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October, 2013

  1. A Scrapbook finished!

    October 20, 2013 by sarah

    I have finally finished my first scrapbook, eight years after the holiday that inspired it! I started it soon after the holiday but wasn’t happy with my work flow for the photographs so everything stalled. Now I work with Lightroom, I can process the photos so much faster and I get them printed off in bulk from Snapfish when they have a deal on. I experimented with layouts and embellishments in the album and I consistently find my favourites are the ones with a simple layout, few extra twiddly bits and some writing to give meaning to the pictures. When I come to do our Big Trip round the world album, I think I will stick to this and make it an ‘photo album plus journalling’.

    I was reminded of something said on ‘Downtown Abbey’ last weekend:

    ‘The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, it is all that is left.’

    DSCN0055 DSCN0056 DSCN0057 DSCN0058 DSCN0059 DSCN0061

  2. Black Forest Cupcakes

    October 20, 2013 by sarah

    Wow, I didn’t realise it was coming up for a month since I last posted. I’ve been a busy girl as you will tell from the posts I put up over the next few weeks. I’ve had a full on push with my studies as I am away for two weeks of the month in November. I need to be ahead so I don’t spend the holiday worrying about how far behind I am. My second major project up until now has been finishing a scrapbook for a holiday I went on eight years ago – more about that in the next post. But I have found some time for making things and these are the Black Forest Cupcakes I made for the head nurse’s baby shower.

    What is there not to like about chocolate, cherries and cream? I can’t find a reason. Because I had to take these to work, real whipped cream wouldn’t work (no time to pipe fresh and if I had piped at home in the morning they would of had to go in the fridge which is tiny) so I cheated and used a can of whippy cream – it did the job but no where as nice as real cream so please use real cream if you can! Makes 12 cupcakes.

    150g butter, softened
    150g caster sugar
    2 large or 3 medium eggs
    175g self-raising flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    25g cocoa powder
    45ml milk
    100g dark chocolate, melted plus extra grated
    1 tin of cherries or jar of cherries (especially if in liqueur)
    1/2 jar sour cherry jam
    kirsh, if you have some
    300ml double cream, whipped


    Preheat the oven to 160C if fan. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.

    Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Break in the eggs then sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, mix well. Fold in the melted chocolate and the milk.

    Spoon or pipe into the cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until well risen, springy and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then take out the tin to cool completely.

    At this stage you can drizzle the cakes with some kirsh (could be from the jar if you treated yourself to cherries in liqueur) or a simple sugar syrup made with sugar and the liquid from the tin of cherries.

    Once the cakes are completely cool, cut a well in the centre of them (using a cupcake holer if you have one) and fill this well with sour cherry jam; replace a plug of cake in the well to seal. Pipe or spoon over the whipped cream, place a cherry on the top of each cupcake and sprinkle over the reserved grated chocolate.