Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy your visit and leave with a smile! Love Thea x

Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Little Bit of Special Baking...

Last weekend we had a family get together...so I baked a cake..or two


A Raspberry and Chocolate chip cake..

and a batch of Banoffee cup cakes..





I do enjoy baking..much more than cooking, but the trouble is when there is only Fin and I around the prospect of eating cake every day ( now there's an idea ) is not really a good one, so I usually wait until we have company or we are going to see someone....

So last weekend was special in so many ways I saw my sons, daughters and newest gran baby... and I got to do a bit of baking xx

Recipes below.....

Ingredients

For the cupcakes
  • 250 g unsalted butter, soft
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed to pulp
  • 250 g self-raising flour
For the frosting
  • 250 g unsalted butter, soft
  • 550 g icing sugar
  • 9 tsp caramel, plus extra to decorate
For the caramel
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 80 ml water
  • 350 ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract




Method

1. For the cupcakes: heat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. In a mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Once this is fluffy, add 4 eggs one by one.

2. Add the mashed banana and blend well. Add the flour and mix to combine. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for 17 minutes. Once they are firm but springy to the touch, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3. For the caramel: combine all the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Be careful not to let the syrup burn. Cool thoroughly.

4. For the frosting: in a bowl, combine the butter with 500g of the icing sugar and once this has mixed well and become fluffy, then add the caramel sauce.

5. Blend for 3 minutes, then either spoon on to the cooled sponges or pipe with a nozzle and piping bag. Finish off with some banana pulp, a dried banana chip or a swirl of caramel sauce. 





Chocolate and Raspberry Cake



Chocolate raspberry cake
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes


You will need
200g dark chocolate    I used chocolate chips
4 egg yolks
175g caster sugar
4 egg whites
200g butter, melted
250g ground almonds
200g raspberries, plus extra for decorating the cake
Icing sugar, for dusting
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease a 24 centimetr cake tin that has a removable base and line it with baking parchment.
2. Whizz the chocolate in a food processor until it's chopped into pieces - but don't chop it too finely.
3. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar until you have a pale yellow mixture with a mousse-like consistency. Whisk the egg whites in another bowl until they form stiff peaks.
4. Add the chopped chocolate to the egg yolks and pour in the melted butter. Fold in the egg whites, ground almonds and raspberries and then spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes until firm to the touch of your fingertips.
5. Leave the cake to cool for 20 minutes in the tin, then turn it out on to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with raspberries if you like. Delicious served warm or cold with cream.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Autumn Equinox and Dresser.....*~*

Just a little post to celebrate Autumn.....
The rose garland has been put away and the leaves are falling....
Candles are flickering...



blackberry jam....
Plum jam...the harvest is gathered in





 berries in the window...





Autumn Equinox all is in balance
Thea xx

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Still Painting....The Sitting Room *~*

You know what it's like spruce one room up (in our case the bathroom)
then take a look around and the rest of the house starts to look shabby


So on Friday we decided to start on the Sitting Room...

I have spent a long time thinking about painting the fireplace (since we moved here)
 It was in a bit of a shabby state when we moved in, and for some reason it had a wooden shelf  attached to it.

So as it has been a chilly and wet weekend ...we made a start


 With some trepidation I started painting the fireplace, no going back now... It took four coats of paint


So while I was waiting for the fireplace to dry I decided to paint my Grandpa's old barometer, it has been hung in our garage feeling very drab and unwanted, so two coats later ....
After three days the painting is done...

The chair covers are washed...
The curtains are freshened...

My crochet throw is finished...




The fireplace is sparkling...

Bits and pieces are back in their place...


There...


Done!  paintbrushes have been put away now..time for a rest and a well earned cup of tea x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Marmalade Day*~*

It's has been a chilly blustery day here in the Moorlands...

The clouds are gathering and the showers are blowing in so I thought it would be a good day to make...
some Marmalade.. I follow Delia's  measurements but change the fruit around and only add 2lb of sugar not 3!

My kitchen table faces the french doors which open on to the garden...

they were firmly shut today as the north wind blew in..
With the fruit starting to dance, the kitchen started to warm up...

The steam started to rise and gently simmer for a couple of hours, to soften the rind


Then after dissolving the warm sugar the boiling begins..the bubbling is so satisfying and I have a lovely warm kitchen scented with citrus fruits...

And some yummy Marmalade..


and of course there is always a little over to taste straight away!!

I really enjoyed my Marmalade Day *** (cheaper than putting on the heating too! )