Previous month:
March 2018
Next month:
May 2018

Friday Food: Chocolate Malteser Fudge

Malteser fudgePerhaps the one recipe I can point to as inspiration is Nigella's Freezer Fudge , but there were lots of three ingredient fudge recipes floating around at Easter. It is just melting and mixing and you can add any kind of extra chocolate, nuts, fruit or any combination. I used ordinary dark chocolate, but you can use a combination of dark and milk, even white. You can add some vanilla extract, or even some alcohol to complement the chocolate bar used. To speed gift, you put the fudge in the freezer for two hours, which is what I did this morning. And then it needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer. It will keep for quite a long time in the freezer. 

I layered the fudge and Maltesers and when you cut the fudge it is a feast for the eyes.

 

 

Chocolate Malteser Fudge           makes 36 pieces?

  • 440g good chocolate, milk/dark
  • 1 395g tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • 140g packet Maltesers or chocolate of your choice
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract, or other flavouring

 

Line a square or rectangular container with baking paper. I used an empty Twinings tea box, which is about 15 x 15cm or 6 inches square.

Combine

Break the chocolate into smaller pieces and combine in a microwave safe bowl.

Melt

Melt in short bursts, 1 minute is good, and stop melting before you think you should: it is good to stir the last few chocolate lumps until the fudge is smooth. The microwave I used is 800W and I melted for a total of 4 minutes on High.

Layer

Once the fudge is smooth, add any flavours and then pour half the chocolate into the lined container. Make a layer of Matlesers, and I used some Baci too, and then cover with the remaining fudge and top with any remaining Maltesers.

Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, or freeze for 2.

Ready to slice

Cut into pieces and then enjoy!!

Malteser chocolate fudge


The Fogs Of War

We have been very busy because it is The School Holidays and perhaps that is why I had a migraine last night. I have to be truly bedridden before we miss a walk and Gilly and Hedy had a lovely walk with Rafa this morning. The mornings are quite foggy, and the fog is so thick you need to use your windscreen wipers.D3458A22-9739-4299-A47E-675424DC3875

Hedy Lamarr and Rafa conduct a series of games. There is a lot of facing off, running and then engaging.

440BAABE-9407-4AA2-BBAC-5A92BF2009A5

Gilly and Hedy love the cooler weather. Gilly is especially happy and wags her tail and even “plays” with Rafa for micro-bursts. Gilly is so good, but she waits until she sees the prize before she asks with her paw. Hedy is already asking non-stop because she believes I have a treat!!

MrsDrWho took me on a short road trip to visit Auntie and Uncle Dutch and Lo, The Young Dutches and Kinder Zoe came for lunch. There are no photos of them, because, privacy, but here are Poppy, Auntie and Uncle’s dog, and new puppy for Zoe: Daisy-Belle. Daisy-Belle slept in MrsDrWho’s arms. She is such a cute puppy. 

1A9A61F6-B866-42F3-B6C8-B5A2B132289D

I sewed two more tiny Hold It bins by Made by Dana. The yellow for Kinder Zoe and the Bunny outer fabric for The Dutches. 

8D184CB4-6E3D-4941-8DE1-D5A5AA8C34F6

 

I also made some Honeycomb Malteser Fudge. Auntie Dutch loves honeycomb but I thought it would just dissolve into the fudge, but the chocolate covered Maltesers might just be OK. And they were. It is such an easy recipe: melt together one tin of sweetened condensed milk and 440g of whatever chocolate you like (I chose half milk and half dark) and stir until smooth. I let it cool a little and then made layers of fudge, Maltesers, fudge and then pressed the remaining lollies into the top. I chilled it in the freezer and we were good to go. This fudge needs to be kept in the fridge, and in theory if you use a 20cm (8 inch) tin, you can cut 64 pieces.

155B9A0B-2D44-4BF8-A3DD-01A8AEFD9EF9

I fixed my Star Wars dress, after Hedy’s paw ripped the neck. I unpicked the lining at the waistband and then laid the dress so that the lining matched the lining and the Star Wars the Star Wars, and then sewed a fish eye dart really. The seam is there if you know to look for it, but because the fabric is so busy, I think it works.

BEBCAED9-E368-4C8A-9EB3-AEA53B4AD8FE

I finally knitted Mr HouseOf’s birthday hat. I was seduced by a Caron Cupcake, but the pattern on the label was for a child’s hat, so I worried if there would be enough meterage for an adult hat. I used some lovely black Merino Magic for a double width band, and in the end there was plenty left. I shall use it to make a striped hat. Hedy may have stolen the pom-pom from the bedside table. I am not sure if Mr HouseOf wants it, or not?

D5E41C8C-5A61-4A9D-93D3-4B73569D4154

When I talk to The Nextdoor Neighbors at the fence, Hedy Lamarr likes to dig the hole she is working on. It is fine, that is the dedicated hole digging area. However, if you are in range, she will shower you with dirt. Poor Lorelai Gilmore was standing there very innocently, when she came within range:

384B71AD-3ECF-4FBE-BF1E-17C966592329

Hedy could not care, and poor Gilly needs to have her head wipes and be cuddled. She is very patient with Hedy.

