Published September 22, 2010
Baking , Recipes
Tags: Apple, Cake, Custard, vanilla
Once again my garden has blessed me with an abundance of apples. My girls harvested most of them and I asked them to give me the ones with blemishes for immediate use. There were surprisingly few. So after only one cake and two batches of apple sauce I had only good ones left, or so I thought.
To my dismay I found that many apples are inhabited even though they are flawless on the outside. This is bad. It means I have to go through them real quickly. Yesterday I cut up apples as a snack and I had to throw away half of them. In the 7 or 8 years of having apple trees I have never had that happen.
On the bright side I baked an apple cake on the weekend my family liked so much that it was gone before I could take a photo. It is another German recipe similar to an apple pie, but baked in a spring-pan. The twist in this recipe is the vanilla custard you pour over the apples before you cover the cake with a crust. Yum!
Here is the recipe.
Published September 20, 2010
Dyeing , Knitting , Spinning
Tags: cardigan, filati, handdyed, Knitting, merino wool, silk, Spinning, yarn
Yep, this is it! That is what I managed to knit ALL Summer! Well, it is finished now and I love it. The yarn is a merino-silk blend that I have dyed and spun myself. It is a worsted weightish 2 ply yarn, where one strand is dark pink and the other strand changes from light pink, green, blue to yellow. I used only 155g ( 5 1/2 oz) yarn for this little cardigan.
The pattern is from Filati #39 that my MIL sent to me from Germany (Ravelry link). The cardigan has a very interesting construction. You knit the two front pieces first, add a few stitches for the sleeves and when you are done you set several stitches aside for the collar. Then you join the two pieces and cast-on stitches in the middle for the neck. After that you knit from the neck down, decreasing the sleeves and knit until you have the same length as the front. In the end you add enough length to the collar so that it wraps around the back of your neck and you graft the two pieces together.
There are no button holes, you just push the buttons through the big loops from the drop-stitches.
All in all I am very happy with this little cardigan. It looks cute and is surprisingly warm despite the lacy fabric. I am also very pleased with the job I did spinning the yarn.
The original is knit with a cotton-polyester-silk blend and I worried my wool-silk version would not drape as well, but it does. The other thing I changed is that instead of a single button in the middle I added the three on the bottom.
Birthday cakes are a big deal in our family. I try very hard to make dreams come true. So when my daughter told me she wanted a chocolate cake decorated with After Eight chocolates I rose to the challenge. I asked her if she wanted the frosting to be mint flavoured as well. She did.
So I went looking for a recipe. Several years ago Germany had this craze to turn candy and chocolates into cakes and sure enough there were several recipes for After Eight cakes on German websites.
The real problem with this cake was that I could not find the After Eight chocolates, only small bars. ( Maybe they don’t make them in summer?) After searching in six stores I gave up and bought the bars. The recipe tells you to melt the chocolates in hot cream, let the cream cool overnight and whip it up. Well, there was something in the bars that in the end made the cream curdle.
That is why on the day before her birthday I found myself at 10 at night at the grocery store, tired and worn out from my tennis tournament feeling a bit lost. I bought another litre of cream and went searching for something minty. I found mint chocolate chips made by Hershey’s ( I love you guys!). After that everything went without a glitch.
My daughter wanted the layers to be showing so I did not frost the sides and there had to be chocolate on top. So I cut up two of the bars even though they did not look that pretty…
The cake tasted great. The recipe is here.