Monday, August 16, 2010


I have been cooking up a storm, mastering the art of sponge drops. Started with the basic recipe and then tried them in chocolate (that could never be a bad thing). We had these for morning tea for Running Away from Painting this week.

and because you have seen them and now want to try them, here is the recipe.

Pre-heat the oven to 190 c (375f)
Line trays with baking paper or silpat sheets
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour, sifted 3 times
extra caster sugar

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick. Gently fold in the flour. Spoon mixture on to prepared trays - don't flatten - make sure there are an even number - 24 rounds make a good size. Allow for some spreading. Sprinkle with extra caster sugar and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on the trays. When cold, peel off the paper. Sandwich together with whipped cream and jam. These little cakes are actually better if you make them a day ahead and fill - the sponge cake is quite firm when first made, but goes soft if left for a few hours or overnight.

If you are using greaseproof paper, you may have to dampen the paper on the underside, before trying to peel off the cakes. The newer baking papers don't require this treatment.
Here are a couple of fillings I have tried so far:

cream and raspberry jam
cream and raspberries (frozen)
cream and lemon butter or lemon spread
chocolate cream.

To make the sponge drops chocolate, I simply took out two tablespoons of flour and replaced them with cocoa power. To make the chocolate cream, I added cocoa powder to the cream, with sugar and vanilla extract.

I "won" this on eBay last week and my faithful assistant and I went and picked it up yesterday. An office partition that is now my "design wall". I had thoughts that it may spend some time out in the garage airing - coming from an office, I was thinking stale cigarette smells or other horrors but it was actually in really good nick. There were some stains from tea or coffee, but once home, I cleaned it down with woolmix and some lavender oil and it has come up a treat. We had to get some help to lift it up to my room. It is 1800 x 1800 and our stairs are not, so it had to be hoisted up over the railing.

Don't you just love the state of my room. It looks the same in all 4 corners, but I have three quilts on the go and a mystery quilt to prepare for Saturday so it will stay like this for a bit yet. It doesn't bother me, I can find stuff. The husband started to point out a few issues until I told him to go have a good hard look at his sheds.

So now I can say, have a look what is on "the design wall" this week. I pinned this in to position because I can, I have nearly completed all the squares for the bedspread/quilt as you go quilt, but have had to stop to work on it and concentrate on other bits and pieces.

During the month, the husband and elf went to Malaysia for eight days, taking my camera with them. The elf was playing representative cricket for the Yarra Valley. I chose to stay at home, cricket, 35 degree (c) heat and 87% humidity - not my thing.

Once the cricket finished and the boys had time to shop, I asked (now I realise foolishly) if they had seen any fabric stores. I was picturing exotic silks in jewel tones. Text messages were sent back and forth with pictures of assorted fabrics. Photo's would come of fabric, texts would be sent in reply with things like - that looks like upholstery fabric, or that is butt ugly - until in one of the pic's I saw a sign in the background - Indian Silk - so I sent him off in that direction. The husband said he bought me 10 pieces of what the trader assured him was Indian silk. I was picturing lots of loveliness and silkyness - here's what he came home with:

.....bloody polyester scarves. He got shafted - the trader saw him coming. Before any further trips to the exotic east, lessons will be given on fabric. Something else to go to the op shop.

Here's Norman - he has issues - first I noticed that his back leg would become momentarily useless and he couldn't put any weight on it, secondly - we have bouts of "inappropriate urination" (not related to the first issue). A trip to the vet confirmed that he seems to have a dislocating knee cap - at this stage we are taking a wait and see approach on that one (apparently it is unusual in cats - just my luck and truly I shouldn't be surprised because - oh, that is unusual - seems to be our mantra with lots of things we buy or own). His second issue, well, I am giving him Prozac! We have had him on it before when renovating the house, so we will see how he goes. At the moment he is sleeping in strange places and seriously has the "can't be bothereds". I am risking life and limb just giving him a dose - he hasn't lost the agro streak. Last night when the husband was getting ready to put both the cats out, he asked if I could get Norman because the night before he had growled and hissed at him, my reply was that if I had to put my fingers in his mouth, he could pick Norman up off the chair!!

Things I learned this week.

Whilst cooking a part of the evening meal in the microwave one night last week, I learned that you CAN burn through aluminium. I had finished the main meal off using the high mix feature of my convection microwave combination. I had bought a dessert (Sara Lee Danish if you must know) and turned the microwave on - I thought I had hit the convection button to cook at 180 but apparently, I didn't. I turned in my chair to see smoke in the kitchen and a strange blue light in the microwave (that would be the arching - never done it before) so calories were burned - literally - because the danish had been busy microwaving for some time and had a black hole burnt in it and the rest was set like concrete. Lesson for the week. Double check programs between dishes - idiot!

Bye for now.
Sue xxx


  1. Take it from me, the sponge drops were to die for! (I'm one of the "Running Away from Painting" girls - don't ask how we got that name!!!!) Sue even sent one home with me for David - he doesn't realise how lucky he is that I didn't eat it on the way home and plead ignorance!
    Sue - you really should be writing a column for a magazine! We'll have to think up a title ...
    Looking forward to the mystery quilt on Saturday ... I think ...

  2. wow! That looks yummy! My mouth is watering~


I would love to hear from you, just so I know I am not talking to myself - the cat is tired and so is the dog!