Sunday, 18 November 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 7


This week I made a Layered Espresso Walnut Loaf and Angel Mint Cakes.  'im outdoors doesn't really like nuts so the espresso loaf is without walnuts, but I have to say it is still very nice.  I am less sure about the mint cakes.  I can deal with mint chocolates but other types of mint 'things' are just a bit weird.


I'm also not sure how the mint cakes will hold out.  They already feel a little soft! 
But I was very impressed with how well the loaf rose.  So much so the top caught a little!  Nothing a little icing can't hide.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 6


This week I created 3 different cakes.  Iced Lemon Loaf, Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes and White Chocolate Butterfly Cakes.
The lemon loaf was supposed to have crystallised rose petals to decorate it but I really don't have time for that, and I don't know where I'd get rose petals in the first place - it's not really the right time of year. However the cake seems fine without them so I'm not too worried.


The Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes were created for pudding as my parents came over for dinner.  I might have cooked them for a little bit too long so instead of being mousse they were more like brownies, but still tasted great. (served with creme fraiche) 


And lastly I created White Chocolate Butterfly Cakes.  For someone who'd really not into decorating cakes these were way more involved than I would normally bother with.  Not all of them came out this well!  I think there is a little too much going on with these cakes - orange in the sponge, vanilla cream filling and then the white chocolate on top.
Have to see what 'im outdoors things. 

Verdict:
 
Iced Lemon Loaf: Pretty good.  A little dry but I can just add a bit more liquid next time.  Lasted the week well.

Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes: Tasty but cook less next time.  'im outdoors microwaved a spare one and had it with ice cream and was very happy.

White Chocolate Butterfly Cakes: Dreadful. Difficult to make and didn't last well.  Very wet after only a couple of days.  Too many flavors too.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 5


This week I made some Cappuccino Cupcakes and, as its Guy Fawkes Night on Monday, a Red Velvet Bonfire Cake.  The cupcakes were pretty simple to create and came out well.  However as the 'icing' is whipped cream I decided to only 'ice' them as needed so the topping can be kept in the fridge and the cupcakes in a tin.


I've not made a red velvet cake before and it was pretty straight forward, but wow it tastes amazing!  Think this is my favorite so far.  As you want a cone shaped cake you have to cut a bit off to get the right shape.  She suggests saving the trimmings for trifle but they didn't last that long. It's then covered in a cream cheese icing and matchmakers.  I'm interested to know how it lasts the week.


Verdict:

Cappuccino Cupcakes: These were ok, but the sponges got a little dense towards the end of the week.  The cream topping lasted well in the fridge.

Red Velvet Bonfire Cake:  This was really tasty but I didn't want too much.  Seemed to last well in the fridge although it dried a little.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Split Back Snowflake Hat

At the beginning of the year I had a go at making the Split Back Snowflake Hat. However I had real problems getting it to work and after two attempts gave up and went on to something else.  
Also this year I knitted a jumper.  This was knitted in the round, like the hat, and although I still think it's a little tight, it came out really well. 
As I was knitting the jumper it suddenly occurred to me what the problem might be with the hat.  You see the first part of the hat, the cable, is knitted flat and then joined to make the split at the back.  When I joined it I had the cables on the outside but when I was knitting my jumper it was inside out!  


So I gave it a go and it worked!  The rest of the hat took me a matter of weeks to finish but from start to finish its taken nearly a year!
The best bit was trying out knitting with two colours.  My friend Katie had suggested I try knitting with one colour in each hand as this gives a better tension, so after a bit of YouTubing I had a go.  And it came out really well and I want to do some more!  It was so satisfying to do and looks grand!  I love it. 


Once again something that looks like it might be super complicated it not exactly easy but really not that hard once you have a go.  If I think about where my knitting was a couple of years ago, or even at the beginning of this year, I've come so far! 
There are so many patterns I want to work on right now, but I just don't have the time.  Once again I will have to list all the things I want to do out and prioritise them to make sure the really important things get done and I don't get distracted by something shiny!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 4


This week I made Vanilla Cupcakes and a Marble Cake with Butterscotch Cream.
Both came out very well although my 'blue' icing seemed to come out more green.
The cupcakes are decorated with Dolly Mixture, so I had a bit of a mission early in the week to find some that were gluten free.  I ended up using Monmore Confectionery who have a selection of gluten free sweets.  I love the look on 'im outdoors face when he finds something nice that its safe to eat and tastes like the original.


The marble cake should have been cooked in a ring tin, but as I don't have one I made two sponges then stuck them together with butterscotch cream and drizzled melted chocolate over it.
I'm very pleased with how they came out, lets see how they last the week.


 Verdict:

Vanilla Cupcakes: These were ok and lasted the week well although the dolly mixture started to go a bit weird.  Nothing that special.

Marble Cake with Butterscotch Cream: 'im outdoors said this was his favorite and it wasn't big enough.  Got a little dry towards the end of the week but otherwise lasted well.
 

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 3


This week I made Truffle Cupcakes and Birthday Angel Smartie Cake.  The angel cake does mean I'm skipping through the book, but my food delivery sent me two pots of mascarpone last week so I needed a cake to use the extra one up. (the first one was mixed with the lemon curd to make the filling for last weeks lemon cake.)


My cupcakes once again rose well, but they're a bit too chocolaty for my taste.  'im outdoors seems very happy.  Hopefully they will both last the week well, although the smarties are already starting to loose their colour into the frosting.


Verdict:

Truffle cupcakes - a bit too chocolatey for me, but 'im outdoors loved them and they lasted the week very well.

Birthday angel smartie cake - Had to be kept in the fridge and the smarties went weird, but tasted really good and lasted the week really well. 

Saturday, 20 October 2018

The Loch Ness Marathon - part 4



Look what arrived today!  A package from the Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal team, which included a certificate, a letter and a lapel pin.  
Having run the Loch Ness Marathon to raise money for their Burns Unit a couple of weeks ago, I'd sort of put it to the back of my mind, so it was a massive surprise.


It was so nice to hear how much their appreciated the time and effort I'd put in and I include the letter here as I think everyone who sponsored me deserves their thanks as well.
The certificate will sit in my study where I can see it to remind me of what I've accomplished.  The pin is already on my bag, the perfect reminder.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Gorgeous Cakes - part 2


This week it was my mum's birthday which seems the perfect excuse to make a Towering Alaska from my Gorgeous Cakes cook book.  But I also made a Rich Lemon Curd Sponge for 'im outdoor's lunchbox's and Banoffee Cupcakes.


I made the lemon cake as two separate sponges again to make sure they would rise - which they did perfectly.  The lemon curd filling is so good he's been eating the spare on toast! 


The cupcakes came out well too.  And I had to make 2 batches as there was too much mix!  She recommends decorating them with a 'chocolate heart' but I just cut up a bunch of Curly Wurlys and used them instead, which seems to have gone down well.


The Towering Alaska was amazing and my mum loved it, but it is the kind of cake that has to be eaten as soon as it's made.  Within an hour of putting it together the jam was sinking into the sponge and the meringues were dissolving into the cream.  However it tasted amazing and no one cared that it looked like a right mess.  'im outdoors finished it off for super, as always, happy to help tidy up.


Verdict:
Towering Alaska: Very tasty but needs to be eaten as soon as its put together.

Rich lemon curd sponge: Very tasty. Had to be kept in the fridge but kept very well over the week.
 
Banoffee cupcakes: Not very bananay, and dried out well before the end of the week.  Bit disappointing.