Friday, March 28, 2008

Chocolate Cake Recipe... Mark's Birthday Cake!!

rebar chocolate cake recipe

everything you want from a chocolate cake, rich, moist and delicious!

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup strong coffee
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs (1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk)
1 tsp vanilla

cake filling:
5 oz milk chocolate
5 oz dark chocolate
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
1/4 lb cream cheese, spreadable
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp unsalted butter
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Prepare three 8" cake pans with oiled parchment cut to fit the bottoms of the pans. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt in the bowl of a mixer and whisk on low to combine, making sure it is lump-free. Add the coffee, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla and mix on medium-low for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides. The batter will be pourable.
3. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 15 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before removing them from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Remove parchment papers before assembling.
4. Next, prepare the cake filling. Melt the milk and dark chocolates in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix the cooled chocolate into the creamed mixture. Next, prepare the ganache by heating the cream and butter to just before the scalding point. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let rest for 3 minutes, then whisk gently (to avoid incorporating air as much as possible) until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
5. To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on a cooling rack  with a large baking sheet underneath to catch drips. **( I had a hard time with this, the rack stuck into the bottom of the cake, I would not use a rack next time)**. Evenly spread half of the filling over the layer, then position a second layer on top. Repeat with remaining filling, saving a small amount to thinly spread over the top. Position the cake top layer over the filling. Chill 10 minutes. Next, slowly pour the warm chocolate ganache over the entire cake while carefully spreading it with a large metal icing spatula to make a smooth surface. Carefully transfer the cake onto a plate and into the fridge to set.
Yields: one 8" round cake. Enjoy!

Recipe taken from the rebar modern food cookbook.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Contemporary Functionality

This treasury I curated, of gorgeous furniture graced the front page of Etsy last night.
Unfortunately nothing from the collection sold, and not one of the artisans in it commented on the treasury. 

It was a beautiful list!! Very talented furniture makers on Etsy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

T-shirt and Super Wool Sweater Rug

I tried a big weaving experiment today. I have bags and bags of sweaters that would not felt, mostly super wash wool, my arch enemy! Some have too much nylon in with the wool, and that also keeps the sweaters from shrinking.
After weaving the t-shirt rug the other day, and finding someone else on Etsy who just started to weave rugs in the way I do, I thought it was about time I started trying new things.
For this rug, I used a t-shirt warp, and used superwash wool sweaters for the weft. At first I worried the sweaters would unravel once cut, but the weft is held pretty tight by the warp. I am pleased with my results, except for my wonky edges. A washable rug!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

T -Shirt Rug

My first attempt at a rug made with recycled t-shirts on my upright loom.  I used the t-shirts I had bought at value village quite some time ago, not sure why I picked these bright colours. Even so, all these colours seem to work together well. I am happy with my results.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sign of Spring!

Laundry on the the clothes line, actually my second load out this week!!

We do have a lot of snow to melt, but the temperature is getting warmer little by little. I will admit that it has been a long winter. Whoohoo for the first day of spring tomorrow!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Front Page!

One of my treasuries graced the front page yesterday. It sure is a huge thrill to see one of my collections there.
I just learned how to take a screen shot, but have not quite mastered it yet, all of the art works are there, but not the whole page. I am learning!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Girl, Megan!!

Megan just emailed me this photo of her, and I love it so much!
She is pretty cute!

I am struggling to write a step by step article for Craft magazine. It is harder than I thought it would be. Back up to the loom I go, to finish weaving the rug and taking photos.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I have been playing with wool roving, colour and felting again. I wasn't sure what to do with it all, then started to play with first leather, threading the beads on, but was not really happy with the look of it. so I took out my bead supplies. I love these pretty colours together. Felt and glass, a spectacular necklace!

Ice castles...... hmmmm, not quite. Marks dog ice sculpture gleaming in the morning sun. Spring is coming, note the gorgeous purple shadows!

Today, after yet another dump of snow, is mild and melting, so exciting, a glimpse of the upcoming spring season!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Boy!

Time is flying, must be the March slump. Today is Thomas' birthday. Hard to believe he is 26 already. Sure wish we were closer in distance, he is at the end of the earth, Holberg, can't get much further away than that in Canada. 
 Happy Birthday Thomas!