Friday 29 January 2010

Baking With Simone

Friday's Cake Bake
Here are my cake recipes. I used to make it at school whenever we made cake which thinking back on it was rare, mum always said we made things from packet mixes because that is all she ever remember buying. I used to write the proper recipe out to show I had done the classwork/homework but always weighed these ingredients. It was granny's recipe and mum used it, and I use it, and have to say always successful! Make large cake or fashionable cup cakes! I use Muffin cases you get a larger Cupcake! If I make small cakes I prefer to use a Paper Muffin Case instead of ordinary Cake Cases, but for very small children try using the Sweet Cases which are quite tiny It is great for people who have their own Chickens, works with Duck eggs too! Please remember that the original recipe was mixed by hand, but I have written it out for use with an electric mixer. I have given the original recipe at the end for rich fruit cake also suitable for Christmas cake but can be used at Easter or for special occasions!

Today's cake :: Basic Victoria Sandwich with 6ozs Raisin added
still not used to new cooker, as you see slightly overcooked!

Victoria Sandwich

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, gas 4
Weigh 2 or 3 eggs in their shells,
then weigh the Butter, Flour and Sugar to the same weight.
Beat the Butter and Sugar together until pale in colour
Beat the eggs then add slowly to the butter and sugar mixture
Gently fold in the flour.
Divide the mixture equally between two sandwich tin, or cake cases and cook.
Test to see if cooked with a skewer.

Sandwich together with jam.
(should be Raspberry, but any jam that happens to be opened at the time!)

Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, gas 4

Weigh 2 or 3 eggs in their shells, then weigh the Butter, Flour and Sugar to the same weight.
then remove one desert-spoon of flour and add one desert-spoon of cocoa powder

Beat the Butter and Sugar together until pale in colour Beat the eggs then add slowly to the butter and sugar mixture Gently fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
Divide the mixture equally between two sandwich tin, or cake cases and cook.Test to see if cooked with a skewer.

When cool

For the filling/topping, mix 5ozs cream cheese,
1ozs softened unsalted butter, 3ozs sifted icing sugar
2 teaspoons drinking Chocolate
mixed to a paste with 2 teaspoons water and teaspoon orange essence (optional) until smooth. sandwich the cake together or spread on top of the little cakes

Carrot Cake (My version)

Traditionally Carrot Cake is made with oil, I am not very fond of oil in cakes

Weigh the eggs still in shells,
the weight of Eggs in Butter (softened), Sugar, and Flour
Half teaspoon Mixed Spice, Carrot finely grated,
about 3oz chopped nuts (optional)

Beat the the Eggs, Butter and Sugar until white in colour
Sift Flour and Mixed Spice and gently fold in to mixture
Gently fold in Carrot and Nuts
Spoon into Cake Cases
Cook 180 degrees centigrade (350 degrees Fahrenheit, Gas 4) for about 20 to 25 minutes

Butter Icing
4ozs Softened Butter, 8ozs Icing Sugar
Beat together and pipe onto cakes
add Chocolate Sprinkles (optional)

Christmas Cake (My version)
Weight of 4 eggs in their shells Butter, Muscavado Sugar, Self Raising Flour + one extra ounce of flour
1lb 10oz Mixed fruit (doesn’t have to be accurate near enough will do)
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
4 oz Glace Cherries 2tablespoons of Brandy

Cream together the butter and sugar and eggs till very pale in colour.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then add to the mixture.
Fold in gently.
Add the Brandy and stir in gently
Bake in a warm oven, 140°C (gas mark 1) for about 3 hours,
test after about 2hours

Christmas Cake (Original Receipt)
Weight of 4 eggs in their shells Butter, Muscavado Sugar, Plain Flour
plus 1/2 teaspoon of Baking powder 1oz of Ground Almonds
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
6 oz Currants
6 oz Sultanas
6 oz Raisins
6 oz Mixed Candied Peel
4 oz Glace Cherries 2oz Blanched Almonds Brandy, Port or Rum  

Cream together the butter and sugar and eggs till very pale in colour.
Add the eggs one at a time slowly.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then add to the mixture.
Finally add the brandy, rum or port and fold in gently.
Bake in a warm oven for about 3 hours, test after about 2hours

Sunday 24 January 2010

I am not a sports fanatic.

My pretty Hyacinths smell wonderful - can you smell them?
I thought I would settle down and watch a film.................

...........while I put the last few stitches in this gift which will be sent this week, I will let you see it when I know the recipient has received. The next items on the list are now to finish and parcel up the PIF's (Pass it Forwards) then normal services will be resumed, oh....perhaps not I have to finish Denise's quilt, but I will show you that as I stitch it.
The main terrestial channels seem to have SPORT today. As you probably can tell from my tone I am not a sports fan, nor do I watch Eastenders or Coronation Street or any of the like. Find me a good film I'm am very happy, thank goodness for the Digital channels. I have marked the film I plan on watching, yes.....I know it is a cartoon, and yes I have seen it before but I thought I would watch it again. I have seen Doctor Zhivago at least three times, so I don't really want to see it again. Perhaps I should be doing something else, I have prepared this evenings dinner Chicken Casserole, and planted a few bulbs and ironed last weeks washing, I really lead an exciting life, perhaps when the weather gets a bit warmer I will be outside more. I'm off for a cuppa, and the last of the jam tarts!

