Sunday, 24 August 2008

Fruits of my labours

No jewellery today I'm afraid. I've been being a bit of a domestic goddess over the past few days. Firstly the house needed a good clean, specifically a hoover. My folks came to stay for a few days and the extra footfall meant more mess. Actually the hoovering needed doing before they arrived but I decided not to do it as I knew there would be more to do once they left. The question is can I use this logic to permanently postpone my cleaning - I don't think my braincell would survive, it hurts when I see too much dust on my skirting boards!
I've also spent some time the garden, yesterday was nice enough for us to hack at the bushes down the side. I keep pruning them in order to thicken them out, the idea is eventually the hedge strimmers can come out and we can just wizz down the whole lot, but I think that is a few years in the present.
My veg patch hasn't been all that productive this year. My fine beans got munched my wireworms (I think), I've had a good crop of lettuce, but my second lot is being very slow. The mangtout was okay for about 4 weeks and the the babycorn has yet to do much really. I have yellow and black courgettes growing, the former are finally doing something and the latter look decidedly green! Nothing is producing much per plant though, my potato barrels (first year) did okay anfd my tomotoes though not a heavy crop - in some cases only a few fruit per plant- are starting to ripen. This is my first pick; plums, songold and a baby tom mum inlaw gave me. I am pleased with the plums as this is the first year I have done them and they are the best cropper so far.

I've also been inspired to bake again, something I have not done much off since my son was born (he is now nearly 2 and a half). Before he was born, I used to do lots of baking for the Country Markets but funnily enough I haven't had that much time since he arrived!
Well, reading Lauras efforts at brown ale and cheese bread the other day, I was tempted. So out came my recipes torn from various magazines. I settled on chocolate mayonnaise cake - yes it does work and tastes yummy.

The mayo is used instead of eggs and butter. It actually makes for a really easy recipe and its taste rather good too. It's a little rich so we had it with creme raiche and raspberries - yum. If you fancy trying it here is the recipe - I'm an old style pounds and ounces girl.

Rich Chocolate Cake

  • 9.5 oz SR flour
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 7oz mayo (I used l.f and it worked)
  • 4tbsp cocoa powder dissolved in 8floz boiled water
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

Mix all the above together and beat for 2 mins with an electric beater - I did it my hand until it was well mixed. Line a 9inch loose bottomed tin (mine was 8inch) and cook for 35 mins at 180C. Mine took a little longer as it was deeper and it cracked a bit on the top as I think I should have reduced the heat due to it being a fan oven.

Top with 6oz 70% chocolate melted with 9floz double cream which has been melted together and then cooled. This produced too much topping for me, so you could use less. Enjoy if you decide to try it.

No comments: