Sunday, 2 July 2017

Toffee Apple Crunch Cake

Hubby doesn't enjoy fondant (who really does?), so I looked for a new yummy cake recipe to try. Found THIS RECIPE on Pinterest and gave it a go. It's always a bit hit and miss trying something off a blog but the cake itself was really delicious, along with the 'crunch' and toffee sauce.

The buttercream was a huge disappointment and really let the cake down. A block and a half of butter (NZ$12.50 worth!!) was WAY too buttery and you could no longer taste the delicious Swiss meringue part of the icing (7 standard egg whites)!! The cost worked out to be NZ$30 to make, quite a lot for a cake, but I'd leave out 3/4 of a block of butter next time, so that would save a bit.

I switched the corn syrup (terribly unhealthy and not easy to find in NZ) for treacle and it worked super well. If you wonder what granulated sugar is in the recipe, it's just standard table sugar, the type you put in your coffee. However I used castor sugar when it called for granulated sugar in the Swiss meringue buttercream. However the recipe calls for heating the egg whites and sugar, so normal sugar is probably just fine as it would dissolve anyway. You do need a candy thermometer for heating the egg whites. I do suspect this process is all just to ensure the eggs are safe to eat, which probably isn't too much of an issue in NZ.

Whole milk is just blue top milk. 3 cups of apples works out to be around 2 apples. I used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Braeburn apple. I used Airborne Bush Honey, it had a really nice flavour in the "crunch" but you can use anything. Make sure you heat it a little bit in the microwave to make it liquid though, or it makes it hard to stir in. Heavy Cream is just Thickened Cream (Anchor make it), it has gelatine in it and is available with the cream at the supermarket.

I did find the cooking took much longer than they stated, about 1 1/2 hrs or so and the whisking took FOREVER, about 10 times longer than they specified.

All in all, this is a lovely cake on it's own with only icing sugar dusted over it, or with the toffee and the "crunch". I'll make it again one day for a special occasion but leave out half the butter in the icing and it will lovely.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Baby Scan / Ultrasound Scrapbook Page

It's always harder with the poor 2nd child, but given #1 got a scrapbook of her 1st year of her life, I thought #2 should probably get the same. Now she is 2, I've finally had a bit of time here and there to sort and print some photos and JOY of JOYS, I actually managed to knock out the first page of her album today! She may be 20 before it's finished, but it's a start!  I bought a simple black paged, plain photo album and I'll do the same as with #1's album and leave most of the pages with some of the black showing through. I'm quite pleased with today's effort, it was quick and simple but effective and I love this photo.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Pretty Flowers

It's been an age since I updated this blog. I have heaps to put on here but very little time at present. But I have some lovely pics to share of some flowers I've done in the last few months.

The most recent was my friend Emily's wedding flowers. It was a real pleasure to be able to do these and she chose some very pretty flowers. My aunt had some gorgeous Victorian roses in her garden which really set the peonies off. I think my old school friend looks really amazing and it was a really lovely day/ night.

A big thank you for permission to use this photo from Amy Walford.

White Peonies, Ornithogalum, Victorian roses and Queen Anne's Lace with Eucalyptus and Hydrangea leaves.
A bit of bling for the stems
I was also asked to do a headpiece for a friend who was taking part in a photoshoot, for the model to wear. Thanks to Loren O'Connor for use of the photo.

Rununculus, Statice, Limonium and Pieris

Saturday, 8 November 2014

More Baby Knitting

Camilla Babe Sweater (pattern available on Ravelry)
The Emma Tunic (pattern available on Ravelry). I did a basic baby hat and added a tassel and embellished with the sheep.
Baby Booty Boots (pattern on Ravelry)

Leaf baby Booties (available on Ravelry)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Spring Knitting!

So I've managed to knit some stuff the last month, thought I'd share.
Converse booties and Berry hat (patterns available on Ravelry)

Wellington Mitts - a pressie for a relative. Pattern: HERE

Strawberry booties, pattern available on Ravelry for free.

A Foxie Hat for my cousin for Xmas. Pattern by Ekaterina Blanchard

Squashed Rat bookmarks for my cousins for Xmas. Pattern HERE

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Massey Ferguson Cake

My friend baked this cake in a Nordicware shaped tin for her son's 1st birthday back in March. I offered to decorate and used buttercream. It was trickier than I thought, trying to get a smooth finish, in hindsight fondant would have been quicker! Anyway, everyone loved it and my friend popped the cake on top of a cake slab with green coconut grass and farm animals around it.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

First Knitted "Thing" For The Baby!

This was just done on the Milo Vest. The tree cable pattern is knitted top down, in the round. You can add any embellishments you like, some little bird buttons, hearts, stars or flowers. I'm going to leave it as is, until we find out what we're having! The written instructions have some errors from the software that converts the chart, this is due to be fixed soon.