Dan Lepard is probably not as well known outside the UK as he should be, but I think most people who take an interest in baking bread come across him eventually.
I have become increasingly aware that he is my go-to guy for bread and cake recipes, and his forum is great for getting help when things go wrong (like thinking I killed my sourdough). Very accessible, very detailed, very good results.
His cornmeal muffins made a brilliant eggs benedict. I followed the recipe absolutely as written (I know, so unusual!) and found the technique of starting them in a pan and finishing them in the oven gave a very professional result. As you'd expect from these recipes really.
The more interesting thing about that brunch, to my mind, was that it is the first time I have split a hollandaise and had to rescue it. Very gratifyingly, the classic technique of starting with a fresh yolk and adding the split sauce little by little worked really well. It would have been a crying shame to have an imperfect sauce on those perfect muffins!
I actually poached the eggs as well, but for some reason I couldn't get the white to veil the yolk, and I ended up with eggs that looked fried but had the tender, melting texture of poached eggs.
With the baked upside-down cheesecake, I went a bit off-piste. I used cumquats instead of rhubarb for the base layer (because I'd had them in my veg box). Jude had had reservations about eating it warm, and I decided to take her advice and let it cool before serving. I thought it was brilliant that way - the sweetly acid cumquats, creamy cheese and slighty crunchy ginger biscuit layer worked brilliantly together. Maybe I would have loved the recipe as written, but I really, really loved my variation!
In Sydney I used to buy a gorgeous bread that had cloves of caramelised garlic kneaded into it. Best thing in the world with a runny cheese. I was delighted to find this recipe for something that sounded identical.
Unfortunately I got slightly lazy with this one and missed out one of the folding and turning steps - only later realising that they were all in there for a very good reason. So my garlic was not as perfectly distributed through the bread as it should have been. Beautiful flavour and perfectly textured crumb though!
I've had the recipe for halva flapjacks bookmarked for almost a year, waiting for a good moment and an open jar of tahini. I used apricots as my dried fruit, because I felt the condensed milk and sugar needed a little more zing to balance. I used the whole quantity of oats called for, and I actually think I should have added a bit more. And probably baked them a bit longer. The flavour was wonderful, but they were a bit gooier than I like. I think baking them a bit longer would have given me the chewier texture I prefer.
I thought last year I had found the perfect burger bun recipe (sorry about the music on the link), but when I saw this recipe for poppy seed & onion burger buns, I decided that I had to give them a go.
Turned out I didn't actually have any poppy seeds, so I topped these with sesame and nigella seeds.
My burgers were made from 450g buffalo mince, the grated marrow from a 5" chunk of marrowbone and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Most of the marrow renders out in the cooking, but it leaves the lean buffalo beautifully moist and succulent, with a fairly open texture.
So I think I have a new preferred burger bun. They were really excellent.