Tuesday, 4 October 2016

And there was cake...

By popular demand the 'and there was cake...' feature returns to the InStitches blog!

Chocolate fudge cake

A real 'can't go wrong' cake - very moist, and rises well.  For workshops I double the recipe and split it between 3 loaf tins and spread the fudge icing over the top.

For the cake:
6 ½ oz {165 g) plain flour
2 level tablespoons (30 ml) cocoa
1 level teaspoon (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
5 oz (125g) caster sugar                  
2 level tablespoons (30 ml) golden syrup
2 large eggs       
¼ pt (150ml) salad or corn oil
¼ pt (150ml) milk

For the fudge icing:
2 oz (50 g) butter
4 level tablespoons (60 ml) cocoa
3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk
5 oz (125 g) icing sugar, sieved

You will need a food processor and either 2 8 inch (20 cm) sandwich tins or one 8 inch (20cm) deep cake tin, lined with baking parchment.

1.       Heat the oven to 170 deg. C. Gas No. 3. Grease and line the bottom of two 8 inch" (20 cm) straight-sided, sandwich tins with silicone paper.

2.       Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, and baking powder into the food processor bowl.

3.       Add the sugar and syrup, and the eggs, lightly beaten.

4.       Put on the cover and remove the white plastic pusher: Switch on, and pour in the oil and milk, mixed, down the funnel into the bowl. Mix for about 5 seconds (count 5 slowly) after all the liquid is in.

5.       Remove the bowl and knife from the machine, lift out the knife, and scrape clean. Turn the mixture into the prepared tins, and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with the fingertips. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool.

6.       To make the icing: Melt the butter in a pan, add the cocoa, stir to blend, and cook for 1minute. Stir in the milk and icing sugar, and mix to smooth consistency. Leave to cool and thicken, Spread half the mixture between the two cakes, and the remainder on top. Decorate with broken chocolate flake, or grated chocolate.

Words are not just for reading

We were really excited to be able to offer an Exploring abstract letterforms workshop with Simon Sonsino last week and not only because we want to do it too! The textural qualities and sense of freedom from the conventions of calligraphy in his work speak to us and relate to our own textile work, where words and text are there for texture and interest but not necessarily meant to be read.

It wasn't long before everyone was busily working away - Simon took us through a series of short exercises creating marks with different writing tools and objects.

Who knew half a balsa stick could produce such exciting marks?

Fortunately this was a calligraphy workshop was for the non-calligrapher, and didn't rely on straight lines, neat handwriting or legibility,

It wasn't long before every available flat surface and notice board was covered with paper.

It wasn't just sticks, we did get to try out a variety of different nibs

 and tried out many different alphabet styles

and in different colours of ink.

 Even the dip water became an inspiration!

The two days were fun and inspirational, here are a few of the resolved pieces.  I am sure that over the next week s and months several of us will be using the techniques on fabric too.

To see some of Simon's work you can visit his web site by clicking here