Cooking The Books- July Challenge Update.

In July my Cooking The Books Challenge was to bake one or two recipes from each chapter of Celebrations At The Primrose Bakery. At the beginning of the month this didn’t seem too daunting but as it got closer to the end of term things went crazy. I did a lot of baking but not from this book, in fact I’m surprised my oven didn’t pack up in protest.  It was on that much!

I also found I didn’t get time to bake all I wanted from the Celebrations book and had to leave two things out, the Gin and Tonic cupcakes and the Jasmine Cake.  I just didn’t have chance to make them and find any Jasmine extract from anywhere to bake the cake with.  So I had to leave it.

This is what I DID get around to making though!

First up were the absolutely delicious Quesadillas and the accompanying Guacamole from the Teenager’s Party chapter of the Celebrations book.  All the recipes were based around a Mexican theme which we all love in our house, Mexican food always goes down a storm.  I chose to make the Quesdillas and Guacamole as I needed something savoury and salty after being at my Clandestine Cake Club event that afternoon.  The Quesdillas were simple to make and we really enjoyed them.  I loved making the guacamole as well, never made it before as I always buy it ready made.  It was totally different to the shop bought stuff and I think I overdid the red onion in it but it still got troughed.  Served with a bowlful of chilli con carne I’d had lurking in the freezer, some salsa and sour cream this was a delicious Saturday night supper!

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Homemade guacamole.
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Quesadillas- I called them Cheese Quesadillas when I tweeted about them, my fluent Spanish speaking brother put me right and said queso meant cheese so I didn’t need to call them Cheese Quesadillas. Well how was I to know, I can only speak French!

The other bake I did attempt was the Date Slices in the Baby Shower chapter.  All the recipes in this chapter were based around a Moroccan theme.   I don’t see what Date Slices and Morocco has to do with having a baby!  But I was interested in the recipe and thought about having a go.  Sadly the results were very poor. The mixture turned out a bit wet.  I was expecting it to have a shortbread consistency, to me this was more like a claggy cake.  I had to spoon half the mixture into the tin base, then add the date filling (which smelled revolting), then top that with the rest of the mixture.  The mixture wouldn’t spread and cover the whole tin.  It just got wetter and wetter as it cooked.  When I took the cooked slices out of the oven after the required time I found that the middle was still wet and soggy inside.  Back they went in for another ten minutes but I was disappointed.  When finally ready I cut them up into slices and tasted one.  They tasted disgusting.  They tasted salty even though there wasn’t salt in the recipe.  My hubby tasted one and said he thought they were nice, though.  Not one I want to try again, so disappointing!

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The yukky date slices.

On the whole I have enjoyed baking recipes from the Celebrations book, although it isn’t my favourite from the Primrose Bakery. To be honest there are a lot of recipes with weird ingredients that are difficult to source if you don’t live in London or another big city.  I much preferred the previous two books, especially their Cupcakes one.

Watch out to see which book I am baking from for my August Cooking The Books Challenge.

Happy Baking

Love Sam xx

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