Thank you! and cakes

28 September 2017
It's a constant battle here at the moment keeping the water up to our tube stock in the front garden and the vegetables and fruit out the back.  I've just come in from the garden where I watered plants for over an hour and fought off another bush turkey. I'm hot and worn out. I've parked myself at my computer with iced water and the fan going, so I thought I'd do a short extra post.

I'm happy I have this chance to thank you for the wonderful response to my post yesterday about Kerry's new shop.  Last night after work he checked his Instagram and was really delighted to see all the new followers.  He messaged me and asked me to send a "big thank u" to everyone who followed him and to all those who sent good wishes in the comments here.  

There is this huge ever-evolving, indistinct and mostly unknown entity usually called a "readership" who visit here every minute of every day. I know what to expect from you now - and that is support, love and encouragement. Kerry however, is new to this and I think he was surprised - a very nice surprised.  So thank you from both of us because you've helped Kerry build a part of his business that is notoriously difficult.


Anna in Sussex asked for the recipe for the chocolate cake I made for Hanno's birthday. We have a vegan in the family so it was made with no butter, eggs, honey or milk, but it was still fabulous.  If you've never make anything vegan before, this is a good starter recipe.  This cake is best eaten the day of baking or the following day. I didn't ice the cake and it has a tendency to dry out without frosting or icing.  Shane made a vegan cake too and he iced his. When he comes over next time I'll ask him for the icing recipe and pass that on too. All I know at the moment is that is contained coconut oil.
  • 1 ½ cups plain /all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder - I used unsweetened Dutch cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb/baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil - I used sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

This is one of those easy cake mixes that is divided into dry and wet ingredients. So sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and bicarb/baking soda in a large bowl.  Pour the water, vanilla, oil and vinegar into a jug and mix together.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Mix together but do not over mix - as soon as the ingredients have combined, stop.  Pour the batter into a greased 20 cm/8 inch round cake tin, and place in the oven for about 30 - 35 minutes.  The cake will be ready when you can smell baked cake and a toothpick poked into the centre comes out clean.

I didn't take a photo of Hanno's birthday cake but I did take a photo of the blood orange cake I made this week. The recipe is the same as my whole orange cake recipe already on the blog. I added the candied orange slices and syrup I wrote about a few days ago to the top of each piece as I was serving it.  Absolutely delicious and something I'll add to my seasonal recipes so we can have it every year when the blood oranges are in season. And it used up the entire orange instead of having the waste skin.

BTW, I read that there are now blood oranges you can grow in hotter areas so I'm seeing if I can sprout the seeds I took from these oranges. I'll let you know how that goes.

I hope you have a lovely day.