It was one year ago today that I officially launched Under The Blue Gum Tree.
One hundred and thirty-posts, nearly 14,000 page views, almost 300 followers and one much-improved cook later I never really dreamed that this little blog would have come so far. But we are still here and celebrating our first birthday so thank you to all my readers and especially to those who take the time to comment. You really do make it all worthwhile.
I had a fantastical cake recipe earmarked to celebrate today with but then realised it would rather go against my new year resolutions. So instead of posting a recipe, I have decided to take a look through all 132 posts of the last year and highlight those which make it into my “Top Ten.”
This was a tough call as there have been so many amazing recipes but after much deliberation and in no particular order, here are my favourites of the past year:-
- Chocolate, Pecan and Salted Caramel Tart Only my third ever post and we already have a winner. Edd Kimber’s tart is still a huge favourite of mine. Sweet, salty caramel topped with a creamy, chocolate ganache, studded with pecan nuts and encased in a crumbly, buttery pastry, it is a truly decadent dessert.
- Cherry and Chocolate Stollen Spirals A close run contest between these stollen buns and my cherry and chocolate panettone, the stollen just edges it for ease of preparation. Soft, springy buns crammed full of rum-soaked cherries, chunks of rich, dark chocolate, crunchy almonds and squidgy marzipan all topped off with a drizzle of rum icing. Need I say more?
- Coconut Meringues with Roasted Pineapple It wouldn’t be a Top Ten without a Dan Lepard recipe, and after much deliberation I’ve chosen to feature these coconut meringues because they never fail to please. A chewy, almost macaroon like base, covered with sweetened cream spiked with dark rum and topped with fragrant pineapple roasted in orange juice and spices, these little meringues are my go-to dinner party dessert.
- Drunken Chicken and Bruised Salad A recent find but already a firm favourite. Succulent poached chicken, a piquant salad and an aromatic, Asian broth. This dish is so amazingly tasty and fresh, I could happily eat it every day of the week.
- South African Milk Tart There has to be a South African recipe in my Top Ten and I am very fond of these milk tarts. One of the first recipes I posted that I can really call my own, these feather-light tarts are lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and are a true taste of South Africa.
- Salted Caramel Tarte Tatin More salted caramel, this time in a twist on a traditional French dessert. This was my first ever attempt at a tarte tatin and now I know what I’ve been missing. Crispy pastry, soft apples and a perfect caramel sauce with lovely chewy bits around the edges. Pudding perfection!
- Courgette, Goats Cheese and Garden Herb Pesto Bread The British Larder is one of my favourite recipe repositories and this tear-and-share loaf of theirs is still one of my best-loved breads. An innovative courgette pesto wrapped inside fluffy white bread which is just gorgeous to behold. It’s a winner on so many levels.
- Pomegranate and Lime Cupcakes Admittedly this choice may involve a little style over substance but these pomegranate and lime cupcakes get the nod for simply being the prettiest things I have baked all year.
- Tomato and Almond Tart Yotam Ottolenghi’s savoury tart is beautiful in its simplicity. Fresh tomatoes, flaky puff pastry and a savoury frangipane layer of ground almonds and cheese all topped off with salty anchovies. A dish I dream of often.
- Sticky Toffee Apple Buns Obviously I have a predilection for spiral based baked goods as my final choice is yet another helical bun and another Dan Lepard recipe. Dan’s sticky toffee apple buns are like a Chelsea bun with attitude – instead of raisins, these spiral buns are stuffed with pecans and chunks of apple cooked in a caramel and rum sauce. De-licious!
So, there it is. My top ten recipes of the past year and I hope some of these dishes may become favourites with you too. Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to read my posts. Here’s to another successful year of food blogging and I hope I will see you same time, same place next year for another “Top Ten.”