Chatter

Meet my Little Family

Anyone who has read my About page you would have seen that I have four beautiful guinea pigs. They’re my babies! :)

 

The Gang

 

From left to right we have Thelma, Teddy, Princess and Louise.

 

Thelma

 

Thelma a sweet little pig, she loves her food and tends to wheek the loudest at dinner time. (Guinea pigs like to make sounds especially at their dinner time and will shout wheek wheek wheek). She is quite poorly at the moment with spinal problems, which means she has had to be separated from the others until it has healed. She is 3 and a half.

 

Louise

 

Louise is a little madam and likes to think she rules the roost even though she is the smallest. She eats more than all the other pigs put together. She loves having her chin rubbed. She is 3 and half and her and Thelma have been together since the day I got them.

 

Teddy

 

Teddy is my fluffy little bear, he loves cuddles! And will chat away to you while you cuddle him. He has been neutered so he can live with his three wives without any babies popping up! He loves posing for the camera and I have many photos of him pouting at the camera! :) His favorite veg is green beans. He is 3.

 

Princess

 

Princess is the youngest of the pigs and the final addition to the gang. She is very shy compared to the others and enjoys playing hide and seek when it comes to getting her out of the cage. Once out though she likes a cuddle. She is very vocal and likes to make her feelings known if one of the other piggies gets too close. She will be 3 next month.

 

Hope you enjoyed meeting my little family, they are very precious to me.

 

x

 

Baking

Cherry and Amaretti Cookies

Ok so I think I might have an obsession with almonds, I love the flavor, and after the cake from the last post, I had some ingredients left over. I saw the Amaretti biscuits in the cupboard and I thought to myself I wonder if these would work if I crushed them and used them as a cookie ingredient.

 

Cherry and amaretti cookies

 

Cherries go amazingly well with almonds that I decided they would be a great accompaniment to the amaretti biscuits. I was really pleased with how they turned out. The amaretti biscuits kept their crunch and it was a delicious contrast with the chewiness of the cookie.

 

 

amaretti cookies

 

So here is the recipe if you would like to try these yourself.

 

135g Butter

90g Soft light brown sugar

70g Caster sugar

1 Large egg

1/4 tsp Almond essence

190g Plain flour

50g Amaretti biscuits crushed

40ml Buttermilk

100g Glace cherries halved

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

 

Preheat oven to 180C (350F) Line 3 trays with baking parchment

 

Cream together the butter and sugars

 

Beat in the egg and the almond essence and then add the buttermilk

 

Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then add to the creamed mixture in two batches.

 

Stir in the crushed biscuits

 

Wash the glace cherry halves in cold water to remove syrup and lightly coat in flour. Add to the mixture.

 

Place cookie dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes (optional)

 

Break off pieces of dough roughly the size of a tablespoon and place evenly onto the trays allowing room for the cookies to spread, roughly 6 per tray.

 

Bake in the oven for approx 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden brown. Once cooked remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

 

Enjoy!

 

amaretti cookies

Baking

Almond Birthday Cake

I hope you all had a lovely Easter. It was a nice relaxing one here, although we could have done with the weather being a bit nicer, it has been very wintry! It was also my mum’s birthday yesterday so making a nice a birthday cake was in order!

I had a browse through my cookery books but nothing really inspired me, so I decided to come up with my own creation. Mum loves almonds so that was my basis.

 

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I sort of wanted to go for a classic Victoria sponge crossed with the taste of a Bakewell tart. I added ground almonds to the sponge. In the centre was raspberry jam and a generous amount whipped double cream with a hint of almond extract. I also put some raspberry jam on the top of the cake and then covered the cake with the remaining whipped cream for a crumb coat. The frosting had more almond flavoring and a drop of pink food colouring and a touch of buttermilk. I decorated the top with meringue and crushed Amoretti biscuits.

 

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The thing with making a big cake rather than cupcakes is you can’t test the sponge to see if it taste its ok until it’s too late and in front of someone. I always have a bit of apprehension when the cake is first cut if it will look and more importantly taste ok, but I think from what my family said I passed on both counts.

I’m slowly getting used to stepping out of my comfort zone of following a recipe to the letter and experimenting and adapting recipes, it’s quite fun! Especially when it turns out ok :)

x