Angel Delight

Ah the memories of childhood! Few desserts bring them to the fore like Angel Delight. Or a little pot of jelly with vanilla ice cream and hundreds and thousands.

I don’t eat instant whips so often these days (but I do have a fantastic recipe for instant happiness that I’ll share one day. Brilliant as a remedy for PMT), since mousses are quite easy to whip up.

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But I was quite intrigued, and excited, to find in a 99p store, that Angel Delight now also do ice cream mixes. Although, I have used their instant whips as a base for ice cream before (simply substitute the milk for cream and stick it in the freezer). But this is supposed to be proper ice cream.

I’m a bit dubious – the instructions say to use semi-skimmed milk. Normally I’d use cream, but I thought I’d follow the packet. For once. Whisk it all together – it’s supposed to double in size, but I got bored of whisking early, so I didn’t wait that long. But it’s mostly whisked.

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Instant ice cream – in several hours!

Must admit, it’s not bad. Surprisingly creamy. And apparently I ate it too quickly to photograph the finished ice cream. I was quite impressed it wasn’t too cocoa powdery. I don’t normally like chocolate ice cream because it doesn’t normally taste of chocolate, but this was passably chocolate. Nom.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Because this is definitely what you need when it’s a wet, grey Sunday afternoon.

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I haven’t been baking, or indeed concocting confectionery, very much recently. I’m not sure why. I like being in a kitchen, and eating such treats. But in the move from home to Bournemouth, where my partner’s studying for a Master’s, I seem to have left the vast majority of my recipe books behind. Admittedly this is mostly due to the fact that we haven’t nearly enough space for my (rather large) book collection.

I have only my Hummingbird Bakery recipe books with me. However, having slid quite happily into a fairly lazy existence, I decided most of the recipes are too complicated and involved too many ingredients.

So I’ve been lazy. I’ve used a cake mix. Mainly because they were going cheap in Lidl’s, and I’ve been curious for years to see how the cakes actually turn out. And it saved time, of which I clearly haven’t much…

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But anyway. Chocolate Fudge Cake. The only extra ingredients required being 200ml water and 60ml/4tbsps oil. Mix it all together and splodge into a cake-tin to be thoroughly baked for about an hour.

The mix tastes yummy, and it smells wonderfully chocolatey, which is always a good sign.

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And, deciding that it wasn’t nearly chocolatey enough, I made chocolate truffle icing to go on top. Well, it wasn’t a proper truffle icing, because the ratios of cream and butter to chocolate were incorrect, but meh. That doesn’t matter.

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Aside from the cake being a little dry, which was probably my fault anyway, it’s not a half-bad cake, for so little effort. Pretty damn good with raspberry meringue ice cream too (thank you, Asda!)

How to Have Fun in Autumn…

Is there any noise more satisfying than the scrunch of autumnal leaves beneath your feet? Other, that is, than the pop of bubble-wrap when there’s enough to jump on.

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(Also, I never noticed before how much the little mushroom looks like an owl!)

There’s something wonderfully gleeful about jumping in a pile of leaves. I think it’s one of the best things about autumn. I find it so disappointing when fallen leaves are swept aside and removed, don’t you? I know there’s all the health and safety in case someone falls over and breaks a leg or whatever, but crunching leaves is one of life’s small pleasures.

Maybe it’s the crunching. Some years ago, I went through a phase where my comfort food of choice was an apple. Or six. Because of the crunching when you eat them. (It only wasn’t chocolate because at the time I was practically living on Maltesers, one of my all-time favourite treats. Again, they crunch.)

Like the soft crunchy noise of tightly-packed snow when you leave footprints in fresh snow. Oh the joys! I know. Simple things and all that. But it’s the simple things which make life such fun. Makes it easier to have fun, too, I think. (Splashing in puddles is good fun too…)

What’s your favourite thing about Autumn?

