Saturday, 11 May 2013


Bløtkake (Eli’s recipe)

My friend gave me this recipe for a Norwegian cake called "Bløtkake" (which literally means "moist cake") as I wanted a celebration cake for one of our cake club sessions. It's a light sponge, moistened with fruit juice, layered with fresh fruit and whipped cream, and covered in marzipan. This is the type of cake you'll see at any celebration from birthdays to weddings (along with lots of other cakes, for big celebrations there will usually be a cake table with lots of cakes brought by the participants rather than just one cake).

It's delicious, really light and so tasty.  And the sponge mix works really well for other cakes too.

Sponge recipe:
5 eggs
150g caster sugar
150g plain flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (if you haven't got vanilla sugar, just use a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead)
To decorate:
Fresh berries or other fruit
Whipped cream
Whisk together eggs and sugar, whisking for a very long time until greatly increased in volume and very frothy - about 10 minutes! Sift together flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar and gently fold into the eggs. Pour into prepared tin (approx 7"-8", lined with baking parchment).
Bake at 150oC for around 25 minutes until golden brown on top (varies between ovens - it took 50 minutes in my conventional oven).  After about 5 minutes of cooling in the tin invert onto rack to cool completely.
Now comes the bit which makes this a moist and yummy cake...
While the cake is baking, cut up some strawberries and stirred in some sugar to let them macerate. When the sponge is cooled, slice in half to make two layers. Drizzle the juice from the strawberries over the two layers to moisten the sponge. Then layer the sponge with a good helping of fresh berries and whipped cream. Then cover the whole cake in whipped cream.  The traditional recipe would then cover the whole cake in a layer of marzipan as well.  I usually stop at the cream and cover in berries. 


After being given an armful of rhubarb, I found a lovely recipe for rhubarb muffins (  Its not too sweet, making them more appealing to those who aren't massive cake fans.
Then I started thinking a bit wider afield - combining rhubarb oven cooked in sugar (10 minutes), with chocolate sponge mix and the juice of half a lime.  It sounds like an odd combination but it is really moist and tastes yummy.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Don't worry, I've not been brain washed by some crazy cult, my house mate writes a monthly piece relating to the good and bad things in life and how to be a better person 'Sparxism'.  Check it out, if for nothing else but the comedy factor and the cartoon cockroach:

And it was said cockroach that inspired my housemates birthday present - obviously with a crafting twist.
T-shirt was printed by the guys at  Really pleased with the service and the t-shirt quality so would highly recommend them.

I made the cockroach out of felt and appliqued him on by hand.  I had started to regret the choice of stitching about half way round as it wasn't a 'quick stitch' but I htink it really works well, so glad I persevered.

The t-shirt has been allocated a monthly wearing slot in my house mates calendar, for when he publishes new additions to Sparxism.

If you want to know what partum pergo means you'll have to watch the films!!!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Cow cushion

My friend moved into a new house, her own house, this year.  She's been a bit slack in having a house warming but I've been making this in preparation.
She has a thing for cows, as a few people I know do. Cows are pretty cool.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Creativeness moves to fashion

I was due to go on holiday to Italy, and knew it was going to be very warm.  So with that in mind all of my summer dresses came out in preparation, but I decided a new frock was needed.
After taking inspiration from

The pattern: Take a length of material wide enough to wrap around your hips.  Stitch the material together to form a tube.  Hem top and bottom to the required length.  Take a length of 1" wide elastic, wrap it around under your armpits, so its tight enough to hold the dress up, but not too tight to be uncomfortable.  Stitch the ends of the elastic together to form a circle.
Stretch the elastic and pin it to the inside of the top of the dress and stitch.

And there you have a basic dress.  I tweeked mine with a couple of hook and eye clasps to take in the excess material at teh back once its on (in hind sight this could probably be achieved more discretely by using small lengths of elastic on the inside to gather the material), and then finished it off with a wide ribbon belt.

For a 1st attempt I'm quite impressed.  On a practical level, due to the length of the dress, it could have done with a split up the back as you have to take smaller strides when walking, although next time I'll probably use a stretchier material.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

July doorstops

I've been struggling for time for crafty stuff recently, but have managed a few more doorstops, including adding a chicken and a dog to the collection.

I had been asked to make a duck and decided that I should really try a chicken as well as they are similar shapes.  I love them, they have such cute faces, the two-tone felt makes each chcicken a bit more individual and the dangly legs make them great for sitting on the edge of shelves.

Duckie making friends in his new home

I also had a request for a dog - it took a bit of time to develop the pattern, especially sorting the nose out.  But I'm really pleased with how it has turned out.  I added a bit of chain stitch embroidery to decorate the ears and body.  I'm sure this will develop as I make more in plain fabric, I think it makes them a bit more interesting.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

For the past year I've been making animal based doorstops, here are a selection....I'll be posting more shortly.

Snorse, pig-wig, catty and moose