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Blog & Life 2015: Out With The Old.

6 Jan

I am now entering my 3rd year of blogging.

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My blog meets none of the blogging criteria of a successful blog.

But it’s my blog and a pleasure still to me as I never intended to become a ‘read blog’ nor still do I.
I have always used it as my personal muse to find the “good in everyday”.

In saying that I do however like the fact that others do pop, have a read and leave messages. This was a pleasure I never expected to have – so Thank You to those that do, despite my slack posts, poor spelling & grammar and somewhat dull wafflings.

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As mentioned ‘The Blogging Criteria’:

One of these blogging criteria recommendations is regular blog posts – fail one.

A second being combine blog with other social media – fail two.

I’ve had a huge gap in blog posts and twitter, Instead Ive been found over on IG. I’ve found IG just the right amount of social media to fit in with my schedule for the later part of 2014. But New Year – New Schedule.

I’ve organised and sorted many aspects of the HAF household over the past few months and one area that remains a shamble of miss matching posts and WIP is my blog. I feel I should give a little TLC to the poor thing which is serving me so well.

So first out with the old…

There are 3 topics which I have covered in posts over the past 2 years that have come to an end for me at least.

CPSH; Craft Photo Scavenger Hunt: I really enjoyed taking part in this. There are lots of monthly photo taking variations out there but I enjoyed the personal nature of this as it was a small group which I could actually enjoy everyone’s posts each month. Unfortunately I joined this at the end of its life really the original organiser had passed the torch on and lives got busy and the group naturally and amicably fizzled as far as I am aware.
So this topic is no longer a feature on my blog.

BHBC & CCC: ; Beaters Hut Bakers Club & Clandestine Cake Club: Again two things I tremendously enjoyed taking part in and pushing the grey baking cells and skills. But alas baking is not always easy for me as it requires a full good week as I have to shop & bake, then commit to a date a month in advance when I have no idea how I will feel, leaving me feeling pressured and letting people down. Which means I can not take part unfortunately.
But both local groups still continue successfully and with some very hard work of 2 lovely groups- much recommend.

Crafty Creatives #CC: I stopped my Crafty Creatives boxes as to be honest I was getting a little bored of the format and I didn’t have the inkling to either do the crafts or the time. As I stopped though the format changed and I was given the option to test the new format but I declined – stupidly. As I do quite like the look of the new boxes. This maybe something in future I choose to do again.
I have however in its place taken more day classes in crafts which I have greatly enjoyed too and there will continue to be blog posts about.

Things I’ve not quite finished, Blog WIP’s …

A-Z of Me: I started this with my blog essentially and haven’t got past ‘E’.
So *ahem* it is in my blog planner; oh yes my organiser has one [*Tick* one criteria of a successful blog – have a planner- I just have to use it haha], so 2015 will see more of The A-Z of Me.

WSW; Window Shopping Wednesday: I haven’t done a WSW for over a year.
My break was due to Window Shopping often turns into shopping and with the Wedding I had to resist temptation to house shop and concentrate on the Wedding.
Our Wedding didn’t actually involve that much shopping. I had a clear picture in my mind and found or made what I wanted with a little help from Family & Friends.
Instead of shopping a lot of pinning happened and you can still see all of our Blush, Gold & Navy themed wedding inspiration on my Pinterest boards [Serotiny_HAF].
One day I will share our amazing day on the blog.

I Quit Sugar; The ‘diet’/Life style of quitting sugar: Well I lasted the first 5 weeks of full detox then had my Bridal Shower & Hen Party.
A Bridal Shower Afternoon Tea Party & A Best Friend who is a cake goddess and ‘I didn’t quit sugar’. I slowly slipped down the slippery slope again.
In saying this we do not quiet have the same amount of sugar as before as I have never restocked some sugary condiments and such like. I have also continued to switch to no sugar brands of certain foods. My snacking is slightly different too I switched some snacks to things like rice cakes & nut butters and this was always the area which was a high sugar concern in my diet.
I hope in the new year to attempt this again as I did feel some benefits.

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So that’s a summery of the blog tidy & round up.

Blog Aims 2015

I aim to blog at least twice a week for now and increase my twitter communications again as I miss the interaction & knowledge to be found on twitter. I’ve found many a fab company or recommendation on twitter – not to mention twittering peeps becoming none virtual friends.

I aim to blog once a week on a positive good in the week for me, this could be snail mail, baking, a craft etc.

The second post I aim to do is continue to take part in Jocelyn at The Reading Residence, Word of the Week. I hope to make the link up most Fridays – Sundays.

The Reading Residence

My other occasional Blog Aim is to post about our Geocaching progress and have a bit of a catch up with this.

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From time to time I hope to increase posts with participating with other blog link ups as I have done in the past.

I think it’s all looking ship shape over here and ready for 2015 and a 3rd Blogging Year.

I look forward to seeing what the new year brings.

Sx

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CCC – June

18 Jun

Saturday was this months Clandestine Cake Club meet.

The theme was 5 a day.

After some Pinterest searching I decided upon…

Bavarois aux Peches

Ingredients for a 20cm tin:

For the Cake/Biscuit:
Makes 2 Sponge/ Biscuit Layers.

6 eggs separated into Egg Whites & Yolks.

