Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple cake knighted with caramel sauce

Photo and the Finnish recipe from here

During the weekend we had those friends visiting, which I mentioned in my H54F post. I am obsessed with offering something self-made for friends, whenever we have them over and this time was no exception. I still had some of those apples left I picked up a week ago and I came across this stunner recipe, so I decided to give it a try.

Oh. My. Word. 
This has to be my favorite apple cake ever. I would not have done anything differently, except make more of it. My friend said that it would also work well on Christmas and I bet it would. Although I don't know a time when this cake would not work. There cannot be such a time. But I'm taking my friend's advice and I will make this cake this Christmas. And probably a lot of other times as well.
  • a scant ½ cup of butter
  • a scant ½ cup of sugar (same amount as butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon

  • 1 1/4 cups apple cubes
  • 1 cup of créme fraiche
  • 2 tsp vanilla-infused sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp of potato flour
  • ½ cup cashew nuts and almonds
  • 3 tbs sugar

Grease the springform baking tin ø 7.5-9 inces. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the room-temperatured butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat all the time. Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and add to the dough mixture and stir thoroughly. Spread the dough on the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle the apple cubes on top. Stir in the cream, vanilla sugar/extract and potato flour and pour the mixture over the apple cubes. Sprinkle the almonds, nuts and sugar on top. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes on the lower level. Let cool to almost room temperature, remove the ring and slide the cake onto a plate. Pour caramel sauce over the cake just before serving.

I made the caramel sauce myself, but naturally you can also use store-bought. I bet you already have a great caramel sauce recipe yourself, so I'm not going to try to translate mine with awkward, imprecise measurements.

Friday, September 21, 2012

High Five for Friday

Hey y'all! It's Friday again and I'm so happy about that! Have had a lot going on this week, so I'm excited to have a little time to relax. And because it's Friday, I'm going to share you five of my week's highlights to you. Linking up with Lauren as usual.

1. Choir practice

Our local church has these theme nights around 6-8 times a year and there's a band and choir to lead worship there. I've been in the choir since last fall now, since we moved into this area. I had a really really tiring day on Tuesday at work. But the choir practice made it all better, it was like a breath of fresh air! It was so great singing songs to thank our Lord and be with those wonderful people, sharing that fellowship time. It was a real treat!

2. Apples

I got some fresh Finnish apples from a friend of mine on Saturday. I made some pie of them already and have been enjoying munching them in general as well. Some imported apples make my mouth tickle, but these fresh domestic ones aren't like that and I've been happy as a bee, being able to enjoy them.

3. Bible study

I know, I talked about this a couple of weeks back as well, but we had another meeting on Sunday and we had such a good time discussing about God's word and what it means to us and what it means in this time and all that. It was a very nice evening.

4. Sports day at school

Yesterday we had a sports day in my school. We walked to the nearby tracks and had all sorts of competitions, like tug of war, there. The weather was just lovely and we had a great time. As a subject teacher it's wonderful to be able to see the children in a different environment, doing different things, than just practicing the subject that I teach. I can get to know them a lot better because of days like that.

5. Entertaining friends

This hasn't happened yet, but I'm excited to welcome some friends into our home tonight, who haven't yet been in this apartment. I'm sure we will have fun together over dinner and dessert :) It's a great way to start the weekend too!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Heaven is for Real!

One of the things my hubby gave me for my birthday was this book by Todd Burpo. One of my American friends had read it and recommended it for me. So my husband had got Heaven is for Real for me while we were in the States and brought it back home.

It's a really quick read, partly because it's not a very long book, partly because it is so captivating that you have to finish it quickly. It tells of a young boy's trip to Heaven during a critical surgery when he was a little under four years old and how during the next couple of years his family got to know things the boy had seen and heard there. It's a really interesting and inspiring book and makes you think of Heaven in a different way, and at least for me made it less abstract. It also gives a different kind of scope to Jesus and Father God as well. I don't want to give away the details of what he tells about Heaven, but I strongly recommend reading the book, if you are interested about the world that is yet to come.

Friday, September 14, 2012

High Five for Friday

It's Friday again, how can it be? I'm definitely not complaining, but it doesn't seem like a whole week since last Friday. Anyway, linking up again with Lauren for this post and telling my week's highlights.

