Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Rainbow Ice Cream Cake

A combination of a late night blog reading session about ice cream cakes, an early morning request from Ruby to bake cakes and Jacob's friend coming for tea today resulted in this...

Rainbow Ice Cream Cake

The blog I was reading last night (I can't remember which one during my bit of summer night insomnia) showed a 2 ingredient ice cream cake using shop bought ice cream and angel cake.

I've not made angel cake before so a quick search later we were adapting a Martha Stewart recipe by splitting the mix into 4 and adding pastel food colouring. We baked the mix in cupcake cases and once they were cooked they were set aside to cool. 


Ruby went off to the theatre for a friend's birthday treat and left Jacob and I to assemble the cake.
We bought a tub of Cornish Ice Cream and left it out to melt a bit. We then uncased the cupcakes and squished them into a springform tin (thank you Kay for lending us one).


Next the ice cream was smeared on top and the tin was popped in the freezer to set. To finish it off we shared out the Smarties (eating the brown ones as we went) and decorated the top.


Yum!



Tuesday, 29 July 2014

We Made a Water Blob

When Ruby and I saw this last week we both instantly wanted to make one.







So today we dug out some plastic sheeting that has been lying around for years, duck taped the edges, filled it with water and added some pink food colouring.



Ours didn't turn out quite like the Pinterest pictures and it was leaking before it had finished filling but the kids had fun for a couple of hours on and off.







I'd make one again because Jacob said it was (word of the summer) EPIC!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sailor Jerry's Rum, Raisin and Ginger Cake with Pineapple Icing

Yesterday was Chris's birthday and I baked him a cake. It was a very yummy Sailor Jerry's Rum, raisin, ginger and pineapple drizzle cake.

I found a Rum and Ginger Cake recipe here and used it as the basis for my recipe.


To recreate the cake you will need:

Cake:
1 cup of butter
2 cups of light muscovado sugar
3 cups of self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup of Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum
1/2 cup of crystallised ginger (chopped into small pieces)
1/2 cup of raisins

Before Icing:
25ml Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum
25ml pineapple juice

Icing:
150g of icing sugar
Fresh pineapple juice
Slice of fresh pineapple, (i used tinned but think that fresh would have been better)

A deep 20cm tin or 2 shallow 20cm tins

Pre-heat the oven to 175c or 350f and grease and line your tin/s.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Sift together the flour and salt and set aside.
Combine the milk and rum together and set aside. 
Lightly beat eggs and add to the creamed butter and sugar with a spoonful of the flour and whisk until combined.
Reduce the speed on the mixer and alternate adding the flour and milk and rum until you have a smooth batter.
Stir in the raisins and the crystallised ginger.
Pour into the prepared tin/s and bake for 75mins until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Leave to cool.

Skewer the cake a few times. 
Mix together the pineapple juice and rum and pour over the cake.

For the icing:
Chop a small piece of pineapple into tiny pieces.
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add a little pineapple juice at a time and mix to a double cream consistency. 
Stir in the pineapple pieces and drizzle over the cake.


To finish the cake off I added some paper pineapples that I bought from Tiger.


And a lot of candles!

You can count the candles to see how old he is. We did remove half of the candles as we were worried that the combination of the paper pineapples and the rum would start a fire.







Friday, 21 February 2014

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Marmalade

Chris made this a couple of weeks ago and it is so good!


Here is his recipe...

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Marmalade

Ingredients:
1kg seville oranges
2 limes
1.5 kg golden granulated sugar
500g light muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp black treacle
75ml Sailor Jerry spiced rum

