Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Chocolate Fondant Tart

What's better to do in a dull day other than bake. To cheer myself up today, I've decided to bake a Chocolate Fondant Tart. This is my second attempt on making my own shortcrust pastry and I think I did really well. Actually. .. very proud of myself...
So, here it goes,  I hope you enjoy it....

Equipment and preparation:
you will need a 23cm/9in fluted flan tin, 3cm/1¼in deep and baking beans.


For the rich shortcrust pastry
100g/3½oz plain flour
50g/1¾oz icing sugar
50g/1¾oz diced butter, chilled
1 large free-range egg yolk
about 1 tbsp cold water

For the filling
100g/3½oz butter
150g/5½oz plain chocolate, finely chopped, preferably with a high percentage of cocoa solids
150g/5½oz golden caster sugar
75g/3oz plain flour
6 medium free-range eggs

To serve
icing sugar
a few small strawberries, to decorate (optional)
pouring cream (optional)

Preparation method
For the pastry
1. put flour and icing sugar in a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the egg yolk and water and mix until it comes together to form a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 (180C fan). Dust the work surface with flour and then roll out the pastry as thinly as you can to a circle - about 5cm/2in larger than your flan tin. Line the tin with pastry. Don’t worry if the pastry breaks a little, it is easy to patch up. Leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
4. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and line the pastry case with a circle of baking parchment or foil and fill with baking beans. Bake the pastry blind for 10 minutes, or until just lightly golden-brown, then remove the paper and beans and return the tart to the oven to cook for a further 5-7 minutes, or until pale golden-brown and dried out.

For the filling
1. melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat, then add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and flour. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
2. Place the pastry case on a baking tray. Pour the mixture into the pastry case, filling it right to the top and place in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just set around the edges - but it should still be slightly wobbly in the centre.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar.

Serve warm with strawberries, a dusting of icing sugar and cream.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Little Red Riding Hood

In England, every year there's a big charity organisation called the Comic Relief, and this year, we celebrated the Red Nose Day, the theme is to do something Fun for Money.

School around the United Kingdom all got involved for this event, staff and the children will either dress up in something red, pyjamas, wearing silly wigs, painting your face or anything fun to raise money for the charity.

To find out more about the charity, please visit the Comic Relief website on

This year my children's school decided that the children will need to dress up as a character in a story book, as it coincides with the world book week.

So my daughter Adriana decided that she wanted to dress up as the Little Red Riding Hood.
I made the red hooded cape for Adriana out of fleece materials, she was so excited when it's finished.

The Little Red Riding Hood with a red basket full of treats for grandmother....

My Best Friends

This blog is dedicated for my best friends Yomassadewi. We've been very good friends since I started my Junior High School at the age of 12. 

During our time in the Junior High School,  we became very good friends , grew closer and stronger ever since. We knew each other secrets and despair, and we knew what makes each other laughs. We created a name for the five of us and we called our selves YOMASSADEWI (YO = Yolanda, MAS = Masniari, SA = Sarah, DE = Desi, and WI = Widi)

Now, I realise that we all have been friends for nearly 23 years... and still going strong.
Widi, Desi, Sarah, Masniari and Yolanda (in our young days)
After we finish school, we all went separate ways, and as you get older, you have your own life to lead. But, even though we spent most of the time away from each other, we always remember the importance of our friendship.  We always keep in touch with one or the other, and we always try to meet up whenever we are near each other.

The five of us when we met in 2002
Widi, Sarah, Desi, Me and Yolanda
I remember this so well, it was the night of my birthday in 2002
In my parents kitchen, feasting ourselves with lovely food.

I live in England and whenever I came back to Indonesia,  the five of us (YOMASSADEWI) always meet up. We stayed over at my parents house, raided their house for food, we'll be chatting until dawn, we'll be laughing remembering the old times and crying together talking about all the things that we've missed from each other, we have a song that we sang together, we'll go out and do the girly thing.
It's like we never been apart from each other, we bonded together really nicely... and I really missed them all equally.
All of us together again in 2002

I picked this poem for my best friends ... YOMASSADEWI

The Gift Of Friends
There are days when
bubbling from us comes
the innocent child within,
who giggles at the little things
and wears a silly grin.

There are days when
melancholy comes to
visit for a while;
the mind feels tired, the body weak;
we have no strength to smile.

