Just over six months ago, on 27th February, I penned my very first post as thelittleloaf. Since then I’ve had a wonderful time in and out of the kitchen, baking, bread-making, testing different recipes and trying new restaurants. I’ve also discovered some fantastic food blogs which I return to time and again; for their exciting recipes, for their satisfying stories, or to simply gaze at their stunning photos.
One such site is the beautiful With Milk and Flour, so when fellow blogger Mandy invited me to take part in Tripbase.com’s ‘My Seven Links’ initiative, it felt like a fun and fitting way to take stock of what’s happened over the past few months. The premise is simple; pick seven previous posts which fall within seven pre-assigned categories. Link to these posts, then nominate five other bloggers to do the same. These are my picks:
My most beautiful post: As it contains my first ever set of photographs to be accepted by Tastespotting (I seem to have better results wielding a wooden spoon than clicking my camera), I had to choose my Hazelnut cupcakes with dark chocolate buttercream. I took the pictures outside on a beautifully sunny day using the pale blue tin I’d stored them in as a prop. For once, I was quite pleased with the results; the delicate, pale cupcake contrasting against a thick, dark frosting just begging you to sink your teeth into it . . .
My most popular post: Hands down, this goes to my Butterscotch pecan ice cream tartufi; little balls of blissful, buttery ice cream cloaked in glossy dark chocolate and studded with salty-sweet nuts. The day I posted this recipe my site visits went through the roof, and I even got an awesome comment from my all-time ice cream guru, David Lebovitz. Which made me do a little dance of joy.
My most controversial post: Mostly focusing on all things baked and delicious, thelittleloaf doesn’t rank high amongst the most controversial blogs out there. However, as I have to pick one, I’m going to go for my Flourless chocolate mousse cake. Not for the recipe itself – you can’t really object to fudgey, flourless chocolate cake – but because I included a brief review of Rachel’s Organic products, and queried whether bloggers should accept foodie freebies. This question always seems to split the blogger camp, and certainly sparked a lively debate.
My most helpful post: This is a very simple one, but I see a lot of traffic to it direct from Google search. How to make chocolate roses does exactly what it says on the tin, and is inspired by some great advice from Ruth Clemens of The Pink Whisk, and a little tutorial I found on Cake on the Brain.
My most surprisingly successful post: I suppose it’s not that surprising, but chocolate birthday cake seems to be an enduring classic that people just can’t get enough of. My Simple chocolate birthday cake with white chocolate frosting is rich, delicious, easy to make, and a post that’s stayed popular long after I published it. A great go-to birthday cake recipe.
My most under-rated post: I was slightly surprised not to get more views for my Chunky chocolate, raisin and walnut cookies. It’s one of my all-time favourite classic cookie recipes, so hopefully including it in this challenge will give the recipe a new lease of life!
The post I’m most proud of: Having embarked on a journey of baking discovery, and once I’d mastered a basic loaf, my thoughts turned to the more adventurous. The recipe for these Homemade croissants comes from The River Cottage Bread Handbook – if you love bread and don’t own a copy I suggest you run out and buy one right now – and produced pastries which were flaky, buttery and better than anything I’ve ever bought in the shops. And they actually ended up looking like real croissants! One of those moments when baking makes you feel a little like a proud mum.
Now that I’ve completed this fun – if slightly self-indulgent, challenge – it’s time to pass it on. The five blogs below are ones I’ve particularly enjoyed reading over the last few months; a mixture of the witty and the wonderful, with stunning photos, helpful hints and quirky comments, all embracing the joy of food. I hope they enjoy the challenge as much as I did.