Monday, 30 April 2012

Carrot and Walnut Cake

This was so moist! Here's the recipe:

  •  3 oz (75 g) peeled and grated carrot (about 1 medium-sized carrot)
  •  4 oz (110 g) plain wholewheat flour
  •  ½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  •  ½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  3 fl oz (75 ml) groundnut oil
  •  3 oz (75 g) soft brown sugar
  •  1 large egg, lightly beaten
  •  2 oz (50 g) chopped walnuts

For the topping:
  •  2 oz (50 g) full-fat soft cream cheese
  •  1 oz (25 g) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  •  1 oz (25 g) icing sugar, sieved
  •  8 walnut pieces (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).

2) Prepare the loaf tin either by greasing the inside and then putting baking paper inside, or by using a cake liner.

3) Grate the carrot straight into a mixing bowl, then sift in the dry ingredients to give them a good airing and tip any grains left behind in the sieve into the bowl too. Add all the rest of the cake ingredients and stir well until everything is mixed (it'll look quite sticky, more like a cookie mixture because of the oil but go with it).

4) Bake in the centre of the oven for an hour or until cooked, it'll end up filling about 2/3 of the height of the tin. Leave to cool completely.

5)  To make the topping, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and beat until smooth. Spread it thickly on the top of the cake and decorate it with walnut halves.



Sunday, 22 April 2012

This Week...

Here are some things that have made me happy this week:

1) There are baby blue tits nesting in the garden. Bennie (my kitty) knows they're in there and keeps stalking them but so far no casualties!

2) The new loaf tin, its so simple but I've baked two cakes this week and they've both come out nicely! Before it arrived baking a cake meant using the one usable sandwich tin and cooking each tier separately, so you can imagine how amazing it is just doing the one batch! Here's the banana and pecan loaf I posted earlier:

3) Getting the website running for Hannah Brennan Interiors. It's very simple at the minute as I've been busy and web design makes me go into a bit of a coma, especially when it comes to delving into html. But here it is!

Being on the computer so much has also meant a lot of procrastinating so I've been stalking my favourite blogs even more. Here's the posts I've enjoyed most:

The bowls and the ribbon on You Are My Fave
The interiors featured on SFGirlByBay
Not a blog but this online magazine is excellent: Matchbook

TaTa! x

Banana and Pecan Loaf Cake

Today I made this using a Sarah Cook recipe:

Here's how to make it:
(For Cake)
175g softened butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
140g self-raising flour
85g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
100ml milk
2 small ripe bananas, mashed up
50g pecans , chopped, plus extra for topping

(For Icing)
85g softened butter
100g icing sugar , sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
Grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with a long strip of baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the bananas and beat in with the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder and milk until smooth.
Stir in the pecans, then scrape into the tin.
Bake for 45-50 mins until golden, risen and a skewer poked in comes out clean.
Cool in the tin, then lift out to cool completely.

Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla.
Spread on top of the cooled cake and scatter with more chopped pecans.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sock Monkey Tutorial

Good Thursday Dollfaces!
I've been asked to make a few of these sock monkeys as presents, so it made sense to share the method. Its pretty quick and you only need basic supplies:
  • A pair of socks (they don't have to be fluffy).
  • Scissors
  • Cotton in a matching colour.
  • Something to stuff with (I used wadding, but cotton wool balls work too)
  • Buttons

1) Turn one sock inside out and lie it flat as in the first panel, and cut straight along the ankle part so it looks like panel 2.
2) Sew along the yellow lines shown in the second photo (I used a sewing machine today but I've hand sewn them before too), making sure you've left the crotch unsewn.
3) Turn the sock back in the right way and stuff it.
4) Hand sew the crotch shut and leave to one side.
5) Place the other sock flat on the table, and cut into sections as shown in 5, then sew along the yellow lines.
6) You'll be left with a tail, two arms, a heel and a toe.
7) Stuff and sew on the tail and arms and you'll have something like number 7.
8) Use the toe of the sock as a mouth, sewing around the edges and stuffing slightly before closing it up.
9) Sew on the buttons as eyes and some ears (I used felt for my ears), and make a smile using some embroidery thread or wool, and you're done!

If you give it a try let me know how it goes! :) xx

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Midweek Mixed Bag: 4th April Easter Special

Starting today i'll be posting links every Wednesday to my favourite posts from other blogs from the past week! Plus anything else from the internet that catches my eye. 

4th April 2012: Easter Special

Paper carrots filled with Easter goodies! Oh Happy Day

I love this idea as a grown-up alternative to chocolate eggs You Are My Fave

I've never successfully painted an egg for Easter, but there's some very pretty ideas here! Hey Look

A seasonal fashion update (cue jealousy): Cupcakes and Cashmere 

This blows my mind, i'm not sure if it's amazing or ridiculous..? Oh The Lovely Things

P.S. In the spirit of brand recognition, the blog has come over all blue!