How to bake a cake

Monday, April 23, 2012

Darling JW turned 4 last week and we had a dinner with Oma to celebrate on the day and a big party on Sunday afternoon. Cake with Oma was a chocolate layer cake with strawberry jam, whipped cream and blueberries. Naturally we served this with vanilla ice-cream and shaved chocolate.
 Cake on Sunday was a layered butter cake with italian meringue frosting and edible glitter. Edible glitter is my new favourite thing. I don't want to know how they make it but I like it. A lot.
JW is still crushing on orange so we did red, orange, yellow and pink layers glued together with jam. At the last minute I realised that I am all out of pink food colouring (how did that happen?) so the pink layer is more modest than we'd intended. I doubled mum's cupcake batter recipe to make enough batter for 4 layers. Easy and delicious!
The only thing JW really wanted to have was a pizza party so Mr Duyvken spent the afternoon in the kitchen  giving our new oven a real workout and feeding the hordes. We had little white aprons for the kids and more food than people. It was noisy and messy and a lot of fun.
My sweet girl is 4. I just can't believe it.
Breathe in, breathe out. Heart full.
Robin's Chocolate Cake
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 heaped tablespoons of good quality cocoa
Put all ingredients together and beat for 3 minutes.
Bake at 180C for 45mins of until a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
This is enough mixture for 1 loaf tin or 2 20cm round tins.

Oma's Cupcakes
2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup of milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients and beat for 3 minutes.
Bake at 180C for 15-20mins.
Makes 20 cupcakes.

Italian Meringue Frosting
5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of water
Whip the eggs whites and cream of tartar together until stiff beaks form.
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Bring the sugar syrup to 245F and then remove from the heat.
Slowly combine the sugar syrup into the egg whites and then beat (moderately fast) for 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled and is glossy.
Use straight away.

The Aging Process

Friday, April 13, 2012

C has lost 2 teeth in 2 days. Honestly, my children pay no attention to my wish that they not grow up. No manner of pleading, cajoling, wand waving or praying will convince them to slow down and make like Peter Pan. However, despite my wistfulness, she is filled with delight about it and is thrilled that she has a tooth fairy. Each night she wrote a beautiful note and drew a picture for the 'Toorf' Fairy and put her teeny tiny tooth in the envelope. I still have G's first letter to the tooth fairy and this will be added to my little collection of special memories too.
The Tooth Fairy is not very reliable around here (both G and J are waiting for her to remember that she owes them a visit) but first teeth are particularly important, don't you think?

Dinner tonight

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brown lentil and zucchini stew, brown rice, grilled haloumi and crispy red capsicums. Delicious!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We have been moving into the new kitchen and living area and have been making the most of having a proper oven. There has been a lot of baking. And a lot of eating. Hopefully, there will also be a smattering of exercise across the next few weeks before the little duyvkens go back to school. 
Mr Duyvken has spent a lot of time working on his baking and those sourdough boules above are amazing now. They were always good but now? Wow!
 His cranberry and white chocolate brioche were pretty lovely too.
 The spinach and goats cheese raviolis were also yummy. I like being married to an over-achiever.
 Sweetie has been helping with the recycling and is very close to walking. I think he might be waiting until his beloved nan-nan gets home from Boston. We're picking her up from the airport tomorrow morning after her 5 week trip and we're all looking forward to seeing her again.
 The new part of the house is amazing. It has really changed the way we interact with one another and use the space that we have. It is like gulping lungfuls of fresh air and I can feel all the tension that I have been holding in my lower back loosening and fading. Having somewhere peaceful (and tidy) to sit is bringing me much joy.
The 3 girls spent a happy hour today being adventurers, scavenging things around the yard and making plate gardens. They each had very definite ideas about how they wanted it to look and worked so beautifully together.
Breathe in, breathe out. Heart full.

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