I tried to brainstorm 10 reasons why January is great. That idea quickly got scaled down to 5 reasons why January is not so bad. After three journeys of brainstorming in and out to work I ended up with the following. Think positive!
A. Normal TV programming is back. Like the little TV junkie I am I need my regular fix. And those sly networks know exactly what they are up to leaving us with tantalising cliffhangers before Christmas. I need my Mindy Project 21 minutes of happy time.
B. Using your Christmas vouchers/gifts. I got a whole slew of great cookbooks this Christmas and January finances mean that I can get stuck into making and creating great new recipes.
I also got a baked doughnut pan so my kitchen is being prepped to become doughnutopia. Incessant and obsessive recipe idea googling has already begun.
Super excited about the three lovely vouchers I have to use over the coming weeks, dinner, afternoon tea and a one day photography course which means I have so much to look forward to!
C. Longer daylight hours. I hate the short daylight hours so more sunlight as we inch closer to summer is a big bonus for me. In the winter I can't get up at lunchtime on a Saturday, laze around for 2 hours and still go for a nice long walk. I cannot be expected to be motivated until at least 2pm at the weekend.
D. Award's Season. Who cares who won! It's all about the dresses dresses dresses. Did you see Julianna Moore's dress in the Golden Globes? Uh-mazing. I want to be buried in that thing.
E. Less nasty alcohol/food related ickiness. Bank balances and all round do gooders guilting us with their diets and alcohol bans means that most of us have been trying to be good. I for one do not miss the side effects of repeated over indulgence.
So Bostock is bold. It won't be on any Weight Watchers menus any time soon, but boy is it worth it. Thickly sliced day old brioche is brushed with syrup, covered in sweet almond mixture, sprinkled with flaked almonds and baked until golden. Think of it as proper French toast. You can make your own brioche, but of course you can buy brioche and make this a super quick sweet treat.
Makes 4 slices
70g ground almonds
70g icing sugar
70g butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 balls of stem ginger from a jar, finely chopped
25g caster sugar
one thick slice of fresh ginger
4 slices slightly stale brioche
25g flaked almonds
1. Beat the icing sugar and butter for 4-5 minutes with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and ground almonds and beat very briefly until the mixture is well combined.
2. Add in the ginger and fold carefully.
3. Put the caster sugar, water and ginger in a small saucepan and boil rapidly for 2 minutes until thickened.
4. Brush the brioche slices liberally with the syrup.
5. Spread thickly with the frangipane and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake at 180oC for 20-25 minutes until golden around the edges.