24 May 2013

A Raspberry Torte

It was another family birthday this week but with limited time available  I searched through recipe books for something simple. This recipe was really easy; almost identical to a Victoria sponge but with the addition of ground almonds and then raspberries poked into the batter before cooking. 

I did over bake the sponge though. My oven seems to cook things faster than the recipe dictates even with an oven thermometer to tell me that the oven is at the right temperature. But I've made a note in the book so I'll remember for next time. And i need to invest in a proper icing sugar duster - as you can see my sieve just isn't working!

The cake was much appreciated by those who ate it though!

19 May 2013

Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels

I saw the winner of last year's Great British Bake Off make a version of these and managed to find his recipe online. My favourite bagels are cinnamon and raisin ones so I substituted the blueberries in the recipe for rasins and added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mix. I also took the easy option and used the dough hook in my machine! 

Because the dough contains yeast and they use strong white flour I thought they they would take a long time to make but the first rise was only 25 minutes and the second 35 minutes so they only took 2 hours from start to finish. 

Making the hole seemed a bit daunting but were easy to do. I've seen them made two different ways - either rolling into a sausage shape and then joining the ends or by poking a hole in the middle and then swinging it round on your finger. I went for the swinging option. T thought it was hilarious and was laughing away as I was doing it. I had visions of my kitchen being covered in dough when I tried this but the dough is quite stiff so you can really go for it! When T is a bit older (and not just trying to get the raisins out of the dough!) I'll let him have a go. The poaching was easy too. You just need to be a bit organised and make sure you have got a timer handy (or a least a phone set on the stop watch). 

15 minutes in the oven until they were a golden brown and all done. The only tip I would give is to make sure that when you take them out from the poaching they are the risen side up. You can see from my photo that some are a little flat. I'm also going to experiment with the amount of cinnamon I use next time. 

15 May 2013

A Skirt

It is difficult to see from the photograph but the pattern is actually paperclips!

After watching the final of the Great British Sewing Bee I've been all inspired to make some clothes again. I ordered some fabric from The Fat Quarter Shop in America and thought that it would take weeks to arrive but after 9 days it arrived! They had a special deal on delivery which meant that the fabric was cheaper per metre than if I'd brought it from a shop in the UK. I was very impressed with the service and would use them again. 

I've had the skirt pattern for a while but being pregnant meant that I'd not actually got around to making it. The sizes of paper patterns are different to sizes in the shops and you can often be different sizes depending on whether you take a bust, hip or waist measurement. Obviously with the skirt I wanted it to fit on the waist so I used my waist measurement.

Because it was an easy pattern it only took me a day to make. (Without taking care of L I probably could have made it much quicker though). However once I made it I had to do a few alterations. The skirt was huge around my waist and needed taking in by over an inch each side. I cheated with this and just resewed the seams rather than undoing everything. I really should have done the alterations before I sewed all the major seams but you learn something from every mistake!

I'm pleased with the skirt overall and I will use the pattern again but with some adjustments. I'm going on another fabric hunt and I will update when I've made this again!