Thursday, 8 December 2011

Coconut Chocolate Cake

I was visiting my cousin in Canberra over the past five days, so I’ve been pretty MIA lately. Safe to say, I haven’t had a chance to really do anything more to the dress, but I have been taking full advantage of my cousin’s 6-burner stove top and super amazing oven.

While I was in Canberra we made this Coconut Chocolate Cake. It is super easy to make – except this time there was no electric mixer so I had to cream butter and sugar by hand ….don’t EVER leave yourself in this position, it’s much harder than Youtube videos make it look. Anyway, it is the ultimate chocolate cake, super moist and rich with two layers and a creamy chocolate buttercream icing.

Ingredients (serves 10)
                  125g butter, softened
                  1 cup caster sugar
                  1 teaspoon coconut essence
                  2 eggs
                  1 1/2 cups Healthy Baker self-raising flour
                  1/4 cup cocoa powder
                  1/2 cup desiccated coconut
                  1 cup milk
                  double cream, to serve
Chocolate buttercream
                  200g butter, chopped
                  200g dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
Beat butter, sugar and coconut essence with an electric mixer, until fluffy and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg is added.
Sift half the flour and half the cocoa over butter mixture. Add half the coconut. Stir to combine. Mix in half of the milk. Repeat with remaining flour, cocoa, coconut and milk.
Spoon into a 20cm round cake pan (lightly greased with butter and lined with baking paper). Bake for 50 minutes then take it out of the oven to stand in pan for 10 minutes. Take cake out of the cake pan to cool.

For the chocolate buttercream: Place butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature, then beat mixture with a wooden spoon until thick and spreadable.
Cut cake in half crossways. Spread the bottom half with one-third of buttercream. Spread remaining buttercream over top and side of cake. 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Progress Update!

I have nearly completed the top half of the dress. Here are some pictures :)
Sheer black silk and a heavier black silk for the lining
Pattern for the sheer silk
Pattern for the lining
Top one is the front and the bottom one is half of the back
Boob area

I've pinned the pieces onto the dress form, but I haven't sewn them together yet....and I also need to cut a piece of sheer silk for the back. I was really close to giving up, but seeing it take shape in front of me is pretty sweet. Weeeeeee :)

J xx


I'm in so much trouble here! Totally need someone to help me run through this whole sewing business. Yesterday, I had to resort to watching the Singer Instructional DVD to learn how to wind and insert a bobbin. Actually, I also had to resort to Google to find out what a bobbin is hahah

These are some pictures from dad's workplace. Dad got one of the girls to print out the pattern for this dress on the right, it's a Nicola Finetti dress which has a very similar cut to the dress I want to make, especially with the tight lining and the sheer silk draped on the outside.

And I had absolutely no idea how big the printer is to print patterns. It was bigger than a person, about 3 metres wide! But the patterns it churned out were really pretty and intuitive.

Now all I need to do is get used to my sewing machine.

J xx

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dress #1: A super cute Aurelio Costarella number

 I have decided that this will be the first dress I'll be attempting to make...


This dress looks simple...but looks flattering and most of all, feels amazing. It has a soft silk lining and the outside is a sheer silk which drapes in all the right places :) 

I have the exact same materials, but in black - next on the agenda is a pattern for the dress. It's my first dress, so I think trial and error would be risky, especially with such expensive fabrics.

Will keep you posted! 

J xx

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Look at all my new babies!

So a few days ago I purchased my first sewing machine and dress form. The sewing machine is a Singer Promise and the dress form is non-adjustable but is very close to me in size - both from Lincraft. They were having a big sale, so I feel like I got a massive bargain!

Now I'm super excited, it almost feels like when I got my first cupcakes baking tray when I was 13.

I also managed to find some materials like threads and measuring tape - now all I need is some pins and a fabric marker! I also have a dress I'm set on making...the plan is to pull it all together by the end of the week, although I may have bitten off way more than I can chew - fingers crossed!!

J xx