29 November 2012

Braccia Verde

My little sister has green hands.  Not just green thumbs but her entire appendages manus have the ability to coax even the most reluctant of saplings to burgeon into perfect blooms.


When she came for a surprise visit last Spring holidays I was so keen to show her my Daphne plant which I had carefully nurtured along and which was then the proud carrier of two magnificent blooms.  Behold the above photo.  Branches (yes branches, not sprigs) cut from her blatantly fragrant bushes which were "growing out of control" in her garden, comfortably nestled beneath some other larger bushes.

Made my precious two blooms look quite pitiful.  I only wish I had even one of her green digits.  Sigh....

26 November 2012

Titanic Tim Tam

This year's graduating class of 2012 informed me that their teacher's most favourite food of all time was Tim Tams.  I hastily helped them create a birthday card along this theme and then quickly scurried away to bake for her the perfect cake which I had seen online.  A most magnificent looking beast of a Tim Tam.  Thankyou, from the bottom of my hips, to the inspiring ladies at Raspberri Cupcakes.
  
 
To the uninitiated of you, the Tim Tam is a coupling of sweet (some say sickly sweet) chocolate biscuits, sandwiched together with a dense, chocolate butter cream.  This marriage of delectables  is then finally dunked in a dark chocolate icing.

It was presented to her with the "bite" taken out.
This adds to the authenticity of the cake.
You can see the tim tam effect.

The Titanic Tim Tam (my version of the cake) is two large chocolate brownies, held together tightly with a chocolate butter cream which is then drenched in a dark chocolate ganache.
 
The "removed slice" was consumed by Tom Cakes.
A Tim Tam connoisseur.

The chocolate butter cream recipe is the one used by the ladies at Raspberri Cupcakes - follow the link above to their website.  The chocolate ganache is like any recipe made using dark chocolate and hot cream.  Here now follows my recipe for chocolate brownies.
 
Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 125g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 50g plain flour
  • 35g cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • icing sugar, for dusting


Method
  1. Preheat oven to 175c (160c fan-forced).
  2. Put butter, sugar and chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Microwave on medium for 1 minute.  Stir. Repeat.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder over the chocolate mixture.  Stir to combine.
  4. Add eggs and lightly combine.
  5. Pour into a 20x20cm lined tin.  Bake 35 minutes.
  6. Remove and allow to cool on a rack.
  7. Slice off crusts when cool (using a serrated knife).  Cut into squares.  Dust with icing sugar.

Variations
  • Add 1 cup chocolate chips/bits to dry mixture (try using a mixture of dark, milk, white and now caramel chips).
  • Press 1 cup frozen raspberries into the brownie mixture just before putting it into the oven.

To make the Titanic Tim Tam
 each part of the biscuit/cake uses 1.5 times the recipe.
These are then baked in 28 x 22cm tins.



One day I'll share with you the Blondie experience.

24 November 2012

Jacqui's Birdsong

A special gift for a very special lady.

view from the front 
 
It's not often that I make a project from start to finish all with my own ideas.  This house was designed and cut out by Papier and Cakes on the Bosskut Gazelle.  It was then embellished with birds, bugs, buttons and butterflies.  For the young lady who was its intended recipient, more is more, was definitely the objective.
 
view from the back



 
Dearest Jacqui, from all of us at work, we hope that you recover soon.  We can't wait to have your similing face back at work.
 

12 November 2012

Mimi in Paris

Merci to Elise, my daughter's French Tutor.  Fingers, arms, legs and eyes crossed all your hard work and her hard studying will pay off.  My little Sally Cakes is coming to the end of her long high school life, culminating in a gruelling schedule of exams spread over a four week period.

I'm so proud that I had the foresight to ask for
red, white and blue chocolates!!
Occasionally I do have original thoughts.

You will see from this link that I got most of my inspiration from Beth.  Well actually let's face it, once having had a look at it, you'll realise that the term "inspiration" is quite loose.  I basically copied her design.


The stamp set I used is a Penny Black one called Mimi in Paris - hence the title for this post.  I just love the name - Mimi in Paris.
 
 
The background writing (which you can juuuust glimpse on the left hand side of this photo) is a GIGANTIC stamp that I recently bought from the beautiful Michelle at Stampin' Up called En Francais.  Just perfect for this card.  Although I can't actually speak French, so it could be saying something quite inappropriate and I would be none the wiser - hee hee.
 
Bon! et au revoir.
 

Papier et Gateaux

10 November 2012

Tweenie Treescape

This gift just evolved late one evening as I was rushing (again) to finish it in time for its delightful recipient the following day.


Each of the papier pieces was made as double-sided unit.  There were two different sizes of scalloped circles, a "funky" rosette and various sized balloons.  Florist wire was used for the stems, some of the pieces were curled around a copic marker to give them fluidity.  A piece of oasis was embedded into the bottom of the pot and then shredded tissue paper was used to hide the oasis.
 
 
The rosette (which was made from a 30 x 3cm piece of scrapbooking papier) was cut along one edge with zigzag scissors to create a more decorative finish.
 
Aside from the rosette, all of the pieces were cut out using the Bosskut Gazelle diecutter.
 
 
Her reaction: priceless.
 

05 November 2012

Organisansational

A place for everything and everthing in it's place.  Ever heard that before????  It's what I strive to live by, although not always successfully - case in point - the craft room in the run up to Christmas.  Hmmm, oh yes, that would be at this very minute!


However, on any given "good day" I like to think that I can find whatever I need for my next project.  Introducing my drawers for keeping A4 coloured card.
 

As you can see from the zoomed-in first image, I have added a clipart picture to each card; the name of which denotes to me the essence of the colour.


Food, of course plays a role in a few of the filing cards.
 
This system has been in operation for over ten years now.  That's got to have some merit?
 
Lazy photographer =
bad photos
Inside each drawer is an A4-sized zip lock bag into which I place any card that has been cut into.
 
 
 
Do you have any alternative suggestions for my colour images?