It's been a little while hasn't it, I'm afraid January got to me! I don't really like January it tends to feel like a really long Monday morning and like so many people I always find myself with a touch of S.A.D so I'm very pleased that we've made it through and it's February tomorrow. I also didn't feel like I had much to say really but now I feel there is.
Firstly we are getting to the end of the post Christmas sales now so don't forget to have a last comb through for those bargains ready for the year ahead, I picked up 3 little kits to make keyrings and a sleep mask in John Lewis where they were originally about £4 each for 75p each and I already have recipients in mind, then today in Boots a make up palette with 70% off which again I have a recipient for. Usually I also pick up my wrapping paper for next Christmas too but I am trying to be more environmentally friendly and there wasn't any recyclable paper left, I intend to use brown paper for wrapping and jazz it up with ribbon or homemade Pom Poms to make it look fun.
I had a mini meltdown on Wednesday, we were having our stitch and bitch group in the evening, I got started on the cake I intended to make and then suddenly realised that I hadn't made a card for T for his 12th birthday! My experience of 12 year old boys is extremely limited in fact T is the only one I know well and as I searched through my craft stash for appropriate card making supplies it became clear I didn't have any well I faffed and flapped for a bit and then thought Super Heroes doesn't every 12 yr old boy like those? so after a quick google I set to copying a cartoon picture of Spiderman which I cut out and then stuck him via a paper spring so he popped off the card to a simple background of a web that I had drawn. Luckily it seemed to go down ok.
With the cake I was on a much sounder footing I decided to make a chocolate one with whipped chocolate ganache and some caramel popcorn on top though of course it could be topped with a variety of yummy things and it did taste good.
For the cake.
First weigh 3 eggs, mine weighed 187g (yours will obviously vary slightly)
you will then need the same weight in butter,
and the self raising flour/cocoa mixture.
With the flour/cocoa mixture I used 25g cocoa and the rest self raising flour and this worked well.
For the topping and filling
200ml double cream
210g dark or milk chocolate
the decorations of your choice
Preheat the oven to 180c, 360f or gas mark 4
In a bowl cream together your softened butter and the caster sugar (I use an electric hand whisk) then add the eggs and beat until fully combined, sift in the flour/cocoa mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon. Scrape the mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin and pop in the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once the cake is in the oven feel free to lick the spoon - you're never too old.
To make the topping and filling break up the chocolate and put it into a heat proof bowl, heat the cream in a small saucepan when it is steaming its hot enough, pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Leave this mixture for several minutes for the chocolate to melt then give it a good stir after this cover it and leave it to cool completely. When it is cold and has thickened up whisk it (electric whisk again) until the colour lightens and it gains more volume.
To assemble cut the cake in half horizontally, spread a thick layer of whipped ganache and put the top of the cake on. Spread the top with another thick layer of the ganache and decorate with whatever you choose. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea.
P.S I'm already working on some variations.
And Lastly, after telling you last time that I was particularly proud of ballet kitten as she was the first thing I had designed I was looking back at the photos of some of my previous projects to put them on my instagram page @sparklingunicorncrafts and I suddenly realised that I've actually been designing for a while now but never really thought of it as designing and I was really quite startled as I have always thought of designers in terms of runways and books and truly beautiful things (think William Morris) not me in my living room. But I think this realisation has given me a little more confidence to make my own patterns. Well I must go I still have a bunny to assemble.