this lovely recipe - this time leaving out the all the lemon elements and adding 75g chopped dark chocolate and 75g dried cherries - I chopped these too, as they were huge. I also added a few drops of almond extract to increase the almond flavour, which goes so well with cherries.
I also found time to photograph my cookbook shelves, so that I could enter this month's Random Recipes, set by Dom at Belleau Kitchen, which doesn't involve any cooking at all! To give us all an easy assignment, Dom asked us to photograph our cookbooks, to give each other an insight into our home lives and influences. The rules of the Random Recipe Challenge are set out here.
I have two cookbook sites, both in the living room.
The other site is in the corner of the room, between a filing cabinet and the desk where I have my laptop set up. Most of the books here have been bought out of an interest in cooking and cookery books; very few of them were bought new, most are from the shelves of the various charity shops in town. Many have never been cooked from, but were bought because they were classics of their type, or would be valuable reference works - all of the recipe books have at least had every page looked at, although I can't say the same of the reference books! A few of my old classics have migrated here, as they are closer to hand as reference works. My daughter's cookery books are on these shelves too - most of the early Nigel Slater books, Economy Gastronomy and a few others, including one on baking. They will go when she goes again!
The most recent books have been fiiling up the top shelf of this bookcase - while they don't exactly give a representative picture of the aspects of cooking that I find most interesting, they were bought because I thought they were a bit different from the usual run of the mill stuff found in the cookery section of most bookshops; Egon Ronay's autobiography is one of them, as well as a book on Middle Eastern Food written in the 80s, and one which explores the legacy of France in Indian regional cuisine through recipes from La Porte Des Indes restaurants in London and Brussels. The Slow Cooking book was an attempt to get me to use my slow cooker more often!
The baking book which influences me most is Short and Sweet, by Dan Lepard - I've been following his column in the Guardian for years, and I can't think of any baker whose craftsmanship and inventiveness I admire more. Even though nearly all the recipes in this book can be found online, they may not always be there, and looking at a computer screen is not the same as holding a book! This is one of the few books I have bought brand new and hot off the press! The two volumes of Nigel Slater's Tender, at the other end of the shelf were two more, and couldn't be more different!