightful! And the coconut shortbread looks divine.

    I love the idea of baking (or perhaps even cooking) from what is on hand is a great idea: not only will it save money, but it will also necessitate some creativity in the kitchen.

  2. I hover 'round your corner here, enjoying your reads and bakes and such, and just had to wish you well with your baking challenge. I do this sort of thing now and again - either because I need to use things up or, like you, I've spent it all.

    I make a good deal of shortbread and am always looking for a way to spice it up. I love your coconut and the snowman embossed on a recent one as well. Someone mentioned recently that she made shortbread with a toasted almond base on the bottom of the pan. Of course, I didn't write it down and now can't remember who, so, may just have to punt and see what happens.

    Your creativity is inspiring.

  3. You are so creative. I am impressed by what you have in your cupboards.

  4. Oh I so so so wanted to bake the Christmas pudding cupcakes from Eat Me but ran out of time... Do tell how they taste...

  5. Baking austerity-style, what a great idea!

  6. I think you'll be okay - thats a mass of baking goodies:)

  7. What a sensible challenge! You have many delicious ingredients to choose from...

  8. Cool idea! It'll be interesting to see what you come up with.

  9. You have a very good stash of starting point ingredients. A very sensible idea to work with what you have, rather than yearn for things you are unable to afford at present.

    I knew there was something I meant to look at when I went to Asda's this week. It was the FF treacle tarts, that you told me about in an email. Oh well, there's always next time I go to that store, and we do have plenty of GF mince pies, cake and biscuits at the moment.

    Yes, the being paid before Christmas and then having to wait until the end of January before you get paid again, can seem like a lifetime.

  10. hehe - this has sparked off a lot of comments - thanks everyone!

    Molly - I am also cooking from the things in the cupbaord too (and trying to eat up the meals that have been languishing in the freezer) but that is less fun to blog about!

    Lifeonthecutoff - nice of you to pop in and I hope you'll keep an eye on what I come up with! Shortbread with toasted almond base does sound pretty good.

    Vivienne - I'm not quite sure how I acquired so much stuff in my cupboards! I've realised that as we hope to move house this year I should also try to wind things down a bit!

    Darlene - I hadn't thought of it like that - mind you my cupboards are a bit too luxurious for the 1940s.

    Joan - shall I perhaps begin with those?! I lack holly and berry sprinkles though...

    Hayley - it is a slightly embarassing mass of goodies.

    JoAnn - I don't normally do sensible so this is a bit of a departure.

    Anbolyn - yes, I'm wondering if I'll find some new recipes...

    Geraldine - K didn't manage to get the treacle tarts for me either so I hope they haven't stopped doing them...

  11. The Snowfall Shortbread looks stunning! I love coconut too! Good luck with your baking challenge!

  12. I was sure I had posted a comment here?!

    I look forward to some more shortbread ideas. Especially with the stuff from your cupboards. I must get round to making some shortbread.

  13. What a great idea! Can't wait to see what you come up with.


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