Jelly & Custard Cupcakes

It’s was my brother-in-law’s birthday last weekend, so I baked him some cakes:

Piña Colada cupcakes – by special request.  I even put little umbrellas in them.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Pina Colada Cupcakes

I also made jelly and custard cupcakes.  These are always a great hit with the little ones (and big ones too!)

Oodles of Obliciousness - Jelly & Custard Cupcakes

The Piña Colada ones were from Love Cupcakes, my hands down favourite cupcake book.  The jelly and custard ones are also based on a recipe in the book but I’ve tweaked it so many times it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the original.  Here’s my recipe for them:

 

Jelly & Custard Cupcakes
Print Recipe
An homage to that old favourite childhood pudding - jelly and custard...in cupcake form.
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Jelly & Custard Cupcakes
Print Recipe
An homage to that old favourite childhood pudding - jelly and custard...in cupcake form.
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
for the cakes:
  • 125 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (large, at room temperature)
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • raspberry jam
for the frosting:
  • 125 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp (heaped) custard powder
  • milk
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
To make the cupcakes:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees c and line a muffin/cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Put the butter, caster sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of your mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and mix to combine (don't worry if it looks a little curdled at this stage, adding the flour will sort that out).
  4. Add the flour and baking powder and beat again until combined.
  5. Add the milk and beat again.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between your cupcake cases, bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, and turn out on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Once cupcakes have cooled, using an apple corer or knife, removed a section of cake from the centre, taking care not to go straight through to the cupcake case. Fill the space with raspberry jam and pop the piece of cake you removed back in.
To make the frosting:
  1. Beat the butter and vanilla until pale and fluffy
  2. Add the icing sugar and beat, slowly at first, until the mixture comes together. Add the custard powder and beat again to incorporate
  3. At this point, you will probably find the frosting to be a little too thick. Add milk, one tablespoonful at a time, until it reaches your desired piping constituency.
  4. Add the frosting to the cupcakes using either a piping nozzle of your choice or spread on with a palette knife.
Recipe Notes
  • I use a very heaped tbsp sized measuring spoon to measure the mixture into the cupcake cases.  This will give around 16 cupcakes.
  • I find squeezy seedless jam ideal for these cupcakes.
  • I prefer about 4 very heaped tablespoons of custard powder in my frosting, as I like it to be quite custardy.
  • I like to use large nozzles, as they allow me to cover the cake quickly and easily (cake decorating is not a skill I possess!).

 

 

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Bedroom (P)revamp

I’m so pleased I’m sticking to my craft project list and not adding anything new until I tick something off.  It has helped hugely that my lovely hubster has been clearing out someone the old stuff we seem to hang onto for no reason.  It means I have space in there to take photos and set up a temporary work tables and when I need it; it’s just down to me to go through all the bags and boxes of craft stuff I have and get rid of anything I won’t use.

I’m really looking forward to having a more minimal craft stash. As often I find the sheer volume of stuff I have is a bit daunting and ends up putting me off making anything.

I’ve also decided to decorate our bedroom in a Spanish flamenco style.  In case you didn’t know, I love Spain, especially Andalucia and dream of living in Sevilla one day. It’s one of those jobs which will take some time to complete así don’t want just go out, buy a ton of stuff, and shove it in the room; I want it filled with Spanish style knick knacks but also want it to reflect our own style and taste.

The first thing for the walls is almost finished…

Oodles of Obliciousness - Paco

…all will be revealed in the next day or so.

Oblibby xx

New Year, same old Oblibby

Happy New Year, Oodlers.  Hope 2016 brings you everything you wish for.  I always have mixed feelings at New Year; excitement at the fresh start and all the projects I’m looking forward to undertaking in the next 12 months, mixed with sadness (and a touch of anger) at everything I’ve failed to achieve in the past year.  I know I can’t do everything, but I really, really want to structure my life so I become more productive and use my free time better this year.  We shall see…

When I’m making up my project list for this year* I’m definitely adding a couple of things from these books I got a Christmas.  Both look wonderful and have so many things I’d like to make.  I think I’ll got with the orangutan from Edward’s Menagerie and the bull from Animal Heads as the first one from each book.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Christmas 2015 Crochet Books

*Actually, I think maybe listing the projects I want to do and ticking them off as they’re complete might be the way forward for me.  Ideally I’d only like to have one large and few small projects on the go at any given time, as I’m terrible for starting larger projects and having so many on the go I become overwhelmed and end up doing nothing.  I’ll report back on the list situation and let you know if it’s working or not.