There are days when
joy abundant
grabs a hold of you and me;
wraps us up in all it's splendor,
lifts us up and sets us free.

There are days when
sorrow wraps us
in its cloak of grief and fear,
'till our hearts ache to the breaking,
'till our eyes can't shed a tear.

There are days when
love bestows us
with its wonderment and light;
with its beauty and its mystery,
its power and its might.

And there are days when
life rewards us
and seems to make amends
by granting us a marvelous gift,
the precious gift of Friends.

YOMASSADEWI are close together, but I am particularly very close to Yolanda. Yolanda got married to Sebastian Gauche on Saturday, 26th of February 2011.
It really upset me that I was unable to attend her wedding,  but I am glad that Sarah, Desi and Widi was there to see the happiest day of Yolanda's life, her new beginning.
I knew that Sebastian will love and care for her the way she deserves and I am sure they will be happy together as husband and wife.
Yolanda Gedsni Kano and Sebastian Gauche

I found this wedding cake recipe from the internet, I thought it's rather cute and appropriate for the newly wed couple.... Sebastian and Yolanda....

Wedding Cake Recipe:
1/2 lb good looks
1lb sweet temper
1lb butter of youth
1lb blindness of faults
1lb of wit
1lb good humour
2lb of sweet argument
1 pint of rippling laughter
1 wine glass of common sense
a dash of modesty

Put the love good looks and a sweet temper into a well furnished house.

Beat the butter of youth into a cream,
and mix well together with the blindness of faults.
Stir the wit and good humour into the sweet argument
then add the rippling laughter and common sense.
Work the whole thing together until everything is well mixed,
and bake gently forever.

My best friend Yolanda will enter a new beginning in her life, to be a wife to a loving husband, and to follow her husband away from her family and friends, she will be moving to Europe. I found this poem and I knew she will need an angel to guide her to the next chapter of her life.

Send My Friend An Angel
Please send my friend an angel.
Send her one of mine;
A loving and caring one,
The best that you can find.

Please send my friend an angel,

And trust her with its care;
Someone or something for her to love,
And to always be there.

Please send my friend an angel,

One to help her fill her days;
With hope, love, and laughter,
And the warmth of sunshine rays.

Please send my friend an angel -

You know she gave me one of mine.
Please send her down an angel;
A true friend's hard to find. 

This one is for forever friendship... YOMASSADEWI ... I love you guys and I miss you all lots... xxx

Me, the kids and Widi, when we met up in Bali (2010)
Me, yolanda, Sarah and Desi in our school reunion (2010)

Yolanda, Masniari, Sarah, Desi (2010)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

My Jewelery Collection

Around about 10 years ago, I found my passion to make jewelery. I did a few trials using scrap fabric, feathers, beads, buttons and ribbons.
When I went to visit my family in Indonesia 8 years ago, I mentioned to them that I would like to start making jewelery. My parents took me to Jakarta Gems Centre, and it was a jewelery makers paradise. So many beads to choose from, wooden beads, semi precious stones, gemstones, crystals, pearls, and different kinds of beads.
I felt like I was in heaven, my creative juices were flowing, different ideas and designs.
And that's when I decided that I want to use these kinds of materials to make jewelery.  I love the natural colours, the texture and the weight of different stones and the sparkly sparks that crystals gave under the lights. I love the sophistication of pearls and I love the different textures, size and colours that wooden beads have.
Most of the beads that I have used comes from Jakarta Gems Centre.
I have done a few collections since then, and sold them all.  Most people like the semi precious stones and crystals together.

For my latest collection, I have decided to include glass beads (which I have never used before).
All the beads were purchased from Indonesia on my recent trip there.

While my brother was with us during Christmas, he kindly used his camera to take few pictures of my latest jewelery collections.

I hope you enjoy my jewelery creations, please let me know if you like them.
This jewelery is available for sale.

Monochrome necklace and bracelet
Grey crystal bracelet and necklace
Turquoise crystal bracelet and necklace
Blue crystal necklace and bracelet
Freshwater pearl necklace
Freshwater pearl necklace
Semi precious stone necklace
Blue crystal bracelet and earring
Floating blue crystal necklace and earring

Blue and white crystal necklace and bracelet
Red and black necklace
Monochrome crystal necklace and bracelet
Jade crystal necklace and bracelet
Pink pearl crystal necklace and bracelet
Floating pink crystal necklace and earring
Green crystal necklace and bracelet
Turquoise blue crystal necklace and bracelet
Green crystal pearl necklace and bracelet

If you would like to order any of my jewelry, please email me.

