Friday, 3 August 2012

A cardi and some yummy Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes......

The original
Just finished knitting a Debbie Bliss cardigan called 'Fan Jacket' - jacket is an exaggeration: cardigan would have been more appropriate...its from her book called ''The Village'.  I'm happy to report that I am very pleased with the results, I made a size 12 and it came up true to the size - I was very good and made a tension square first: I usually by pass this stage as I'm so desperate to make it but this time I practised what I preached and it was worth it in the end.  I used Rowan's Wool/Cotton as I thought it could be a cardi to see me into Autumn months and the 'weight' of it is good so I'm thinking it will do more than one season in our ever changing British weather. 

The cardi has lovely features with a scalloped edge around the neckline and cuffs plus the fantail effect around the hem.  And you do not have to knit a buttonhole band: so no sewing on - yay!  I am 'short-waisted' and generally find patterns far too long in the body but I made this one to the size stated and its fine for length.
I love this kind of knitting - having a bit of a design feature to make it interesting but the majority of it in plain knitting - so I can watch the telly while I'm knitting, in fact I can even watch the telly with subtitles as a lot of this cardigan was made while watching 'The Bridge' on a Saturday night....I'm crocheting at the moment and struggling a bit with it while trying to watch the Swimming heats/finals @ the Olympics!  And what about the Olympics: how fantastic has it been?

I've been planning some recipes for my blog and decided that while there are still strawberries in the shops I should post this recipe as it goes down rather well at my knitting club: see workshop info for dates. 
Its from 'The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook'  and is easy peasy to bake ......Enjoy!

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

120gms plain flour, sifted
14ogms caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
40gms unsalted butter at room temp
120ml whole milk
0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
8 large strawberries chopped into small pieces
8 small strawberries to decorate
100-200gms digestive bics
1 quantity of Cream Cheese frosting
a 12 hole cupcake tin lined with paper cases - although I find with 'muffin' paper cases this recipe produces 8/9 cupcakes: cases being 2/3rds full when filling

Preheat oven to 170c (325f) Gas 3
Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and beat until the mixture has a sandy consistency: I actually rub the butter in till it resembles breadcrumbs.
Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat till ingredients are well mixed.
Add the egg and beat well to ensure ingredients are well incorporated.
Divide the strawberries between the paper cases, spoon the cupcake mixture on top until 2/3rds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and sponge bounces back when touched - dont overbake!  Remove from oven and leave to cool slightly in the tray before turning onto a wire cooling rack.
Grind the digestive biscuits to breadcrumbs.
When cool spoon the Cream Cheese Frosting on top and finish with a dusting of the digestive crumbs.

Cream Cheese Frosting

300gms Icing sugar,sifted
50 gms unsalted butter, room temp
125gms cream cheese, cold

Beat the icing sugar and butter together until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Add the cream cheese is one go and beat until it is incorporated, turn beater on to medium high speed and continue to beat for at least 5 mins - it will become lighter and fluffier but do not over beat as it will become runny.

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