Sunday, 25 October 2009

Chocolate and courgette cake

We had an extra courgette and more eggs than we thought when we came home from the supermarket yesterday, so I thought I'd make a cake. I got the recipe from this blog and modified it slightly, so I will put my version here.

240g plain flour plus bicarb plus cream of tartare
(or 240g self-raising flour)
0.5 tsp salt
35g cocoa
110g butter
160g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
160g grated courgette (1 courgette)
90g chopped dark chocolate

Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla and cinnamon then eggs, one at a time. Sieve most of the flour/cocoa/salt into the mixture and fold in. To the remaining flour/cocoa/salt, add the grated courgette and chocolate and stir round to coat. Add this to the mixture and stir. Put into 20cm round baking tin and sprinkle with a little extra sugar to make the top a bit crunchy. Bake at 180c/gas 4 for 40-50 mins.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Plum and greengage wine

This is my first attempt at plum (left) and greengage (right) wine. Here, they have just been racked. This is more or less what I did for each:

Wash and cut 2kg of fruit, removing stones. Put in a big bucket. Boil 4.5 litres of water. Pour the water over the fruit (this kills wild yeast and other stray nasties) and add sugar: for the greengages I used 2kg and for the plum I used 1kg. Leave for half a day to cool, add yeast nutrient, pectolase and tannin. Another half-day later, add half a packet of dried all-purpose white wine yeast to each bucket. Because the greengages had more sugar in them, the yeast in that bucket was a lot more active. Leave for a week then rack into sterilised demi-johns (as pictured!).

I will bottle it in a month or so. It will be 6 months or so before it is ok to drink. (Adapted from C.J.J. Berry's wonderful book and this link.)

Friday, 4 September 2009

Knit your own leaving present

When I left my old job, my team bought me some beautiful kidsilk haze, so I thought I needed to make something beautiful to do it justice. I chose Laminaria from Knitty (here), and I think it's come out just perfect!

Thursday, 18 June 2009


I started spinning this bluefaced leicester, using a drop spindle, just after Christmas, and I finished it yesterday. What must life have been like before the spinning wheel! I want to measure it now, then I'll have to decide what to make it into...

Monday, 25 May 2009

Chocolate cake

I love this chocolate cake reciepe because it's so easy and doesn't need eggs. They used to sell the cakes at school and when I left I managed to get the reciepe, which I share here:

125g sugar
150g SR flour
175g oats
15g cocoa powder
250g butter
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. It works better when the butter is soft. When it's a nice uniform dough, press into a baking tin, bake in the oven at 160oC for 30 minutes. Cut, cool, ice with cocoa icing, cut again.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Prime Minister socks

I've not had much time to devote to knitting in the past two months because every spare moment has to be spent a) earning money or b) making corrections to the thesis. However, I have managed to knit a basic pair of socks with yarn left over from last Christmas. Unfortunately there wasn't quite enough yarn to make the toes match, but I think I've patched it well enough.
I knitted them once on a day trip with work to meet the PM, Gordon Brown, hence the title of the post.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


my supervisor is making me re-do my thesis. his comments are worthy and useful, but i can't help but be cross with having to go back to something i thought was finished. today, however, was a good day -- i had the afternoon off from work (what good people they are) and have now finished chapter 4. even better than that, arriving home at 2pm i escaped the snow, unlike my poor dear bf who came home about 7pm looking like a snowman!

Friday, 30 January 2009


I've been pretty slack at knitting lately, for two reasons: one is the bad news that large parts of my thesis have to be re-written and the other is that I got some beautiful bluefaced leicester roving and a drop spindle for Christmas. So I've been mainly trying to re-visit old work and learning to spin. My first attempts at spinning are in the photos, and not that great. However, I'm definitely getting better, and when I've spun all 50g I hope I'll be able to knit a hat.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

utopia hat

i made this hat for dan's birthday. (the pattern is from smariek here.) i started it the day before his birthday and knitted furiously to get it finished in time. i think a brown colour would have suited him better, but i could only find this grey colour in the rowan pure wool aran 100g range. still, i'm pretty pleased with it, and more importantly, so was he.

Friday, 2 January 2009

thank crunchie it's cookies

we made some cookies the other day which involved the use of a) my new electronic scales and b) a crunchie bar in place of a packet of smarties. the reciepe came from the most excellent bbc good food cake book and was simple enough for me to follow (anything that requires eggs is generally a disaster, though not having had a set of scales has admittedly not helped the matter), and although a little sickly, darn tasty!
hello world.