Monday, 23 February 2015

Monday Bake - Flourless Apricot and Almond Cake

Cake Club comes round so quickly - there are five of us to take turns baking but already we are nearly at the end of February and it is my turn again!  Last time I made this cake - the recipe was in the Sainsburys Festive Food leaflet. 

150g butter, softened
Juice and zest of 2 large oranges
200g soft dried apricots
200g caster sugar
4 large eggs - beaten
200g ground almonds
100g polenta
1 tsp baking powder

100g butter, softened
100g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180c, Gas mark 4.  Grease and line a 23cm  springform tin.

Pour the orange juice into a measuring jug and add enough cold water to make up to 275ml.  Add to a pad with the apricots, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes,  cool then blend until smooth in a food processor.

Put the butter, caster sugar and orange zest in a bowl and beat together.  Gradually whisk in the eggs, stir in the apricot and orange puree, then fold in the almonds, polenta and baking powder.

Spoon in to the tin and bake for 45 - 55 minutes until a skwer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the buttercream by whisking all the ingredients together until smooth, spread on top of the cooled cake and serve.

We all enjoyed it and I would definitely make it again.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. Love Train - The O'Jays
2. Back Stabber - The O'Jays
3. If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Monday Review - Westgate Galleries North Berwick

Once a year when I go up to Edinburgh to stay with Sister we make a trip to Berwick Upon Tweed - usually when I am up in February.  Our Mum and Dad are buried there, so first stop is to lay flowers on their grave. Then we make a day of it and it always is a lovely day - this time there was so much sunshine. We have lunch at the Town Hall (a few more cafes have popped up but Minibakebakegirl says we need to keep up the tradition and have lunch there!) and then a wander round the shops.   Lots of independent shops - some are a bit hidden away but it is a nice wee town to walk round.  I took a lot of pictures - here are some of them.

Then we drove back up along the coast and stopped off at the Westgate Galleries in North Berwick for coffee and cake.   I had a huge slice of chocolate cake - yum! 

Afterwards we went for a bracing walk along the beach.   The sky was such a pretty shade of pink as the sun was going down.


Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. Love of The Common People - Paul Young
2. Come Back and Stay - Paul Young
3. Every Time You Go Away - Paul Young

Monday Inspiration - Carrot Cake

What a lovely birthday week I have had :o)   I am classing it as a week as Hubby took me out last Saturday and then my actual birthday was yesterday!!   The above photo was taking this morning on my walk into town - such a gorgeous blue sky!

Hubby had bought me a red velvet birthday cake - we had some yesterday morning, it was delicious.  Minibakebakegirl had just got up so she had some for her breakfast!! 

Last Tuesday I went with FriendD to see Cats at The London Palladium.   Nicole Scherzinger plays Grizabella - She only sang Memory  (twice) but boy she has an amazing voice.  During the interval, Old Dueteronomy sat on the stage, and signed programmes and spoke to the theatre goers.   I had never seen this before,  we were in the Royal Circle so I couldn't see if people were just going up or whether this was a pre-booked thing, but I think more theatres should do this.

For Christmas Hubby had given me tickets for Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour, I went last year on my birthday and did the same again this year.   This year I took Minibakebakegirl, we decided to have a Mummy and Mini day so I let her choose what to do in the afternoon and she chose Camden Market.  We went to Camden back in 2013 with Sister and Nieces.    It was a lovely sunny day yesterday, a wee bit cold but it was great to wander round all the lovely stalls and wee shops.   

Then we headed to the 02.   The show was good.   Len hadn't done the other shows due to a knee operation but he did do the 2 days at the 02 - I love Len!  Also there was no Bruno, instead Camilla Dallerup and Tom Chambers who won it in 2008 were on the judging panel.   Zoe Ball didn't host on our night which was a shame - I love Zoe!  Instead we had Lisa Riley, who did it last year.   I really enjoyed seeing Simon and Christina's amazing Argentine Tango and Caroline did her charleston with Tristan which was excellent.   You can text vote on the night and we voted for Caroline, she came second to Simon.


As with tradition I did some baking today to take into work tomorrow.  I made Fay Ripley's carrot cake from her What's for Dinner book and Mary Berry's lemon drizzle traybake.     These are both really easy "throw it all in a bowl and mix it up" recipes.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Memory - Elaine Page
2. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurythmics
3. Night Fever - Bee Gees

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Monday Review - London - Sea Containers

It's my birthday soon and before Christmas Hubby told me to keep Saturday the 31 January free - exciting!  So with Minibakebakegirl on a sleepover with her Best Friend we set off to London - he didn't tell me where we were going till we got to Blackfriars bridge. We were staying at Sea Containers right on the river Thames.  There was a double connection to staying here -  Hubby's very first job was in this building back in 1989 when he worked for HM Revenue and Customs and my Dad was in the Merchant Navy, he may have transported goods for Sea Containers.

After dumping our bags we went for a wander along the river and around St Pauls.

London is so pretty at night by the river when everything starts to light up.   That evening we had dinner in the restaurant at the hotel.    For pudding I had a Gingerbread Sandwich - which was gorgeous, Hubby had the apple pie.

The next morning we went to Bills for breakfast.   Mmmm blueberry pancakes with fruit and bacon.   

We then went for a huge walk along the river to Tower Bridge and then back along the otherside.   It was a lovely morning but blooming freezing - the wind was bitter!

I had a lovely weekend - hope you did too.

Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Watching You - Rogue Traders
2. In Love Again - Rogue Traders
3. Voodoo Child - Rogue Traders