Latest posts by Obelixx

The Virtual Café

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 19:09

OK - I'll start with chocolate carror cake which was Possum's favourite birthday cake for years and everyone else loves it too.  If you find the white chocolate icing a "death by chocolate" too far, just use a normal ganache.


 This can be done in a food processor as it is an all-in-one sort of cake.   It's quite a lot of mixture so if you have a small goblet, use half the quantities and a 7" square tin.   It can also be cooked as small buns in which case each takes about 12 minutes to cook.   A full quantity makes about 32.  These freeze very well and make a healthy snack for handing out each day for the morning break at school.   Do not ice them.   It could get very messy.

 310g                        grated carrot

150g                        grated dark chocolate (70% if poss)

250ml                      grape seed, safflower or sunflower oil

185g                        soft brown raw cane sugar

3                             large eggs

215g                        self-raising flour, sifted

5ml (1tsp)                bicarbonate of soda

30ml (2tbs)               cocoa powder, sifted

110g                        golden syrup


250g                        Philadelphia Light or equivalent

40g                         icing sugar

150g                        white chocolate

Start by grating the carrots and chocolate and removing them to separate bowls to add at the end.

Once you have done the carrots and chocolate, whiz the oil, eggs and sugar together in the processor till well blended then add the flour, bicarb and cocoa.  Whiz lightly.   Then add the syrup and chocolate for a quick whiz and then the carrot.   If you over whiz the last, the cake becomes quite wet, takes longer to cook and may sink in the middle but you can camouflage that with the icing..

 Pour the batter into a greased and lined 10" square cake tin and cook at 180C for 45 to 50 minutes, or until done.

 Allow to cool in the tin before transferring to a serving plate.

 Melt the chocolate for the topping until soft enough to whip.  I do it in the microwave but you can also do it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.   Be careful as white chocolate easily gets overh

Are these weeds?

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 19:05

1st and 2nd - creeping buttercup.  3rd, maybe alpine strawberry.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 18:38

I will happily share my cake, muffin and biscuit recipes - tested on Belgian dancers, Belgian scientists, international garden group and even Ozzie toddlers' mums when Possum was little.

Just been out with the dogs and OH on a different circuit and lots of the houses full of holiday makers and we met joggers and cyclists.   Positively teeming with hoomans.

Compacted clay in an established rose bed

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 17:27

You've done a great job so far.  I hope the owners appreciate it.   Mulching will certainly help the soil and the roses.

To paint or not

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 17:14

It might be fine at the coast in strong Mediterranean sun but not in grey old Blighty where the light is gentler even when the sun does shine.

I think you need to make it much paler or much darker for those larger panels but it's OK on those smaller panels.   Much more forgiving for any plants and flowers growing in front.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 16:51

Home from Doc's.  Blood test tomorrow morning to see about arthritic bits in hands but BP great at 11/7 and ticker and lungs sounding good.   Came home via PO and now have supplies of gochujang and bean paste for Korean recipes.

What on earth will you do with yourself when they've all gone Busy?  No Open Garden or UK trips to plan either, not for a while anyway.

I have watched Italy Unpacked at least twice and still find it fascinating stuff and entertaining too.   Would love to visit Italy and the south one day when we've finished the shower room and found some house, dog and cat sitters.

Joyce - hope the roof gets fixed before the rain returns.

Dying Roses

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 13:56

Growmore is a chemical product that may provide nitrogen, potassium and phosphate to your plants i the short term but will do nothing to improve your soil or help with micro-organisms that are beneficial to both soil and plants.   You need to apply a couple of inches depth of well-rotted manure to all the bare soil but make sure you do it after decent rainfall or you'll just lock in dryness.  

Do it every autumn too when herbaceous perennials have died back and then bung a bit more round your roses every spring.   Your soil will improve no end and so will your roses and other plants.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 13:49

Vitamin D is also important for a good immune system so take some or make sure you get some sunlight on your skin every day.   80% of Belgians are D deficient.

We've had enough rain to wet a few more leaves but it's gone dry again now.   Minstrel came in and gave me a damp cuddle.   Asleep now with Cosmos who has been helping me sew.  Note how he uses her as a pillow!

MOT next and a few errands before walkies and dinner.

That is an impressive wood pile LP.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 11:38

See if you can find books or DVDs called Italy Unpacked - an art hirtorian and a chef touring Italy and seeing the less obvious sites and treasures - 3 series. One on teh north, one hedaing down the west coast and round to Calabria and the third on Sicily.  Excellent stuff - http://www.infocobuild.com/books-and-films/travel/italy-unpacked-series2.html   If you do decide to go to the more obvious places, definitely book museum and site entries in advance to get a slot and avoid queuing.

We have had a smidgen of rain.   Not enough to wet anything except leaves but wet enough to stop OH spraying the drive which is turning green again.   He hoed the entire thing just 10 to 14 days ago so isn't happy. 

Joyce - pleased you have some sunshine.  Expect your garden will like it too.

More lovely lichen Pat.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 08/08/2017 at 09:30

We finally had 5mm of rain in the night.  Forecast for Wednesday has "improved" again and we're now expecting rain only in the evening.   Humph!

Meanwhile, it's sunny but cool with a breeze.  I'm off to the doc for an MOT this afternoon so plan to stay clean after getting almost all the ingrained muck out from under my nails last night.

Love the lichen too Pat.   Ours tends to be white or yellow and small.  Harking back to doors, it occurs to me we may be OK lighting our wood burner in winter if we leave the living room door open.  Otherwise the heat is suffocating but I do love a fire.

Not looking at porn here.  Hundreds of old fashioned pale daffs lifted from the former donkey paddock and needing homes along with all the stuff I put in pots to have colour for last spring - tulips, crocuses, alliums, iris reticulata.......   Might have the odd impulse buy in shops tho.

Best get some jobs done now;  Have a good one, whatever you're doing.

Discussions started by Obelixx

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