Saturday, February 27, 2010

I was a teenage mother....godmother that is!

I was 12 when my youngest cousin, FireBug was born.
I was shocked (but thrilled) to be asked to be his godmother.
To say that FireBug is a character is a bit of an understatement.
He has been entertaining our family with his antics for the last 17 years.
Imagine a 5 year old who is home sick from school, asks his grandmother (who is babysitting him) if he can phone his friends but instead calls the police for a chat and you have my godson.

Today is Firebug's birthday.
He's never been a big one for sweet food but has always loved plain shop brought biscuits covered in icing and splattered with sprinkles.
So I've put on my godmother hat and made him some of his favourite treats.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's over.... career as a uni student that is.
After two of the hardest years of my life, a research project that gave me insomnia, limited spare time and being stuck in front of a computer for 2/3 of the day I am finally free.

My final research report is ready to be bound and presented to my supervisor.
I'm returning to teaching while I look for a job and I could not be happier with all the free time that awaits me this year. Well, once we finish renovating our house and get married in April that is.222My reward for finally writing that 12000 word report?

A chance to bake a cake using real Cacao.
Yep, I've never used real Cacao before. After this I don't think I'll use anything but Dutch-processed Cacao from now on.
Opening the box of Droste Cacao was like breathing into a chocolate cloud.

Some internet research opened my eyes to the fact that not every recipe calling for cacao allows you to substitute Dutch-processed instead of the natural form. Apparently only recipes that list baking powder instead of soda can contain the Dutch-processed. Whoops! My bad.

Recipe for Chocolate Layer Cake
150g chopped butter
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa (I used Dutch-Processed but you already knew that)
1/2 bicarb soda
1/2 milk (I made mine buttermilk by adding vinegar)

Grease a deep 20cm round cake pan.
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Beat on low speed with either a handheld or electric miser until ingredients are combined.
Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and has changed colour.
Spoon and spread mixture into prepared pan.
Bake in a moderate over for roughly 70 minutes. (I actually texted mine at 60 minutes and it was already perfect)

Cover cake with the icing of your choice.
I used lemon buttercream as I'm slightly obsessed with buttercreams at present.