Friday 22 January 2010

Joining in the Fun!

I have decided to join 'Simone's Friday Cake Bake' too. I always used to bake a cake on a Sunday, but Hey......! Why shouldn't I change to baking on a Friday instead......? They say a change is as good as a rest don't they! I shall still be doing my 20 minutes with Fi too, I actually do mine in the evenings after dinner, it stops me falling asleep in front of the telly!

As you see Simple Jam Tarts! Except mine always come out looking like "The good, the bad and the ugly! I have to admit I seem to put in too much jam - I cannot blame the new cooker (yes I can!) I am not used to it, fifteen years of a fan assisted one, now no fan but a ceramic hob!

Sunday 17 January 2010


Sunday in our house is doing odd jobs that need doing, doing jobs that must be done, and doing things we want to do! Today I've ironed half the ironing pile, I wanted to get on with other things. I have made one of these and one of these, and now I am putting a few stitches in this! Oh yes and rang two good friends.

I found this little box a charity shop 15 pence!
That's our Sunday today as you see not a lot has got DONE!
Too many things to do and not enough HOURS!
Has anybody out there got any spare hours?

Thursday 14 January 2010

Starting another.......

.......I must NOT start too many new projects until I finished the first
otherwise lots and lots of UFP's (Unfinished Finished Projects)!
I will though be keeping my hand pieced quilt going!
Not only has this resolution of Fi's has got me started
on my paper piece quilt project, and with the help of all you
lovely folk will help me finish it. It has been something I have
been wanting to do for years but never got round to it!
I finished Caitlin's car blanket last night! It did seem to take
forever, I actually started 22nd December, but I didn't work on
it everyday until I saw Fi's post!

The new projects that are being started over the next few days
are for my PIFs and a special gift which is what this is,
so I will just show bits of the projects until I know the
recipients have received them.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Another Snowy Day !

We had another downfall of snow last night
but by lunchtime it had melted.

At this moment in time I am suffering from what
feels like a pulled muscle in my back,
I have had it since about Monday! I am in agony, but it only
hurts when I return home from work!
This morning I was putting stock
away and I just didn't notice it, but as soon as
I settled down to finish this blanket for Caitlin it was agony!
The blanket is made in King Cole - Splash and Baby Splash.
Also this afternoon I made one of these
and one of these with the left-over crusts.

Sunday 10 January 2010

It's Cold!

I took some stale crusts up the garden for the birds and this poor little Blackbird (well I think its the same one) has been coming to and fro to the garden all morning. Early this morning it just stood there and watched me throw the bread onto the ground as if to say I can't be bothered to fly away and besides there is food coming! I put out a stale packet of dried fruit and some cooked pasta the other day it was still there, I thought these birds need food obviously not pasta and dried fruit! Even the Seagulls turned their beaks up at it, but this little Blackbird has decided that as this is all there is on this banquet he thought he would dine alone!

I would like to thank Fi for giving me a "Boot up the Botty" . This New Years challenge of hers has made me get on with things I have been promising myself to do for years!
I have always wanted to make a hand pieced quilt. So Friday I cut the paper shapes (loads of them, think I may need some more). Have to say the twenty minutes of sewing never actually happened on Friday! But yesterday I covered seven in material before I went to work! I got up extra early too because I was in Tescos by 7.30!

Today I sewed them together, (the colour is actually BLUE as above) I don't know what happened with the camera. Anyway I plan on making one of these flowers per week till then end of the year - fifty two in all and my blogging friends I will promise to show you the result..........I hope! ENCOURAGEMENT pleeeeeeeeease...........................

Thursday 7 January 2010

Thought I would have a go........

Did anyone else read Fi's post yesterday?
Well.........I made Ozzy Owl Needle Case
every stitch is by hand.
He took and hour to make does that count?

You can now find him perched here

Tuesday 5 January 2010


I don't normally make resolutions, but this year I thought I might just to see if I keep can them!
Walk home from work, well I did yesterday, it nearly killed me but I managed it! I get a lift home every other day from my husband and quite honestly today I was glad of it, it was cold snowy and wet! I even stopped at a local shop and bought a pair of gloves which I don't normally wear but if I'm going to keep this walking up I will need them! Tidy my craft room which I have! Now I have to keep it tidy..........that's the resolution bit! Get rid of things I don't really want or need more, make lots of crafty bits to sell or give away hopefully the former!
I have started to get rid of pieces of my Costume Jewellery collection, which I have collected for the last 40years. I now have PayPal so payment will be a bit easier I hope

I also created these Book Marks which are personalised
I made Jane's one as a little extra present for her
to go with a book I bought for her birthday
Since they have been popular for extra presents

Friday 1 January 2010

Never Seen That Before!

Sorry about the photographs but..................
I saw this from my kitchen window

It flew and landed on another rooftop
then flew away