The shawl I am wearing is The Fleur Wrap from Heirloom Knitting and the dress was chosen for me by Steve. That's right, Steve. He will look through the dress racks to pick just the right one. And he will periodically announce that we need to have a night on the town. Really? Must we?? I do resist an evening out. I'm a homebody and prefer relaxing at home in a pair of jeans with a glass of wine. But society and relationships require some conformity and how can I resist when he chooses the dress and makes all the arrangements. And, truthfully, I always enjoy an evening out.
I also think this shawl is versatile enough to be worn in a less dressy way. I just haven't figured out how yet.
Particulars: The Fleur Wrap by Heirloom Knitting (designed by Sharon Miller); 3 skeins Colinette Parisienne; US 8 circular needles. This was an enjoyable knit and I'm very happy with the finished wrap. My only modification was to substitute Colinette's Parisienne for Rowan's Kidsilk Haze. Other Sharon Miller designs that I've Knit are the Birch Shawl; Dove Shawl; and the Cora Shawl (a Shetland hap shawl).
Marmalade Tea Cake ~
To be considered a tea cake I think the cake needs to have more substance than the typical American fluffy white cake that I associate with a birthday cake. Almost a European cake style. I love this Marmalade cake because it has the heavier texture while still being lighter than, say, a fruitcake. This cake is a favorite of mine and a staple with my afternoon tea. It is wonderful served with a black tea (I prefer Taylors of Harrogate's Yorkshire Gold) and I hope you enjoy it.
Marmalade Tea Cake (recipe adapted from The Baking Book):
3/4 Cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons extra fine white sugar
3 extra large eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, scant (i.e. scant = 2 and 3/8ths teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt, scant
7 tablespoons Seville orange marmalade, gently warmed (check to see that Seville oranges were used on the label. Regular oranges make too sweet a marmalade for this cake). I use a marmalade made by James Keiller & Son's, Dundee, sold by Trader Joe's.
2 tablespoons whole milk.
1 Cup confectioner sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1. Butter and flour (or use parchment paper to line) an 8 inch round cake pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Gently fold flour mixture into the butter mixture using a wooden spoon. When thoroughly combined add half the warmed marmalade (approximately 3 1/2 tablespoons) and add both tablespoons of milk to the batter and fold to combine.
4. Pour batter into cake pan and level with a knife. Bake cake approximately 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.
5. Turn cake out onto a wire rack and while still warm brush with the remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons warm marmalade. I like to place a sheet of wax paper beneath the cake to catch any marmalade that drips off. Allow to cool completely.
6. Prepare icing by whisking the confectioners sugar with the milk. I like to pour this mixture into a small plastic bag (i.e. a sandwich baggie) and cut away a small corner of the bag to drizzle the icing over the cake. Allow icing to set, about 1 hour.
This cake would be delightful enjoyed in the afternoon at a tea party wearing, say, a lovely shawl.
Until next time, be well and love well and enjoy the occasions in life that take you out of your normal routine whether that is seeing a live show, enjoying a fancy dinner out, or listening to jazz music in a club. You might find that you enjoy it more than you expect.