Tuesday, 24 April 2012

'Stache Cookies

Follically challenged in the facial region? Here is a temporary solution (about as temporary as you can hold off eating it!) Just cut your biscuit mix into comedy moustache shapes before baking. Here's a picture of my Super Mario inspired tashe, and below that my Poirot inspired tashe!

My biscuit mix was for ginger biscuits. It's super easy, here's how I made it.

I used:
12 oz Self Raising Flour
8 oz Sugar
4 oz Margarine
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 1/2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 egg


Melt Margarine and Golden Syrup in a large bowl. You can do this using a bain marie method on the hob or you can do it in the microwave, but be sure to use a medium setting so as not to burn the syrup.

Mix everything else into the bowl.

Roll out mixture onto a surface that is dusted with a little flour. Cut into desired shapes and place shapes onto a lightly greased baking tray, or a tray with a sheet of baking parchment to avoid the biscuits sticking to the tray.

Pop them in your oven, gas mark 3 / 175 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden!

Tashe Tastic!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Broken Egg Swirly Easter Chocolate

Sometimes, shop bought eggs are just a bit boring, but everyone wants some chockie at Easter after all that Lent doing without malarkey. So here is a super easy home made chocolate gift idea. It's more like upcycling the chocolate if there can be such a thing because you don't make the chocolate from scratch...and if the recipient of the choc is like "hey where's my egg?" you can always say that this was a chocolate egg but the little chocolate chicken inside hatched and flew away to pastures new - that's why the egg is broken.

So, buy three 300g bars of chocolate, one bar white, one dark and one milk choc.

Make 3 separate bain maries using your hob, by filling 3 pans with water, put them on the heat with a heat safe bowl on top of the pan. Choose bowls that aren't too large as large bowls make it harder to pour out the chocolate later.

Break each chocolate bar up (keeping each chocolate type separate for now) and put them in the bowls on top of the pan. The steam from the water should melt the chocolate.

Find a nice baking tray that has a bit of depth to it, cover with grease proof paper.

once the chocolate has melted, pour it out, one type at a time, into the baking tray to form a slab. I went with dark chocolate first, then poured the white chocolate in thick stripes over the top, then the milk chocolate in stripes over the top of that. You can then use a skewer to swirl the chocolate in together to get a marbled veiny effect.

We put currents and chopped dried apricots on top of our chocolate, you could also put nuts (though check if the recipient has any major allergies like me!), any other dried fruit or berries, or even orange rind with the currents to make it like homage to a hot cross bun. (We also soaked our apricots in amaretto and our currents in brandy over night for more adult chocolate!)

Leave the chocolate slab to harden overnight.

Once the chocolate has set, you can break it up into pieces. We broke ours up by hand so it was more rustic, but if you're a stickler for neatness use a knife (and ruler?!)

Depending on what chocolate you use will change the texture and how brittle or fudgey the final product is. The white chocolate I used was my fave brand that has a blonde kid with glasses that rides a horse and goes into saloon bars full of other kids, and that chocolate was far creamier than the dark and milk choc brands that I used, this meant the final chocolate that was swirled together was naturally pretty soft and fudgey.

Get a nice plastic Easter basket! I saw some in the pound shop, or you can make one out of woven paper. There's a cute paper basket tutorial on Craftzine's blog, but be sure to put some grease proof paper lining the basket if you want to present it in a basket like this. You don't want your nice paper basket to get chocolatey melty marks all over the inside!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Yarn Bombed!

Last week work took me to Saltburn-by-the-Sea where a section of a TV show was being shot, and delightfully the pier had been Yarn Bombed! All along one side of the pier railings were knitted treasures in an Olympic theme with loads of sporting events illustrated in wool! So many people were coming from all over the North East to see it, it's amazing how (technically) an act of "vandalism" can unify a community. It's an amazing work of art, and whichever persons were responsible, you are brilliant and beautiful people.