Iron Chef Shellie

The Cook Book Challenge – Grand Finale

“I survived the cookbook challenge. 52 weeks. 52 recipes. 52 different themes. I started off so well, but then it got to “insect” week. I had a few recipes flagged, it was going to be snail scrolls, but with the combination of moving out of home, and being terrible at catching up on missed challenges,...”

The Cook Book Challenge – Grand Finale

The Cook Book Challenge – Grand Finale

I survived the cookbook challenge.

52 weeks. 52 recipes. 52 different themes.

I started off so well, but then it got to “insect” week. I had a few recipes flagged, it was going to be snail scrolls, but with the combination of moving out of home, and being terrible at catching up on missed challenges, it all turned to shit.

I did participate in a few more weeks, even if they were out of order. I admire those like Agnes and Leigh who didn’t miss a week. Well done chickies!

It started off 52 weeks ago. April, Kat, Agnes and I combined our common factor of having way too many cookbooks and needing an excuse to use them more. The themes were chosen, the logo was designed, and a whole bunch of bloggers signed up for the wild ride.

52 weeks on, it was all over. I have more cookbooks than I did 52 weeks ago… oops, that wasn’t meant to happen. It was a great way to sift through cookbooks, trying to interpret the theme as quirky as I could. “Tangy” week was my worst; I will never forget how much I dislike chocolate and mayonnaise combined together in a cake. Don’t try that shit at home folks…. I love mayonnaise…. it’s great on sandwiches… not in cake. “Silky” week was also a big fat fail.

Week 52
Theme: Outdoors
Cookbook Used: Picnics
Author: Australian Women’s Weekly

So anyways, some of us got together, ate way too much (for something new and different), all went home with leftovers and food comas. Every single thing was delicious.

I believe this was the first time I’ve ever eaten asparagus! Thanks to Agnes, and her amazing tart. Here is what we pigged out on:

Ham, Cheese and Tomato Chutney Wraps

8 mountain bread squares
1/2 cup tomato chutney
50g baby spinach leaves
2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese
300g shaved leg ham

1. Place two bread sliced together; spread with rounded tablespoons of chutney. Top each with spinach, cheese and ham; roll to enclose.

2. Cut rolls into thirds crossways to serve.

Makes 12.

Chocolate Blueberry Slab Cake

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
160 unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup fresh blueberries

Chocolate Icing:
100g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
25g butter
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons hot water

1. Preheat oven to 180ΒΊC / 160 ΒΊC fan-forced. Grease 19cm x 30cm lamington pan; line with baking paper.

2. Blend cocoa with the water in small bowl. Cool.

3. Beat butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in sifted flours and soda, and buttermilk in two batches; stir in cocoa mixture.

4. Spread mixture into pan. Bake about 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan 20 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.

5. Make chocolate icing: melt chocolate and butter in small saucepan, stirring, over low heat. Remove from heats; stir in sifted icing sugar and water until smooth.

6. Spread cold cake with icing, top with blueberries. Cut cake into squares.

Serves 20.

A big thanks to April who did round ups every week. I didn’t envy you there, cooking and blogging the challenge post was hard enough! And thanks for organising a finale party, it was a great way to end a great challenge. Thank you also to Agnes for opening up your lovely home, so that we didn’t have to worry if we were going to get soggy bums from a picnic outside!

Great to also see Penny and Cherrie who I didn’t mention above!

New cookbook challenge will be starting first week of January 2011. Stay tuned for details.


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The Cook Book Challenge – Grand Finale

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23 comments on “The Cook Book Challenge – Grand Finale
  1. Celeste @ Berrytravels - November 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    What an amazing spread! Looks super yummy.

  2. Allan - November 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    omGosh, you finished the 52 weeks, and your gonna start another one HAHAHA =P. that is MOTIVATION!!!
    now i understand why you were in FOOD COMA! =)

  3. kristy @ ksayerphotography - November 16, 2010 at 5:24 am

    All of this food looks so good! and what a fabulous idea :)

  4. Michelle - November 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I’m sure my sister would love the chocolate blueberry slab cake. :) Blueberries are so huge and cheap these days!

  5. Esz - November 16, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I want to eat ALL that – yum. Food comas are no doubt inevitable at such events πŸ˜‰

  6. Hannah - November 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    These picnic foods look more delicious every time I see them! πŸ˜‰ I’m hoping to join in the challenge next year… though I think Insect would stump me too :)

  7. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed - November 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Well done! Catching up on tangy and silky weeks now :) So many mouthwatering pictures there. Especially that asparagus tart. Your slab cake looks awesome! I read the coconut slice as ‘jamie-scented’ – I think I am a bit too obsessed with Jamie Oliver, how embarrassing.
    Heidi xo

  8. penny aka jeroxie - November 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    you make everything LOOKs so yummy. they are ALL YUMMY as well.

  9. April @ My Food Trail - November 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I can’t believe you’ve never eaten asparagus before the lunch!! :) Agnes’ tart was a good use of it though!

    Lovely to see you again and experience the food coma together! LOL

  10. msihua - November 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I cannot believe that you individually wrapped those wraps.. soooo pretty!!! And not to mention, so much dedication!

  11. My Restaurants Melbourne - November 17, 2010 at 9:46 am

    what an amazing effort for everyone to commit to the challenges each week. I have enjoyed reading a lot of the recipes as they have been posted from the cookbook challenge each week. Good luck for next year

  12. Anna Johnston - November 17, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Wow. Feast for the eyes going on here, just wonderful

  13. GourmetGetaways - November 17, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I am so jealous that I am too far away and couldn’t make it to the end of challenge party :( I would have loved to meet everyone and the food just looks amazing!

    Please count me in for the next Cookbook Challenge, I have had a great time.

  14. Emma @CakeMistress - November 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Fabulous feast and great photography. I’ve enjoyed hunting down the recipes after seeing this post. Such excellent spring fare!

  15. Tenina - November 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Love this post…extremely drool worthy!

  16. Conor @ HoldtheBeef - November 18, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Such a spread! And you have to love any cake with the word “SLAB” in the title. Well, you have to if you’re a big pig πŸ˜€

    Hooray for surviving the 52 weeks! I can’t believe the dedication of you all, even if you didn’t make the entire 52 weeks it was a mighty impressive effort.

  17. Cherrie - November 18, 2010 at 8:09 am

    It was great to see you agin Shellie. I think I don’t need to tell you that I loved your chocolate cake (so do the rest of the family!). I also loved how you took the time to individually wrap your wraps. Well presented. :)

  18. Agnes - November 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

    So glad you came and brought your delish food πŸ˜€ That cake was gorgeous!

  19. Thanh - November 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    You’re all nuts, and totally dedicated. I don’t think I could make something to a theme each week. Well done all.

  20. Myriam @ Detours - November 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Wow, well done my dear – massive achievement! You must be looking forward to the holidays then πŸ˜‰

    PS: that asparagus and gruyere tart looks amazing…

  21. Lauren aka Ms Baklover - December 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I am so glad you are having it again – I started blogging midway through the last one and due to my strange habit of not being able to do anything from the start (for example, I can’t start watching a series midway through – have to get the DVDs and watch every episode!) I didn’t join in. I would love to join the next one though!! Fun!!

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site by Shellie Froidevaux, otherwise known as Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography across Australia, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients, recipe development with love and photography workshops for people with discerning tastes :)

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