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This and That and The Other

The impromptu departure from the internets? I think I can explain. You might remember this event of late last summer. After that sad moment, there were two full months of agony involving repairs, mistakes, more repairs, insurance companies, more repairs and formal complaints and finally one more repair. But even with all those repairs, the insurance company did not authorise the replacement of a £20 part that was damaged, as it was still functional.

Or at least it was until last week, when it sparked about a foot in the air, right through the speaker, as I was editing photos. Then nothing. No power. And much grumbling about insurance companies and repairs from me.

So right now I am once again waiting for the insurance company to make a decision. I can give my computer to them for an unknown amount of time, hope they fix something right, and not have to pay for any of the repair, since it’s still part of the first claim. Or I can take it to the shop myself, lose it for a few days and pay for it. Or I can scream out of a frustration and buy a shiny new one and promptly move my insurance policy.

In the meantime, I am not online much at all. Or offline. I can manage a bit here and there with some clever trickery. But mostly I am:

♥Marking exams
♥Drinking orange and cinnamon tea
♥Baking and eating orange and cinnamon and carrot cupcakes
♥Sewing dresses from curtain fabric
♥Wearing said dresses to both Singalonga Sound of Music and work
♥Rereading The Order of the Phoenix in anticipation of the event known as A Harry Potter movie with Helena Bonham-Carter
♥Preparing for some upcoming workshops here

If you feel like throwing the technology on the floor, here’s a recipe to give you something to do. And if you’re in this part of the world, you’ll have plenty of hours of daylight to do something this week.

♥Orange and Cinnamon and Carrot Cupcakes♥

60 mL vegetable oil
2 large eggs
100g sugar
100g brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon undiluted orange squash (or orange juice concentrate)
35g Bird’s custard powder (half a single serving packet)
200 mL boiling water
160g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 medium sized carrots, grated

I felt like I was making this backward, but here’s how it went:
Start with most of the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, including both sugars, flour, soda, cinnamon and cloves.
Mix the custard as you normally would—put the powder in the bottom of the gravy jug, boil the kettle and fill to the 200mL line. Stir until thickened.
Add the custard, oil, vanilla and orange squash and stir until well mixed. Add the eggs and mix until even.
Stir in the grated carrots at the last minute, just before you are ready to pour into the pan.
Fill cupcake papers 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a chopstick comes out clean. Remove and let cool on a rack.

♥Orange and Cinnamon and Cream Cheese Icing♥

200g plain cream cheese
100g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar (more or less to taste)
40g brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon undiluted orange squash or juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15g Dream Topping mix (half a packet)

Essentially, put it all in a bowl and mix it up. Clearly you’ll want to add the icing sugar a little bit at a time, unless you like the snowy-kitchen look.
The dream topping will make this go quite soft while you’re mixing—make it the night before, put it in the fridge, and it will ice just fine in the morning, and make it through the day on the table in the staffroom.

Garnish with more cinnamon, coconut flakes, walnuts, or whatever else seems to be handy.


21 June 2007

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14 Comments for This and That and The Other

  1. Julie Ratcliffe Says:

    Insurance companies! Horrible! HORRIBLE!! Those cupcakes look gorgeous and I LOVE dream topping.

    Thanks. Julie

  2. Bill Says:

    “Sewing dresses from curtain fabric”

    the hills are alive….

    by the way, those cupcakes look phenomenal

  3. Gemma Says:

    that recipe sounds interesting, not seen one made like that before. . . one for the weekend maybe!

  4. Penelope Says:

    Oh I’m in love with those cupcakes! Could you tell me what Dream icing is? I need to find the equivalent in Australia!

  5. Sandy Says:

    Those cupcakes look delish, must try making them. Singalonga Aound of Music…the best night out I’ve had for ages, you’ll love it!!

  6. joni possin Says:

    The cupcakes look wonderful and sound even better! How do you get the frosting to look so smooth??

  7. Joey Says:

    The recipe sounds fab! What temperature do you bake them at? I’m guessing 180C?

  8. marianne Says:

    This is just an interim until we get the proper photos through – and the red clashes but i take no responsibility for this – and im in a t-shirt and jeans ‘cos the zip on my dress broke in the toilet….but OMGGGG check this out – yarn (in every sense of teh word) is taking over the world! :o)))))))))

  9. Tara Says:

    Can you please tell me what technique you used to apply your icing so nicely. thanks for the help

  10. Dawn Says:

    I made these cakes and they are fab, luckily I only made half the icing as there was more than enough for two batches.

  11. PROLIX from la Normandie Says:

    trop bon!!!

    {ThE fReNcH tOuCh}
    artiste française

    Dragon Flaire DT Member

  12. Angela Says:

    Oooooooh, those look sooo yummy! Gonna have to try that one.

  13. Katie Says:

    In the frosting do you mean 2 tsp cinnamon? That’s what I’ve used and it tastes good. 2 tbsp sounds like a lot!
    Also, what temperature would you recommend cooking these at?

  14. Anette Says:

    I made these yesterday and this is now officially my favorite cupcakes! I had to make the icing a bit different (we don’t have Dream Topping mix in Norway), so I used my cream cheese icing and added a lot of cinnamon! Yummy!

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