For my first entry I think that a few words of introduction are probably in order. I wouldn’t say that I consider myself to be a foodie, by and large I find the typical foodie deeply irritating but I do think that I know what good food is. I am never happier than when I am planning a food event, be it a dinner party, a drinks party or just an evening with the girls. Every aspect is deeply important to me, I believe that everything is in the detail and in the planning; I do not like to leave these sorts of things to chance. I will consider a menu for several weeks in advance; as my boyfriend has often said to me when I have asked for his thoughts and advice on a menu, the main criterion is that it is fiendishly difficult. I would like to argue against this statement but I am not sure that I am able to. I am deeply competitive so I must confess that a party is an excuse for me to showcase my talents and prove to one and all that I am the undisputed party queen of the group. I want people to be excited at the prospect of coming round to mine because they know that they will be eating something delicious in beautiful surroundings accompanied by delightful wine and charming conversation.
My real passion is for making the sweeter things in life, baking, creating desserts, making chocolates, sweets, jams and jellies and putting together hampers.
So on tonight’s agenda is chocolate caramel shortbread, again. Don’t get me wrong, it is delicious but whenever any of my friends or family have a baking request it is for chocolate caramel shortbread. I am not a one trick pony. I have a whole arsenal of baked goods and yet I seemed to have reached perfection with this little (or not so little) delight.
In an effort to break this trend, last night I made something new. Lemony slices: a shortbread base (in this case to suit the dietary requirements in my office, gluten-free) with a lemon curdy/custardy topping. As it turns out, they are incredibly simple to make. I think that they should probably be served with a generous spoonful of crème fraiche but we are in the office without plates (although we do have napkins). They seemed to go down well, or least, that is what everyone has said in front me! I am glad that I chose to alter the recipe slightly, I reduced the sugar and upped the lemon (as well as using the all important gluten-free flour) and the result was a pleasingly light and ever-so slightly gooey treat that would make a perfectly sophisticated dessert to round off a delicious meal. I think that next time I would consider a third lemon.
This is only my second foray into the world of gluten-free baking and although both items have received positive feedback, I am convinced that I can do better. (My first attempt was a flourless chocolate and pear cake, I wasn’t sold on it myself). This is something that I am going to have to apply my mind to.