I promised my work colleagues last week I'd make a little something to celebrate my birthday. And today I was totally in the mood for baking and making treats. First of all I made chocolate fudge, from one of my favourite books, Christmas Treats to Make and Give. It was super-easy to combine all the ingredients (not much more difficult than melting chocolate), put it in the fridge, and it was ready.
As a contrast I then made jam tarts, from Jane Brocket's book, Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer. Everything I've ever made from CCaGB has been a huge success. The recipes are well-written and turn out absolutely PERFECT, so I was surprised when I took my jam tarts out of my oven after 12 minutes to find them burnt (above are two tarts from my second batch, which I baked for 7 minutes). I also had trouble rolling out the pastry as I'd added two egg yolks (which were listed in the ingredients but not in the instructions! it just said to add liquid) and this made the pastry too wet. So when I tried lifting my beautifully crinkly-shaped rounds they were stuck fast to the table! And I had to prise them off with a spatula and re-roll them! Anyway, they actually taste okay, even though they're burnt round the edges, and I was lucky I had enough pastry left to adjust my times in the second batch.
The meringues are a by-product of making the jam tarts. I hate to waste food and I LOVE meringues!