Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake

Martha Mondays is back and instead of being a weekly affair, its now taking place monthly with the results shown on the first Monday of the month.  Fancy joining us?  Just head to Brette’s blog.

Megan of Megan’s Cookin’ had the honour of picking the first choice and went with a Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake.

I had high hopes for this.   I had never made buttercream with egg whites or with the addition of caramel and I was excited.  I found the cake didn’t have much taste and kept checking to see if I should have added cocoa powder to the melted chocolate.

The buttercream for my taste had far too much butter.  I don’t see the point in the egg whites either and have found normal buttercream to be more tasty and of a better consistency.  Also, I could barely taste the caramel and ended up modifying it slightly with some powdered sugar and orange food colouring to make it a bit more exciting.

This cake wasn’t for us, but it has given me an idea for a Halloween cake which I will have to get on and make and then tell you about (if it works out okay of course!)

 

~ Pru

Where Brette Cooks From

A few weeks back I posted photos of my kitchen and I had such a positive response (thank you).  I love looking around other people’s homes, whether in person or on the internet.  I like seeing how people work in their kitchen and how they organise their cupboards and deal with saucepans and baking trays.

Brette, Founder of Martha Mondays was kind enough to share photos with me of her lovely kitchen and I hope you like them and are inspired by them as much as I am.

We re-did our kitchen about seven years ago and I still love it.  The tiles are glass, the counters are Corian, the floors are blue and the ceiling is faux tin.

This is the window about my sink.  On the shelf is my grandmother’s wooden rolling pin and a photo of my other grandmother with some baked goods she made.  I think of them both as my kitchen inspirations in many ways.

This is the counter where I do most of my work.  It’s between the sink and stove and there are lots of outlets for mixers. 

This is the other side of the sink.  It’s my second workspace, but dirty dishes and pots usually end up here.  The food precessor is here and I use that a lot!

This shows my double ovens and stovetop.  One oven has convection which I don’t use that often but do like having it available. 

This is my collection of cookbooks.  My big stand mixer is all the way to the right.  I rarely use it though because I have to pick it up and carry it across the kitchen to the counter I work on.

My embarassing baking drawer (yes, I really did write a book on kitchen organizing!)

I had never heard of (or seen) a faux tin ceiling but I like it alot.  There is something quite industrial about it, but in Brette’s kitchen it also looks homely.  And the little alcove for olive oil above the cooker is such a clever idea, almost hidden until you look carefully.

And I am certainly moving my baking trays from a horizontal mess (where they all collapse because I always need the tray at the bottom!) to them standing vertically.

I will confess too, that I have yet to show my baking box and cutlery drawers and they are completely like Brette’s drawer above (I take heart in that!)

I am so pleased that Brette showed her photos of her kitchen here.  And I love the idea of thinking about her in her kitchen when we are both cooking the same recipe for Martha Mondays!  Thanks Brette.

As well as being the founder of Martha Mondays, a group which I love being part of, Brette has written quite a lot of cookbooks (including a great one on cooking with parchment paper – no mess or fuss) and has a wonderful no-holds barred blog.

If anyone else fancies showing photos of their kitchen then please leave me a comment.

~ Pru

Strawberry Tart

It was such a hectic weekend that I wasn’t sure if I was going to get time to do this week’s Martha Mondays project, but knowing how much dad likes strawberry jam, strawberry tart, strawberries and cream and strawberries, there was not much chance of me not finding time to make them, and so on Friday night after a very long week at work, I set about making them.  The recipe is here.

 

These were easy to make and although the strawberries in the shops weren’t that great and I ended up mascerating them to bring out their flavour (and therefore my tart doesn’t look as pretty as the Martha Stewart one), they had a lovely feel of summer and I am most certain that they helped to bring out the sunshine at the weekend.

Thanks for a great pick!

Fancy joining us for Martha Mondays?  A super-friendly group of us get to pick a Martha Stewart recipe or craft and then we make it and tell each other what we thought on our blogs.  No pressure, but I can tell you that I have tried so many new things by joining this group.  Go over to Brette’s blog to find out more.

 

~ Pru

Are you following me on Twitter or Pinterest?  If not, then click on the links.  It would make my day, possibly my week too!

Cinnamon Bun Bites

Evening all!

 

Its a bank holiday today and I have enjoyed a peaceful day – the cinema to see this great film and then lunch with mum and dad at Byron Burger – seriously the best burger in London.

 

I needed this extra day.  Finally, Grandad moved into a care home on Saturday and mum and I were up in Norwich to clean his house and then see him in his new home.  I used to work for a housing association in the care homes department so I know quite a bit about them and I was so pleased to find that it is a lovely home where I am sure the staff will take care of him and that he will settle in well.  He decided to stay in his room on his first day and I thought it was a fine idea, the staff will be encouraging him to come downstairs to the lounge and meet other residents and to eat his dinner in the dining room.

 

But anyway, a three day weekend was needed.  It’s Martha Mondays day and it was Brette’s turn to pick and she chose something that our family absolutely loved.  This was a joint effort with mum helping to roll the balls of dough in sugar and cinnamon and placing them in the baking dish.  It is still cold here and so I kept them in the living room where we still have the fire turned on whilst they grew again in size  – they grow soooo big!

I love this Instagram photo I took of the dough after it had risen.

After rising.  They cracked slightly with the sugar and cinnamon making a great crust.

Crusty on the top and then soft in the middle.  They had a good hit of cinnamon and were gorgeous!

We loved them.  I didn’t use all of the vanilla glaze and kept some stored in a little jug which we used the next day when we warmed the bun bites in the microwave.

 

My only problem?  These are too good.  We kept on picking at it and although I know I will make it again, I need a big crowd of people around to eat it so that I don’t eat it all! And I still think these would be a great pot-luck brunch idea.

 

 

~ Pru

Are you following me on Twitter or Pinterest?  If not, then click on the links.  Also search for me on Instagram my user name is PerfectingPru. It would make my day, possibly my week too!