Thursday, 9 July 2020

FOOD // Baking Sunset Cake

Apple and Cinnamon Cake baked at sunset and served immediately.

Unlike any other cake, sunset cakes bring such comforting emotions that as the house begins to glow with the last of the light you will find yourself dazily baking and just enjoying the emotions of home baking.

And this is the thing; this cake needs no other introduction really apart from the fact that what used to be called autumn cake in this house is now called sunset cake because that is when it has become necessary to bake it.

Last Thursday I think I was just in one of those moods. I had done the pots after dinner and some sad apples were still on the side looking at me having not been eaten by us picky eaters. Only crunchy apples will do some days and these leftover ones were far from that.
I decided to break my own rules and instead of only ever baking my favourite autumn cake in the autumn when apples are surplus, I decided to bake it it on a Thursday in May.
The thing is, because I only bake this cake in the autumn I forgot just how good it is and how in fact, it is quite my favourite. It is the simplest of cakes but the most comforting, the kind you eat after a cold walk when you are back home in front of the fire. Maybe I just needed some home comforts, at this point I am so glad I made it because it has given it a new meaning. Not only is it a comforting cake, it is perfect to make just in time for the kids going to bed so you can then sit in peace with a warm gooey slice!

The Recipe

So now you are drooling, it's fine, get into the kitchen because I bet you have all the ingredients all ready!
200g Self Raising Flour (you can make it with plain and a tsp of baking powder).
200g caster sugar
200g butter 
4 eggs
splosh of milk
3 heaped tsp of cinnamon 
Apples, I used 5 small ones

I am a lazy baker so literally put all the ingredients (except the apples) in one bowl and mix them together. You can sift the flour, you can beat the sugar and butter separately, you do you. Me; I just throw it all in and mix it up.

When you have your batter you will need a tin. You can go round or square or like me, loaf it, but this mixture seems to measure out two loaf tins or 8 inch rounds perfectly. 
So Split the mixture between your greased or lined vessels, or just one, do not over fill. Now slice your apples across the core, it gives you that star shape in the middle which is just pretty and makes me smile. Once its cooked you can't see it but you know those little stars are in there!

You then stand your slices in the mixture. Then bake them in an oven for 25-35 minutes at 180°c. I say 25-35 because the apples make the mixture quite moist and I find this means it takes longer to cook than a plain sponge. At about 25 mins do a spike test right into the centre of the cake to see if any batter comes out on tip of a skewer. You will be able to then either remove it because there are no signs of liquid mix or then start checking every 5-7 mins. The top will be a rich golden brown due to the cinnamon colouring.

As soon as it is out of the oven, remove it from its tin and drizzle it in honey. Local honey can be great for this but I just had standard clear honey and it is just as good. This almost immediately will melt into the surface and soaks through into the cake. You can lightly dust in more cinnamon too. 

Leave it to sit for about 10 minutes while you make yourself a pot of tea and then slice it up, find your favourite sitting spot and enjoy!
It seems to be the best way to eat this cake, in a little bit of peace. 


Tuesday, 7 July 2020

CREATIVE // Polymer Clay Earthy Tone Rainbow Magnets

I have been so inspired by warm tone craft projects that I only now seem to work with shades of orange! Here are some warm tone rainbow magnets.

It is quite apparent on my Pinterest Page that I am drawn to anything coloured in warm earthy tones. My current favourite colour spectrum ranges from shades like Burnt Sienna to Yellow Ochre to Dull Peach and Warm Rose; I mean, you probably get the picture. I don't know if it is the sunshine or the balmy palmy images I see where everything is a perfect shade of terracotta but I am well and truly hooked on those colours. And why not? They make me feel so warm. 

I purchased some Fimo (polymer clay) after seeing some craft work with it on Pinterest and decided to have a go at making what is currently one of the most symbolic icons in this country right now; a rainbow. However, I wanted to makes something really minimal with a nod in the colour direction of summer and this is what we have ended up with.

The Recipe

I have used Fimo in colours SAHARA, FLESH LIGHT and COGNAC to get that really warm tone. 
You will also need some extra strong glue and small magnets like these .

I simply rolled the fimo into long sausages (sorry, best way to describe them) and then simply laid them around each other in a traditional rainbow shape before trimming the ends evenly. You don't need to squeeze them together to stick, just make sure each strand is touching and they fuse together by themselves. Leave them to then sit on some parchment paper ready for baking.

You then follow polymer clay instructions for baking the clay. These you have to cook for 30 mins at 110°C but different clays have different instructions so make sure you follow them.

Once out of the oven and cooled you can then attach the magnets. Mine had a sticky pad but I also used glue to secure them. Then they are done.

These are a wonderfully simple craft that older children will also enjoy doing. They are now on my fridge holding little memories of our summers in Lake Como, Italy.

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