I think January blues might have set in this week. Matilda and I really need to get out more but it's rotten weather and she's been so fussy in the evenings that I'm to tired to leave the house. Today we walked to the post box, tomorrow we might try and go further because I know the fresh air is good for us. If we are going to stay inside then I try and be productive. When I can get Matilda to nap I try to get jobs done. I've started learning calligraphy as well and I've been practicing my painting. And I also try and blog...I've gotten a few posts up in the last week and that makes me feel much more productive.
Living in a rented house, there's not much we can do paint and wallpaper wise to spruce things up. I've mentioned this before, that I like to buy pretty things to dot around the rooms to make things look abit less dull. That´s why I was excited to do a bit of online shopping - thank god for home delivery - this week on Zalando. They have a brilliant homewares section, especially their kitchen stuff, and I will definitely be making a return visit to stock up on some of their cushions. I have a cushion addiction that needs addressing.
I chose some gorgeous items from the Bloomingville range, including these ceramic tumblers - which I can't stop using, this tea towel, these plates and these placemats. In fact I loved the placemats so much I went back and ordered them in pink as well. Everything I ordered was great quality and has really spruced our dining table and kitchen.
I don't know why I haven't made tiramisu before. I know I love it. It has everything I need in a pudding. But I've never taken the time to make one. When I finally decided to clear the worktop and put one together I knew I wanted more chocolate in it...why wouldn't I? This pudding is really delicious and feels indulgent without being too sweet, I think the bitterness from the coffee and cocoa powder stop it from being sickly.
(chocolate cake adapted from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess, topping adapted from BBC Good Food)
for the chocolate cake:
110g soft unsalted butter, melted
190g light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate, melted
100g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125ml boiling water
for the tiramisu topping:
250g mascarpone cheese
300ml double cream
75g caster sugar
16 sponge ladyfingers
250ml strong coffee, made with 2 tablespoons instant coffee and 250ml boiling water
cocoa powder, for dusting on top
- Preheat the oven to 190 C/380 F. Grease your cake tin (16cm)/pudding dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar together. Pour in the melted butter, melted chocolate, egg and hot water and combine until smooth. It's quite a liquid batter but don't worry. Pour it into the dish and bake for 25 minutes at 190 C then turn the oven down to 170 C and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
- When the cake is cool, whisk the double cream, mascarpone, marsala and sugar together until it reaches the consistency of thickly whipped cream.
- Spread half over the top of the cake.
- Pour the coffee into a shallow dish or tray and dip each ladyfinger into the coffee quickly on each side. Don't leave it in too long or it will fall apart. Lie in a row on top of the mascarpone mix until covered.
- Slowly pour the rest of the coffee over the sponge fingers until absorbed,
- Spread the remaining mascarpone mix on top. The best way to do this without spreading the sponge fingers as well is to use a palette knife and dip it into a glass of hot water to make it easier to spread.
- Dust the top with cocoa powder and serve straight or chill until ready.
I was provided with a voucher to purchase the items from Zalando but my opinions on the items are my own.