One of my latest baking book acquisitions is the recently published Baking Magic which I got from The Book People at an incredibly reasonable price. I hadn't seen it in any shops, but was sold on the title and the rather pretty cover (the book itself is covered in a lovely textured fabric hardcover). It is apparently a combination of three books - Cake Magic, Cookie Magic and Cupcake Magic, and the book falls into three sections dealing with Cakes, Cupcakes and Cookies; there are lovely photographs throughout (although sadly not for every recipe - I never understand why people wouldn't want to tempt you with how good each recipe looks).
The best part of the book is definitely the section on cookies. Cupcakes are something I'm not actually hugely interested in for some reason, despite owning several books about them, and cakes are something that I already have a lot of good recipes for. But I wanted to make almost every other recipe from this section. One of the best bits are the recipes for shop-biscuits - the digestive biscuit, the fig roll, the custard cream. And so it was to these that I turned first; here are my very own chocolate bourbons:
(with some Viennese style biscuits to use up the buttercream)
And my own party rings! So much fun.
if I'm honest, both types were quite a bit of a faff. The author claimed that the dough of the bourbons is a "dream to work with" but I thought it was one of the worst doughs I have ever used as it was incredibly brittle and virtually impossible to get to stick together long enough to roll out. And the party rings were quite fiddly using two colours of icing...
And while I'm on the topic of biscuits, I also baked these Jewelled Cookies at the weekend - they were from the Marks and Spencer's Cookie book which a friend gave me for Christmas. I was rather impressed with how they came out - they use strawberry and apricot jam.
Let's just hope that the French Air Traffic control strike ends soon and my OH can get home to eat them before they're all spoilt (but that is another story...)
Sylvia Townsend Warner - Short Stories
6 hours ago