Sunday, 28 October 2012

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

I love this cake and I have been desperate to share the recipe for ages. I had the joy of making (and eating) it again yesterday for a family gathering to celebrate my cousin Hazel's birthday so it seemed like the perfect time to get a cake post written up. It's super yummy and really easy as it's measured in cups and all the ingredients are just stirred together in one bowl. Oh, and of course it's also vegan!!

I love recipes that use cups as it means I get to use my wonderful baking bowls; they were a present from my friend Ro and are super cute and practical!

If you haven't tried vegan baking before this is a great place to start as there an no tricky ingredients to get hold of. The recipe is based on the Pineapple Upside-down Cake from the Vegan Society but instead of melting sugar with margarine, which is a bit too greasy, I use the juice from the pineapples, with the sugar and reduce it down to a syrup while at the same time caramelising the pineapple rings.

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 435g tin pineapple rings in own juice
  • natural colour glace cherries 
  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup rapeseed oil
  • 1 cup soya milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Empty the pineapple rings and juice into a frying pan and add the ½ cup brown sugar. Simmer over a medium heat until the juice has reduced to a syrup and the pineapple rings have started to caramelise, then leave to cool. 
  • Grease a 10” spring form cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Place a sheet of tin foil underneath and turn up the edges in case of any leaks. Arrange the pineapple rings in the bottom of the tin and put a cherry in the centre of each ring. Pour over the leftover syrup. 
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the rapeseed oil, soya milk,  applesauce and vanilla essence; stir well until all the ingredients are combined. 
  • Pour the cake mixture over the pineapple rings and bake for 50-60 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool before removing the outer ring on the cake tin, then turn out the cake on to a plate before gently removing the base and the baking paper.   
  • Enjoy with a big cup of tea!!
There is usually an extra pineapple ring to snack on while the cake is baking and the bonus of a vegan cake mixture is that you can eat as much of it raw as you like!

Have you tried vegan baking or have you got a favourite vegan cake recipe? Let me know if you give this one a try; I'm taling my cake and a cup of tead over to link up with Handmade Monday, come and have a look...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Crafty Creatives Box 4

I just love writing about the Crafty Creatives boxes and since people seem to like reading them (box 3 was my most popular post ever!) I thought it would be nice to keep going for the time being even if I am a little late.

So Box 4 arrived last week with a perfect theme for the time of year and with time to get some crafting done before the end of the month. The bat stamp on the box was a brilliant clue to the spooky Gothic theme.
 craftypainter: Crafty Creatives Box 4 Contents
The spooky art card from Carrion House was created especially for the box and the contents list on the back revealed:
  • The CC Kit - a masquerade mask
  • 3 large purple resin flower beads
  • 1 large silver winged pendant
  • 1 glass cabochon with Gothic frame setting
  • 8 mini skull beads
  • 10 silver studs
  • 2m each of satin and organza ribbon
  • vintage Gothic and Halloween pictures
  • 2 Gothic windows
  • 50cm strip of spider web mesh
  • 2 decorative ring blanks
  • a bundle of cruelty free feathers
  • 2 mini Gothic keys
  • a fat quarter of black lace
  • 50cm black non-woven fabric
  • Halloween sprinkles
I love the ribbon (of course) and the fabrics but there are so many things in the box that I have never used before which is really exciting and challenging. The giant purple buttons would look great on a chunky knit cushion but I have no idea yet what to do with the winged pendant. While I'm not a big fan when it comes to skulls I just love the bright colours of these mini beads and they are quite cute really. The Gothic windows will also take a little thinking about though...

I haven't got round to finishing the kit yet, because it's one that takes a little time (leaving to dry overnight), but will be perfect for Halloween parties! 
craftypainter: Crafty Creatives Box 4 Kit
I did however manage to find a few minutes to put together some quick makes to create this braided ribbon charm bracelet with a key fastening.
craftypainter: Braided ribbon key charm bracelet by craftypainter
And after a dig through my craft cupboard I found this cute ladybird which once belonged on my favourite ever pair of shoes, sadly the shoes are in need of repairs which are a little beyond me but I cannot bear to get rid of them.
craftypainter: Ladybird rind by craftypainter
What have you made with your Box 4 contents? If you've blogged about the box too, leave me you link!

