Thursday, 30 April 2015

April's bake of the month

Made it by the skin of my teeth again....

Chocolate cake or a simple plain cake. When you want can’t decide which cake to have, why not have both.

A marble cake is perfect when you want the best of both worlds. Whilst it looks impressive, it really is so easy to make.

The beauty of this cake is you can mix and match the flavours. How about a chocolate and orange or chocolate and coffee. The possibilities are endless.

Like I always do when I’m making a sponge cake recipe I weigh the eggs, still in their shells, and whatever it says on the scales, I weigh out that amount of flour, butter and sugar.

For example the two eggs – still in their shells – weigh 187g’s. Measure out 187g’s of self-raising flour, caster sugar and butter/margarine. No matter what the eggs weigh, always use the same weight for the flour, sugar and butter.

Marble cake

  • Two eggs
  • Self-raising flour
  • Caster sugar
  • Butter/margarine
  • 1 level tea-spoon of baking powder
  • 25g cocoa powder

  • Pre-heat oven to 180º c/Gas Mk 4. Fan oven 160ºc
  • Line 1lb loaf tin with baking parchment or non-stick liners.
  • Weigh the eggs, still in their shells. Whatever the eggs weigh, that’s the amount you’ll need for the flour, sugar and butter/margarine.
  • Put the sugar and butter/margarine into a bowl. Sift the flour along with the baking power into a bowl then add the two eggs.
  • Beat well until everything is combined and mixture is smooth, to the point that it will drop off your spoon.
  • Pour half of the batter in a separate bowl – don’t worry if it’s not exact – and leave to one side. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining mixture and beat until it’s has been combined.
  • Starting with the batter mix that was put to one side, take an ice-cream scoop (or a tablespoon) and dollop spoonfuls of the mixture into the tin. Then fill the remaining gaps with the chocolate mixture. There are no hard and fast rules here, be as creative as you like.
  • Finally to make the marble effect take a skewer and swirl it around the tin a couple of times (I’m afraid I forgot to do this...).
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown. To check to see if the cakes are cook, gently press the surface of the cake with a finger. If it springs back it’s cooked. You can also test it by using a skewer (or knitting needle or even a piece of spaghetti). Piece the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean then it’s done.
  • Leave the cake to cool for about five minutes then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

I like to serve my marble cake ‘naked’ but it would be just as lovely decorated with melted chocolate or water icing.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

What’s in your bag?

Thank you so much for your comments of support about the custom bag. They really took away any niggling doubts I had that I did the right thing. 

As I haven’t got any sewing to show I thought I’d show you something different, the contents of my sewing bag. I like to keep in this little bag (it was first attempt at making a quilted bag) all the essential items I need whenever I’m sewing.

Here we go:

Plasters (or band aids for our friends over the pond) – for when needles or pins attack!!!

Light and dark tacking threads

Small scissors

Vanishing fabric marker pens

Sewing needles (and a safety pin)

Left-handed tape measure – yes they really do exist...

Flower head pins

Thread nipper

Seam ripper


Thimbles – and a little sticky-tape to help it say on my finger...

Measuring gauge

Needle grippers

Sewing gauge/point turner

Hera marker – for making creases/marks on fabric

Seam presser

Compensation plates – when starting to sew through thick layers of fabric, these little bits of plastic slip under the machine foot to keep it level

What do you keep in your sewing bag?

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.