What can I say? I love sweets, in all shapes and sizes! You only live once, so why not indulge once in a while? Or, in my case, most of the time...
Oh baby. I had a slice of delicious lemon drizzle cake from Flour and Stone ages ago and became so obsessed with making it at home that I must have gone through half a dozen recipes before I got to one that I was happy with. Its like sunshine in a cake. This is not at all a recreation but just a damn good lemon cake which I think should be a staple in any baker’s repertoire. I mean, look at it…
Delicious, moist cake with a super tangy, sugary icing. As if your mouth isn’t watering just thinking about making this. P.s. like how arty I am now? With that little lemon in the shot as well as the cake? Yeah, im a real pro.
Ive re-discovered the Nigella Lawson cookbook How To Be A Domestic Goddess and have a few more recipes coming from her in blog posts to come. And yes, they will come. Now that i’m on holidays and have finished a super stressful (but very rewarding) year, I have lots of time for blogging. Fourth post this month peeps! Yeah!
The original recipe just uses normal flour but its such a small percentage of the whole thing that I swapped it with gluten free flour. That way I could make it for my friend’s birthday. I’m still a little wary of the ability of gluten free flour to properly emulate non-gf flour so i’m not quite game to use it in large quantities say for cookie dough or the like. Baby steps for me.
As you can see, the cake is super dense so not for the faint of heart. But, for all its density it is wonderfully moist and the tangy icing sets it off beautifully. The best thing about this is that you can adjust the lemon flavour to your liking just by tweaking how much zest and juice you add. Although, I tend to think the more lemon the better. But hey, do what you like! I’m so glad that I re-discovered this baby as there had definitely been a bit of a citrus drought in the old Casa KB and this cake set us back in balance. And a slice counts as a serve of fruit doesn’t it?
So my lovelies, what old favourite have you re-discovered recently?
Hello Sunshine Lemon Cake (adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Damp Lemon and Almond Cake Cake)
225g soft unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
50g plain gluten free flour
225g ground almonds
zest and juice of 2 lemons
Lemon Icing Ingredients
2 cups icing sugar
1 scant tbsp warm water
lemon juice to taste
1. Cream butter and sugar until super super pale
2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition
3. When everything is incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds and lemon zest and juice
4. Pour mixture into a 20cm round cake tin and bake for roughly an hour at 180 degrees celsius (check after about 40 mins and if the cake is browning too quickly, cover with alfoil)
5. Boom! Moist and delicious cake. Ready for icing when its cooled.
1. Sift icing sugar into a bowl
2. Stir in lemon juice
3. Add the water in small additions until icing had reached desired consistency. You want it thick and lava-like rather than runny. That way it will coat the top of the cake but give you a nice thick layer of zingy icing.
So, Christmas is creeping closer and so does the pressure of finding at least a passable gift – particularly for co-workers and neighbours. I find these people so difficult to buy for because I want to find something nice but not too pricey. If it’s cute too then that is a massive bonus. Ive learnt that with the flurry of work that happens at the end of Term 4, baking gifts for my teaching colleagues is definitely way too hard so that’s one stand-by option off the table. Then I hit on this. Individual cocktail gifts. Something all teachers definitely need at the end of the year! Perhaps even to keep in your desk in case of emergencies?
It started because I knew that one of my colleagues loves a good gin and tonic and, really, everyone needs a stiff drink by the end of the year. But I thought that giving everyone the same gift was 1. boring and 2. not great because not everyone is a G+T fan (poor souls). I put my thinking cap on and realised that the possibilities really were endless due to the range of tiny bottles of alcohol on sale and small cans of mixers. So I ended up with individual:
The key to making a nicely wrapped gift out of this is the coaster on the bottom. This gives you some nice crisp edges and ensures that everything stays where you put it. I bought a bunch of them for $4 at KMart! Booyah!
And fairly cheap too if you’re making a few. The most expensive part of this present is the individual bottles of booze.
All up, depending on where you buy the glasses, this gift will set you back about $10 each.
How are all you lovelies going with your present buying?
