Thursday, 26 December 2013

Chocolate Torte

Just thought I'd post the recipe I used for my chocolate torte - it turned out to be rather yummy though I say so myself!

Serves 12
Prep Time 50mins + cooling & chilling
Cook Time 25 - 30 mins

This looks a complicated recipe but it's not, it's basically a sponge base with a mousse topping so read on...


75g SR flour
1/2 teasp baking powder
40g cocoa powder
125g softened unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
75g Bournville chocolate broken into pieces
4 tablesps orange liqueur or orage juice

2 teasps powdered gelatine
2 tablesps cold water
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1 teasp cornflour
300ml milk
200g Bournville choc broken
300ml double cream

To Decorate
I grated white choc and had buttons but basically anything you want, mini eggs at easter, flake, buttons etc

1. Grease a 9inch/23cm springform tin and line base.  Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl.  Add the butter, sugar and eggs and whisk well until smooth & creamy.  Transfer mix to tin and bake at 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 mins until firm.  Allow to cool either in tin if not making chocolate cuff or remove from tin if you are doing step 2 & 3.  (I omitted that bit!)  Drizzlewith liqueur/juice.

2. To make the chocolate collar to go round the cake, measure the circumference of the cake with a piece of string then cut a strip of greaseproof paper 1cm longer than this and 6cm deep.  Melt the sponge chocolate.

3. Spoon the melted chocolate along the paper strip, spreading it right to the edge on one side and making it wavey on the other.  Leave 1cm of paper free of choc at one end. Set aside for around 15 mins till choc is semi-set and does not run when paper lifted. Carefully wrap round sponge with straight edge on plate. Secure then cool whilst making filling.

4. Sprinkle the gelatine over the cold water in a bowl and leave to soften.  Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the cornflour, sugar and a little milk.  Put the remaining milk in a pan and bring just to boil.  Pour the milk over the yolk mix and whisk well.  Return the mix in the pan to the heat and gently heat till thickened but do not boil as mix may curdle.

5.  Remove from heat and stir in gelatine till dissolved.  Add the chocolate and leave until melted.  Cover bowl with a piece of greaseproof to prevent a skin forming.  Leave to cool and beginning to just thicken then remove greaseproof paper.

6.  Whip cream until peaking then fold into chocolate mix, then pour over sponge.  Chill for 1-2 hours then remove greaseproof from cuff and decorate.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Five Five Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Before things really get going in our house I thought I'd join Debby with my top 5 Christmas cards this year.

Lot's of new stamp companies included in my line up this year, and the big surprise is, all my favourites come from digi's this year - not a rubber stamp in sight!

Anyway here are my favourites in no particular order;

Finally I'd just like to thank Debby for running this challenge again and to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Jx

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Tartan or Check

Ooh, it's Christmas Eve, and just like the elves I'm busy working - well cooking actually - a chocolate torte! But before I get started, I want to tell you about the new challenge over at an Oldie But A Goodie where Sarah has chosen the theme of;

Tartan or Check
(Remember also to use an item older than 6months on your project and to tell us what it is)

My oldie was the Snowy stamp - and the papers come to think of it!(Courtesy of Sam again as this stamp has been out of stock - everywhere!) (Thanks, Jx)

And the prize this time is a gorgeous Christmas stamp donated by my lovely teamie Sarah - It's the Little Claire one shown below,
called "Christmas Changing Tree."

Stampin for The Weekend - Anything goes
Milk Coffee Challenge - Any Christmas Creation
Papertake - Last Christmas
Crafty Calender - Cold & Frosty
CHCC - Something not shown already
PBSC - Christmas
Charisma Cards - Anything Goes
In The Pink - Christmas
Stamping Sensation - Free & Easy
Cutie Pie - Snowmen Only

Finally I'd just like to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and to thank you all for visiting my blog throughout the year and also for leaving such lovely comments. Jx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Colours @ MAWTT

So who keeps pinching all the time at the moment?  One minute it was summer and the next it's a week off Christmas - so close guys and am I organised, hmm? Think time will tell!

To escape all the stresses of the season I sneaked upstairs on Tuesday night and finished off my card for the new challenge over at Moving Along With The Times where the challenge this time is 

Using the ones shown below:

Now these aren't colours I'd normally go with and not ones I had papers for, (- there's always an excuse isn't there!) so I HAD to buy this gorgeous double sided 12 x 12 sheet by MME.  Loved both sides, but in the end went with the flowery side as it had more of the required colours.

The card then uses a super LOTV image - first time I've used it.  It's coloured with Promarkers then the flowers and leaves are made from both dies & punches.

Quite pleased with the end result and so pleased I've finished making Christmas cards for this year.

So that's what I did - there's loads more lovely inspiration on the main DT page and the challenge runs right through till 2nd Jan to give you extra time to join in.

