Sunday, 27 January 2013

Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey

We like going to Anglesey Abbey and now they their snowdrop festival on. They claim to have the country's finest snowdrop collections with over 240 varieties of snowdrop spread throughout the 114 acres of magnificent gardens! And I thought a snowdrop was a snowdrop.

The girls like their wildlife area with a giant tree house as well as cakes in the cafe!

Baked Alsaka

First we made fairy cakes:
  • 110g butter
  • 110g caster sugar
    I egg
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

    1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in the vanilla extract.
    2. Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon. Add a little milk until the mixture is a soft dropping consistency and spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
    3. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 180oC, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

      Then we made a hole in the top of each one and spooned a half-teaspoon of jam into each one.

      Next we added a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to each one on top of the jam and put them in the freezer for half-an-hour.

      Whilst the cakes were in the freezer we made the meringues by carefully seperating 2 eggs (I did this) and then we put the whites in to a bowl and whisked them into stiff peaks using the KitchenAid.
      Then we mixed in 80g caster sugar.

      The oven we then preheated to 220oC. The cakes were taken out of the freezer and we covered with them with a thick layer of the meringue making sure there were no gaps.

      We put them in the oven for 3-4 minutes. The meringue should be lightly crisp on the outside, starting to turn golden brown, whilst the ice-cream stays cold. They needed to be eaten straight away!

      We talked about the science of how the ice-cream doesn't melt even though it had been in the oven! The bubbles in the meringue is a thermal insulator keeping the ice-cream cold in the oven.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Walk in the beech woods

We like going for walks here: because it is easily walkable from our house and small enough for the girls to walk round easily.  It is popular for dog walkers too! We found evidence of spring - catkins