Hexipuffs and The Bee Keepers Quilt……

As the clock go forward I find a project for dark winters evenings; A Bee Keepers Quilt. So a called because of the knitted hexagon sections that will (eventually) be combined to make an amazing quilt.

This may take some time to complete but, 1 Hexipuff down and only 101 to go until I have enough for a pram blanket (not that I know anyone in need of a pram blanket!!)

The pattern can be downloaded from Ravelry and only costs about £3.42 or $5.50 and it’s not a traditional pattern with complicated codes. It’s very simple. That being said I had to take it to my local wool shop http://www.thewoolmerchant.co.uk and with their help (and another set of dpns) I’m up and running

Ask me in 12 months time how I’m doing………,,

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Mocha Cake with Cinnamon Crunch

More from the busy baker…….

Cosy Cakes

Mocha

It was my bday!! Woop woop! I LOVE birthdays and this year my housemates, who know me too well, chipped in to buy me an amazing baking tray with moveable partitions so you can choose the exact size of cake you want, or adjust depending on how much mixture you have. The movable sides make it so easy to remove the cake from the tin as well – just line with baking parchment before, and then after use a sharp knife to release the cake from the sides of the tin, and then simply remove the sides of the tin. It’s so ideal.

I decided to christen it last night with two cakes, the first being a single layer Mocha Cake which I topped with a cinnamon-sugar crunch topping. I don’t really like coffee, so I only used 50g of coffee powder, but if you like your mochas strong and…

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Chocolate Chip Muffin Cake

Someone’s been very busy baking…….

Cosy Cakes

Muffin

This is without a doubt the fluffiest, lightest cake I’ve made. The soft sponge drizzles with the creamy chocolate is divine.  This was the second cake I baked in the new birthday  tin (see the Mocha Cake post), and this also highlighted another great feature of the tin. It was possible to split the tin into two exactly the same sized squares, and as it is so easy to remove the cakes from the tin due to the removable sides, it becomes so easy to create layered cakes that perfectly fit together.

This is a simple plain sponge with chocolate chips and a chocolatey drizzle which stays moist and keeps the cake light. Perfect for an afternoon snack as it feels too light and fluffy to contain calories! It has a huge amount of calories in but I won’t tell if you won’t…

Ingredients:

(for a smallish 20cm squared cake)

For…

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Gazillionaire’s Shortbread

Looking good 😃

Cosy Cakes

Oreo

So named because it is sooooooooooo much better than Millionaire’s Shortbread! Technically this recipe doesn’t actually include shortbread but you get the gist! I love Millionaire’s Shortbread, so then I started thinking what would make it even better. The answer? Oreos. This simple recipe makes the must luxurious, naughty little treats, perfect for a moment of guilty pleasure. These really are incredible. This recipe made 12 peices of perfection.

Ingredients:

For the base:

2 1/2 packs of Oreo biscuits

100g Butter

For the filling:

2 tins of Condensed Milk

100g Butter

100g Brown Sugar

For the topping:

300g Milk chocolate

Oreo filling (I will explain how to do this in the method)

Oreo biscuits

Method:

1 – Using part of the tried and tested twist, lick, stick method, separate your Oreos. No likcing required, simply twist the biscuit so you are left with one piece of biscuit and one piece…

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All hail the Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer

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Let me introduce you to Gloria.

Gloria is a glorious Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I have never had a stand mixer before but I thought that if I was ever going to get one it would be for life (based on the fact that my mother still uses the one she bought before I was born) so I was not only prepared to spend some hard saved pennies but it would have to be ‘The Right One’

I was given the brochure in my local department store and spent time choosing the right colour. There were over 20 to choose from. Once I had narrowed my choice down to four colours I cut the illustrations out of the brochure and stuck the pictures up in the kitchen. Slowly, over the next few weeks I decided on the right colour for me. Raspberry Crush………….

It was then a matter of seeing which retailer did the best package deal and value for money and then watching to see if the price came down……..

On Thursday afternoon last week I was sharing my excitement at this prospective purchase with my lovely hairdresser and noticed that one retailer had knocked 10% off the price, so that was it. Purchased online that evening on a Click And Collect basis. But then I read that it would take until Monday to be in the shop and ready for collection!!!!!!!

Thankfully I had an exciting weekend planned (Brilliant Daughters 22nd birthday) so I managed to contain my excitement.

Wonderful Husband collected my purchase from the shop. That was not without stress having been told he was in the wrong shop!!!

So, she came home on Monday night. Packed in two boxes so it took some time to extricate here but finally there she stood on the side, glowing in gloriousness!!!

Never before have I been so excited about a piece of kitchen equipment. But she is far more than just a piece of kitchen equipment. She will be with me through thick and thin (batters and doughs and pastries and cakes). Even Wonderful Husband said that he hoped we’d be very happy together!!

I even made space for her in the special drinks cupboard (having thrown away lots of half empty alcohol bottles!!)

Next morning I opened the cupboard carefully, just to check it wasn’t a dream and there she stood in all her gloriousness. In my head I heard choirs of angels singing Gloria (hence the name) and I was happy!!

I have stroked her and talked to her and even used her to make some Buttercream Icing (she is sooooooo quiet) and I am excitedly looking forward to many happy baking sessions together

Watch this space for updates………….

Back to baking…….

Apologies for my baking blog being interrupted by cycling thoughts but I’m back on track now. Two posts in one day but I’ve got some baking to catch up on

After today’s epic (failed) battle to beat the hill I went back to the kitchen to relax.

Inspired by Friday after work drinks with the girls I thought about Apple Mojito cupcakes…….lime, apple, mint combination

Using the basic cupcake recipe…….
250g unsalted butter and 250g caster sugar blended together
Then add 250g self raising flour and 3 eggs and continue to mix/whisk

I then added the zest of 3 limes and the juice of 2 limes, finished mixing together and popped into cupcake cases and into the fan oven at 160 for 15mins

When they were done (just slightly browned) I took them out of the oven and made a little hole in each cake whilst still warm. I have a brilliant apple corer which has a serrated edge and it is perfect for this.

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I then filled the hole with apple sauce (here I have to admit to not stewing my own apples and using a jar of supermarket apple sauce, sorry) which I then topped with the remaining lime zest (5limes in total!)

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I then left them to cool and made a cream cheese and lime buttercream frosting which I piped on the top.

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Pretty little gems!!

Next time however I need to remember to add the mint element which I was going to incorporate into the icing but forgot!!!

I will beat the hill……..

but maybe not this week.

So, spring is in the air; the sun is up but there is still a chill, lovely crisp mornings.

The ‘Bike Ride’ has been announced. D day is 4th July. About 17 weeks away… So ‘training’ has taken on a new impetus. As a result, the mini hill that has beaten me so far is back in my sights. I WILL NOT BE BEATEN. Well not next week anyway!!!

On a positive note, having to stop half way up the hill gave me an opportunity to take a photo or two.

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