My place to share lots of photographs of my random crafty, makery, bakery and cookery projects, as well as random thoughts that might strike me and are too long for Twitter...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Project: Christmas Cake

So, I decided to cheat with Christmas cakes this year, and use a kit. More specifically, this kit:

which apparently is exactly the same as the Delia Smith one, but the Delia requires you to add more butter, and some salt. I've never tried the Delia one, so I wouldn't know.

All mixed up and ready to go!

OK, I know all frutcake/Christmas pudding mix looks disgusting. But it smelled AMAZING, so just pretend that you are smelling Christmas in a bowl, and not looking at something bearing a passing resemblance to Santa vomit.

**Many delicious-smelling hours later**

One cake!

It baked a little unevenly, which is odd as I followed the instructions (including making a little paper "hat" to protect the top during baking, which was a b!tch to do), but overall it was a great kit to do!

Friday, 18 November 2011


If you noticed posts appearing and disappearing over the past couple of days, that's because I am immensely forgetful and so I have been scheduling my weekly posts so that I don't forget to do them, and get them up in time (or as best I can) for people's last order dates for Christmas.

All posts will be back on their scheduled dates. :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Project: Trufflicious Pt.2

Well, the truffles went down wonderfully well, if I do say so myself. :D

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photograph on a proper camera of the finished articles, but I did grab this snap on my BB before they all got snaffled.

I also didn't have enough chocolate to coat all of the filling balls I made...which was how I made this lovely discovery...

Why yes, that is two gingernuts with a truffle ball squashed in the middle by way of filling. And very nice it was too.

Check It Out! Hey Cutie!

I work in a shop, in a shopping center. However, I don't do my Christmas shopping there if I can help it.

I'll be trying to buy whatever I can't make myself for gifts this Christmas from private crafters/sellers wherever possible this year, so I will also be sharing with you some of my favourite people/companies over the coming weeks until Christmas...

First up: The lovely "Hey Cutie!" design have LOADS of original jewellery designs available cut from acrylic in amazing colours and made right here in Sheffield. Here are some of my favourites:

"Cat's Eyes" [Also available in Black or Red, £8]

"Two For Joy" [£8] 

Personalised Name Necklace [Also available in (deep breath) Red, Blue, Baby Blue, Maroon, Yellow, Green, Lime, Orange, Barbie Pink, Baby Pink or Black, £15]

Teacup Ring [£4.50]
There are loads more items available, necklaces, brooches and earrings, so if you are looking for something hand-made and unusual for Christmas pressies, head over to http://www.heycutie.co.uk/ .

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Project: Peppermint (Spearmint!) Bark

Well, the camera finally decided to co-operate with the laptop, so may I present, without further ado, Spearmint Bark:

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Project: Trufflicious Pt.1

I'm still messing around with mixes of chocolate, etc, so this is an experimental batch. Plus, I got to test my super-cute truffle cases.

"Left Over" truffle, setting ready for rolling later.
How much do you want to stick your face in that? :)

I ♥ the hearts!
('Scuse the messy plate...).

I'll probably roll out the spare tonight/tomorrow, and dust them with cocoa/icing sugar before they get frozen/eaten.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Super Cute!

Check out these little cuties:

They're sold as cupcake cases...Imagine the tiny cupcakes!!

Instead they will be choccy/truffle cases. :)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

How NOT to Make Peppermint Bark

I decided that Peppermint Bark was too expensive to purchase from the expensive shops that sell it, when it can be made so easily at home.

I should have learned from past experience that dubbing any project "easy" immediately angers the cooking gods, thus rendering any project anywhere between frustrating and impossible. My current blatant disregard for the Rule of Cooking Gods resulted in the following evening's farse:

How NOT To Make Peppermint Bark

Try to photograph my "new" shiny Chocolatiere gadget...camera began eating batteries and refusing to take pictures.
Try again with camera #2...flash still dud, photos either black or bleached out.
Give in on photos and attempt to weigh chocolate. Scales won't switch on.
Finally get white chocolate into chocolatiere. Realise too late that the amount I am looking at thinking "that should be enough!" actually has to cover twice the area as I thought it did (top and bottom).
Find bowl, pan, and boil kettle to melt milk chocolate for new bottom layer that should be white chocolate.
Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Spread melted milk chocolate onto baking paper, put in fridge.
First layer accomplished! Yay!
Second layer, ganache. Get out ingredients. Go to empty and dry boiling water pan for putting ganache ingredients in. Come back with dried pan.
Realise block of chocolate in wrapper was accidentally placed on the recently switched off electric hob ring, and is now floppy.
Scrape chocolate off wrapper and into pan. Add other ingredients.
Realise that bottle of "Peppermint Essence" in the cupboard is actually vanilla.
Realise that peppermint sweets bought to make peppermint bark are actually spearmint.
Realise that sandwich bag container is empty.
Fashion half-assed sweet receptical out of clingfilm. Add spearmint balls.
Attempt to crush balls by whacking with rolling pin/heavy-based saucepan/heavy handle. Fail.
Transfer balls from wreckage of clingfilm into a bowl. Attempt pestle and mortar style crushing with glass bowl and utensil handle. Fail.
Give in and dig out blender. Transfer pristine, un-damaged, un-crushed balls from bowl to blender. BLITZ!!
Feel satisfied with neat crushed mintballs/powdered flavouring for ganache.
Melt chocolate and make ganache.
Attempt to pour powdered balls into pan.
Realise that heat from the blender has in fact melted the "powder" and it is in fact a granulated lump which is stuck in/under/around the non-removable blades in the blender.
Hack lump out with a knife, and resume pestle and mortar technique to break up the powder again.
Add to ganache, stir in, and spread onto bottom layer. Put back in fridge.
Layer 2 accomplished. Yay!
Break up mint powder again (what is wrong with this stuff?!), and add to white chocolate in chocolatiere.
Wait 15 mins, then spread white chocolate onto other two layers. Put back in fridge.
Go to transfer photos of process from THIRD camera onto laptop.
Both pieces of electronic wizardary insist on ignoring each other, despite being connected with a cable.

So, I will, one day, when my appliances stop revolting, provide photographic evidence of the evening's proceedings (not the profanity, that could not be captured in photographic form).

Project: Christmas 2010 Cross Stitch

It took over a year to finish this thing, and I squeaking LOVE it.

You might recognise my little grey squirrel. :)

I can tell you that the time estimates they give in magazines are WAYYYYYYYY off. I know this because this one said "85 Hours" and it actually took over 10 months. :S