Monday, 15 October 2012

And the winner is...

Actually before I announce the winner of the Make & Craft blog tour giveaway, I want to say a massive thank you to Make & Craft magazine for organising the blog tour and for allowing me to be a part of it. It has been a brilliant way to discover some new craft blogs and of course with every stop on the tour there was the chance to win a brilliant craft book thanks to Search Press. Some of the giveaways are still open so check out the list on the Make & Craft blog in case you missed any.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, it was really exciting to host my first ever giveaway and I loved reading all the comments!!

As there was a manageable number of entries I decided to do things the old fashioned way and put all the names in a hat. 

 My glamorous assistant revealed the winner!!
Congratulations to Linda Rumsey who is the lucky winner of my giveaway book Handbook of Sewing Stitches. I'll contact you through the Make & Craft website to find out where you would like me to send the lovely book!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Make & Craft Magazine Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

Welcome to today's stop on the Make & Craft Blog Tour and thank you to Amy for yesterday's super post!! If you've been following the tour so far you'll know that the first issue of Make & Craft Magazine goes on sale on the 12th October. There are lots of options for subscription available on the Make and Craft Website including 3 digital issues for just £1. There's also a monthly book club on the Make and Craft forum where new books will be discussed each month! As if all of this wasn't exciting enough, every blog on the tour has a copy of a craft book to giveaway, more on that later...

For the benefit of first time visitors I'm a painter and crafter who loves sewing and making accessories, cushions and decorations (and blogging about it all).  I recently opened my Etsy shop and you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Hellocotton.

I thought I'd join the party and celebrate the launch of the new magazine with a simple DIY to get us all in the mood for a bit of crafting. Here's some no-sew scrappy bunting, made from up-cycled materials.

You will need:
Some old shirts, pajamas or any other non-stretchy cotton fabric
Tape measure

Cut (or tear) the fabric in to strips approx 5cm x 40cm.

craftypainter: no-sew scrappy bunting DIY
If using patterned fabric, like I did, begin by folding the strip into thirds along it's length so that the pattern remains on show (1).  Fold the strip in half and lay under the string (2), pull the tails of the strip through the loop to form a knot a bit like a neck tie (3). You may need to work the fabric a little to get it neat (4).
craftypainter: no-sew scrappy bunting DIY
Keep adding strips evenly spaced until you have reached your desired length (or used up all the materials) and space the strips evenly along the string.
craftypainter: no-sew scrappy bunting DIY
 And that's it!! Super easy for emergency party bunting!!
Now for the giveaway... To celebrate the launch of the new magazine, Make & Craft have teamed up with Search Press and given me a copy of Lorna Knight's Handbook of Sewing Stitches (RRP £9.99; ISBN 9781844488124) to give away to one of my readers.

An invaluable resource for sewers of all abilities, this guide offers practical help with all of the essential hand- and machine-sewing techniques, from stitches and fastenings to fabrics and seams. 

This is a brilliant book jam packed with 250 pages sewing techniques including hand stitches, machine stitches and decorative stitches and is really well illustrated. The book also has a textile directory which includes advice on working with all kinds of fabrics.

To get your hands on this great little book simply register as a member on the Make and Craft Website and leave me a comment below. One reader will be chosen at random on the 14th October. If you're not lucky enough to win this handy book you can find it on the Search Press website. Order by phone on 01892 510850 quoting “Make and Craft Blog Tour” and Search Press will give you free postage and packaging.

And finally hop on over to knitnrun4sanity tomorrow for the next stop on the Make & Craft Magazine Launch Party Tour!! If you 've missed any of the previous stops on the tour you can find the full list here!

Thank you to first timers and regular readers for stopping by and good luck everyone!!

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