Posts Tagged bbc

Buttons, Bunnies, Buns and the BBC

When I go rummaging and foraging in dusty corners of junk shops, one of my most favourite things is finding an interesting looking box or tin.  The anticipation of opening it to see if there is anything inside is delicious.  Yesterday, I was on such a rummage and found this tin which, in itself, is a bit gorgeous.

vintage tinIt had a label on top saying ‘boite et boutons’ so I knew there were going to be a few old button inside but it was full to the brim, sorted into bags by colour and some of them are pretty unusual.  I’m not yet that brilliant with the macro lens yet, mainly because I am too lazy to set the tripod up,  but here is a small selection of what was inside. WARNING: zoom down a bit if you’re not interested in vintage buttons or dodgy macro photography.  Just saying.

DSC_0007vintage buttons DSC_0010 DSC_0014 DSC_0017 DSC_0023 DSC_0025

You can’t really blame Pandora for causing so much trouble can you?

I’ve got bunny fever again – must be the time of year – and here are a couple of new additions to the ever increasing bunny bento family – well, that’s rabbits for you.

whitebentobunny (2)

I actually found a local source yesterday for vaguely reasonably priced (well, it is France!) coloured linen and I’ve bought some in a soft grey which I think will be lovely for a bunny.  I have added it to the projects list.

Bluebunnybento (3)

I love hot cross buns and Mr. T. obligingly goes into Waitrose when he is in the U.K. and brings back supplies so we can keep up with the tradition of  slathering butter onto hot buns (ooer missus) and gorging on this Easter treat for a couple of days.  Funny, I don’t put much, if any,  butter on bread or toast but huge amounts of it are necessary for hot cross buns and jacket potatoes.  Anyway, inspired by the Great British Bake Off spin off for Easter, I’m going to slavishly follow the lovely Paul Hollywood’s recipe for hot cross buns.  I like the fact that they look all puffy and soft as the shop bought ones are usually a little flat.  Wish me luck with the piping bag when I add the crosses as I am usually not to be trusted with this kitchen tool that seems to behave perfectly well in anybody else’s hands but behaves like a demented serpent when I give it a go.

Paul Hollywoodand back to the buns…….

hot cross bunsIf mine turn out looking something (anything) like this, I’ll take a photo, if not I won’t.  Thank you BBC for the programme (the photos!) and the recipe which, if you want to give it a go, you can find here.

Thank you also BBC for the return of Dr. Who this Saturday.  The Doctor has obviously finished his work experience stint with Mr. Bricolage (see here if you are confused) and has returned to South London (mostly) to keep the Earth safe for us all.

Even better!  For those of us who love cooking AND sewing.  The Great British Sewing Bee is starting on BBC2 on Tuesday.  A sewing programme!!!  I will be interested to see what equipment the contestants will be given.  The bakers in The Great British Bake Off  had their own Smeg fridge, Neff oven and KitchenAid mixer – each had a different coloured one.  Will there be Husqvarnas or Berninas in tasteful pastel shades or what?  I can’t wait.  My life is now complete.

Madamoiselle Tialys the elder is back from Uni for the Easter break so I will be otherwise engaged listening to tales of student life and struggling to be ‘cool’ about it all and resisting the urge to send her to her room if she lets a swear word slip.  Whatever you are up to – have a great break. x

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Sisters, Cake and a Butter Mountain

It was my youngest’s 16th birthday and my eldest (well, only by 18 months), decided to test out a recipe she had seen being made by a T.V. chef  and surprise her sister with a birthday cake.  The name of the cake is ‘I Can’t Believe You Made That Cake’ as, although fairly simple to make, it looks quite spectacular. 

Proud Eldest with Friends & Cake

Suitably Impressed Youngest

In case you too wish to use the equivalent of  a  World War II British family’s entire annual butter ration I reproduce the BBC recipe for you below.   If you cannot find the ‘chocolate cigarillos’, try chocolate fingers as my daughter did. 

This cake is dramatic, delicious and versatile: decorate with fresh flowers for a christening or wedding cake, top with strawberries or raspberries for something girly, or add quartered figs for a Father’s day cake.

Equipment and preparation: You will need a 20cm/8in round deep cake tin and a 20cm/8in cake board.

Ingredients

For the buttercream

For the decoration

  • fresh flowers, for a Christening cake
  • strawberries or raspberries, for the girls
  • figs, quartered, for the boys

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180/C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 20cm/8in round deep cake tin with baking paper and brush or spray with oil.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they begin to go pale. Add half of the eggs and half of the flour and mix well. Add the rest of the eggs, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and beat for a minute or two until the mixture is uniform. Dollop into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 30–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  3. Meanwhile, make the buttercream: put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk together until the mixture goes fluffy. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and whisk for a further two minutes.
  4. Once the cake is completely cool, remove it from the tin. Carefully cut the top flat with a large serrated knife. (Eat this bit as a chef’s perk!)
  5. Turn the cake upside down on a 20cm/8in cake board so that the bottom now becomes a nice flat top. Split the cake horizontally and sandwich the top and bottom together with a 1cm/½in layer of buttercream.
  6. Spread half of the remaining buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake, making it as smooth as possible. Put it in the fridge to set before doing another layer – this makes it much easier to get neat squared-off edges.
  7. Gently push the cigarillos vertically onto the sides of the cake, positioning them as straight as possible and making sure they touch the bottom.
  8. The next step is up to you – I can’t tell you the wide-eyed looks you’ll get when you walk into a room holding this finished cake. Serve with a self-satisfied grin.

 

A day later and I’m still having trouble waddling from one room to another!

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