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Resolution to Begin: The Beginning

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I suppose one of the difficulties with blogging is not always having something to blog about. It can be hard to have something exciting to say every day. I don’t know about you, but I like to spend lots of time in contemplation before I say anything. Possibly this is because of early training with my siblings, especially my older siblings.

“Better to say nothing and be thought an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” (Abraham Lincoln, or so my Google search says.)

So, only say things of worth, or that are witty and clever. Try not to be stupid, or say stupid things. I’m not sure how well I succeeded with this. But I quite definitely believe that it’s better to keep quiet unless you have something to say.

Which is a bit tricky with a blog, because then I could very easily go for months between posts, and then there’s not that much point to a blog, really. I suppose it’s a matter of finding which of my thoughts are “worthy” and expanding on them. Like this one, in a way.

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But anyway. Being historically-minded, I thought, with my Resolution to write more firmly in mind, that a good starting point would be Events on This Day.

So I looked up 7th October. Quite a bit happened, apparently. Except that I have no great interest in most of it, since quite a lot happened in the 1900s. An exciting century no doubt, but I prefer older history. Then there’s events in various wars and Social things, like princes becoming kings or getting married.

A “non-event” happened in 1582: the 7th October didn’t occur in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain because of the change-over of calendar to the Gregorian system.

But the event which sparks my interest, as it were, is that of 1477 and the inauguration of Uppsala University, making it Sweden’s oldest university. One of Uppsala’s more famous students was Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), who began using Binomial Nomenclature (you know, the two-name system) for classifying plants and animals. There’s a whole row of Linnaeus cafés on a Linnaeus road opposite the Linnaeus Gardens in Uppsala.

Anyway, the only reason this interested me is because I studied at Uppsala a couple of years ago. It’s a beautiful city and I highly recommend it, should you get the chance to visit.

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Happy birthday, Uppsala University!

Not-So-New-Year’s Resolution; or: How to Use Time More Effectively Between Job-Hunts

Apparently I’m not good at this. I keep leaving vast chunks of time between posts. Easily distracted. Or a good procrastinator. Or something.

Something I’ve done for years. Start a project, loads of good intentions, lots of energy and passion and interest, and then life gets in the way. It has a habit of doing that. Do you find that?

I’m rubbish at remembering to take photos too. I carry my camera most places, but I forget to actually take it out and use it. I’ve got a decent memory for things I’ve seen (not so much for what people say though…) so I don’t always see the need for a photo.

Anyway, my not-so-new-year’s-resolution is to be better at writing and posting. And not just about baking or truffling. Because I’m not always in the kitchen.

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I’ve recently moved. I moved in with my fiancé. Big steps all at once. Guess I’m jumping. We’ve been together for three years. Became engaged and co-habitees all at once, it seems. But anyway.

Now I’m one of the mass unemployed graduates. Except I like to think of myself as a writer. So I am working (honest, parents), I just haven’t been paid yet.

I think part of my problem with this blog is that while I originally intended for it to have no specific subject, it quickly became about the kitchen. So I need to reclaim it and sit with my cup of tea and biscuits (or kanelbullar) and talk about other things.

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Like what’s distracting me from life at the moment. Which is mostly Netflix.

There’s a lot of TV series out there. A lot of good ones too. I’m currently a little addicted to most of the American crime dramas. I will say this for American TV: they’re crime dramas are usually pretty damn good. Or maybe I’ve only seen the good ones. (British TV does some good ones too. Sometimes.)

Currently I’m a little wrapped up in Lie to Me. Lots of lies and mysteries. I’ve always liked mysteries, and I like it when a crime drama isn’t just about murders (although I do like Castle. Have you tried the novels? Quite good fun).

My friend Katie introduced me to this several months ago, but we only got to half way through the second season. I don’t really like leaving things half-finished. So I’ve gone back to it. Started at the beginning again, and just now reaching where we left off.

It’s less addictive than I remember, but then, I have seen these episodes before. Which was the point, because I’m trying to write at the same time. Multi-tasking woman and all that. It’s harder when it’s an exciting new episode.

What’s your favourite TV series?