Trying again

OK. I am finally trying again after my last attempt.
I spent quite a long time recently writing a blogpost, fitting in the photos I’d taken and making sure that it actually sounded like me. And then, I stupidly trashed it rather than publish the flippin thing. I have never done it before and I will certainly not do it again.

Anyway, I had written because I haven’t been keeping up the Blog as I promised myself that I would at New Year. Why? Well everything else has just taken over.

That and the fact that I have been suffering from a very sore and swollen knuckle on my right hand. My friend called it crafters finger and it’s a very apt name. I’m not completely surprised. My Mum has just told me that she has Arthritis in her hands and she was a knitter and crocheter and her Mum, my Nan, suffered as well and she never stopped knitting. Still, I was hoping that I would be OK for a good deal more years before I had to think about it.

Because of said knuckle, my crafting has just been to make some birthday cards. I couldn’t put up pictures before as they would be seen by the recipients and now I can’t as they’ve been sent!

Still, I am going to show you a picture of the large birthday cake I made for my Mum and brother as the whole clan has just visited Devon on holiday and the two birthdays fell a few days before I saw them. And No, if I had warned anyone they were coming then The inhabitants of Devon might have all upped sticks and gone away themselves! Damn, why didn’t I?

Back to the cake. I decided as there were 14 of them plus 2 of us a tray bake was the best idea. As there were several children, chocolate would be the best bet.
I looked in some of my cookbooks but a lot of the recipes weren’t really what I had in mind so I logged on to the BBC Good Food site and did a search. James Martin came up trumps with a Chocolate Fudge Cake. The recipe is below as it is a definite winner. I made the recipe up to 1 and 1/2 times the amount to fill a large tin.

200g plain chocolate , broken into chunks
200g butter
200g light brown muscovado sugar
100ml soured cream
2 eggs , beaten
200g self-raising flour
5 tbsp cocoa powder
hundreds and thousands , to decorate

100g plain chocolate
170g can condensed milk
100g butter

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line a 22 x 22cm square tin with baking parchment. Put the chocolate, butter and sugar into a large pan with 100ml hot water and gently melt together. Set aside for 2 mins, then stir in the soured cream followed by the eggs. Finally, stir or whisk in the flour and cocoa until lump-free, then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 50-55 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Sit the tin on a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Gently melt together icing ingredients in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, then chill or cool until spreadable.
To decorate, carefully turn out the cooled cake and peel off the baking parchment. Spread the icing over the top and scatter with hundreds and thousands, then cut the cake into triangles or fingers before serving.

This should serve 12 which is why I upped the amounts.