Thursday, 30 January 2014

Orange Cake with Chocolate Morsels

Gong Xi Fa Cai

The first day of the chinese lunar calender always holds a special place for our family.
Our dearest daughter was born on the day which, coincidentally, was also the eve of Eid ul-Fitr.
It was one of the happiest moments of my life...

Orange Cake with Chocolate Morsels

1 tsp baking soda
180 ml water
125 g butter, softened
170 g sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 small oranges
200 g dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180˚C
Grease and line the 20 cm tin
Dissolve the baking soda in the water and set it to one side

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well
Then add the flour and salt to the mixture and fold through

Roughly chop the oranges into chunks in the food processor, skin and all
Add this to the cake batter along with the water and bicarbonate of soda

Add the chocolate and stir through to combine
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45 min
Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool
Serve and ENJOY!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

First Snow

Last Sunday, as predicted, we had our first snow for this year...
It made a nice change from the usual rainy days

MrD dragging the garbage bin...
it's a fair bit of walk from our gate to the house

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Traybake

 For a charity bake sale in school...

You'll need to line a 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper.

For the base
125g butter, softened
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 1/2 cups flour

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light fluffy.
Add the flour and stir until mixture is well combined.
Roll out to a square, press evenly into the prepared tin and prick well.
Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 180C oven.

Salted Caramel Filling
80g butter
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup condensed milk

Place the ingredients in a saucepan and  stir until dissolved.
Bring slowly to the boil, stirring for 7- 10 minutes.
Cool slightly, then spread over the biscuit base and leave to set and cool completely.

Chocolate Topping
150g dark chocolate
20g butter

Melt the chocolate with butter over a very low heat.
Spread over the caramel.
Leave to set.
Cut into squares or fingers.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Garden Room

I decided to convert one of the rooms in the house into a third reception area.

What I love about this room is that it is so light and cheerful - the glass door faces the east and gets most of the morning sun whilst the two wide glass windows facing the south.

The decoration is simple - no fuss, but elegantly feminine - lots of floral accents, lace, cushions... the works!
There's still a lot to do to achieve the right look but I'm certainly up for the job