Sunday, 9 December 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 10


This week I made a Christmas Cake and some Date Madeleines.  The date madelines aren't in the festive section but I wanted something a little lighter to go with the cake.  I could have made mince pies, but making gluten free pastry is hard and although I've got a very good GF recipe the whole point of mince pies is the pastry and they would just be disappointing.


They were both pretty simple to make and came out well, although the christmas cake did stick to the wire cooling rack and I thought it was going to break up when I tried to move it.  So far 'im outdoors seems happy, lets see what he thinks at the end of the week.


Verdict:

Saturday, 8 December 2018

A Little Leather Jewellery Bag


I've started working in Bournemouth now, which means I tend to drive down there and then go for a run, meaning I miss some of the traffic later on.  It also means I have a shower at the office.  The only problem I've found with this is how to take my jewellery with me?


It's very easy to loose a pair of ear rings or necklace if you are not super careful so I decided to make myself a little bag that everything can go in and travel safely to work with me.  In the end I used an off cut of chamois leather which is beautifully soft on the inside but pretty tough.  And I made a little pocket so necklace can go one side and ear rings the other.
The only problem so far is that Milo things it smells divine and keeps trying to steal it to chew.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 9


This week I started the Festive Baking section by attempted to make an Orange Marzipan Cake and Cranberry-mince Shortcake.  While the Shortcake came out very well and is tasty if a little soft, the Marzipan Cake didn't go so well.  
I thought it was cooked ok and bought it out to cool.  Once cooled I tried to turn it out, however it had over ideas and the soft middle which was still pretty warm pored out and the rest of it stayed in the tin.
Part of the problem was that the biscuity base and marzipan had welded themselves to the tin and I had to chip them out with a knife! 
So I ended up with a hollow sponge piece and then a chewy bottom.  It actually tastes really nice so its a shame it didn't come out right.  I guess next time I could butter the tin better or actually line the sides with paper. 
Considering how many cakes I make, I can't really be upset when one goes this wrong - it doesn't happen very often.


Verdict:
Orange Marzipan Cake: This was so nice, just the wrong shape.  Think I will have to attempt this again to see what it's like in correct cake form.  Didn't last the week because 'im outdoors ate it all!

Cranberry-mince Shortcake: Ok, but a bit soft. Couldn't be eaten without a plate.  Lasted the week ok.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 8


This week I made some Coconut Cubes and a Chocolate Sensation.  I've made something similar to the Coconut Cubes before although not out of this book.  They came out well and taste real good.  I have to admit mine are more coconut slices than cubes - if I cut them that small 'im outdoors would just eat 2 of them anyway.


The Chocolate Sensation started off very similar to the bonfire cake, but without the red colouring and with a different filling and topping.  'im outdoors said it was the least chocolate chocolate cakes he's ever had, but apparently it's still ok (I haven't had a chance to try it yet).

Next week I'll be starting the section 'Festive Baking' although it is skipping ahead a bit.

Verdict:
 
Coconut Cubes: These get a big thumbs up and a 'Please make again' from 'im outdoors.  Tasty and light and lasted the week very well.

Chocolate Sensation:  I think this grew on him.  Its not his favorite chocolate cake but he said it was quite nice.  I think the outside icing was pretty strong flavor wise.  Better when eaten at room temperature (rather than straight out of the fridge)

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. 

Verdict:
 
Layered Espresso Walnut Loaf: This was pretty good.  'im outdoors said it was in his top three.  Lasted the week well.

Angel Mint Cakes: Dreadful. Mint cake is weird anyway but by day 2 it was gone slimy. 

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!