Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Horsin' Around

At the Geffrye Museum. Possibly the longest, most disproportionate horsie ever! I kinda love it. 

By the way, I totally recommend a visit to the Geffrye Museum if you're in London. It's really unpretentious, and has lots of pretty furniture and fantastic gardens. 

A  little handmade unicorn for a new little baby named Marcel. It was having a frolic around the Geffrye's fragrant herb gardens before galloping into a mass of baby poo.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Experimental Banana Bread

The two ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter last week were starting to piss me off*, and I knew I had to do something about them before they rotted away. And the tastiest thing to make with over-ripe bananas? Banana bread, of course. Since I'd just spent all week on the computer, I wasn't really in the mood to go search for a new recipe to try out.

So, I made up a recipe instead. Although it says banana 'bread',the method is actually partly bread, partly cake-ish. I used yeast, and mixed it with plain flour instead of bread flour, just because I wanted to find out how that would turn out. Also, just like bread, I left it to rise for quite a while, although there isn't any kneading involved because the batter turns out very wet. The yeast feeds on the sugars in the bananas, and rises to form a bread with a chewy texture. This recipe uses hardly any butter, and no eggs, so it might be worth trying if you're worried about your waistline but still want to indulge in some sweets (please note the 'healthy' factor completely flies out the window if you're smothering it in Nutella). 

Banana Bread 
1 tbsp dry yeast
150 ml tepid water/ milk (I used a mixture of both)
2 tsp sugar

250 gm plain flour
50 ml water/milk
50 gm butter
100 gm brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, roughly mashed 
ground cinnamon (to taste)
ground nutmeg (to taste)
25 gm walnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp pandan essence/ vanilla extract (optional)

- In a large bowl, dissolve 2 tsp sugar in tepid water/milk, add dry yeast and stir it around lightly. Cover with a cloth and leave it to rise for about 15 minutes.

- When yeast is activated, whisk in brown sugar, then add the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the rest of the milk and the pandan essence to the mixture, and stir in the walnuts. 

- Add butter, and finally, the mashed bananas, and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the mixture for about 5 minutes. This is to ensure the bananas get incorporated into the mixture and aren't just left on the sides.

- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the batter rise for about 2 hours. Lightly grease a 7-inch baking tray (you can use other sizes too, just remember to adjust the baking times) and pour the batter into it. Then, cover again with a damp cloth and let it raise for another hour.

- Preheat the oven to 175c, then bake your bread for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted inside comes out clean.

- Let it cool down, slice and enjoy! You can keep it for 3 or 4 days, and it's great toasted, since you get to enjoy crunchy outsides and soft, chewy innards.

Happy baking!

*I love eating bananas, but only when they're still slightly raw. The insides of my mouth feel gross and slimy and furry when I eat ripe/over-ripe 'nanas. Euuuech!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Chocolate Bread

Chocolate bread? You had me at hello choco! I'd first glimpse this enticing recipe over on Popcornstories, and followed it to its source - David Lebovitz's Chocolate Bread recipe. And yes, it is bread, with yeast and bread flour and all. 
If you've always wanted to try making your own bread, but haven't started for whatever reason, I'd suggest you give this deliciously decadent recipe a go. There's no kneading involved (kneading always seems like such a deterrent when I talk to others about making bread, but I'm one of those who actually enjoy the kneading process), in fact, I found the process akin to brownie-making. Eggs, cocoa, chocolate, nuts, milk - they're all there, just like a good brownie. 
I won't re-write the recipe here, as Mr. Lebovitz explains it all so much better than I ever could. It's practically a thesis on chocolate bread production. The only thing I added to the recipe was the zest of an orange, which I thought added a refreshing, light scent to the bread, and makes it smell sooooo wonderful while in the oven. It's great on its own, washed down with a cup of coffee, or you could be really decadent and slather some Nutella over it, like The Mancreature did. 

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Green Goo - Kueh Bakar

Saturday was spent mostly in the kitchen, whisk and mixer in hand. The heat suppressed my appetite, yet I was curiously eager to try not one, but two new recipes. 

My aunt recently sent me a recipe for kueh bakar, a type of Nyonya kueh - the Southeast Asian version of pastries. I haven't eaten one of these for about 20 years, so of course I decided to jump right in and try it, without being sure what it was supposed to taste like. It turned out to be really easy, but don't go expecting a fluffy, crumbly cake-like texture.

I managed to seek out a bottle of pandan essence from the Asian food shop down the hill (it was the only bottle on the shelf), but I think you can always use vanilla extract if you can't find any, or if you just don't like the flavour. Pandan flavouring seems to be the Southeast Asian equivalent of vanilla, but it's not really essential in this kueh, since it's already got a pretty strong coconut flavour.

Kueh Bakar (adapted from Lily's Wai Sek Hong)

3 eggs
400 ml coconut milk
50 ml water
1/2 tsp pandan essence (or vanilla essence)
125 gm plain flour
125 gm sugar
25 gm grated coconut (for topping)
green food colouring (optional)

- Preheat oven to 175c.

- Beat eggs and sugar till sugar dissolves, and add pandan essence to the mixture.

- Add flour and coconut milk to the egg/sugar mixture, and stir till you get a smooth consistency.

- Pour mixture into a greased baking tray, about 8 inches wide. You'll get a thicker or thinner kueh, depending on the size of your tray. I don't think it really matters.

- Bake for 45 minutes, then add the grated coconut to the top and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven, wait for it to cool, then cut it into squares and enjoy.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Big Five-Oh!

Nope, I'm not 50 years old yet, but my little Etsy shop just made its 50th sale late last week, and has now gone on to it's 51st sale! Yay! I guess some shops make that many sales in a week, or even a day, but I'm still tremendously excited about it. It's a pretty strange and awesome feeling to think that these items produced in a little room in South London (and Sydney's Inner West) have made their way around the world. Go, internets! Thank you, thank you to all of you who have bought something, you're fantastic, and obviously gifted with great taste!

There are also a couple of new items in the shop right now - this little Peter Pan collared dress, and a necklace with the most amazing blue glass beads.

Simply click on the captions under each picture to get to the listings. 

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Dr. Gladstone, I Presume?

Bowler hat - eBay, shirt - Target (Australia), t-shirt - DIY, jeans - Peacock's, plimsolls - Salvo's, bag - eBay

Dammit, now I want a Gladstone bag. The one I'm holding on to belonged to a friend, and I was on my way to deliver it to her that very day. They're big, unwieldy and very heavy (possibly because of my lack of muscles) but they're also rather awesome, and can hold a lot of crap. It's pretty much the perfect Mary Poppins bag. 

Friday, 4 June 2010


I've just added these little crown-y headbands to the Etsy shop. They can been worn as hairbands too, and I've added a lining behind the wool so it feels more comfy. You should be able to go straight to the listing just by clicking on the photos. I've been having quite a bit of fun cabling and beading recently, so expect to see a few more of these pop up in the shop soon. These two were obviously made to fit my head, but I do except custom orders for them, so if you've got a HUGE head, or a tiny noggin, let me know your measurements and I'll make one to fit.

In other Etsy news, I've discounted lots of older items in the shop, as I have a whole new bunch of stock waiting to be added. I'd like to clear the shop a little first though, so it doesn't look too messy. If you're interested in some aprons, now's the time to grab one as they've all been discounted. 

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


It's been about a year since I made my first giraffe, and I don't know why I haven't made any more since. But a friend's birthday was coming up, so I thought it might be fun to make her one. I added some glamourous blonde fringing to it this time, and I thought it turned out more like a hybrid between a unicorn and a giraffe. What do you reckon? Is it a uni-raffe, or a giracorn?