Celebrating Life

Saturday saw what would have been my father-in-law’s birthday.  My hubby’s sisters decided to open the garden to friends and family to try and raise some money for the hospice that helped care for him.  I was asked to make cakes so I spent Thursday morning and Friday evening making some.

 

Thursday’s cake making exercise didn’t go so well as part of the way through my electronic scales decided to die completely on me.  They had been iffy for a couple of days and were eating batteries like no tomorrow.  Thank heavens though for my local Co-op!  They had albeit small a set of scales with a dial.  It took me a while to get used to looking at the dial trying to work out which side were grams and which side were pounds and ounces.  I grew up in the time when metric was being introduced but imperial still ruled.  I use imperial quite a lot when cooking as I find it’s easy to remember.  However I decided that metric was easier to read so grams it was.   I must admit the brownies didn’t suffer from the brief disruption, but it that great baking tradition of making a mess I did managed to get the mixture over me and the kitchen!

 

The recipe I used was this one by James Martin.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chocolate_fudge_brownie_29323

Being a Coeliac I was intrigued by Chestnut flour having never cooked with it before.  I hunted high and low for it round the Birmingham area trying to find it and failing.  I ended up resorting to the internet so be warned if reading this and you fancy making it start looking now!  BTW I didn’t and  haven’t made the ice-cream or sauce to go with it (sorry James) – I like eating them as they are!

 

Chocolate Brownies

Friday at work had been a bit of a stressful day.  I still had to make the cakes and I know baking can be therapeutic – so is listening to very loud music.  So Bon Jovi “Keep the Faith” album was my theme tune for the evening  – I even tweeted and faceached that very fact.  I had some blueberries hanging around and some ground almonds so I googled those two ingredients plus cake and came up with this:

http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/archive/blueberry-and-almond-cake__o_t__t_13511.html

 

It’s the first time I’ve used soured cream in cooking.  The recipe warned that the mixture might curdle but I kept on breathing and mixing and well as you can see they turned out very well.  Pretty tasty too!

 

 

I also made my famous lemon and poppy seed cake.  I’ve been asked to make one for my local Macmillan coffee morning at the end of September.  The recipe is a Dove Farm one and because I had some of their flour left I used that.  The mixture was doubled to fit the tray bake tin.  I think though I should have tripled it as I was disappointed in the depth of the cake.  But that’s just me being greedy!

The open day went well.  The sun shone, money was raised and we had a laugh.  I know that dad was somewhere around as I swore I heard him laugh.  It was when hubby and his uncle were playing quoits.  Every time they threw one at the cross the wind came and gently blew it off course.   The garden was looking good and everyone enjoyed themselves even the bee.

I know dad would have been proud.

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