Equipment:
Muslin
Sieve
String
Large pan

Instructions:
Place a sieve over your pan. Line the sieve with a large square of muslin.
Cut the oranges in half and squeeze out the juice through the muslin. Keep squeezing until all the pith and pips have come away from the skin and end up in the muslin. Set the orange skin aside.
Continue until all the oranges are juiced.
Squeeze the juice from the lime. Discard the skin
Pull up the sides of the muslin to form a bag for the pith and pips. Tie it with a piece of string.
Add 2.5 litres of water to the juice already in the pan. Place the muslin bag in with the juice in the pan.
Return to the orange skin. Shred them as thickly as you like. Place the shredded orange skins in with the juice.
Place the pan on the stove. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 - 2 hours until the skin is soft and the liquid has reduced by about half.
Leave to cool overnight...
...Next day
Remove the muslin bag and squeeze it until all the juice has come out. You’ll probably start to get a thick jelly squeezing out of the bag as well. This is a good thing!
Measure the juice and jelly. If it’s less than 1.25 litres top it up with more water. If it’s more try boiling some more of the water off.
Place a couple of plates in the fridge or freezer.
Add both the sugars and the treacle to the juice and stir until it has dissolved. You can speed this up by warming the sugar first in a low oven if you want to.
Bring the marmalade to a rolling boil and boil for 15 minutes stirring from time to time to stop it catching.
Take one of your cold plates and drip a little of the marmalade onto it. Give it a minute and then try pushing it. If it wrinkles a little then you’re there. If not keep boiling for another five minutes and try again until it wrinkles.
Once it’s ready remove from the heat and add the Sailor Jerry.
Leave it half an hour to cool a little, ladle into sterilised jars and seal. You’ll get between 5 and 7 jars.
It tastes great fresh but is much better after a couple of months.


So, that's it. Normally this quantity lasts us 12 months but he should have made more because this batch is being eaten at an alarming speed! 

Oh and I couldn't resist making a little grass skirt for the jar :)



Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Topsy Turvy Dollies

These super cute topsy turvy dollies are so much fun to make. They are made using an Abbey Glassenberg pattern that was in Mollie Makes Magazine last summer. I love tailoring them to the the recipient, changing the hair colours, skirt fabrics, even the hair styles. My favourite one had a side pony tail and a removeable furry bear hat to match her new owner!



Ruby loves hers (Daisy and Maisie) on the right :)


All of these dollies were given as Christmas gifts.

If you know someone who would like one, you can purchase the pattern here

Monday, 3 February 2014

Making a Lego Pin Board

In the run up to last Christmas I went decorating crazy with four rooms in two months getting a make over. The first and most fun room to be done was Jacob's room. The walls were painted in Crown Originals 1997 Aqua. I love the colour but I made a mistake not buying a tough wipeable paint. I already have to re-coat the wall by the door that is covered in hand prints that don't wipe off.

When we moved in to the house this room contained some big built in wardrobes that are not in great condition. As they are fantastic for storing lots of stuff we decided to keep them rather than replacing them with shop bought wardrobes and gave them a face lift. 

The insides were brightened up with white emulsion and the shelves were reinforced to withstand the weight of the keepsake box and baby clothes that I can't bare to get rid off.

The outside was rubbed down, holes were filled and hinges tightened. Then the doors and frames had a coat of white emulsion before each door got it's final finish. 

Doors Before...

There are four small doors a the top and four main doors below.


The top doors were covered with découpage maps and comic strips.


The main doors each had a different finish. I left a set of doors painted plain so that posters and photo's can be blu tacked up and changed as desired. There is a blackboard door, made using blackboard spray paint and a Lego Pin Board.

Jacob is a massive Lego Fan and I wanted to incorporate a Lego element that would last a few years. I found some circle cork coasters at Ikea and thought they would be perfect to create a Lego pin board.

Using a flat 4 stud lego piece for inspiration I started by measuring the diameter of the cork circles and the length and width of the door. Based on these measurements I worked out where to place the cork circles so they were equally spaced out. I then used a No More Nails adhesive to stick the circles to the door, following the instructions on the tube. 

Once dry I painted the cork circles with a couple of coats of white emulsion to even out the base colour of the door before I added the colourful paint.



When the white was dry I added three coats of the top coat paint, rubbing down the door after the first two coats. I love this yellow and it looks great with the other colours in the room.

I then added a couple of pins and Jacob did the rest :)



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