915C0483-6B7A-42B1-907E-FFEDCE9002D5

I feel so much better now the weather is cooler, even though I had a migraine. I am lucky that mine only last two days and I am allowed to tailor my hospital-at-home drugs to suit the pain level. I am even happier that I have worked out how to blog using The TypePad mobile platform. I emailed myself a video from my phone to the iPad, then I saved the video and used the YouTube app to upload it and then copied the URL. I feel very technologically competent.

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day and I plan to bake some kind of ANZAC caramel slice. I never feel very included with all the emphasis on mateship and men. I do remember those who have served in any capacity, at home or abroad, in the Forces or not. I am very cross right now that Brendan Nelson wants to spend Half A Billion Dollars on an underground hall for the War Memorial. If that much money is there to be spent, we should be spending it on people, the people who have been negatively affected by their service. If you’re willing to put your life on the line, I think we should be willing to give you all the money you need to help you transition back to civilian life. Another display won’t help anyone. They could just squoosh everything together a bit more.

I need to get my act together and sew a dress before the month ends. I have six days.......

PS When I preview this post it looks weird, so please excuse any weirdness. I don’t know how to fix it.


Friday Food: Maple, Apple and Pecan Cake

Apple pecan and maple syrup cakeQuelle surprise!! Friday Food returns. I found this cake in the April BBC GoodFood magazine. Onyi actually helped me choose what to bake a few weeks ago and I took the cake to MrsDrWho’s for tea.  I stopped at Onyi’s house on the way home so she could taste the fruits of her labour. The cake was declared a success! You create a home made apple purée, though you could use one from the supermarket, and add pecans and maple syrup- the real thing, not the flavoured syrup.

The cake is filled and topped with a simple maple buttercream and embellished with a pecan sprinkle. If you prefer not to use the buttercream, the cake is still moist, tender and very tasty.

I didn’t have a 20cm springform tin and so I used an ordinary 20cm tin, and made sure the baking paper went well above the sides of the tin. I had no trouble removing the cake. I could not buy the golden icing sugar the recipe called for, so I used ordinary pure icing sugar.

All in all, this is a delicious cake which is just a little bit fancy. I think it would need to be kept in the fridge, but served at room temperature, and because of the apple purée it will keep for just a few days.

There was a smudge on the camera lens, so consequently there is a smudge on some photos. This will not be a surprise either.

 

Apple, Pecan and Maple Cake       Serves 10

 

For the apple purée:

  • 250g peeled and chopped cooking apples, I used Granny Smiths

 

For the cake

  • 115g butter, softened
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 75ml maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 100g pecans, chopped

 

For the buttercream:

  • 125g softened butter
  • 225g pure icing sugar
  • 60ml maple syrup

 

For the pecan sprinkle:

  • 30g pecans
  • 1 tbspn light brown sugar (20ml)

 

 

Apple puree

To make the apple purée, I chose to microwave the apples in a covered container for 8 minutes and then I just used a spoon to stir and it was miraculously a purée. The recipe says to cook the apples in a pan, with a splash of water, for about 10 minutes and then purée with a hand held blender. You need 225g of purée. Once it is made, allow to cool to room temperature.

 Grease and then line the tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180C or 160*C fan-forced.

Cream butter and sugar

Begin the cake by creaming the butter and sugar until it is creamy and lighter in colour. Mix the egg and maple syrup together and gradually incorporate them.

Egg and maple syrup

Sift the flour, bicarb and baking powder together and stir in the pecans. 

Pecans and apple

Add these to the cake batter, alternating with the apple purée, and stir gently until well combined.

Batter and tin prepared

Spoon into the tin, smooth the top, and then bake for 40 minutes. Cool in the tin and then remove to a rack.

And bake

While the cake cools, make the buttercream.

Buttercream

Beat the butter until it is soft and then add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Gradually add the maple syrup and you are done.

Pecan sprinkle

Make the pecan sprinkle by either finely chopping the nuts and stirring in the brown sugar, or using a food processor.

Two layers

I used my cake leveller to cut the cake in half and then I carefully placed them side by side, with the top layer upside down, so I could more easily and accurately put the layers back together.

Fill

Spread half of the buttercream on the bottom layer, I used a warm knife, and then put the top layer back. Spread the other half of the buttercream on top, and then the pecan sprinkle is used the edge the cake, although you can decorate as you wish.

  Top and sprinkle

I think the cake improved a little and was more delicious the next day, but you can eat it as soon as it is ready!!

  Apple pecan maple cake


Come back to the Five And Dime, BillyBall, BillyBall.

