Cooking The Books- Brand New Challenge for June 2014.

A new month.  Gosh we’re nearly halfway through the year, that is so scary!  It doesn’t seem 5 minutes ago since I was wishing everyone a Happy New Year.  Anyway I’m glad of the longer days, the light nights and the better weather (well mostly, we do live in the UK remember!)

So on my SmartCookieSam blog a new month means a new book to start baking from for my monthly Cooking The Books Challenge.  This month’s choice has been a really easy one to choose from, a book which has been out only a few weeks but I’ve been keen to bake from since it arrived on my doormat!

So drum roll, who is it then?  Well this time I’ve chosen none other than the fabulous John Whaite, who won series 3 of The Great British Bake Off in 2012.  He has now got two books out:  John Whaite Bakes and John Whaite Bakes At Home.  I’m going to be trying out recipes from the At Home one.  Now a lot of John’s recipes with their interesting and sophisticated flavour combinations appeal to me but not to my children. So I might struggle with recipe choices here.  Time consuming recipes aren’t going to go down well this month either, there’s lots going on Chez SmartCookieSam at the moment.

The front cover of John Whaite Bakes At Home.  Image courtesy of Google Images.
The front cover of John Whaite Bakes At Home. Image courtesy of Google Images.

Looking through the book, this is what I plan to have a go at.

Fast Fabulous Breakfasts:  Although I love cookies, I wouldn’t think to eat them at breakfast.  But I’d love to have a go at the Apple, Macadamia Nut and Oatmeal Cookies.  They sound delicious at any time of the day, not just for breakfast!

Leisurely Brunches:  What’s a leisurely brunch then?  I’ve never had one!  With two children, a horse and a dog breakfast is very early in our house.  So when people eat brunch, that’s usually my lunchtime!  Anyway, I still fancy trying out John’s Brunch Burrito at any time of the day and it would go down well with all of my family.

Afternoon Tea and Patisserie:  After looking through this chapter sadly I couldn’t find something that wouldn’t be too time consuming.  If I have time over the summer holidays or had an occasion to bake it I’d love to bake the  Choco-Berry Frasier Cake.  Instead I’ll bake two things from another chapter.

Family Bakes:  Instead of a bake from the Afternoon Tea chapter I’m baking two things from the Family Bakes one instead.  This month I will be helping at a neighbouring village’s Open Gardens where I am a member of their WI.  We do afternoon teas and coffees so I plan to bake the Lemon Sherbet Cake and some Aussie Crunch to take along as my contribution to the cake stall.

Picnics:  Now there were lots of delicious picnic recipes in the book but I just have to bake the Cookie Dough Brownies.  Whether we will have them on a picnic or not depends on the weather!

Friendship Feasts:  As I’m a bit of a Bundtaholic (is there such a word?) I plan to bake the Fig, Pecan and Orange Bundt Cake.  I don’t have the Heritage Bundt pan featured in the picture but I’m sure my Jubilee one would work just as well.  I’m not going to use figs in it though as I don’t like them, maybe dates instead?

Special Occasions:  Again I found a lot of these recipes were delicious sounding but I wouldn’t have the occasion to bake them right now.  I thought I’d bake a version of the Wedding Party Rings and take them along into school for the staff room biscuit tin!

The final chapter is Indulgent Treats and I thought I’d have a go at the Boozy Brambleberry, Honey and Oatmeal Meringue Messes as a pud for Father’s Day.

So watch this space to see how I get on!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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