Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter Details

Although bloggers put themselves out there with images of themselves, tutorials and images of things they've made, I'm well aware that most bloggers only share a small percentage of themselves online.  I'm like this.  I use this blog to share the garments I've sewn, tips and tricks I come across and sewing/fashion related bits and pieces.  Although I enjoy sewing and I hope to work in the fashion industry, these only make up a small part of who I am as a person.  Why am I stating this?  Cause Easter means far more to me than chocolate, decorations and cake (which I'll share below), it is the time of year I, as a Christian, celebrate the life and death of Jesus and am thankful for this as it's the reason I'm the person I am today; Alive in Christ.  I have chosen not to post about this in the past as I know it can make some people uncomfortable and I'm not claiming to be the best Christian in the world, I'm just doing my best.

Therefore, at all Christian holidays we like to put effort in and share the time with family and friends.  This year we had dinner in our house for 10.  And we had a lovely afternoon/evening.  My mum and I put together lots of little details in order to make the day a little more special.

For our table, I ran up a yellow gingham runner on Saturday and made a centre piece out of our existing kitchen artificial flowers, a clear vase and some decorated eggs.  We wanted the table to look colourful and cheerful.

At each person's place setting, I made up little bunting name tags and suspended them on toothpicks and white-tack.  This was to match in with out 'Happy Easter' bunting.  Mum made up little treat bags filled with chocolate eggs, bunnies and a mini Lindt Gold Bunny for the ladies.

As for food, we had carrot and ginger soup, Marks & Spencer Honey Roast Ham with rosti's and veg and finished our meal with Simnel Loaf cake I made on Saturday.

What a feast it was!

So in order to add something extra to this blog of mine, I'm sharing the recipe I used for the cake.  In our house, my dad and I are allergic to dairy (not to be confused with a lactose intolerance, it's ALL of dairy) and my dad is also allergic to wheat and yeast.  This means we don't really do dessert and he struggles to find good, tasty cakes so we tend to adapt recipe's we find to alter this!

  • 100g dairy-free spread (we use Pure Soya spread)
  • 175g muscovado sugar
  • 250ml orange juice
  • 200g ready-to-eat dried apricots quartered
  • 200g glacĂ© cherries
  • 100g raisins
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 300g wheat-free plain flour (we use Dove's farm)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g toasted flaked almonds
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 175g marzipan
  • Icing sugar - I start with a small amount and work up through the bag so can't give you and exact amount!
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 21⁄2. Line the base and sides of a loaf tin (I managed to get one and a half tins filled) with nonstick paper. Melt the butter, sugar, orange juice, dried fruits and peel together in a large pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then leave to cool for 15 minutes.  You should see a change in colour.

Sift the flour, baking powder and spice into the pan, add the almonds and eggs and stir all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.

Shape the marzipan into 11 balls.  Spoon half the cake mixture into the tin and arrange the marzipan balls evenly over the top. Cover with the remaining cake mix and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. 

Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and it springs back when pressed lightly. Insert a fine skewer at the centre of the cake; if it comes out clean with just a few crumbs sticking to it, the cake is cooked. Leave to cool in the tin, before turning out on to a wire rack, removing the paper and leave to cool completely.

Mix a small amount of icing sugar with a little water and mix, continuing to add icing sugar until it is of the consistency you prefer.  I like to have a thick icing so it took a lot of icing sugar and very little water to achieve this.  Add an extra layer of icing sugar a few hours later.  Let the icing run off the sides of the loaf.

Decorate the icing as desired.  We used a felt bunny and Cadbury's mini eggs.

And it was super yummy!  Marzipan and Glace Cherries are two of my favourite foods anyway, so it was always gonna be a winner for me!
Are we feeling my posting of recipe's and the such on here?  I think a little bit of variety is nice and would be happy to feature other things rather than just sewing?

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