Monday, 29 August 2011

My 7 Links

Kavey at 'Kavey Eats' has nominated me to take part in the '7 links' project, which started on the travel blog Tripbase. The idea, as explained by Tripbase, is "to unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavour to share lessons learned and create a bank of forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again." Obviously the idea grew among the travel blogging community first, but as bloggers nominate other bloggers from within their wider range of interests, it is spreading into other areas.

We are asked to share posts from our own blog, giving a link to one post for each of 7 categories. Then we nominate 5 more bloggers to do the same. The categories are ~your most beautiful post, ~your most popular post, ~your most controversial post, ~your most helpful post, ~a post whose success surprised you, ~a post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved, and finally, the post that you are most proud of.

My blog is quite specialised, really only looking at the products of my baking sessions, and I haven't got so many followers that I get a lot of comments about most of my posts, so it was quite difficult to decide which posts to use in each category. In the end, the only way which worked for me was to choose the posts on the basis of the product in them, and relate why I thought they fitted that particular category.

My Most Beautiful Post - Chocolate Ripple Pound Cake

I don't often set out to make cakes which look beautiful on the outside - I'm not a cake decorator. I'm much more interested in the flavours and textures in the cake and if they look good when they are cut that is an unintended benefit. The exceptions to this are 'marble' and 'ripple' cakes, where perhaps fairly plain flavours are made more interesting by presenting them in two or more differently coloured batters. For me, part of the beauty of the ripple cake is the unpredictablity of the outcome - it's never exactly the same twice, as slight variations in the thickness of the layers of batter and the currents within the cake as it cooks will produce different patterns. It's like the natural beauty of frost patterns on a window pane, or the refraction of light from spilt oil on a puddle.

My Most Popular Post - Sticky Toffee Pudding

This was chosen as one of my posts with the largest amount of comments, not counting my replies to other peoples' comments! What's not to like about sticky toffee pudding - even people who don't like dates will usually eat this pudding, and I've never known it to be turned down! This version has a touch of black treacle in the recipe, to cut down the sickliness which comes from something being too sweet!

My Most Controversial Post - Phanouropita

In all honesty, none of my posts are really controversial! How can you argue about baking? At the most, you can discuss things such as flavour combinations you don't like, or whether plain flour and baking powder is better than SR flour, but in the end, I respect other peoples' views as it always comes down to personal tastes rather than something that is right or wrong. The controversy in this case was a personal one of whether or not one can make a decent cake without eggs. Up until this point I've always maintained that you can't, but this cake proved me wrong. It lacked the rich flavour that you get with butter and eggs, but it was light and well risen, and the flavours of the nuts and spices really stood out.

My Most Helpful Post - Apple Tart 'Maman Blanc'

I chose this post about Raymond Blanc's recipe for his mother's apple tart because the detailed instructions for shaping, rolling and resting the pastry gave absolutely perfect results - lovely short  pastry with minimal shrinkage and a crisp base. I've followed this method faithfully on other occasions and get equally good results, but it's very time consuming to do from start to finish, even if some of the time is only waiting time! So - this post could help you make perfect pastry!

The Post Whose Success Surprised Me -  Chocolate Brownies made with Mayonnaise.

This recipe was found in response to my son needing to follow a diet low in saturated fat, to reduce his cholesterol levels. By the time he had cut out bacon, butter, paté and cheese, and reduced his consumption of red meat, it hardly seemed fair to tell him he couldn't eat cakes and biscuits either, so I started to look for recipes lower in saturated fat, including those which used oil instead of butter. Although there have been one or two less successful attempts, on the whole I'm very pleased with this baking adventure, and I've found a few basic recipes which I can produce quickly, and be sure of success. This recipe, which uses mayonnaise instead of butter, was a surprise success, as the end result was better than some brownie recipes I've tried which had no claim to being healthy!

A Post Which Deserves More Attention - Rhubarb, Almond and Orange Cake

It's inevitable that posts during the early days of my blog have attracted less attention than later posts, when the number of followers has grown, and I've got more involved with the blogging community. This is one that deserves more attention as, quite simply, it is one of the best rhubarb desserts I have ever made! I'd usually choose a crumble as my favourite dessert, but crumbles aren't as good reheated or eaten cold, whereas this is perfect either warm or at room temperature, so will still be good for a couple of days.

