Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Spring Time Hottie

There is something so delicious about being able to make something practical and pretty out of the basic stitches that I know. So far this has equated to plenty of baby blankets of varying styles for friends and family, all the flowers at our wedding, the odd boho-hairband and now these. 

I made this as a gift for my Aunt's special birthday and took inspiration at the fauna in bloom at the beginning of April. It just so happened to also be Chocolate Weekend, hence the mini eggs. These did not last long -  especially the ones that were left over from the party. 

I literally drank them out of the glass.

I need to become more confident in my crochet skills and despite falling behind with the raised voice declaration of "I shall get my head the hell around Amigurumi this May!! I SHALL!!" It turns out, I shall not.

 I am, however, confident in making these hot-bot covers.

An idea which makes use of those little scrappy bits you have in your work basket, I changed mine slightly to a squared off pattern  and worked the neck whilst the bottle was in place (read: my skills don't quite stretch to increase/decrease -  so I shut my eyes and hope for the best).

Adapted from #GrannyHottie by Foxs Lane, I have made a few of these now and they are becoming a firm favourite to whip up. Especially at this time of year when I can pick up the actual hot water bottle for a snip of the price. 

That said -  May it may be, but warm it ain't -  and I have a feeling I shall be getting my own one out this evening.

Mmmmmmm -  snuggly!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Historical Bakery - VE Day Eggless Chocolate Buns

From hair to history, there was a time when I would blog about most things Second World War related. It all caught my attention. And, don't get me wrong, it still does. But, I find myself nowadays, more likely than not, a little more focused on the Great War and the era of Bohemian 1920's. Still history -  just a bit further back.

This is reflected in what I have been reading, wearing and watching. But not baking. Oh no. There are far more recipes in my books to be explored from the WW2 era before I head off towards something else.

So, when the 70th anniversary of V.E Day dawned, I headed straight for my trusted Victory Cookbook by Marguerite Patten to seek something out. I have yet to look fully into the history of my new street (whole house tour coming soon folkettes), but I am sure, like many, it may of hosted a street party.

Push the boat out I thought - make something with cocoa. Oooh, the victory day luxury!  I landed on these delicious sounding Chocolate Buns and decided to give them a whirl.

225g SR flour, or plain with 2 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
75g melted margarine
75g sugar
225ml hot water
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarb of soda
few drop of vanilla essence

Pop the oven on to 180c / 350F / GM 4 and boil the kettle.

Melt the margarine over a low heat whilst you sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Add the sugar and mix together. 

With the freshly boiled water, heat your table spoon in a cup and then use this to measure out your golden syrup. Add this to your 225ml of hot water in a separate bowl and then add the bicarb. This should fizz & rise rapidly, but don't worry if not -  mine didn't until it was added to the dry items.

Stir all items together, including your now melted margarine. It will start to form a stringy, slightly sticky dough. I plopped spoonfuls on to the lined baking tray, but, I think with floured hands the more skilled out there might be able to fashion these into more bun-looking offerings.

Bake for 15-20 mins until firm.

Now -  be careful to measure out the right amount of bicarb. Don't do as I do, and wing it. You'll end up with, like I did -  a version that has a hint of soap about it. On making them again - I decided that they needed a little something more. I think a dash more cocoa might do the trick -  or adding the cocoa mixed with a little hot water to bring out the flavour. They were very nice, quite firm and delicious with a thin spread of butter. 

A definite victory in this house.


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