Thursday, 7 May 2009

Baking Cookies and the Web

Last night in my continuing decision to improve my skills i decided to bake cookies. This was partially because i wanted to teach myself how to bake but also following some web based inspiration.

Over the last few years i have really enjoyed not only growing vegetables but learning the art of cooking. This has come from the usual sources of inspiration from TV chefs such as Jamie and Hugh. However i have always stopped short of deserts of any kind. I can knock out a range of starters and some great main courses learnt and adapted but deserts scared me.

They scared me because of the need for precision. No throwing an extra pinch of thyme in here or there, no things have to be measured and accurate. I don’t mind that at work, its part of the job especially when you are dealing with budgets but when i am at home cooking i prefer a little more freedom.

However as a grown man i felt this was something i needed to get over and so last night i entered the world of baking, starting easy with chewy oatmeal and raisin cookies. As a first attempt i was quite pleased although i will definitely be adding a lot more cinnamon and some nutmeg next time. As you can see from the picture, i brought a few into the office this morning and they were well received by my colleagues so ginger cake next.

The point of this however was more about how i found the recipe. Rather than just resorting to wading through numerous cook books I simply went online and searched for a chewy oatmeal and raisin cookies and bang along comes hundreds of sites all with different variations on a theme.

Cooking is big online and getting bigger. I have added a couple of links to foodgawker that links to different sites and CakeSpy blog has more than 100,000 visitors a month! Some cookery blogs are run for fun and some look extremely professional and are clearly run by people who have learnt how to make their blog look a lot more professional than my humble attempt.

Its clear to see that there is a growing appetite (forgive the pun) for food online and not just people looking at the major sites like BBC Food or Market Kitchen. As someone who understands that cookery is actually about trial and error and learning from others i can only applaud those people who diligently update and add new recipes to their own blogs so that people like myself can try and lean. So if you have not already looked I can recommend spending a happy lunchtime reading the different cookery blogs - you will not regret it.

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