Dining Room!

Good Afternoon!

After another weekend with the paintbrushes it seems that the dining room is finally in a sharable state.  I'm still not sure about the yellow, but the Mr loves it.  The grey does soften it a bit (yes, it's the same grey as the lounge and the bedroom).  Anyway, enough of the talking, let's get on to the pictures...

We have the light fixture hanging over the dining room table.  As we live in a rental place, we couldn't be moving the light fixtures, so we rewired the ceiling rose with a nice long bit of flex, and added a hook to the ceiling above the table.  Voila!

All in all, the room feels a little more livable now, but ut's an awkward shape and still doesn't feel quite 'right'.  Watch this space, I suppose!


Ginger cake with Fudge Frosting...

Good Afternoon...
Still no progress with the house!  We hope to things a bit more up together by Christmas though, by that I mean we should having a dining room we're happy with...
So.  This weekend was the Mr's birthday, so I baked a ginger cake with fudge icing.  I struggled to find a recipe so I tweaked one from the various recipes that I found.  I present it here (mostly for my own future recipe searchings...)

Simple Ginger Cake
285 g self-raising flour
3 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
A pinch of Salt
200 ml golden syrup
125 g butter
125 g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
240 ml Semi Skimmed Milk

1. Grease a 20cm tin, and line the bottom with greaseproof paper if you need to.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Sift the flour with the ground ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt. 
3. Put the golden syrup, butter and sugar in a small pan and gently heat until all melted together.,
4. Break the eggs into a bowl, pour in the milk and beat gently to break up the egg and mix it into the milk. 
5. Remove the butter and sugar mixture from the heat and pour into the flour, stirring smoothly and firmly with a large metal spoon. Mix in the milk and eggs. The mixture should be VERY sloppy almost like a batter, with no trace of flour. 
6. Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for an hour, covering with tin foil half way through, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Unless you are serving it warm, leave the cake in its tin to cool, then tip it out on to a sheet of greaseproof paper. Wrap it up in foil and, if you can, leave it to mature for a day or two before eating. 


Bursledon Windmillery!

Good Afternoon all,

On Sunday we spent an extremely pleasant afternoon at the Bread and Honey even at Bursledon Windmill.
That's me, under the windmill, scratching my head.  That picture is totally candid, not posed.  There was a quiz about honey bees and I guess it was a bit much for me!

It was absolutely fascinating to see the journey from wheat to flour-windmills are a lot more complicated than we had initially thought!  We talked a lot with the guys and really got to appreciate the work that goes into grinding flour 'the old fashioned way.'  We got talking about baking and making, and knowing where your food comes from.  I'm looking forward to heading back to the windmill in the future, and perhaps taking down some cake that I've made with their flour.  Perhaps at some point I'd like to get involved with volunteering sessions, too, but we'll see how that plays out.

Just as we were about to head off for a nice long walk along their nature trail, the heavens opened and there was a big ol' downpour.  Not to be disheartened, we pulled on wellies and rain macs and went walking anyway.  We got soaked but we were happy.


Carrot Cake!

Good Morning!

I seem to be going through a 'baking' phase at the moment (never mind that it's lasted about 6 years...)  Until we get the dining room and hallway up to scratch, I present my carrot cake.  This recipe is taken from the Hummingbird Bakery book, and is the carrot cake with 1/3 quantity cream cheese frosting.



Chocolate Ombre Cake!

Hello everyone!

I've had so much going on lately!  We've repainted our hall, stairs and landing, but this is still only half a job as we have two sets of stairs and have left the biggest wall white.  Here's an idea of the progress we've made...

It's really difficult to photograph as when the doors are closed, the only light comes from a skylight above the stairs.  Hopefully I'll have got the hang of it by the time the painting's done...

Onto the subject of the post then...Chocolate Ombre cake!  I've been feeding my cake addiction (No pun intende...OK. Pun intended) on Pinterest when I started coming across the pink swirly ombre cake, from glorioustreats.blogspot.com.  I am a chocoholic and started looking for a chocolate version.  Unable to find one, I made my very own...

On the inside I used two cake recipes-Lady Mary Berry's All-In-One sponge,  and the Brooklyn Blackout cake recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.  I made one layer of chocolate cake, one layer of vanilla sponge, and two mixed layers so that the ombre effect continues inside the cake.

I baked the cakes and then used vanilla butter icing to sandwich and crumb coat the layers.

From there I mixed up the butter icing (some chocolate and vanilla, again from the hummingbird cookbook) and mixed some together to get graduating shades.  Then I filled up my piping bag and attached an open star nozzle and had at the cake with swirls!

Hooray for cake!  All ready for my dad's birthday party tomorrow...