The Post I'm Most Proud Of - Hazelnut Meringue Roulade

I'm not a brave baker - I'd rather ignore the things I can't do than keep trying to get them right. Part of this is a certain inborn thriftiness - I hate wasting food, so don't like trying things if the results are going to be inedible. However, joining the We Should Cocoa Challenge has persuaded me to test my limitations on occasion - using ingredients I wouldn't usually cook with, or techniques I'm not familiar with. The challenge for last May was to make a roulade using some form of chocolate as one of the ingredients. This coincided with needing to make lunch for a friend whose diet is gluten- and dairy-free, so I decided to make a meringue roulade. This was a real challenge, as I haven't tackled either meringue or a roulade for many, many years. It wouldn't surprise me if my last roulade was a Swiss roll in school cookery lessons! As an added bonus in the challenge stakes, I made a chocolate mousse with olive oil, for the roulade filling, to keep the dessert dairy-free. After successful baking the meringue, and rolling it up, I was really proud of the result.

So, those are my 7 links! I'd like to nominate these 5 blogs to take part in this project, if they are interested:
  • Cake, Crumbs and Cooking
  • Kates Cakes and Bakes
  • Belleau Kitchen
  • Foodycat
  • Cookbooks Galore
All you need to do to participate is write a post with your own 7 links, using the categories listed above.


C said...

I love your round up, and I agree that all of the posts you've nominated deserve attention again! It's interesting to see what you've come up with in each of the categories. I'd like to participate too, but you'll have to give me a while to think!

Chele said...

Loving your 7 posts, that marble cake is a true marvel ;0)

Choclette said...

Well done Suelle. That's an interesting selection. One of the things I really like about your blog is that it is so informative. You do tell what works and what doesn't and why you think that might be.

Kavey said...

Judging from the traffic I get via your blog to mine, just from being in your blog roll, I reckon your blog us much more popular than you realise, if you're judging it solely on number of comments.

Am so glad you took part and particularly delighted you nominated my blogiversary twin, Dom at Belleau Kitchen as I kicked myself for missing him out of my own list, because I am senile!

Thanks for taking part, Sue!

Suelle said...

C - I'm sure you can take as long as you need to think!

Kavey - thanks for your comments, and for choosing my blog. I still can't make comments on your blog, but I do read your posts with interest.

Choclette and Chele - thank you both!

Kate@katescakesandbakes said...

What a delicious round-up Suelle! I throughly enjoyed reading all the posts, and your thoughts on them! Do you have a personal favourite of all seven?

Foodycat said...

Gosh - definitely something to think about! Thanks Sue!

Suelle said...

Kate - favourite to eat would be the sticky toffee pudding. I daren't make it very often! LOL!

Kavey said...

Sue, I've changed my comment settings, hopefully will make it easier for people to leave comments. Let me know if it works / doesn't work. x x x

snowy said...

Great posts, Suelle.
Thanks for choosing my blog as one of the 5, but am off on holiday for 3 weeks tomorrow, so maybe it would be better to choose someone else?

Suelle said...

I don't think there's a time limit, snowy - I'll leave your name there and, if you feel like it, you can do it when you return - but there's no need to feel you have to do it. Hope you have a good time!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I don't know if I'm just being a bit thick (a distinct possibility!) but I can't see a way to subscribe to your blog? If I can figure it out then you'll have one more follower!

Suelle said...

Hungryhinny - I think I'm the one who's technically incompetent. I don't know what I need to add to let people subscribe. I thought letting people follow was enough.

Suelle said...

Hi hungryhinny - you spurred me into action and I've added a Subscription gadget and a Follow by Email gadget - hope one of these was what you need!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Thanks for the nomination Suelle, that's very sweet of you, I will get round to it at some point soon!

I love these posts because they really do bring posts back from the dead (as it were)... oh and I love your apple tart... I'm nicking that one for sure!

Anonymous said...

I'm now subscribed through google reader, thanks!!

azélia said...

Beautiful swirls you've got there Sue on the Ripple Pound Cake, really pretty.