My Year 2013

January 11, 2014Sew White

2013 seemed to take ages to get through but now it’s done it seems the year went very quickly.

I think 2013 was a good year, a lot happened and lots of choices were made which will hopefully lead to good things happening in 2014.

In 2013 I found out how much I love baking bread and bundt cakes. I have been hugely inspired Dolly Bakes who makes incredible bundt cakes and I hope one day I can be like her and produce wonderful cakes. Check out her fabulous website . there is so much to see and read on her website but be warned – looking will make you incredibly hungry!

The best bundt cake tins comes from Nordic Ware. Although expensive they work very well always producing great results. A little advice – if you get one make sure it;s a cast metal one. The stamped metal ones are not worth the money as the non stick doesn’t last long and like me you’ll end up annoyed and regret not spending a few more pounds to get a cast metal one. 

I now have 4 Nordic Ware tins including the Christmas tree bundt tin which started my obsession off (I found it in a charity shop for £5), the Hansel and Gretel house bundt tin, the beehive tin and the anniversary tin which is the one I use most. 2014 will be filled with new tins and more tasty recipes.

Here are a few of bundt cakes from the year – many recipes are me playing different flavours – the most viewed bundt recipe was my passionfruit and peach bundt and the recipe is here

2013 bundts

On the bread side of baking I found out how much I love sourdough and how easy it is to make. I made blackberry sourdough and it tasted incredible. Recipe I can’t wait to get making sourdough again!

Sew White blackberry sourdough 6

In May I was interviewed by the local paper – the Wimbledon Guardian about my youtube videos and at time I had 65,000 views at Christmas my views had reach 180,000 which is just crazy! It was amazing to see myself in the paper and I really felt proud of what I had achieved.

Wimbledon Guardian June 2013

2013 also brought a new hobby for me – jam making! I got addicted to it and it so satisfying to do and a lot of fun. The best book I’ve found for jam making advice is by Vivien Lloyd. It is detailed but easy to understand and use to make very good jam. I now have a cupboard of jam including my most favourite I made this year nectarine and raspberry with a hint of lemon. It is gorgeous on toast. It is this recipe but nectarines instead of peaches

Sew White peach and raspberry jam 2

To my absolute amazement and beyond my wildest dreams I had one of my recipes published! I was in the first issue of the Canadian magazine ‘Amber Marshall Magazine’ as a featured fan talking about my agoraphobia and panic attacks and how equine assisted therapy had helped me so much. Amber Marshall is the lead actress in the TV show Heartland about a horse ranch in Canada. It’s my all time favourite show! As well as featuring my recipe they featured the horse mould I had for sale and we used it to make horse shaped biscuits. It was lovely and I still can’t believe it! I am so thankful and grateful to featured. It was certainly a highlight of the year. I’ve got a recipe published! Love it so much!

Amber Marshall Magazine 1

The height of the summer apart from my 24th Birthday on the 22nd July – which I now share with Prince George was The Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

We had a brilliant party and invited friends to come and watch the huge Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic final. I made so much food including a lot of chocolate which might have been a mistake since it was the hottest day of the year! In the garden we had a little paddling pool which everyone used for a cool down through the afternoon. My friend even bought a bottle of bubbly to either ‘celebrate or commiserate’ luckily it was the first. From our house in Wimbledon town we could hear the screams of joy from the tennis in the village and all the surrounding houses who had the TVs on and the windows open. It was a wonderful day and so much fun was had.

Here are the cake pops I made for the tennis party to look like little tennis balls. It was so hot these had to stay in the fridge – 5 mins in the warm and they were melting tennis balls. I used the book Super Pops by Tamsin Aston from Definitely Cake to make the cake pops. It’s a brilliant book

Sew White tennis cake pops 13

Christmas was a brilliant time of year and I had a lot of making new Christmas recipes. It started my cinnamon and ground ginger addiction again.

Just before Christmas my friend and I were lucky to have a biscuit decorating lesson by Mellissa from Hercule’s Cakehouse We learned how to pipe royal icing and decorate biscuits with sugar paste. It was a great class and I feel far more confident about icing now especially with all the little tips and hints we had. It was so much fun too playing with fabulous colours and icing. We had freedom to try what we wanted but were coached on the best ways to achieve what we were going for. Absolutely brilliant 10/10 for the class.

I absolutely love the reindeer biscuit pops we made.

Here are my biscuits from the class.

Hercule's Cake House biscuit class Sew White

The best books I read in 2013 were The Hunger Games series, The Mortal Instruments series, The White Queen series

My favourite songs of 2013 were One Republic Counting Stars, Katie Herzig Lost and Found and Life by Ludovico Einaudi

My favourite and most used cookbooks of 2013 were Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals (they have never taken 15 mins, most commonly 30 mins), Paul Hollywood’s Bread, Cake by Rachel Allen (fabulous book) and Home Baking by Jo Wheatley

My favourite movies of 2013 were The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Thor; The Dark World, Gravity, Pacific Rim, The Impossible (I cried and cried) , Life of Pi

2013 was a good year and I hope 2014 will be even better.

Happy new year!

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