if (like lovers do) or in my case those with a wooden leg (sore foot) your planning a within these four walls party this weekend you might like to browse this little-little list of nice things. you can do them all at home alone - or with/while the person you call your own lies beside you. happy weekend.
a 'monkey see, monkey do' brekkie. number 3 on repeat. let your hair down or up.
Sophie here, calling in from a little blog called Stovetop Revolution. i’m sweeping into Jessie’s wonderful spot on the internet to bake you girls something sweet for afternoon tea. if Jessie is a hearts and stars kind of girl, i’m the kind made of salted caramel and a little butter, with a penchant for picnics and outdoor cinemas. and cake, of course.
this here is a Malaysian Honeycomb Cake, or as its Malaysian name (kuih sarang semut) translates as, an ‘ants nest cake’. sugar is cooked and melted down to a swirly, sticky amber toffee, and is mixed with that magnificent stuff they call condensed milk, flour, butter and vanilla, and all that bakes up to a beautifully dark cake, with a sort of lacy, crackled toffee top, and hollow rivers that run through the insides (thus the antsy name) that you can spy when you cut a slice. it’s a little bouncy in texture, but i love the chewiness of it, it gets stuck in your teeth and also in your brain. i’ve been thinking about it all week. happy baking, and thanks to Miss Aylmore for having me over here even if only for a little while.
Malaysian Honeycomb Cake (ants nest cake)
adapted from Two Asian Kitchens by Adam Liaw.
220g caster sugar
85g unsalted butter, softened
1/2tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
125ml condensed milk
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
preheat a fan-forced oven to 170 degrees.
place the caster sugar in a medium-large frying pan mixed with about 3 tbs of water (to help the melting process) and heat over a medium-high heat, try not to stir it, until melted to a dark caramel. this will take about 8-10 minutes. turn the heat down to low, and add 250ml of water to the frying pan – stand back because it will spit and solidify, but it’s ok, just keep stirring with a wooden spoon over low heat until and the sugar has redissolved back into the water, and you have a thin liquid caramel. set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
grease an 18cm round cake tin with butter, and line the bottom with a bit of baking paper. in a large bowl, cream the butter and the vanilla extract together using an electric mixer until it is pale and fluffy.
in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined and add to the butter, along with the condensed milk and cooled caramel. sift together the flour and bicarb soda, and gently whisk them into the egg batter – careful not to over-mix the batter or the cake will be a bit tough. don’t worry if there are little globs of butter in the mixture, these are what cause the little “rivers” in the cake, they’re meant to be there.
pour the batter into the cake tin and leave to sit on the counter for about 5 minutes. bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the cake is springy to a gentle touch in the centre. leave to cool in the tin, and then run a knife around the edge before turning out onto a serving plate. wash down with a cup of Earl.
friends!! super dooper news! as a part of the 2012 L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival cultural program, Click! Fashion Photographers on Film will screen from March 8 - 15. showcasing snaps of the most sneaky on-the-street style peepers and with images and credits by Mr. Bill Cunningham himself, i see no clear reason not to start popping those golden kernels. almost out of breath with anticipation and extra excitement, just imagine me at the screening. don't mind to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to politely - be quiet!! (wowsee!! i'm finger happy with the exclamation mark, aren't i).
do you remember the marvellous Sophie and her Stovetop Revolution? she taught me to make this 'put the love in the coconut' biccie and she's baked us a cake! not just any old cup of cocoa, stick of butter sponge, ooh nooo!! like a gentle wobbling caramelly flan or a soft springy lemon tart this virtuous surprise is an 'eat with the people you love the most and don't waste it on the dull' kind of dessert. i'll pop up the honeycomb ants nest recipe for you all tomorrow. try your best to mark it in your diary, i fear you'll be needing a heartbreak dispensation day off from your normal daily dos otherwise. the happiest of Mondays xx
tee-hee for the weekend!! pack a satchel, slip on something polka-dotty and let your feet take you far.
