Monday, 31 December 2012

Your favourite recipes of 2012

I'd like to say a big thank you to all my lovely readers, visitors and commenters. Without you this blog would not have become what it is and I expect I would have given up long ago. I'd also like to wish you all the very best for 2013 and look forward to your continuing visits next year.

So, what were your favourite recipes on Chocolate Log Blog in 2012 and what were mine? I first saw this retrospective on Farmersgirl Kitchen yesterday and thought it a great idea. I was very tempted to do it myself, but didn't want to copy. However, I've now seen it on so many blogs, I feel I really want to have a go myself.

January


My favourite - Top tea cakes

February




March



April



May

Your favourite - Chocolate brownie ice-cream


June


My favourite - Cornish splits

July



August

Your favourite - Lemon sherbet tiffin


September

Your favourite - Malted chocolate cake


October



November

Your favourite - Banoffee pie

My favourite - Chocshuka

December











Sunday, 30 December 2012

We Should Cocoa - The Cinnamon Round-up

When I sounded the call for cinnamon in this month's We Should Cocoa Christmas special, 32 bold bakers rallied to the cry. Unsurprisingly Christmas baking took centre stage. I just love, love, love the wonderful assortment of festive cakes, tarts, desserts, chocolates, muffins and so many delightful biscuits that have been inspired by that most excellent of spices, cinnamon.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those that have supported We Should Cocoa tin 2012, either by hosting, entering or commenting. Without you all, this challenge would not exist.

New to We Should Cocoa, Karin from Sinnesfreuden kicked things off this month with her spicy Christmas drinking chocolate popsicles. These are such a great idea and are perfect for Christmas gifts. Each year I plan make some, but I haven't managed it yet.

Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen made some choc-ful Christmas muffins which, of course, included cinnamon. In making them she got to use her super new red mixing bowl, Christmas platter and muffin carrying case. Lucky thing.

How much wouldn't I have given to get a bag of these chocolate covered mulled wine marshmallows for Christmas. These have got to be pure heaven in my book and are made by Becky of Mintcustard in an attempt to cheer herself up after being rather horribly ill.

Jo of Food Travel Life has entered the interestingly named Cinnalate, a banana, chocolate and cinnamon loaf which looks really tasty.

Another fabulous Christmas gift idea comes from Laura Loves Cakes. Laura made these Christmas wreath cookies which look stunning with their wonderfully contrasting colours.

One of my favourite things to drink as a special winter treat is hot chocolate flavoured with cinnamon, so I was really pleased to see this entry for Cinnamon Hot Chocolate from Elizabeth of The Law Student's Cookbook. This one has vanilla as an addition which I'm now keen to try.

I haven't yet seen a copy, but all the reports of Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi have been positively glowing. These gorgeous sounding warming spice cookies made by Jill of Tales of Pigling Bland have only added to my desire to obtain a copy. Though I think her addition of cherry brandy and chilli chocolate can only have improved them.

Layers of chocolate cream and cinnamon have got to be one of the best things ever. This frozen chocolate cinnamon parfait by the Nutty Tart is a brilliant idea for a make-ahead dinner party dessert. It incorporates a rather clever method of pasteurising the egg yolks that I've not come across before.

This round-up just gets better and better. Corina of Searching for Spice has made a dessert which I will most certainly be making in the summer when the raspberry season is in full swing. This white chocolate and raspberry tart cleverly makes use of a cinnamon crust.

Now for the brilliantly named Christmas Mazurka, just the thought of it makes me want to get up and dance. Quite why it has this name remains a mystery, but what a brilliant bake for Christmas. Thanks to Lucy of The KitchenMaid for another excellent recipe.

My own contribution of cinnamon stars were a great success and I think I shall be making these for years to come.

Cinnamon and ginger make for a good combination and when combined with chocolate they jump up to another level entirely - well it works for me anyway. Susie of Fold in the Flour was a little disappointed with these chocolate glazed  gingercakes, but I would be delighted to indulge in one.

Dom's balls, much like his thighs, have become a thing of legend at Belleau Kitchen. This year he dipped them in chocolate for that extra special touch. Although I didn't do the chocolate bit, I did make some of these chocolate dipped cinnamon balls for Christmas gifts this year and can confirm they are delicious.