1. Getting some procrastinated stuff done

I am such a procrastinator. Always been, I guess always will be. On Tuesday I was in a situation at work, where I had only one lesson to teach that day, because three of my groups were on an outing with their teachers and one other change of plans with another group. My lesson to be taught was from 1.15 pm to 2 pm. If that was all, I just could've gone to work arond 1pm. But we also had a staff meeting at 8.30 am to 9 am. So I had hours to spare, in fact four of them. I decided to tackle some of my tasks that I had been avoiding and got a lot of done. So it ended up being a really good and productive day!

2. Knitting

I do actually know that I said knitting last Friday too, but I've just really got back to it and love it. I'm making a zigzag cowl and using three different colors and I love how they go together. It's also being really fun to notice that it's really easy to make the knitwork zigzag and it looks really cute. So continuing with this pastime.

3. My new layout and style

I started thinking the bright green leaves are not for this season and changed up my header and the colors to go with it. I also changed the layout into two main columns instead of three. I'm really liking the result.

4. Rewarding feedback at work

I did something different while teaching my 6-graders yesterday and I got really encouraging feedback from most of them. It made me really happy hearing them they liked it and learned more because of it and got me all encouraged to do that sort of things more with them.

5. Swimming

This hasn't happened yet, but I'm hoping I'll have to make it happen, when I write it here. I've been wanting to go to the swimming hall to swim for exercise and it just hasn't happened. Like I said, a procrastinator. I'd really like that though, so I have a plan to go today after work. I know I will be pleased afterwards. So keep your fingers crossed for me that I'll make it!

That's it this week! What did you enjoy this last week?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Zigzag Cowl: Part 1

Fall makes one inspired about woolen things. So like I said in my last post, I've taken up knitting again. Which is a very good thing, my blog being The Knitting Baker. I finished my headband that I started last Tuesday. It needs blocking though, it curls up big time. (Photos hopefully to come.) I wanted to make the headband a part of a set and I came across a neat looking cowl pattern in a magazine so I cast on. In order to make it match with my headband, I use partly the same yarn, a dark brown one. Other ones that I plan to use are sort of beige/undyed (the dark brown and beige are both 7 veljestä) and a reddish color (Nalle, all three yarns by Novita). In Finnish I would call call it vispipuuronpunainen which means 'the red of whipped lingonberry porridge' (which I now started craving after googling photos and English recipes of it... maybe you'll get a post of its own about that later...) Anyway, I have a photo for you (taken with my cell) that show the chosen colors and a part of the pattern so you'll see what it's supposed to look like once finished. My yarn and needles are thinner than the one used in the pattern so I made one repeat more than instructed. I think I'll also make stripes with various widths. We'll see how it works out in the end.

Friday, September 7, 2012

High five for Friday

I know, I know, I've been gone a long time... But what better way to get back in the swing of blog things than with a link-up post? As I've told before, Lauren from From My Grey Desk hosts a link-up called High Five for Friday at the end of each work week to help us remind ourselves of the nice things that have happened each week. So I'm linking up with her and telling about my week.

1. Zumba

The town I work for as a teacher offers exercise possibilities for the employees. I enrolled to a Zumba class and it started this Monday. It's a lot of fun and I'm really glad I made it into the fifty people who get to take part!

2. Birthday

I turned 28 on Wednesday. For me, birthdays are always a lot of fun. I don't stress about my age, I feel it's more than a number, it's the attitude that counts. So I had a very pleasant day, both at work and in the evening celebrating with my amazing husband, who is the greatest gift God has ever given me beside Himself. We went out to a nice little Italian place and had some amazing pizza for dinner. I had a very nice time on my birthday.

3. Bible study

My husband and I have a new Bible study group after being without one for over a year because of various reasons. We have really missed being in a group like that, so both of us are thrilled that we're back having regular fellowship time with other Christians.

4. Candles

The evenings are getting darker here, so it's a good enough reason for me to start lighting candles when the sun goes down. I love the soft light candles create and it's one the things I most love about fall.

5.  Back into knitting

Another good thing about fall is that you start needing woolen things sooner or later. So needles and yarn have made it back into my evenings and even break times at school. Currently I'm making socks and a headband to arm myself against the cold and wind of the coming season.