who knows what will follow you home?! a furry friend, a tummy ache from too much fun, a dreamboat lover! i've already opened my baggie and tucked this blog away in my lunchbox for daily reading. off you go now, we'll show and tell all on Monday. love love x x
ooh, i long be a fabulous cook to get to know my oven and to bake without fuss still in my pyjamas, to dress up my vegetables and serve rice which is soft and soupy, to whip up that certain favourite something when there is nothing in the fridge! the list is as ever-increasing as my envy/'send a bunch of posies' for whizz with a whisk, Sophie and her collection of tried and true recipes. full to the brim with love and humour her precious manual of spoon and fork inspiration is a must-must for any girl about to embark on her first 'proper' dinnertime meal (to be eaten on the floor, wine in mugs), on impossible-to-satisfy chocolate afternoons and less hungry springtime eves. i long to fold floury dough into thin pasta ribbons, to say i simmered the soft fish in a grill pan... to have my very own one-pot Stovetop Revolution.
i've always wanted to high five those crafty people who so kindly wrap trees and benches and posts around and about town in delightfully woolly stitches. so it seems, i might just be able to give them all a 'you make my heart go giddy-up' pat on the back. hooking the whole city into a giant granny square installation Yarn Corner are hosting Melbourne's biggest yarn bombing project this calendar weekend. there will be how-to crochet workshops and other yarn bombing tips and bits for all us loop, swoop and pull enthusiasts to join. it's true, i'm a tinsy bit excited. all the fluffy details can be found here. isn't it nice the thought of twirling twine while the sun still shines?! what a ball!
is a whimsy book project by Elizabeth Barker and Laura Jane Faulds. like dreamers do, the creative two intend to rewrite EVERY Beatles song as a small short story. the first of the bunch are a sneaky peep preview and can be delivered to your door to be propped on your book shelf here. doggy-eared and fudgy fingerprinted i'm sure. you know what they (or should) say, an extra special zine + cheap and cheery wine = a hard day's night.
aren't these scallop-edged stickers illustrating lassies with brunette locks an itty-bitty-bit too adorable?! they also come in sets of red-headed and grey-faced friends. i'm tempted to start a sticker scrapbook just so i can collect them all. of course, they'll never actually make it between the cellophane sheets. oh no, imagine the notes they could seal, journals they could grace, brooches they could replace... Devon Smith what a clever, artsy man you are. i'd sticker you with a
i'm all fluey today. rugged up in an oversized knit, tucked away in bed. i can't help but wish the sky was grey and i had one of these in my mittens to match that sniffly sneeze of mine. on the bright side, being locked up in the house has meant lots of spare time to update myself on all your doings and fall fashionably in favour of this little lady and the idea that tomorrow is another day to dress up. i think i need her red riding hood coat. yes, i most certainly do. keep well won't you. jessie x x
dear readers, have you met betty? she's all the way from england. betty road tests red lippy, boils breakfast brews, glaces fruits, shares style tips and tricks, dabbles in handicraft hobbies and for the first time she's in print!! she really is the nicest kind of magazine. make issue three your own here. oh, and it goes (almost) without saying, welcome to the family. jessie x x
this lavender hot choccie looks like the yummiest cup of cocoa for fireplace snuggles. you might like to forget-me-not and bookmark the windy day warmer how-to here. notes on napkins seem to work well. mmmmm... mug me with a hot tottie. please.
welcome back dears. not that we ever parted as such but with the change of calendar year tags along that feeling of returning from someplace distant. with 2012 sneakily upon us it seems new year resolutions should already be at play and thus no longer new. but what good are resolutions unshared? 2012 for me, well i've decided to downshift. plain + simply i'll be making much of an effort to live plain + simply. i'm going to grow my own veggies. eat at the kitchen table more often than out. i'll drink more water. teach myself (and perhaps those of you whom aren't familiar) to crochet (a rug in time for winter would be nice). dance for the love of stepping in circles. walk wherever my feet can take me. read. and some more (a book club could be fun). write. with new words. bicycle, my next piggy bank purchase. fix my sewing machine and alter some hems. drink more tea, if that's even possible. maybe picked fresh from my to-be herb garden. call 'timeout' to spend with my family, if only over the phone. ask my grandparents questions. practise yoga. laugh more belly laughs. rest. be thankful. and of course post lots of notes to you. i have an inkling this year will bring many good fortunes, learned lessons and ratchet game afternoons. there's plenty of time to squeeze it all in, we're only a day behind. happy new year all round. jessie x