Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Fresh cake on a plate in 10

In an attempt to not use the gas cooker I decided to look into micro cakes. Previously my experience had always been a result akin to a steamed pud, so I was dubious. But now when making basic lemon drizzle cake - cake can be on the plate finished in 10 minutes... it all depends on if you are adding a filling and topping and so on.

I first found a microwave cake recipe on http://www.netmums.com/family-food/recipes/a-z-of-family-recipes/microwave-mug-cake The amount seemed too much for any mugs I used so I used a wide based pyrex.

The result:


Whilst cooking I made some buttercream filling. Once cooked I cut the pyrex shaped cake in half, let it cool.  Spread the cream inside, replaced the other half, and made some quick topping using cocoa, icing sugar and warm water.

Not the same as a baked cake,but so so quick - and minimal washing up!

Since the first attempt. I had adapted and changed the recipe. So here is my latest version as used today:

Lemon drizzle fairy bread...

For the cake:
  • 4 tbsp self raising
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 fresh eggs from the eglu
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • some lemon zest
  • lemon juice from half a lemon

  • butter
  • icing sugar
  • lemon juice
  • sugar
  • hundreds and thousands

1. I used a small square pyrex dish, placed all the ingredients inside and stir until no lumps of flour! No greasing or lining required.
2. I shoved it in the microwave for 4 minutes.
3. During the long 4 minutes I stirred the lemon juice and sugar together, and in another bowl mixed some icing sugar into the butter to make butter cream. No exact measures as I make it up as I go - sorry! Rule of thumb keep going until it is like breadcrumbs, then add a splash of water to make the creamy consistency.
4. Once the cake goes poppity ping,check the cake is cooked by placing a skewer through it - it should come out clean. If not, pop it in for another 30 secs.
5. When you take it out, pour over the lemon and sugar mixture so it can soak in.
6. Cut into squares and place on a rack to cool.
7. Once cool, spread with the buttercream and shatter some sprinkles on top.

Start to finish 17 minutes.

Things I have noticed is use your baking instinct.  We all know what a cake batter will look like.  In some cases at the adding oil stage the mix is there, other days it needs milk adding to it, or more oil.  It is very flexible so have fun and adapt and experiment.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Neal's Yard Remedies Organic UK

Introducing my new, well not so new, venture.  I have previously been a consultant with NYRO and thought a quick post was in order!

It seems that any magazine that I open there is a NYRO product being praised, the wild rose beauty balm being a big must have as it has many uses from face mask, moisturiser and more...

If you want to make some extra money, and it takes work and is not instant, then this is an ideal flexible solution as you choose your hours.  Have a look at my site https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/elderflowery/area/become-a-consultant/to find out more.

Okay that's the blatant advertising bit done, down to the bit I really love about NYRO - their ethics and theory behind it all and the smell of the products.  I use the rose facial wash daily, their teas are tasty and the handwashes leave your hands smelling lovely. Not only do they use beautiful ingredients, they run various campaigns, such as Bee Lovely https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/elderflowery/area/bee-lovely/ an initiative to plant more wildflowers.  In light of the news today that a rare bee has returned to the UK down at Dungeness, this company is well worth a thought and read for any nature lover.  There is an online book for further reading.

If like I used to be, you are not entirely sure what half the products in any beauty store mean or do - again this company is ideal.  You can book a consultant to come and host a party for you, with brilliant incentives and gifts, and a demonstration is always on offer.  In my case you also get a demonstration of uses in other therapies too, so a bit like a mini spa treatment! Or, yet another alternative, videos are online showing you techniques and uses, products and more at https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/elderflowery/area/our-videos/

I will be blogging more over the next few days, especially with the jubilee being just around the corner.  As I sit here Emily is just waking up and I can hear my neighbour moving their ladder up and down putting up a vibrant array of bunting.  My village will be running 3 days worth of events, including a scarecrow competition .... watch this space!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Goodnestone Park Gardens

Yesterday I visited Goodnestone Park Gardens Nr. Canterbury.

I had not visited since 2000 and what a hidden treasure it is.
Unfortunately over winter they semi lost their infamous wisteria on the back wall of the walled gardens, however this did not detract from the grandeur of entire place.

There is something for everyone here, trees, shading, open fields, parkland, walled gardens, fruit, veg, lawns. Plant nursery, tearooms, events, courses and more. 

With links to Jane Austen, you could imagine the lady herself sitting under a tree writing or one of her characters taking a perambulation of the estate to improve ones health.

With so many photos taken I have used Flickr to host them this time, click here to peruse ones delectation of imagery for ones pleasure

Click here : Goodnestone Park Slideshow

Finally, you must try the tearooms, the shortbread is to die for!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

So finally the yellow thing in the sky has appeared and it is rather warm, albeit breezy.  That said, as a result, there is a glorious deluge of cut lawn aromas blasting through my village.  Even with hayfever this can be enjoyed, having discovered Hay Max a few years ago!

Now down to business, the Chelsea results are in, for a full list visit  http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show/2012/Awards Be patient if the site is slow at times, this is due to increased visitors.

My favourite garden designed by Chris Beardshaw with the Hobbit house won a gold, even more of a lovely surprise once I discovered I had been talking to Kate on Twitter whom has beyond close links to it! Upon closer inspection of http://www.furzey-gardens.org/ the input behind the garden is all the more clear and I am thinking this will need to be added to my places to visit list! They seem to be on everything, as they have just had a mention on Classic FM to the students who helped grow the plants!

Whilst out walking this morning I noted how many of the plants used this year are already in our gardens and surroundings, things such as the rhododendrons, cow parsley and ferns that are very 'in' this year at Chelsea. 

But what about when you discover that new plant or seed you just must find out about?
For me trying out the tomatillo seeds this year has been a pleasure, even more so with the yellow flowers now starting to sparkle though.  And again, Chelsea, with their new plants to discover, previous years the digitalis  saltwood summer and red clovers that adorned all gardens. 
So what will this years be? It was another foxglove, digitalis illumination:

And then, well finally then, you get that plant that you just do not know about! I 'think' this is a spurge??? If anyone knows exactly what this is growing wild in the woods, please let me know!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Chelsea 2012 ...

So far Chelsea seems to be dominated by cow parsley, ferns and foxgloves. 

Chris Beardshaw's Hobbit house is gorgeous and the Plankbridge Shepherd's hut it beautiful!
And will Joe Swift win with his design... not to mention Diarmuid Gavin towers, almost Christmas tree like with the Chelsea pensioners lighting it up earlier with their splendid coats.

Want to join in with some hands on plant action, why not visit some local garden centres or have a look around your own garden?
These images were captured  over the weekend at Vincent Garden Centre Herne Bay http://vincentnurseries.com/ and Tasteful Plants Faversham www.tastefulplants.co.uk 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Long time no blog....

Yes, I have an internet connection! So what has been going on, well along with the annual tax form and accounts a new business plan and branding brainstorm has been in place.  A few requests had been put forward for the handmade cards and art pieces so it has been decided that this will be included in the Elderflowery job description.  Along with that, Omlet courses will also be on offer too.  Omlet make eggcelent chicken houses, easy to clean and fox proof.  For more details visit www.omlet.co.uk

Along with all of this it has been busy in the garden, to keep up to date click on teh link to the right and follow me on twitter @the_elderflower

Regular blogs will be resuming, again thank you to all the people who email and tweet.