Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Bees, baking and refurbishing

Remember the post about the bee log DB made me and we attached to our south facing wall. Here is the latest picture - 4 holes now full and sealed with wax (or whatever they use). Many bees are busy entering and leaving quite a few of the other holes so hopefully, more baby bees to come.
DB is busy with his box and it is now being sanded down and he is fixing the one loose leg.
In case you are wondering what the ceramic ornament is behind it, it is my 'journey sun' that I made on my Access to Art & Design before doing my BA in Fine Art. It has been up on the wall in all seasons for the past 6-7 years. Each bit of it had things pressed into the wet clay that I saw on my journey such as leylandii, boot and shoe prints, leaf prints, lines that represent a newly harrowed field, nuts, bolts, buttons and coins that you find whilst out on a walk etc. There are also some brownish spokes but they don't get used as I didn't have time to create a central bit for it. Maybe one day!

Today I made a light as air cake, the recipe for which can be found here sponge cake
It is very pale and I didn't have any cream or jam to fill it with. However, in the back of my store cupboard, I found a jar of blackcurrant and apple 'fruit leather' base so used that instead.

In case you are wondering what that is, it is the mush from making and draining overnight, the fruit for a jelly based jam. I push it all through a sieve, weigh it and for each 1lb of mush, I add 1 lb of sugar and boil it to setting point (very carefully as it tends to spit being so thick). You then store it in small jars for when you want to make fruit leather. Simples!

The recipe said to use 3 room temperature eggs. I only had medium so another time I would increase the eggs to 4 medium. It did however rise well in the oven. A good tip is to raise your cooling tray on dishes, lay one half of a tea towel over it, tip out the cakes onto it, remove the base paper and flip the other half of the tea towel over it. That way, it cools and stays moist. This type of cake needs to be eaten quite quickly and kept in a storage tin as it has a tendency to dry out.

The texture was as light as air (cornflour I reckon) and the taste quite mild but the flavour of the 'jam' made it.





13 comments:

  1. Your ceramic piece bears close inspection, Dc, it is very interesting and looks just right where it is.

    I can't remember the last time I baked a 'frivolrous' cake - i.e., a light as air sponge or a decorated fancy cake. - it looks very moreish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I might get around to taking some close ups when I remember.

      Delete
  2. Oh, I meant to ask - I love the idea of providing a home for bees - but how do you know it won't be colonised by wasps? (A it ignorant about the lifestyle of wasps, I must admit!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DB says he can't remember what size drill he used but I reckon no larger than 1 cm or just over. He drilled pilot holes first then enlarged them with a wood drill maybe 3-4 inches deep. I think next time he will go in and out several times to make the holes smoother. It is being used by solitary bees of varying sizes but usually generally small. Don't know about wasps but reckon they are more interested in being in a family nest. DB checked this morning and now 7 holes are filled so I'm going to ask him to do another log as some of the holes in this first one are too rough and the bees can't get into them.Every time a bee visits and flies out the holes a little cloud of sawdust follows them so I reckon they might be chewing the hole to clean it out?

      Delete
  3. Your cake looks gorgeous and very yummy. I like the bee house too. I have signed up with Bloglovin too but not sure how to put the Bloglovin link button on. Can you point me in the right direction please DC? Thanks.
    Patricia x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't quite remember Patricia. I know I had to claim my blog whereby they send a password to your email (blog one I think), which you then have to cut and paste as a post on your blog and publish. I think after that the button appears on your google blog. Once I had published mine, I immediately went back into the post where I had published the link and went to edit it so I could save it permanently as a draft post and so that no-one else could get my password. If anyone else has recently claimed their blog, maybe you can help out Patricia.

      Delete
  4. Your artwork is fabulous - I'd love to see a close-up. We had lunch in the garden today and saw several different varieties of bee flying around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I hope to take some close up pictures of it soon. We too have lots of varieties of bees just not as many as normal.

      Delete
  5. I like your bee 'hotel'.. I've just written a post about the one's hubby made for me.

    Your cake looks yummy :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goodness me your hubby has been busy, nice hotel complex there! I'd like to investigate how to help ladybirds next.

      Delete
  6. So pleased that your bee house has happy occupants :o)
    The cake looks utterly delicious!
    Rose H
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a clever idea for the Bees! Just saw on NZ News last night how we need to grow more Bee orientated plants due to dwindling numbers, so will be looking forward on how to improve our Summer garden to encourage the bees.
    Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you, will read all your comments and try and answer any questions you leave. Don't forget to come back and read my reply! All comments are moderated so if you try to link it to a commercial web site, it will not be published.