Crafty Sentiments - Birthdays
Fan-Tastic Tuesday - Punches & Dies
Crafty Bloggers Network - Girly
Sketch Saturday - Sketch 253
Crafty Little Fairies - Anything Goes
Crafty Catz - Anything Goes
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes - Challenge 50

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Anything Goes @ Diva's

Morning everyone, before I tell you about the new challenge at Diva's by Design, I want to share with you a picture of  Merlot - now outside and climing trees.  He loves climbing trees - the higher the better, only problem is he's rubbish at getting down and invariably falls.  We had the camera out at the weekend hoping to get a nice shot of him sitting in my newly pruned tree, but just as the shutter clicked - he fell!

That aside, I now want to tell you about the latest challenge over at Diva's by Design, a nice easy one this time around, and it runs till 7th Jan, so plenty time to craft.  What we want is

Anything Goes

And sponsoring us this time are the super Flat Friends  by Emma Canning who are giving the winner digi's of choice.

For my card, I went with not one, but 2 Flat Friend digi's to create a living room scene all Christmassy and warm with a cat sat on the window ledge - this is where Femo my 5yr old cat likes to be. ( Santa's Been & Winter) Not outside falling out of trees!


Now the silicon glue and the glossy accents were both out in force here, the glue to raise tree layers & the cat and the accents for the double glazing!

Papers are Fancy Pants - Winterland and colouring by Promarker - and that's about it!

Little Miss Muffet - You've been framed - does the window frame count - sorry if it doesn't?
Papertake - Christmas Creatures - The cat
Krafty Hands - Anything Goes
Holly Jolly Christmas - Anything Goes
Kaboodle Doodles - Non Traditional Christmas Colours
Card Crafters Circle - Celebrations
Crafty Sentiments - Christmas
Deep Ocean - Santa is coming

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Welcome to another challenge over at an Oldie But A Goodie.  Today our theme is set as

(Please remember to use something older than 6 months on your project and to tell us what it is. )

And the prize for our lucky winner this time is from Robyn's Fetish.

My card uses a great new Bugaboo image called Season's Greeting Feet and again is of a CAS design so that I don't get hit with large postal charges!

As you can see I've made a few of these, keeping the image the same but altering the ribbon.  (The ribbons are all over 6 months old) As for the image, well its coloured by Promarker, then Santa's boots are given a glossy accent finish and a flock trim and the snowman is glittered all over.

Sweet Stampin - Ribbons
Word Play Saturday - Snowman
Keep it Simple - Snow
Stampin for the Weekend - Use some red
Winter Wonderland - Embossing
The Ribbon Girl - Ho Ho Ho Christmas Challenge

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bugaboo Holiday Chaos

Clearly my Bugaboo radar was needing a clean, as I almost missed this one!

Yup folks it's been another crazy Bugaboo week with daily challenges and loads of prizes as they host their Holiday Chaos Event!

So after a mad rush, I think I have managed to complete the challenge with the following entries;

Day 1 - Stella Says Sketch - Use sketch Supplied.

Day 2 - Gift Wrapped - Something for a gift - a tag

Day 3 - Cozy By The Fire - Use the image supplied - Cocoa & holiday music - use the colours chocolate & silver.

Passion For Promarkers - Sketch

Day 4 - Ugly Sweater - Create a funny card using the colour combo red, blue & cream + a reindeer

Sweet Sketch Wednesday - Sketch 235

Day 5 - Favourite Holiday Treat - Spiked Egg Nog - Punched border, Fiskars Holly; Polka Dots, LOTV paper, Glitter & an item of choice - ribbon.

Day 6 - Photo inspiration & freebie to use

Friday Sketch Challenge - Carole's lovely sketch
I Love Promarkers - For A Child

Day 7 - Anything goes for Christmas

ABC Xmas - No squares allowed - rectangle
Papertake - Anything Goes

As I have so much going on at the moment and this challenge appeared from no-where I've just done a huge Chaotic Post - hope that was ok? Jx

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sketch Time at MAWTT

Remember Etch-a- Sketch?  Wonder if it will go down on anybody's Christmas list this year.  It was something I always wanted, but sadly Santa never got me one.  Those were the days when Santa didn't always get you what you thought you wanted!

Hopefully we will have a Sketch that you'll all want this time over at MAWTT, as Hazel has put pen to paper and come up with this...

So follow the sketch and you could win three super digi images from Scrapper's Delights if you are the lucky winner.

Over at the DT, we were lucky enough to get to pick an image and I went with this lovely Victorian Lady.  She came black & white & pre-coloured, and there were lots of lovely images to pick from, so do check out their site here.

Initially I planned to use the pre-coloured image, but as I didn't have blue papers to match I went with paper-piecing instead.  Now she was a bit fiddly in places, but over all I love her MME outfit.  The rest of my colouring is by Promarker.

Crafty Creations - Anything except Xmas
Creative Creations - Make your own flowers - mine is made from a die

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Miley's Back on her Wrecking Ball!

A quick post today to share another Christmas card with you.  Again I have used my Wee Stamp and Craft Creations papers.  Colouring is by Promarker then lots of glitter and snow added.