Cinnamon and chocolate came as a bit of a surprise to Janine of Cake of the Week who hadn't come across this combination before. I think she was convinced after making these delightful star shaped cinnamon biscuits sandwiched with a chocolate water ganache, so not nearly as fatty a biscuit as you might imagine.

Hooray for Caroline Makes who made these divine chocolate cinnamon rolls - it's good to have some yeast bakery included. I know these are divine because I made some myself a while back.

More balls from Rita Cooks Italian, quite different to Dom's but equally good looking. These cinnamon and ginger chocolate balls are made with dates and mixed nuts and sound delicious.

Time for some more muffins now from Snowy of Cookbooks Galore. These cinnamon, coffee and chocolate muffins have a wonderful secret chocolate centre.

I was a little bit shocked to read that Claire of Under the Blue Gum Tree heaves at the very thought of cinnamon. However, she wasn't going to let this put her off entering this month (brave girl) and I'm so glad she didn't, because this West Indies chocolate tart from Eric Lanlard's Tart it Up looks and sounds an absolute delight.

I've been meaning to try my hand at German honey biscuits for an age, but it's one of the many recipes that continues to elude me. Carina of Nutritious Deliciousness has come to my rescue though with these fabulous looking chocolate covered lebkuchen.

I am so very excited by this entry from Laura of How to Cook Good Food. I just love gingerbread houses and all the remembered fairy tales of childhood that go with them, but I can't imagine ever having the patience to make one myself. I just adore this gingerbread house for Christmas complete with gingerbread men to live inside it.

Those cookies just keep coming and bring them on I say. These festive spiced cranberry and chocolate chip cookies look utterly scrummy which is no surprise as they come from Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

How about this spectacular tower of Dutch pancakes filled with speculoos spread and mascarpone? Well, I for one would be very happy to try a slice. Kavey of Kavey Eats thought this quick and easy speculoos & mascarpone pancake cake was just what was needed in the run up to Christmas when we are all short of time and I think I'm inclined to agree.

Bundt cakes are another bake I have yet to try. I've been looking for a silicone ring mould for a couple of years now, but no success so far. This chocolate and cinnamon bejeweled Christmas bundt cake is a particularly fine specimen and comes from the highly creative Homemade by Fleur.

These Nutella-filled cinnamon sugar muffins had me drooling at the very thought. I have a weakness for cinnamon doughnuts and these muffins made by Natalie of HungryHinny sound even more appealing - they look pretty fabulous too.

I made chocolate crackles for the first time this year as Christmas gifts but am now regretting not having seen Suelle's version first. You'll find these very tasty chocolate-cinnamon crackle tops over at Mainly Baking where you might just end up staying a few hours as there are so many excellent bakes to peruse there.

Another hot chocolate, decadently made with double cream this time. This cinnamon cocoa was enjoyed by the lovely Hannah of Corner Cottage Bakery in the quiet of Christmas Eve.

This wonderful rich chocolate and chestnut torte rounded off the Christmas day meal at Elizabeth's Kitchen. I am a big fan of chocolate and chestnuts, but I reckon this torte sitting on a base of buttered nuts, must be one of the best.

And the final entry, which will round off the feast nicely, come wrapped in fine looking Christmas tree cases. Christmas chai inspired cupcakes with chocolate buttercream from Caroline of Cake Crumbs and Cooking.

Maybe that wasn't the final entry after all. Another impressive Christmas day entry comes from Sarah of Maison Cupcake with her Christmas Buche de Noel. Cinnamon extract is the secret ingredient here, not something I've come across before so I am duly intrigued.

Chestnut puree baked into a savoury loaf of bread sounds like heaven to me but with added cocoa, cinnamon and chilli too, I just can't see how it could get any better. Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes brings us this chocolate and chestnut spiced loaf.

And some more Christmas goodies have emerged from the ether. Karen of Lavender and Lovage got into the festive spirit communed with her inner child. She made these delightful and colourful little spiced chocolate Christmas tree cakes.

Kit of I-Lost in Austen always wows me with her stunning creations and even more stunning photography. These cinnamon, oat and chocolate chip pancakes have me wanting to invite myself along for breakfast.

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