I’m also looking forward to trying out my new cooking and cocktail books.  The Nopi one will be great for dinner parties and special occasions, whilst Spuntino is full of hassle-free food to cook at weekends.  Tequila Mockingbird is full of literary based cocktails, so looking forward to posting some fab booze pics soon.

Oodles of Obliciousness - 2015 Christmas Cookbooks

On the subject of cooking, I’m definitely going to get back to posting regular recipes here.  I’m also going to slightly change the way I cook and start doing more batch cooking for midweek meals, instead of cooking something from scratch every night.  I’m hoping this will free up a bit more time to spend on my crafty projects, as I’d really like to do a fair later in the year.

One of my current makes is taking a little longer than expected.  I’m making a Fair Isle tank top, using a pattern from Debbie Bliss’ Blue Faced Leicester DK book.  I’m using Patons Merino Extra Fine DK in shades Camel (105), Wine (132), Olive (171), Chartreuse (174), Blue Nile (155), Black (199), and Cream (102).  It’s a long time since I’ve knitted anything and had forgotten just how much longer it takes to do than crochet.  I’m really enjoying making it although it has to be said it’d definitely a design which needs my full attention.  Here’s my progress so far.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Tank Top

Thanks for looking.  I would love to see what you’re making or cooking, or even projects you’d like to do at some point in 2016.

 

Patatas Bravas with Chorizo and Poached Egg

Hello again!  You may have noticed, my last attempt to keep updated didn’t quite work out according to plan, but the good news is I now know what was causing my fatigue and I’m well on the way to recovery.

I posted a picture of this on my facebook feed and one of my friends asked for the recipe, so I thought what better way to kick start my blog again.  This one’s for you, Moogle ;).

 

Patatas Bravas with Chorizo and Poached Egg
Print Recipe
Crispy potatoes with spicy tomato sauce, chorizo, topped with a poached egg. Perfect comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
1 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-45 minutes
Patatas Bravas with Chorizo and Poached Egg
Print Recipe
Crispy potatoes with spicy tomato sauce, chorizo, topped with a poached egg. Perfect comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
1 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 baking potato (peeled or unpeeled, depending on your preference; I prefer the skin on)
  • 50 grams chorizo (cut into chunks)
  • 0.5 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 0.5 tsp chilli powder (increase or reduce this amount to suit your own taste. I prefer a little more, but whilst the dish should be spicy, it shouldn't be searingly hot)
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees and brush or spray a baking tray with oil.
  2. Cut the potato into 2cm (approx) cubes, place on the baking tray and spray or coat with more oil. Sprinkle salt on top and bake for around 20 minutes until the potatoes begin to crisp up on the outside and soften in the middle.
  3. Sprinkle the chorizo on top of the potatoes then cook in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, mix together the tomatoes, garlic, paprika, and chilli (don't worry about pre cooking the garlic, as the sauce will cook in the oven later).
  5. Add the sauce to the potato and chorizo mixture, reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or so until sauce has started to thicken -
  6. When your potato mixture is almost done, poach your egg.
  7. Put the potatoes in a dish, top with the egg, and sprinkle with a little more sea salt.
Recipe Notes

If you want to be really decadent, you could deep fry the potatoes in true Spanish style, and top with a fried egg.

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A Stitch in Time

Hello, little blog, it’s been way too long since I last updated.  The intention was there but somehow life, laziness, time, and other stuff all just seemed to get the better of me.  However, I’m now back (still with what feels like a million ongoing projects, recipes in my head, crafty things I want to do, and places I want to visit, all jostling around in my head.

Anyway, onto the good stuff.  I’ve never attempted cross stitch before, and to be honest, it’s a craft that didn’t hugely appeal to me, mainly because so many of the designs on the market aren’t quite me.  Late last year however, I came across some designs by Bothy Crafts, which I really liked.  I had some Christmas money, so decided to go for the Love Tree one.

It’s been a slow process, mainly because of ends and it being a project I do for a few days then leave for months.  I’d love to get it finished before this Christmas though, as I want to make a gallery wall in our dining room after Christmas, and this is going on it!

Oodles of Obliciousness - Cross Stitck

As you can see, I’m on the outline stage now (not sure if that’s the official cross stitch term or not).  It’s pretty time consuming, mainly because I chose a design with tons of little motifs.  I’ll get there though, then it’ll just be quick wash and press then to find a frame.

Next up I’d like to an embroidery sampler, or maybe a cross stitch ouija board – decisions, decisions….

