Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Spring in My Garden

Springtime is lovely. (Yes, it's Springtime in Australia!) I for one am not fond of the winter, so I'm always glad when Spring comes. My roses in the front garden are blooming earlier than the back ones as usual. The back garden's roses are budding. Some others are starting to bloom. Gertrude Jekyl (a David Austin rose) Heritage (also David Austin) Gold Bunny (a Floribunda) Another Gertrude Jekyl I can tell the bees, butterflies and the ladybirds are having so much fun, they always come and keep me company when I'm in the garden. Everytime I've done some gardening, I would think I should do it more often or do it everyday, but the busy-ness of life often keeps me away from the garden. Today I'm joining Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tea Time Strawberry Gateau

Hi, there, how are you all? Last Friday was a windy day here, and since gardening was not a practical thing to do then; I decided to stay indoors and do something I would enjoy doing. This spot where I look out of my kitchen window kept saying "Strawberries" to me. Strawberries have been in season and they are everywhere, including in my fridge. So why not make a strawberry cake. I remembered seeing this recipe in a British Country Homes and Interiors magazine, I found it in the May 2008 issue, yay! I checked the ingredients, yes, I had all of them on hand except the hazelnuts. However, I had flaked almonds in the freezer, so I would use them instead. This recipe is super easy to make, but looks impressive. I think the most fiddly and time consuming part was to stick those flaked almonds on the cream on the side of the cake, and even that was honestly not really that difficult! So there you go, everything else was simply easy as pie.
Ingredients: 225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
225g caster sugar (fine baker's sugar)
225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk 20 strawberries
5 tbsp strawberry jam
300 ml whipping cream Flaked almonds, toasted
Icing sugar, to dust
"Flake" chocolate broken up or flowers to decorate.
(1) Preheat oven to 190C. Lightly grease and flour two 20cm sandwich tins. (2) Put the butter, caster sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and milk into a bowl and beat until smooth. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20 minutes untio the sponge is golden and springs back to the touch. (3) Reserve 10 (I used 12) strawberries and roughly chop the rest. Invert one cake on a plate, spread with jam and scatter with chopped fruit. (I stewed my chopped strawberries in a saucepan for a few minutes with some sugar) Top with the second cake.(4) Whip the cream until stiff and thinly coat the sides of the cake, press nuts into sides. (5) Pipe rosettes over the top of the cake and top with reserved strawberries. (In order to give it a more casual look, I didn't pipe the rosettes, I simply made 12 mounds of cream using a tablespoon) Place a whole straberry in the centre of the mounds of cream and sprinkle broken up "Flake" chocolate in the middle. Dust straberries with icing sugar. Voila, Strawberry Gateau! I rested the glass cake plate on top of a glass drink goblet and made it an elegant pedestal cake stand. Now let's serve the cake with some tea or coffee. Here, do not be in a haste, one slice at a time please. All gobbled up in three minutes! Mmm! So superb and moist!!!! Another one please.............. Another window outlook Have a lovely week with a wonderful outlook.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spring Buzz In My Garden

Many have asked me how it could be Springtime here when their world is all Fall and Winter approaching. The answer is we live on a globe that has two hemispheres, that's why. So it's Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, and Autumn in the N0rth. Australia where I live happens to be in the Southern Hemisphere. These pictures of my garden (below) were taken last week. And these below were taken today. It's amazing how much difference one week makes. Spring really brings buzzing new life, doesn't it? Hope you enjoyed these garden pictures, enjoy your season, wherever you are.