Recommendation – a great post about freeing up your internal editor

free your internal editorDoes your inner editor hold you back with all its comments and criticisms? Mine never shuts up, and it’s hard to ignore, but then….

I was a few days behind on my Google Reader, and I just came across this post on Janice Hardy’s site which really spoke to me. It’s by guest author Amy Butler Greenfield, who suggests you give your inner editor a sheet of paper or a separate document to record all its little gripes and groans.

I love this idea! Because if I let the nagging creature speak its piece, perhaps it will settle down while I carry on scribbling.

Worth a try?

 

Cheat’s Pizza Cake – with Rice Krispies

This cake is so easy to make, it feels like cheating! You can make it yourself, or let your children do it – it’s that simple!

Rice Krispie Cake

You will need:

  • A big sandwich cake tin, for getting a nice round shape, and some clingfilm or greaseproof paper to line it with.
  • Rice Krispie cake mixture (the kind made with marshmallow) OR  a real cheat – ready-made Rice Krispie Squares, the chewy marshmallow ones.
  • Strawberry or raspberry seedless jam
  • Sweets! I used Dolly Mixtures, Minstrels, Smarties and Jelly Tots. Anything goes, I guess – just not blue sweets….I’ve never seen anything blue on a pizza, and I’d be suspicious if I did!
  • Grated white chocolate.

Instructions

  1. Make your Rice Krispie mixture,  OR  if you’re using the ready-made Rice Krispie Squares, take them out of their packets, put them in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. This will make them all moist and pliable.
  2. Form your mixture into a pizza shape in your lined tin, pressing down firmly, and score into slices. Then cool in the fridge.   (Scoring into slices makes it easier to serve, and  the toppings don’t get destroyed by cutting it up later)
  3. Use seedless jam for tomato sauce, and a selection of sweets for toppings to decorate the base. I used Minstrels, Dolly Mixtures, Smarties and Jelly Tots.
  4. Finish with a grating of white chocolate, which looks amazingly like cheese.
  5. Serve it up, and soak up all that praise!

 

How to make a Baseball Cap Cake

My daughter wanted a cake shaped like her favourite baseball cap.  And this is how it turned out.

cake

 Here’s how I did it….

For the cake –

  • Chocolate fudge icing, I used Nigella’s recipe.

  • Enough sponge cake mix to fill a dome shaped tin.

cake  2bFor the decorating –

  • Roll out icing, pre-coloured or plain ( but then you’ll need to colour it)

  • One Smartie. Don’t worry, it’s not a waste –  you can eat the rest of the packet!

  • White icing for the logo.

  • A golden chocolate coin

  • Icing sugar for easy rolling

  1. Because she likes chocolate, I used a basic chocolate Victoria sponge recipe. And if you’re lucky enough to have a dome shaped tin, then this will be easy for you, but I cheated and used a sandwich tin, and this bowl –cake 1
  2. I scoured my cupboards and found a bowl that was slightly larger in diameter than my sandwich tin. I was sure the bowl would crack in the oven, and that I’d be off to the shops to buy a ‘proper’ domed tin – but it worked a treat! I lined it with greaseproof paper, and filled it halfway to make the domed top. And halfway brought it to about the same diameter as my sandwich tin, which I used to make the base cake to give me the height and shape I needed. cake 2cake  2x
  3. I sandwiched the base to the domed top using lot and lots of Nigella’s chocolate fudge icing. And then as if that wasn’t enough, I covered the outside too! This is great icing, completely delicious and really easy to spread. And then I put it in the fridge to chill.cake  2a
  4. Now it’s time to get busy with the roll out icing. Roll it out large enough to easily cover the dome, then place it on top, mould it to fit, and trim any excess. I made a couple of little holes by pressing too hard, but these are easily fixed by pushing the icing gently together again.cake 3
  5. Easy bit now… find a suitably coloured Smartie, and stick it to the top of your cake with a drop of water. And it might be the time to pause for a moment, admire your work, and munch a few of the ‘wasted’ Smarties. Then use a cocktail stick or wooden barbeque skewer to mark the seams on the crown of the ‘baseball cap’. The cap is divided into sixths, starting at the Smartie if you got it just in the middle!cake 5
  6. Use the cocktail stick to mark out the stitches , and the little air holes at the top of the cap.cake 6cake  6b
  7. Now roll out a piece of icing for the peak of the cap, and place it on the cake board, shaping to fit.cake  7
  8. Cut it to shape, then mark out all the seam lines on the peak.cake  7a
  9. And there you have it, all ready to add logo and details.cake  8
  10. I used a golden chocolate coin, and iced the name on there, and I used shop bought white writing icing to make a logo. cake  9

My daughter and her friends were thrilled!

The most difficult part was finding the right shaped ‘tin’, but the decoration itself is a doddle! And if you give it a try, do let me know how it works for you, or send me a link if you’ve posted a picture!

Happy Baking!

 

The Cabinet of Curiosities – and why you should be reading it.

cabinet from Harry Potter shop

Look, I’ve been following this blog The Cabinet of Curiosities for several weeks now, and I just had to write this.

Every week, the four Curators (authors) post a story, and their imaginations and creativity will amaze. If you like children’s fiction, check it out. If you like things a bit dark, and creepy, and imaginative, and magical – check it out.

Seriously. Click the link.

My favourite stories from each of the Curators so far:

Quicksilver and the Stranger – wonderful and unusual witchy tale by Claire Legrand

Johnny Knockers – a whale tale, but so weird and strange, by Stefan Bachmann

Lucky, lucky girl – but she’s not a very nice girl!  by Katherine Catmull

Fairy Cakes – and very creepy little fairies they are, too, by Emma Trevayne

There. Cheerleading over.

Head on over to their blog and you’ll see what I’m raving about.