Monday, 26 August 2013

A Chocolate Guinness Celebration

One of Nigella Lawson's books 'Feast' is all about food that celebrates life and nothing says celebration to me like her Chocolate Guinness Cake!

Look at that chocolatey, bubbly goodness!

I have often looked at this recipe and it has been on my ever growing list of things I'd like to try but this week I was inspired by the beautiful pictures of this very cake shared by Emma on her blog, She Sows Seeds. I put Guinness on my shopping list, dusted off my Nigella recipe book and got to work.

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

250ml Guinness
250g unsalted butter
75g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
3/4 cup or 142 ml sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
275g plain flour
2 1/2 tsps bicarb soda

300g cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
125ml cream

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Combine Guinness and butter in a saucepan, heat until butter is melted then whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Set aside.
Beat the sour cream, eggs and vanilla together, fold in the flour and bicarb. Combine with the Guinness mixture and whisk then pour into a greased or lined spring-form cake tin. Bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until a skewer comes out clean from the centre and the cake springs back when touched.
Cool the cake on a wire rack, still in the pan. Whip the cream cheese, sieve over the icing sugar gradually and beat it in too. Add in the cream and beat. Spread generously on your cake (and don't forget to lick the beaters!)

My house smells fantastic and everyone is waiting with eager anticipation for the first slice! I must confess that my cake sunk in the middle a little but this just means there is a generous amount of the cream cheese topping which should make up for any structural shortcomings!

Nigella goes on about this cake looking like a pint of Guinness with the rich darkness of the cake and the pale icing on top looking like the frothy head. What do you think?

Are you inspired by reading about what others are cooking or their foodie pics?

Kate x

Linking with Alicia at One Mother Hen


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Book Week Babes

Book if we needed as excuse to get amongst books in this house! Anyway, the excitement is high, especially from Miss 7 who has been planning her debut as Jemima Puddle-Duck for about three months now!

She is obsessed with all things Beatrix Potter at the moment! This does warm my heart a little when I think of the other alternatives out there but it was a bit of a challenge turning a small girl into a duck (or any other animal for that matter).

Thanks to a little imagination and a Pinterest account we have one rather cute Puddle-Duck.

Jemima Puddle-duck
Book Week, 2013

There is also a very menacing ninja kitten from the Space Mutts series by Michael Broad in the house! It is amazing what you can do with a black t-shirt and half a pair of panty hose!

Ninja Kitten
Book Week, 2013

Pretty cool isn't he?

The thought of producing a costume to order every year fills me with a little dread but every year Master and Miss B go to school happy. Sometimes I even surprise myself!
If you ever need a bonnet or a ninja head scarf for that matter...please let me know and I will share my costuming secrets and 'Black Magic' with you!!! If you have any tips please feel free to share. I have a few more years to get through yet :)

Happy Book Week xx

Sunday, 18 August 2013

In the Kitchen

It has been a busy weekend with much happening and this afternoon was spent in the kitchen.

It feels like winter, such as it was, is coming to an end. There is a feeling of anticipation in the garden and buds on the branches. With this in mind my little helpers picked what was left of our oranges and we decided to juice them.

I have also done some baking to help fill the lunchboxes. A friend brought me a piece of chocolate brownie to work last week and I have been almost unable to think of anything else since! Thank you Donna Hay for putting this little piece of magic in a box. I added raspberries to the top before baking, mostly because they go so well with chocolate but with the added bonus of warding off some of the little people in my house! More for me..... 

Another slice that I love as it is quick, easy and no worse than a packet of tiny teddies is Chocolate Chews from my cooking bible, The Nursing Mother's Cookbook. I remember eating this slice as a child and my children love it too.

What's been happening at your house this weekend? Has it been cooking weather? Can you see signs of spring in your garden?

Here's to a great week!

Kate x

Thursday, 1 August 2013

WALT, A Zebra Cake and 2000 Acres of Sky

As I mentioned in my last post, Walt arrived at my house to much excitement and fanfare. He had come all the way from sunny Queensland for an outback adventure...and adventure he got!

While WALT was here we took him to sit on the Big Chair...

Broken Hill

we shared some of our mining history...

Broken Hill

and we certainly didn't forget a visit to Bells Milk Bar for a taste of the 1950's with a raspberry spider!

Broken Hill

During WALT'S visit we also got the chance to go out to visit my family on their property. This meant WALT slipped over the border into South Australia for a day!

WALT got the chance to appreciate the wide open spaces...

meet some of the family


and join in a birthday celebration.

turning 5!

We have absolutely loved having WALT to stay and while we have enjoyed showing him around our home, Master 9 and Miss 7 have been inspired to find out a little about his home town and think about the differences and similarities.

WALT has had lots of laughs and many little arms around him thanks to the Little B's and their cousins (he may also have had some rather sticky, cakey fingers on him and a little red dirt on his fur but all with love!). We are sending him on with lots of happy thoughts

Bon Voyage WALT....we wonder what you will get up to next?!

I am linking up with Jacana from WALT'S home town and her Totally Thursday

Kate xx
STOP THE PRESS...WALT's bags are packed and he is ready to go but he decided to stop at the Little B's school on the way. It was so exciting HE LOST HIS HEAD!!!!!

He is going to need a couple of days to "pull himself together" before he is ready to travel again. Sorry...he is coming!
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