Hey everyone and hello to 2017. I hope the New Year is treating you well so far.
You may have recognised the recipes that I’ve been posting so far in January. They’re from my lifestyle blog Life Without My Wellies. Although I love LWMW, in 2016 my passion for food took off and I spent many hours in the kitchen predominantly baking, always looking for the next recipe to try. So I made the decision to start up a dedicated food blog…welcome to Country Cottage Bakes.
My plan for this blog is to take you on a journey with me as I explore food in more detail. I’ll celebrate all kinds of food days/weeks including International Chocolate Cake Day and British Pie Week just to name a few. I’ll also build up my own skills within the kitchen as I attempt to make more complicated bakes as well as experimenting with flavours and ingredients to make delicious meals.
With all this in mind and to coincide with the tradition of setting yourself resolutions and targets at the start of a new year, I thought I would set out some of my goals here.
Food Goals for 2017
- Each month bake the recipe from my GBBO calendar
- Enter into a different category in the Mid-Somerset Show (& fingers crossed place)
- Develop my cake decorating skills looking at fondant icing and sugar craft techniques
- Make a dairy free mango cheesecake (I did attempt this twice in 2016 but didn’t quite pull it off, hopefully the third try will be the one)
- Attempt to make most of my bakes dairy free
- Celebrate one food day or week each month by dedicating a blog post to it
- Enjoy food as much if not more than I did in 2016!
There might not seem like too many goals there, but I want to make sure I do them well and who knows, maybe I’ll think of some more along the way.
Before I go and get on with some blog planning, here is a quick and easy recipe for some delicious salted caramel and chocolate cupcakes because I just can’t get enough of this flavour combination right now – I hope you like them!
Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes: Makes 12
For the chocolate cupcakes:
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1½ teaspoons of baking powder
40g dairy free butter
120ml almond milk
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the icing
125g icing sugar
40g dairy free butter
½ teaspoon of salted caramel food flavouring
Chocolate shavings to decorate
First of all preheat your oven 170°c and line your baking tray with cupcake cases
Then to make the cupcakes beat together the flour, cocoa powder, caster sugar, baking powder and butter until you get a crumbly mixture
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla essence
Pour this into the crumbly mixture and beat until combined and the mixture is smooth
Divide the mixture between the cases and pop them into bake for 20-25 minutes
Once cooked, leave them on a wire rack to cool down completely before decorating
To make the icing, beat together butter and icing sugar until you get a crumbly mixture
Add the salted caramel food flavouring and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy
Pipe the icing on top of each cupcake and sprinkle some chocolate shavings to finish the decoration