Are you a cross stitch fan?  If so, I’d love to hear of your pattern recommendations.

Thanks for reading

Oblibby xxx

Spicy Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine

This tagine is a spicy, but the heat is balanced out by the sweetness of the dates and apricots.  The added bonus of being able to bung everything in the oven after some basic prep work makes this an ideal week night dinner.  If you’re not a chicken fan, this would also be great with lamb or a mixture of roast vegetables.

Spicy Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Spicy Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 20 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
  • butternut squash (cut into large cubes)
  • 6 chicken thigh fillets (halved)
  • 4 sprigs rosemary (2 x chopped, 2 x whole)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (approx 4x2cm) (grated or crushed to a paste)
  • 3 red chillies (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 sticks cinnamon or cassia bark
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100g dates (halved)
  • 100g soft dried apricots (halved)
  • olive oil
  • runny honey (optional)
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees c, roast the cubed squash with a little olive oil, cumin, salt and drizzle a little honey over it. Pop the squash in the oven until the next stage is done (20 minutes or so).
  2. Whilst the squash is roasting, add a little olive oil to a large pan or casserole pot and sauté the onion, ginger, chilli and chopped rosemary until the onion becomes soft. Add the chicken, cinnamon/cassia, cumin, and coriander and continue to sauté until the chicken starts to brown..
  3. (If you cooked this stage in a separeate pan, put the mixture into your tagine, large lidded pot or casserole dish)
  4. Add the tomatoes, fruit and roasted squash, reduce oven temperature to 165 degreed c and cook for 35-40 minutes.
Recipe Notes

I serve this with plain couscous.

It also keeps well as leftovers for lunch the following day.

As always, I'd love to hear your feedback on any of my recipes you've tried.

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Solar Daydreamer

You may recall from my last post that I was making a dress (the final results of which will be seen shortly; I just need to beg someone to take a photo of me) to wear to the wedding of really good friends of ours. As I have recently rediscovered my beady mojo, I decided it was only fitting I made some jewellery to go with it. Now, I’ve always been a bit underwhelmed with the new shaped beads which have been abundant of late, however when I saw this Daydreamer Rope by Jill Wiseman (even better as it’s a free download), I decided to buy some Czech Superduos and give it a go.  I decided on Halo finish in Tangerine, French Rose, Razzmatazz, Persian Rose, and Celestial.  For my seed beads I chose Miyuki seed beads in Taupe Lined Crystal AB.  As I was bursting with beady inspiration, I also decided to try out the new beading technique by Melanie de Miguel’s book, Let’s Hubble.  As I love throwing myself in at the deep end, I chose the Solar Flare Pendant and thought the deliciously exotic-sounding Pardparadascha Swarovski rivoli would go really well with my other colours.  I’ve never worked with this colour before and when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s a lovely reddish coral colour and bang on trend this season.

Here’s a what was on my bead board when I began my project (minus the 14mm rivoli, which must be hiding):


 

Originally I was going to do a necklace and a bracelet, but the sizing worked perfectly for a bangle which meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about a catch slipping round or potentially snagging my dress.

Here’s what I ended up with after a few hours of work:

Oodles of Obliciousness - Solar Daydreamer

…and because the pendant doesn’t show up very well from that distance, a little close up showing the padparadascha colour in all it’s beautiful glory.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Solar Daydreamer

 

The colours I used went so well with my fabric.  I had originally planned to use brights, but the Superduo colour selection wasn’t wonderful and the ones I did manage to find were too garish and just didn’t give the look I wanted, whereas these muted tones really brought out the vibrant colours in the fabric.  Also, taupe lined crystal AB have rocketed into my favourite seedy colour list.

I’m delighted with the finished results (and to have my creative mojo back again).

I strongly encourage you to have a go at the Daydreamer Rope if you’re at all beadily inclined.  A really simple yet effective design which works up pretty quickly.

Thanks for looking.

Oblibby, you shall go to the ball

Okay, so it’s probably the coldest summer in Scotland in a long, long time, but at least the crappy weather gives me an excuse to stay home and get cracked on with projects.

I’m making a dress and jewellery for my friends’ wedding in a couple of weeks, and so far, it’s all going very smoothly.  My last attempt at a dress was a Gertie pattern (Butterick B5953), and was an unmitigated disaster. Even though I had added a FBA allowance,  the top part just seemed too low and wide to cross properly.  I may have another go at some point but will try using a fabric with a bit of stretch instead of the recommended woven.

