Friday, 23 March 2012

Sing with me "I'm a Biscuiteer" really, I'm singing it.

Hello my friends!
I hope you are all fine and dandy. I am feeling good today after a week of the most awful cold.  It's still there, lingering but compared to earlier in the week I feel great!
I wanted to share with you my Mother's Day baking.  Usually I do a nice dinner for our Mums (remember last years next morning hangover on my birthday?) but this year I felt like a wee change. so I grabbed these and some other ingredients and ventured forth in to the land of the Biscuiteers.
(there should be trumpets at this bit so just pretend okay)

I ordered some flower sugarpaste (which btw dries unbelievably fast even compared to regular sugarpaste!) and a daffodil cutter and added to my wee collection of colour paste (I had to bin a whole load that I'd had for years but I'm slowly rebuilding it). The end result were these little fellows.

With no foam pad to sit them in/on (mental note to obtain one) I resorted to making them comfy in upturned icing nozzles balanced in the holes of my wee metal pot trivet. Did the job though.  I'm glad I went with making the trumpet a slightly darker, more orange yellow (although difficult to see in the above photo). They turned out lovely I think.
Now onto the biscuits.
I've had the Biscuiteer book for a couple of months now.  I have always used a Nigella recipe for biscuits which is great, but, the icing always made the biscuits soften and it is impossible to sit the biscuits atop of one another without a right old mess.  Not to mention disastrous consequences for the icing design, so I was interested in trying the Biscuiteer way of doing it because of the icing being harder and therefore easier to transport etc.  I did that thing I sometimes do though, with the recipe.  I read that the plain biscuits called for granulated sugar and I went ahead adding it in the full knowledge that unrefined golden sugar of any kind does not act in the same way as refined.  You can see in the next photo I was right.  The sugar is still apparent even after baking.  It didn't effect the taste but next time I should trust my baking or sugar knowledge and change to caster (cannae use bleached).

The biscuits were/are very tasty.  Adding golden syrup really made them taste delicious.
Now to the icing.
Again I followed the recipe knowing full well I was making too much but you know I am not a Master Baker so I bow to the idea that other people may know something I don't and therefore I go with them, even, on occasion, when I have and instinct something is not right.  But you know, with baking, you have to be precise.  The fundamentals are not to be tweaked, flavours etc sure, and you never want to end up in that awful situation of 'not enough' so you go with it. Anyhoo, I had way too much icing but let me tell you, Royal icing whisked up in a Kitchenaid for five minutes is a glorious sight. Beautiful and glossy like meringue.
Now this is where I get a bit irritated and I know I shouldn't.  I hate hate hate that I am not better with an icing bag.  It drives me nuts. I get that it takes practice.  I know that but I want to be perfect instantly and no matter how much older and hopefully wiser I get, I still do not learn this lesson. I was not happy with the end result but I will persevere.

I love doing the polka dots with the flood icing though, it's a lot of fun and the daffies look really good, if I do say so myself.

See, look at that line icing....grrrr!

They looked great all packaged up in recycled tubs from the supermarket ( I cannae throw anything away that can be used to package up baking). They tasted really good too, once we got used to the idea of crunchier icing.  I liked that they got put back in the oven on a really low temperature to dry out as this meant I could pile them up in their boxes. 
I have plans to make them for EVERYBODY'S birthdays this year if anything to justify adding to my cookie cutter collection.

I am just a wee bit pleased I can now call myself a 'Biscuiteer' but I cannot help asking.  Where's my sword and I demand Gene Kelly has a well choreographed sword fight in front of me in those 'tight' tights.


Here's the book, click on the image to go to Amazon.  What can I say, it's where I  get my craft/baking book fix from.

(image from Amazon)


Monday, 12 March 2012

Spring forward and back to Easter.

The latest Mollie Makes magazine dropped through my letterbox this morning and the cover filled me with thoughts of Easter past and present.
Easter means, for me, Spring and also birthdays (mine and Eldest Biscuit's to name two of half a dozen), renewal and the colour yellow.  Chocolate of course and weekends with my lovely wee family, holidays from school and work. I do like spring, even if it's usually always still baltic here in my wee bit of Scotland.  Yet the sun shines and that is always lovely don't you think?

So down I sat with my mag and my cappuccino.

Mollie Makes has egg cosies on it's cover that took me back a couple of years.  You may remember I knitted these for Teacher gifts way back in 2010.

Seems like such a long time ago now.

The pattern for these is there for all now in issue twelve and they are well worth the time to knit them up.  Although now I am looking at the photos I did change the pattern after I knitted up the blue one. I confess I hate hate hate garter stitch with a passion.  I think it shows up uneven tension and is quite ugly.  I'm also surprised when designers choose it over other stitches that look so much better.  Anyways I changed the cuff to 'rib' which I thinks looks loads better. I might have to make one for me as I frogged the blue one to make the phone cover you see in the first photo. They are cute and I remember the Teachers I made them for loved them too.

I do love Mollie Makes, such a lovely, inspiring magazine.

Take care, my lovelies.


(there is a correction for the crochet flower brooch pattern here if you need it)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A feast for the eyes!


 What else?

I made these pretties a wee while ago and I'm so glad I took some photos to share their lovely colours with you.  Sorry I have no actual lamingtons to give you (especially you, Victoria), you know I would share any of my bakes with you all and invite you round for a cuppa any day of the week.

You'll just have indulge in looking and then run off and bake something moreish!

Recipe from this...

(image from Amazon)
Click on image to take you to amazon where you can have a look inside if you like.

I love this (and the previous one) so much so I'm urging you to beg borrow or steal it,if you haven't already got it.

Aren't you glad I shared the glory of:

Take care, my lovelies.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Spring is in the air...

...even though we woke up to a thick layer of frost this morning.
However Spring is poking it's head up with the daffodils and crocuses.  I have especially been 'feeling it' in my sewing.
The last few weeks I have been embroidering the Daisychain Sampler pattern from Alicia Paulson's Rosy Little Things shop.  I an sewing it in floss rather than crewel and I have been loving it, finding it remarkably soothing and one of the most enjoyable things I have ever made.  I realise as time goes on my true crafting love is hand sewing.  Something I began to learn/feel as I was sewing hex after hex together.  I haven't really tackled embroidery much before, a wee bitty here and there and a dip of the toes in some cross stitch, although I discovered I'm not keen on that. This is my first real foray into such a varying amount of stitches.
Take a looksee...

My cool wee Loftus on the Hipstamatic and north facing window are not doing the colours justice so 'here's one I took earlier'...

 I made this wee house for my Kindle too, copying some of the flower designs from the above pattern and adding a bumblebee and sunny buttons.

I put wadding it it for protection and am glad I made one myself  but I never enjoy using a sewing machine as much as I continually think I am going to.
No doubt I'll make an Autumn/Winter house for it too.  Love my Kindle.  Much easier to stroke cats whilst reading...

I cannot leave without a photo of cake, too pretty to leave out.

Take care, my lovelies.



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