This blog post has been siting in my Drafts since the 2nd of April. Tonight Australian Story on The ABC was about Emma Betts, a young woman who died from melanoma. She had a blog called Dear Melanoma, and sometimes I need something to remind me to practise gratitude. It is not that I am not grateful, but complacency is such an easy thing to slowly slip into. I haven’t used the very long time I have been ill to do anything really worthy, but life has been worth living. We are lying in bed (again) and I decided I would not wait for the right time to post to my blog, I would find some photos and do it now. No one expects The Spanish Inquisition: or decent photos on my blog!


Lorelai Gilmore and I are in bed and Miss Hedy Lamarr is off somewhere creating chaos, or in her Little Box. We are watching Caught Out about the Cricket cheating in the Test against South Africa. One of the people said that we are all sullied by the behaviour of Smith, Warner and Bancroft: that as a nation we have to live with the consequences. I do not feel sullied. Cricket is not what it used to be. It used to be on The ABC and no one wore coloured clothes. I do hope that the men are being well cared for, I am worried about their mental state. 

But I don’t feel represented by men playing cricket, or mateship or ‘if you’re not with us you’re against us’. Sadly, I do feel represented by our inhuman treatment of refugees, by the way we have decreased our foreign aid, eg.

We should be more outraged by the lies and obfuscation of our politicians. That’s my two cents’ worth on that topic.

41607823-490D-4979-88C6-6A94CA32E0C1

In good news, I have sewn a new dress: the Beetle Dress. I bought four or five panels of fabric on super special at The Spotlight. Each panel had some tropical leaves, two kinds of lattice and two Christmas beetles. I managed to cut out the pieces to my satisfaction and I love the surprise beetles in the back of the skirt. I tweaked my Upton Dress pattern by moving the shoulder seam forward 2.5cm, moving the side bust darts back 5cm and lowering the under bust darts by a half. Luckily I have short legs and so I was able to eke out the skirt lengthwise. 

I wanted to wear my new dress to WeeJock and Besse’s Dad’s birthday party. WeeJock and Bessie’s Mum was very worried I would be unwell, or unable to walk the steep paths to the venue. In the end I rested and was relatively well and able to go. Jolly good thing I did, because it was a surprise wedding!!! Oh we were all Very Surprised and I had enough tissues to share with my friends when we all cried joyfully. It was such a wonderful evening and two wonderful people shared their special day with us all. Now my dress has been renamed as “My Wedding Dress”, which confuses come people and amuses me no end.

Hedy has had FlippyFloppy Ear and we bought the very expensive new $130 tablets that aren’t steroids for her. She was vaccinated too. Dr Rob says that,when she is not being excited, her heartbeat is nice and slow and she is incredibly fit. Gilly came too, of course, and they are both nice and slim. I always feel happy about that. 

77995422-CD7B-49D7-ABC0-7DA41D50F217

This year I have been unwell, really unwell almost all the time. My immune system is compromised and that is why I am poorly. I have missed out on an Easter Day trip and other outings, I’ve not sewed or knitted very much at all, there has been an awful lot of sleeping and the one thing that is sancrosanct is The Labradors’ Walk. Five times a week we go for a walk, we love going, and I save some, or all, of my energy for that. I hope the cooler Autumn weather brings me some better health.

CA606040-92F9-4AC7-A9E3-73BD15BD2F15

I have at last finished a pair of socks for my next door neighbour. The Blueberry Choc Shake Socks 2018 are knitted in Opal Fresh and Juicy. Opal sock wool is the work horse of sock wools, and though not the softest, it is comfortable to wear and lasts seemingly forever. 

Someone stole Hedy Lamarr’s red BillyBall when we were at the dam. She has a new blue BillyBall and she loves it. Thank goodness.

CEAFCA83-22BA-4B19-B8D8-056D66F41D89

However, her love is ephemeral. On Friday we met Sandy’s mum and her grandsons. They had a foam soccer ball. Hedy wanted that ball so badly, that she stole it. Luckily the boys played with the BillyBall: all’s well that ends well. She worked very hard to fit the ball in her mouth.

C8AA959E-CF91-450A-8F75-AE2DD1C7B58B

I sewed two Hold It bins from Made by Dana. I can’t work out how to make clicky links on the iPad tonight, sorry. I am very happy with them, and I plan to sew some more.

A41D3023-5352-47E8-A01B-489E6C844F65

I am knitting a cardigan for Kinder Zoe. Her favourite colour is yellow, and I love this buttery colour. I am making Pixie Dust by Lioness Arts. It is a top down raglan with a lovely lace pattern in the increases, repeated across the whole body.

FDE22EDD-0249-4E53-B9EB-66B128C66C22

I baked a layered chocolate cake with whipped butterscotch schnapps ganache for MrsDrWho’s morning tea at school. I used my cake levelling tool, so that made me happy. The day was very warm and the ganache would not set, so I had to put the cake in the freezer and it went slightly wonky. I think the women at school used the roses to make it look beautiful.

89BDCFED-F584-4161-BE8A-7DA790770D1B

There, I feel I have achieved something positive. I only skimmed before I posted, so please excuse any errors.