80g Icing Sugar

80g Gluten Free Plain Flour

4 tablespoons Corn Flour

For the Mousse:

80ml Whole Milk

300ml Double Cream

89ml Single Cream

4 egg yolks

30g Caster Sugar

1 1/2 veggie ‘gelatine’ sachet

1 vanilla pod

500g Tinned Peaches (drained weight) or Fresh White Peaches.

1 x 450g Tin of Peaches in Syrup.

For the Glaze Topping:

1 x 450g Tin peaches in syrup (weight with syrup)
(saving 100ml of syrup)

1 x veggie ‘gelatine’ sachet

The cake/biscuit:

Preheat your oven to 170°c/350°F

Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Add the icing sugar.

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Continue to whisk your meringue until it is very firm and a brilliant white in colour; this will make sense as you whisk the colour changes from opaque – off white – to white.

Incorporate the egg yolks one by one into the meringue, then add the gf plain flour and the cornflower.

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Pour evenly onto a lined baking sheet and cook for 10/12 minutes, let completely cool down.

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This will fill 2 baking trays for your 2 cake/biscuit rounds needed.

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The Mousse:

In a pan bring the milk to the boil and add the single cream along with the split and scratched vanilla pod.

Dissolve the gelatine sachet in hot water and allow to cool slightly.
(I calculated the liquid and quantity of gelatine required)

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar until they become pale.

When the milk comes to the boil, pour it on the whisked sugar and eggs mixture and continuing to whisk.

Put it back in the pan and simmer on very very low heat stirring constantly. Do not let it boil or do this on to higher heat it will curdle. Making a custard.
Let cool down.

Blend the 500g of drained tinned peaches to a pulp.
Whip the double cream and add it with the peach pulp to the custard.

Cut 2 disks of the size of your tin from the cake/biscuit. (I lined my tin with parchment first to help lift it when it was set)

Separate the syrup and peaches of 1 450g tin of peaches. Save syrup.

Put one of the cake/biscuit disks in the bottom of the tin and moisten it with peach syrup. Don’t go over board otherwise you get a soggy base.

Dice the drained peaches and place a layer on top of the cake/biscuit base. Then pour half the mousse mixture over so peaches are covered.

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Place the second disk of cake/biscuit on top of the mousse gentle compress. Moisten with the remaining syrup, then and pour the remaining mousse over the cake/biscuit base.

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Smooth the top and put in the freezer one hour.

Gently heat 100ml of syrup in a pan and dissolve the gelatine sachet in it.
Blend 250g of drained tinned peaches to a pulp. Mix the pulp together with the syrup/gelatine mixture. Leave to slightly cool and then pour over the setting mousse layer making sure this glaze is even.

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Decorate to taste with fresh peaches & in this case I used vibrant pomegranate seeds for a boost of colour.

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Chill in the fridge for at least 3hours.

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I think, but I haven’t yet tried, adding a peach liqueur instead of just syrup would add a kick element.
If you try it let me know how it goes.

Happy Cooking

CCC – June meeting : 5-a-day

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CCC – May

30 May

Since joining twitter I’ve discovered lots of new and exciting things & inspiring people.

One of these exciting ‘things’ is the Clandestine Cake Club.

Started by Lynn Hill, with the CCC’s Mission statement being –

Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake

Sounds good hey!
Very much a life moto at Hundred Acre Farm.

The rules are No Cupcakes, Muffins, Brownies, Pies or Tart. It’s all about Cake.
So pretty simple to follow and You get to take cake home left over cake home.

So I contacted our closest local group. Their next meeting was the 1 year group anniversary and was fully booked up so they kindly popped me on the waiting list and a few days before I got an email saying there was a space eeekk. Thinking cap on!

The Theme for this met was 1st Birthday Celebration.

I decided as I had a pot of unopened lemon curd from my Easter Cake. I would recreate this as a 1st Birthday Cake.

And how did I turn it into a celebration cake I added bunting!

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I had scraps of the Cath Kidston fabric I’m using for my birds.

And with a little hand sewing …

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Tadah
Cake Bunting.

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Then for the cake …

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Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd & Mascarpone Icing.

300g/ 10.5 oz Unsalted Butter
300g/ 10.5 oz GF Self Raising Flour
300g/ 10.5 oz Caster Sugar
6 Eggs
A Slosh of Milk
To Taste Lemon Essence
2 tsps Vanilla Essence

Icing

750g ish Mascarpone Cheese I had oddments left.
A Jar of Lemon Curd again I had oddments left over.
Icing Sugar
Natural Yellow Food Dye

This makes 3, 20cm tin Victoria Sponges.

The Icing: Add Icing Sugar to taste into the mascarpone and mix in, then stir through the lemon curd marbling it in.

For the Icing covering the cake I changed the icing colour to a natural dyed lemon yellow this time to match the lemon flavour.

And one last final touch one pink candle.

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One celebration cake:

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There were some fantastic cakes and though I couldn’t taste them (being silly coeliac) Mr S assures me all were scrummy and I took away some great ideas for Gluten Free bakes and inspiration for decorations for future cakes.

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I only took a few pictures on my phone. These are some of the ladies lovely creations!

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I’ve booked my place at June’s CCC meet. The Theme next month Get Your Five-a-Day!

I’ve already started looking for recipes and I’ve started a whole new Pinterest board for my Clandestine Cake ideas! (Serotiny HAF).

S

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