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      Baking, baking and baking

      22nd July   

      When sad news hits you, how do you respond?  If you can answer that then I am sorry for your sadness.  Me, I have discovered much to my surprise I bake!  There is something comforting, warming and a little bit like being wrapped in a warm snugly blanket about creating comfort food and watching others enjoy; a little bit of happiness. So what have I been baking, well in the last three weeks I have just worked out that I have baked:

      5 banana cakes
      an apple cake
      4 chocolate cakes
      3 bakewell tart cakes
      4 chocolate cakes
      a fruit cake
      kransekake see post  here for details
      120 waffles
      and a
      raspberry and white chocolate cake
      Luckily I do not really eat cake (my vice is chocolate) otherwise I might be as big as a house!  I just realised that it works out to be on average 7 cakes a week.  I am beginning to slow down, so maybe I am slowly healing too.  Unlike me though, I have not focused on taking photographs as is my normal want, but I did manage to take a picture this week of a new bake that I had not made before, but was such a hit that I shall make it again.  The raspberry and white chocolate cake.  Give it a try for a tea time treat.  We discovered that in this wonderful heat we have been having here in the south of England, that the cake did well being left in the fridge so as not to melt the ganache sandwiched between the two cake layers.  Just a thought...
      Top of cake before dusting of icing sugar.
      Raspberry & White Chocolate Cake 
      ♥  200g sugar
        100g white chocolate
        4 large eggs
        200g sugar
        200g s r flour
        175g raspberries
      For the ganache
        200g white chocolate
        250ml double cream
        icing sugar for dusting
        Grease & line 2 x 20cm round loose bottomed cake tins
        Pre heat oven to 182 degrees GM4
      Cake bases:
      Cube butter and break up chocolate pieces.  Set in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Melt slowly and stir occasionally.  When melted remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
      Beat in the eggs and sugar gradually, into the cool chocolate mixture with an electric whisk.
      Fold in the flour and raspberries.
      Divide mixture gently between the greased cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden in colour.
      Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tins before removing them.
      Place broken up chocolate pieces and only 100ml of the double cream into a heat proof bowl over simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate and cream have melted and the mixture is smooth and silky in appearance.
      Leave ganache to cool to room temperature.
      Beat in the remainder of the cream into the cooled ganache.
      Putting it altogether.
      Once cakes have cooled, sandwich them together with the ganache and when ready to serve sprinkle over icing sugar.

      recipe by John Whaite on BBC Good Food
      ♥Sending cake love to you all♥

Colour zest for the garden

3rd July

It is here!  It has arrived!  The outdoor Autentico paint that I have been waiting on.  Today was the first opportunity I had to visit this fabulous shop in Marlow:  http://www.sarahughes.co.uk/ Where Sara had kindly put away the colour of my choice for me, Heliotrope.  Admittedly I was initially after a more hot house kind of pink, but am delighted by this result never the less.   As with all Autentico paints,(see post here)  little or no preparation is needed.  Just slap it on, let it dry and enjoy!  I love it, what do you think?

The quiet hidden corner in the garden was looking unloved and for sometime now I had wanted to add a splash of colour, today was the day!

The bench is old and a little wobbly and beginning to rot, but we will ignore that.  There was some moss that had attached itself to the bench, so the only preparation I did was to wire brush it off, I did not prepare any other parts of the bench at all, just where there was greenery.

Oooh, that is pink! Yikes, 'wonder what the family will think kept creeping into my mind',
but it didn't stop me as you will see..

At this point I started to become excited.

This photograph was taken to show you that I really did not prepare the wood at all.

Sara suggested that I apply two coats, but today I was short on time, so this is only one coat and it took me just under an hour.  If I have time tomorrow, I will 'slap on' coat number two.

With a little cushion dressing, (see here ) I think the corner has begun to 'zing'.

Umm, what should I do with that fence though?!?!?

Despite being rushed off my feet in various things, I took five minutes to enjoy the new corner as I like to think of now.  It is hidden from the house and no one would know I am here, even with such a bright colour addition.  Yes, I can envisage some summer crocheting evenings sitting here...

Hope you have a bright and cheery week!