Sunday 31 March 2019

Gorgeous Cakes - part 25

This week I made a Heart of Gold to take to my in-laws to help celebrate Mothers Day.  I wasn't sure how well it would go down, this is a very orange cake, but actually it was really tasty.  
It was pretty simple to make - just one big sponge, so it didn't even need filling.  The hardest part was making a nice heart shape. 
I then decorated it with silver balls and wafer flowers.  Everyone said it looked great and tasted great and there wasn't any to bring home, much to 'im outdoors disgust.

Verdict: Very tasty and easy to make.  Not sure it would last a week as it was quite moist, but a great celebration cake.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Gorgeous Cakes - part 24

This week I made an Old-Fashioned Baked Cheesecake.  It was pretty simple to put together, although it needed breadcrumbs which didn't come out so well as I was using gluten free bread.  
It came out darker than the photo in the book, but it tastes OK and I'm happy that this one was cooked through.  It tastes a bit like a bread and butter pudding to me, probably because of the nutmeg and the sultanas (that all settled at the bottom). As 'im outdoors said, it kinda tasted old fashioned.

Verdict: It was OK but reminded me too much of bread and butter pudding.  'im outdoors liked it a lot.

Wednesday 20 March 2019

The Loch Ness Marathon - part 5

Last year I ran the Loch Ness Marathon.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I'm proud of my achievement; not just finishing but raising a reasonable about for charity too.
So I started to wonder what I could do to make sure I didn't forget my achievement.  And that's when I came up with the idea of framing my vest and medal. 
'im outdoors made the wooden frame for me, which I painted, and then I cut mount board to hold my vest, race number and medal.
It's taken a little while to do as there was a bit of prep, but it is now hung in the 'gym' where I go to stretch before and after runs, a good place to remind myself just what I am capable of.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Gorgeous Cakes - part 23

This week I made 'My Mum's Lemon Cheesecake' as it is titled in the book.  It was pretty straight forward to make, but I think because my tin wasn't as wide as her's and my cake was a little thicker, I should have given it a bit longer in the oven.  It's ok and tastes lovely but its not really set in the middle. See how it lasts the week.

Verdict: Tasted good, although it could have done with a little longer in the oven.  A little dry by the end of the week and 'im outdoors didn't think it tasted lemon enough.

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Commissioning a Couple of Plates

As I've been working through the Gorgeous Cakes cook book it has occurred to me that I don't really have any nice plates for showing off my cakes.  The larger cakes end up on a dinner plate, the rest on a slightly-larger-than-the-others tea plate.

As I was looking online for something I had a sudden thought - the lady across the road from us makes pottery! Wondering what she makes I had a look on her website.  I loved her work, beautiful form and splashes of colour, but there weren't any plates.  Just as I was thinking I'd have to try somewhere else I noticed she sometimes makes commissions.  It couldn't hurt to ask, right?

Following a chat, and a chance to look in her workshop, she agreed to make me two plates.  One for swiss roll type cakes (but apparently also works for salads etc) and one for the normal round cakes I make the most.  'im outdoors was very excited - they would make perfect easy birthday presents!

The swiss roll plate was with us for Christmas, while the round plate took a little longer due to an issue with its glaze.  But it was totally worth the wait.  I now have two beautiful plates which will make hosting guests for tea a more sophisticated affair.

And they are totally unique!  They aren't mass produced, no-one else will have anything quite like this.  And they are made to my specifications - I took my cake tin with me so we could make sure my cakes would fit.

I can not tell you just how chuffed I am with them.  And I would advise anyone thinking about buying a special one off piece to see if they have a local maker they could support instead of something mass produced in China.  
I look forward to using them for many years to come.

Saturday 9 March 2019

Georgous Cakes - part 22

The first time I attempted it
 This week I attempted a Chocolate Fudge Swiss Roll.  I made this last summer so didn't think it would be too hard, but this time it didn't turn out so well.  The sponge broke up as I rolled it up and as I tried to lift it onto a plate it just disintegrated!  I dumped the whole lot into the icing bowl.  'im outdoors said it still tastes great, it just doesn't look so good. 
Maybe I should have 'sold' it as a chocolate Eton mess!

This weeks attempt
Verdict: This is a tasty cake and quite easy to make - but it is very fragile when it comes to putting it together with no guarantee that it will work!  I'd be happy to make it again, but I'll make sure there are other cakes on offer if I have visitors.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Purly Paw Print Patchwork Blanket

Ages ago when I didn't have a dog and I was just learning how to knit I came across a pattern for a blanket made of squares for the dogs at Battersea Dogs Home.  A good project I through to practice on and the sort of thing I could take with me when visiting family which would keep my fingers busy but wouldn't need too much thought. 
So I got started, but soon other things cropped up and it got forgotten at the bottom of my knitting bag.  
Trello changed this!  As I went through all the links and printed patterns I have, I came across this one.  As I looked through it to see where I was at I realised I was about half way through.  Suddenly I had a record of where I was.

Even though I had bigger and better project on my list I needed to finish this one - I couldn't let it sit there half finished.  So when I ran out of wool on the project I was working on I got cracking on these little squares.  And now its finished and ticked off my list.
To be honest it's not a very big blanket so I can only assume Battersea have some tiny dogs.  I'll be sending if off to them in the next week or so and hope they find it useful.

Saturday 2 March 2019

Georgous Cakes - part 21

Today I made an Apple and Almond Tart.  I didn't use her pastry recipe as it's not gluten free and just swapping out the flour doesn't work with pastry, but other than than a pretty easy recipe to make.  And it tasted pretty good too.  Not sure if it will last the week seeing as it's got apple on it.  
Similar to the Somerset Apple Cake, except that had apple mixed into the sponge mixture.

Verdict: Tasty and lasted the week well.