Category: Baking

Feb 12

True lover’s nut

Going through old pictures, I found these. They were taken exactly seven years ago.

Walnut hearts

Walnut hearts

It was one of those funny accidental things; the shell just happened to break open that way.

Walnut Valentine

Love in a nutshell

Just like love, you couldn’t plan it.

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Dec 20

Winter lights

Here is my son’s birthday cake, made a couple of days ago.

Birthday cake (unlit)

Little Scraplet's birthday cake

It’s Jamie Oliver’s party cake, chocolate sponge with a handful of flaked almonds in the mix (which all of us liked, except the birthday boy, alas…), whipped cream & blueberries in the middle and melted chocolate on top. It was pretty nom-nom-nom, though I say so myself.

Having a birthday so close to Christmas can be tricky. But you can never have enough candles at this time of year, right? It’ll just get better and better as he gets older.

Lighting the candles

'Happy Birthday to you...'

Cake candles

Cake candles

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Dec 19

Gingerbread party bags

This is a real cheat of a post as I made these bags a whole year ago for Little Scraplet’s last birthday. But I wasn’t blogging then, and I’m ill and out of action now, so needs must.

Little Scraplet’s party was to take a group of friends to a brilliant production of Hansel & Gretel by the wonderfully quirky and inventive Kneehigh Theatre Co at the Bristol Old Vic. I really enjoyed putting the party bags together: homemade gingerbread men, cookie cutters, silicone spatulas and  wooden spoons, gingerbread-themed magnets, and old-fashioned foil-wrapped party cakes. Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t bring myself to buy the instant-junk plastic variety of party-bag gifts. My heart hasn’t shrunken quite so much as to deny balloons, however.

Gingerbread party bags

Gingerbread party bags

Last but not least, cellophane bags (satisfyingly shiny, but eco-friendly), finished off with pretty name labels whose edges were scalloped with my trusty pinking machine.

Gingerbread party bag

Why not real, functional party-bag gifts?

I’ll post about that pinking machine separately as it really deserves your undivided attention.

This clever production of Hansel & Gretel is currently on at London’s South Bank Centre, running until 2nd January 2011. Do catch it if you can as you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour. I can’t remember enjoying a theatrical production so much, whether for adults or children. It really was spellbinding. And a final seasonal temptation: I notice that there are also gingerbread house-making workshops at the South Bank on 20th and 21st December (see the above link for details). Sound like a lot of fun.

Bristol Old Vic

Hansel & Gretel at Bristol Old Vic, December 2009

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