Individual Cocktail Gifts – Ingredients
1 glass (doesn’t need to be fancy, just big enough to hold the can of mixer)
1 can of mixer of your choice (tonic, soda water, lime and soda, cola, ginger beer, lemonade)
1 lime – because lime makes every cocktail better
1 bottle of alcohol that matches your mixer
1 quantity of cellophane and ribbon
Now that its December I can start to properly get into the spirit of the festive season. And that means carols, christmas decorations and cocktails. And gift buying. Or… gift making! My well-documented love of spiced rum meant that earlier in the year I figured i’d just try to make my own rather than fork out $40 every time I wanted a new bottle. Although this recipe probably doesn’t save that much money (on account of the fairly high price of good golden rum) the main attraction is that you can tweak the flavours to suit your tastes. They also make fabulous gifts as they keep well and look so cute and personalised while actually being very easy to make.
This is all you need
Give or take some spices that you might like to add to suit your taste
And how is this for an easy peasy recipe…
Chuck everything in a bottle.
After a week of storage in a dark cupboard, the rum goes an even lovelier dark caramel colour and its smells delicious!
With at least a few more weeks until christmas, you could definitely whip these up for some gifts.
KB Spiced Rum – Ingredients
1 500ml jar (you need one with a wide neck so that you can fish out the spices)
450 ml golden rum
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean
2 star anise
6 little gratings of fresh nutmeg
1. Pour rum into jar
2. Split open the vanilla bean and place, along with all other spices, into the jar
3. Seal tightly
4. Store in a dark place for 1 week (you can take a peek occasionally and give the bottle a good shake)
5. After 1 week, fish the spices out of the jar (you might need to decant the mixture and sieve it back in. If you are doing this, use a funnel or risk losing precious rum)
6. Store for as long as you like. Although you will want to drink this baby pretty soon.
Note: You can mess around with the quantities of the spices. I made a vanilla rum with just more vanilla beans. If you make it in a small batch you can always up the quantities when you find a mix that you like. Have fun!
Hubs has a habit of buying quirky and awesome things.
Last year, he bought me this cute retro bud vase for my birthday. I love this lady, just chilling on
the super cool, shiny conch shell. She’s a little bit flinstones, a little bit Gidget and a lot of awesome.
For ages I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Then we hit on the idea of potting a succulent into it.
so I just teased out the roots and divided the plant
Sounds like the name of a classical painting doesn’t it?
Here she is, peeking around the plant.
I think its pretty nifty!
Now i’m sure i’m supposed to do something like drill a drainage hole
or pot the plant using proper potting mix rather than the soil that came with the plant but…
And this looks pretty spiffy.
I’m pretty sure you could do it too!
Have any of you lovelies done any diy-ing recently? I’d love to hear about it!
Hey there kids! This is just a quick post to let you all know that i’m still alive. And eating gelato burgers.
Yes, you heard that right.
Hubs and I heard about Cremeria De Luca in Five Dock through Broadsheet and seriously, going there was a no brainer. Gelato and burgers are basically two of the best things ever. This place is super cute and friendly and with a limited menu, its easy to choose what you want. It was refreshing to see that the variety of flavours was in single digits with some pleasant surprises amongst old favourites. I can safely say that this summer will be devoted to attempting to re-create the delicious cinnamon flavoured gelato that I had on my burger! How is it that cinnamon gelato has not yet become a thing???
I really love my life. When it comes to the crunch, despite all the whinging I do, there is very very little I would ever change. Each year I try to make things a little bit better and try to sort out my emerging life as a proper adult. Along the way I have had to have some realisations about my inherent nature. These are things that will probably not change but probably should…
I’m a total homebody
I’ll never be a glamazon-too-cool-for-school-party-animal. I really just like wearing pyjamas, drinking tea and generally lounging around the apartment in various states of undress. And I love masseur sandals. When my fiance confessed that he really wanted some for christmas, I heaved a sigh of relief because i’ve always wanted some too! Possibly less attractive than crocs, these shoes are the comfiest shoes i’ve ever had and they’re the best thing to slip into after a long long day.