I Love Promarkers - Anything Goes
SSW 234 - sorry it's the same image as a couple of weeks back, but it was requested by a friend!

Winter Wonderland - A Christmas Mouse
As You Like It Challenge - Favourite digi & why.  Well it's my favourite digi at the moment as I'm on a Christmas run.  I love Wee Stamps and don't have that many yet, but they are all so sweet!  Finally this image reminds me of Miley Cyrus in a more innocent get up and in so doing, makes me smile.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Pink Snowy

First off, I must thank Sam for sending me up some Snowy's, a friend asked me to make her cards with that image, only said stamp is out of stock everywhere at the moment!  Sam however came to the rescue cause everyone knows, if it's a Penny Black you want, chances are she has it! (Thanks again.)

So, armed with Snowy, some Craft Creation papers and loads of glitter, this is what I made;

Papertake - Sketch
Passion For Promarkers - In The Family
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Creative Craft Challenges 2 - Non Traditional Christmas Colours
Make My Monday - Contemporary Christmas

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Something Red

As November draws to a close, so too does Christmas card production - well it does for me anyway!  So the choice is your's for this weeks challenge over at Diva's by Design, it could be Christmas or it could be any other occasion as long as you follow the theme which is

Something Red

And sponsoring us again this time are the fabulous Delicious Doodles, who gave us at the DT some lovely images to play with, (Big thanks,) and who are offering the winner as their prize.

So what you waiting for? Got to be in it to win it!

Now nearly all of us as the DT fell in love with the stamp called - Snowy Postbox , that's why you'll see it so many times on the main Diva's blog.  It's a beauty, as just perfect for this challenge.

So here's my card, with lots of embossing, layers & a die cut and of course my fabulous Postbox image coloured with pencils then decorated with flock.

Crafty Cardmakers - Clean & Simple
City Crafter Challenge - Mainly White
Holly Jolly Xmas - One For The Boys
Shopping Our Stash - Holiday/Winter
Crazy Challenge - Snowy Winter
Addicted To Stamps - Embossing - Dry or Heat - I used dry
Glitter n Sparkle - Show us some snow
Sentimental Sundays - Winter Wonderland
Stamping Sensations - Christmas

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Ribbon & Lace

Morning everyone, how are we all today?  Must admit, I'm a bit tired as I was up early yesterday to take Alan to the dentist for an emergency appointment as he'd chipped a tooth.  From there, we then went a quick visit to my parents, very enjoyable even if it was still before 9am.  Next it was a Tesco shop before he headed back to Aberdeen for Uni classes.  I then stayed and cleaned the flat before heading home for tea.

Hopefully today will be a bit less busy!

I do however wish to thank everyone who entered my CAS Christmas challenge last time at an OBAG. What fantastic cards appeared in our gallery and so picking the winner and Top 3 was not an easy job. Check on the main blog page for the results.

This time over at an Oldie But A Goodie the challenge is

Ribbon & Lace
(Remember also to use an item which is older that 6 months and to tell us what it is.)

For my card I used everything old!  The image from Bugaboo was a favourite of mine last year, the papers LOTV, also available last Xmas and the ribbon and lace are older still!

And the prize for our luck winner are some lovely goodies from Natali over at Ivanovachest.

So I went for Christmas again, but it's up to you what you do as long as you have ribbon & lace on your card.

Come And Get It - Use a Digi
Crafting When We Can - Winter - And a visit from Rudolph!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Santa's Back - Already!!!

Having not made any Santa Christmas cards this year, I have now made 2 in the same week!  Both for the same person, both using my lovely new Hobbybook image, but different designs.

This one follows the latest Sketch at Sketch n Stash,
Papers again are Dovecraft, kraft is included and my lovely corner snowflake die by Memory Box

Sketch n Stash - No 126 - Old papers but a very new image
Stampin For The Weekend - Feeling Festive
Winter Wonderland - Photo Inspiration - Santa
Charisma Cardz - Christmas
ABC Christmas - W - Winter Wishes
CHCC - For A Child

Thursday, 21 November 2013


I'm typing this up at the weekend as I have a busy week planned.  Several of our window ledges need re-varnished and I have decided to sand them back and make them good again before Christmas - well that is the plan!

In the mean time though I want to tell you about the latest challenge over at Moving Along With The Times - set by Pami, it's...


And it's up to you how you interperet the theme as long as it's obvious to us what the connection is! 

I went with a super new image from Mo's Digi Pencil, coloured with Promarkers and then set on really old Dovecraft paper.  The card is finished with twine, ribbon & a charm, and a dot of glossy on the star!

The rest of the DT have come up with some super makes for this one, check them out on the main DT page then join us for this weeks challenge.

CHCC - Indoors - Well I assume this choir is in a church as they ain't dressed for out!
Krafty Hands - Classic Christmas colours - Red/gold/green - got the gold & green!
One Crazy Stamper - Christmas
Holly Jolly Christmas - Warm colours - green is warm... isn't it?