Anyway, on to my current project, a much more enjoyable experience altogether.  I’d heard good things about Style Arc, an Australian pattern company and their Layla design seemed to be exactly what I wanted, albeit with a bit a tweaking needed to give it a bit more of an ‘Old Hollywood Screen Siren’ vibe. At the moment I’ve done the bodice and the skirt; I’ve made a minor adjustment to the skirt, opting for a slightly longer, narrower silhouette, and adding a godet at the back instead of the kick pleat. I’m not sure if the godet will stay, or if there is enough give in the fabric to just do a wiggle skirt.

I’ve chosen a thickish stretch cotton, with a slightly satiny sheen to it, which I ordered from Fabric Godmother. It’s my first time ordering dress fabric online and I have to say I’m very very happy with it – it’s lush.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Style Arc Layla
Oodles of Obliciousness – Style Arc Layla

(don’t let the hangar size fool you – I’ve made it in a 14.)

I’ve not decided if I’m going to put the zip in yet. Part of my thinks if it fits well without it, just leave it out, but we’ll see. The one thing I will definitely change are the sleeves; the cap sleeves on the pattern are lovely, but I hate my upper arms, so wouldn’t be comfortable with them on show, also if the temperatures aren’t fantastic, I’ll feel less chilly with 3/4 length sleeves. I just need to find another pattern with sleeves which will fit, but I have a feeling I have one in a Burda Style mag which will be perfect.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Style Arc Layla
Oodles of Obliciousness – Style Arc Layla

I can’t wait to show you the beaded jewellery I’m making as well; I’m hoping it will go beautifully with the dress style and fabric.

Wish me luck!

Tortilla Española

Potato, egg, and onion.  It can’t be amazing, can it?  It absolutely can!

Let me introduce to the foodie wonder that is tortilla española.  It’s a bit like an omelette, but then again, it’s not.  The texture is different and it tastes better cold than hot.  This is one of my favourite tapa dishes, especially in the summer.  Okay, I have many, many favourites, but tortilla española is definitely near the top of my list.

Tortilla Española
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 as a main meal (or 8-12 as a tapa) 15-20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-30 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4-6 as a main meal (or 8-12 as a tapa) 15-20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-30 minutes 1 hour
Tortilla Española
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 as a main meal (or 8-12 as a tapa) 15-20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-30 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4-6 as a main meal (or 8-12 as a tapa) 15-20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-30 minutes 1 hour
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 large eggs
Servings: as a main meal (or 8-12 as a tapa)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees c. Finely slice the potatoes and onions using a food processor, mandolin or knife. Heat the oil in a large, shallow frying pan then add the sliced potato, onion and salt and saute until just cooked.
  2. Break the eggs into a large bowl or measuring jug, beat, then add the cooked potato and onion.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a smaller frying pan or baking tin (if using a pan, make sure it's suitable for oven use). Cook on the hob for a couple of minutes until bottom of mixture has just started to set. * For guidance, my pan is 21.5cm dia by 5cm deep. Make sure your pan is not too shallow - it won't work in a crepe pan.
  4. Move the pan to the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until the top is a light golden colour and the eggs have set.
  5. Now tip the tortilla out onto a plate and allow to cool down to room temperature. You can have it warm if you wish, but somehow it always tastes better when it has cooled down.
  6. Slice into wedges or cubes and serve.
Recipe Notes

I love this with a nice cold glass of manzanilla....or a nice glass of red...or a beer.

I really hope you give this one a go.  If you do, please let me know how you get on.

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Meet Fibi

I’m still crocheting away on Sophie’s Universe.  One round to go on my first one and up to Section 8 (I think) on the one for me.  Sometimes I liked to take a week off and do something else, so few weeks ago, I decided to have a go at amigurami, mainly because I fell in love with some Lalylala patterns.  A couple fell into my basket, and I decided to have a go at Fibi the Fox first.

After a few mishaps, mainly because I wasn’t marking the start of my rounds (if you’re new to amigurami, please don’t think you won’t need markers – you will!).  Once I learned about using a scrap of yarn to mark my place, on Dedri’s blog I didn’t look back.

Although I love adapting patterns and I’ve seen a few of the Lalylala ones used as the basis for something else, I decided it would be a good idea to stick with the original design, especially as this was a first attempt.

..so, let me introduce you to Fibi, the cutest little fox you’re ever likely to meet.

Fibi the Fox
Fibi the Fox
Fibi the Fox
Fibi the Fox

I can thoroughly recommend these patterns.  I’ve already started my next one.