Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Carrot Cake Recipe and Winners

This is a recipe I am going to try to convince you to make based entirely on other people's opinions!
I made it. But I didn't taste it - not even the batter! 
Why, you might ask? 
Let's just say I'm not a big nut fan and leave it at that.

I opted for a carrot cake because its my mum's favourite...and Friday was her birthday.
I made up for this incredible sacrifice not being able to eat any by making myself one of my crustless milk tarts, the Oreo chocolate fondants and a batch of date balls using my new and improved recipe with no sugar but added cinnamon! So I won't be fading away anytime soon. 

Friday started out treating mum at the spa at The Arabella. Then we moved on to join a few great friends for lunch and wine tasting at the breathtakingly lovely La Vierge.
Then home to the farm for a cup of tea and carrot cake (or 3 puddings for me!).

For the cake you will need:

2 1/4 C flour,
1 and 1/2 t baking powder,
1 t bicarb of soda,
1 generous t ground cinnamon,
1/4 t ground ginger,
1/4 t ground nutmeg,
pinch salt,
4 eggs,
2 and 1/3 C light brown sugar,
1 C oil (I used olive oil from our farm),
1/2 C buttermilk (I didn't have any on hand so substituted 1/2 C milk with 1 t lemon juice),
2 t vanilla,
1/2 C crushed pineapple, drained,
500g coarsely grated carrots,
200g toasted chopped walnuts or pecans,
1 C raisins

For the frosting:
250g Philadelphia cream cheese block,
100g butter,
1 C icing sugar,
1 T lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a bowl.
Separately, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and pineapple.
Add the dry mix to the egg mix and combine.
Add the carrots, pecans and raisins and mix until well incorporated.

Pour your batter into 2 buttered spring form cake tins and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before removing them from the pans.

In the meanwhile, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and lemon juice for the frosting.

Spread a layer of frosting on top of your base cake. Put the second cake on top and cover both with the remainder of your frosting.
Next time (although I'm not too convinced there will be a next time because not eating this cake has been bad for my waistline!) I would make double the amount of frosting because that's the kind of girl I am that's the best part of any cake!

Apparently this cake is delicious, light, moist, crunchy, nutty and delicious (oh, did I mention that already?!).
But don't take my word for it, make one for yourself and let me know.

View from the Arabella Spa

Thanks to everyone for your comments on the new buttons. The 3 winners are:
Darlene Jacolik

If you aren't one of our lucky winners but still want to own our newest designs or even the older classics, our full catalogue is online. Let us know where you are and we'll put you in touch with your nearest stockist...or better yet, why not ask your local yarn store to stock Incomparable buttons if they don't already.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Hot out the Oven...Win a set of our newest buttons

Travelling is always inspiring for new ideas.

Jen has been hard at work this week on these new designs...but, we need to narrow down the numbers to add to the catalog.

Can you help us to choose?

Let us know your favourite ones (eg top row, third button along) and that'll put you in line to winning a set - the 3 winners will be the first people in the world to own them too! (you do need to follow this blog or follow us on FaceBook to be able to win)

Which ones are your favourite? 
Would you like to see them in any other colours?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Seoul Searching - Garosu-gil

After a long week of jet-lag and feeling completely foreign in a huge city with almost zero very little written English and even less spoken English, we headed for Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong. 

Garosu-gil means tree-lined street - in this case by beautiful gingko trees with their classic leaves.

The street is well known for its cafés, restaurants, galleries and boutiques.

From local names to well known international brand names such as Zara, H&M and Marimekko, they all have one thing in common...beautifully laid out stores and gorgeous props.

Bags in Marimekko

Wall display in Marimekko

The street stretches for just over 600 metres and if you pop down most of the side streets you can easily get side tracked by all the equally lovely stores dotted about.

Toy box at lapalette 

A typical city side street can look a little like this with hundreds of criss-crossing wires hanging across it:

This door handle appealed to us of course!

And I can think of few better combinations than...salt, chocolate, shoes and handbags!

More gorgeous colours out on the street, barely sheltered from the monsoon rain...

Down a side street we found a great little restaurant called Goldfish.

And they had...

delicious dumplings on the menu!

It started to rain while we were eating so luckily just a little further down the street we tripped into this gorgeous shop:


I loved their clever use of their stairs as an arty way to display goods:

They sold everything from handy umbrellas, clothes, accessories and funky homeware to candy and popcorn! 

But my favourite item was not for sale...

Just as well or I would've been tempted to try and fit it into my hand luggage!

The shop fittings and props in just about every boutique down Garosu-gil were wonderful. 

I was almost more tempted by them than by any of the wares that were for sale.

Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong provided a great afternoon out with loads of characterful boutiques and restaurants and cosy cafés in which to sit and watch the world wander by.

And for a few hours at least we could forget how foreign we were and feel a little more at home.

 chemin de JEN!
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