Big thank you to Torkis for taking a really nice picture of my jewelery. 

Sunday, 9 January 2011

My life in year 2010

The year 2010 was a good year for me, after settling in my job after two years, I managed to finally save enough money to go back to my homeland Indonesia. It's been four years, the kids and Alan missed Indonesia, especially me. 

We also went camping in May for the first time as a family with Nana and Granddad Brocklehurst. It was fun, wet and windy. We went camping with the scout group in Sherbrooke. The kids had so many things to do, they made new friends, and they were all busy for the few days we were there. Rain, wind, camp fire, sing along, a walk in the woods, mosquitoes and ants. It was an adventurous few days. The kids and Alan's legs was covered by mosquitoes and ants bite. We survived, I even surprised my self.... I am not very good with camping.

My very good friend Julie decided to move house closer to her parents, so I spent the whole week helping her decorate her little bungalow. It was lovely, we had all week just us the girls... decorating, wine, good foods and plenty tins of paint. 

At the end of July, we flew to Indonesia from Birmingham Airport. I was surprisingly relaxed... (I never like flying, the thought of airports always makes me nervous) But we were ready and excited.
We stopped by at Dubai International Airport, it was a very big airport. We stayed there for about three hours, before getting on the next plane to Jakarta. The kids really enjoyed the airport.
Arrived in Indonesia, picked up by my parents, with their very old Mercedes... 
God knows what's going to happens next. 
Yep... we went for a meal near the airport, I was feasting with the sayur kangkung (watercress) and rice and sambal (chili). Ready for our journey to get back to my parents house ... only to have the old car break down... it was 7pm at night, we were all tired from the long flights. Taxi and tow truck was on the cards. Alan had his first experience of being pulled in a tow truck sitting in an old Mercedes with my dad, on the Indonesian motorway. According to him ... it was a very fast ride. 
While me, the kids and my mother went on  a taxi half hour earlier, arrived only a few minute before Alan and my dad arrived... so you can imagine how fast the tow truck was pulling my dad's Mercedes.
My friends came to visit us at my parents house on the 2nd day, it was lovely to see them all again.
We stayed with our parents house to get rid of our jet lag, before travelling to Bali  a few days later.
Arrived in Bali to be met by my good friend Widi, of whom I haven't seen for nearly 8 years.
We went by taxi to our hotel in Sanur. It was a great choice to go there, a quite part of Bali, near the fishing beach, and not too far to walk from the hotel to the beach.
Nice little hotel, with air-conditioned, outdoor shower, kitchen area and an outdoor dining area. We were in Bali for four days and three nights.
Widi drove us to Ubud, Goa Gajah and Tanah Lot. We had a lovely dinner watching the sunset in a restaurant over a cliff in Tanah Lot. Spent the last day in Sanur beach, playing on the sand and swimming in the sea... with Adriana overwhelmingly shouting.... "this is the best holiday of my life".... "this is the best day of my life".... "this is the best beach of my life"....this is the best of... everything was the best for her, whilst we were in Bali.
We had our last meal in this little beach hut restaurant, before we went off to the airport to go back to Jakarta.
I had this crazy idea when I was booking my flight ticket to Indonesia, to do a big family and friends reunion. I posted it on facebook, with the hope that my friends will take it seriously and come.
So we had a reunion on the 21st of August 2010.
My auntie, my grandmother, cousins, nieces and nephews came. it was lovely to see everybody again, especially my grandmother.
About 28 of my friend from the junior high school came around at 6pm. We haven't seen each other for nearly 20 years, it was a great success. Plenty of food, and drinks. Plenty of pictures and plenty of laughter. they all stayed until about 11pm that night.

It was an overwhelming experience. Everybody's changed, and got older and wiser, but we are all still friends. We had lots of fun whilst we were in Indonesia, we went to see my uncle, my grandfather and my auntie in Bandung.
We went swimming a few times... Adriana absolutely loves swimming. The kids went fishing with my father, went on a motorcycle ride. Alan and my dad went cycling.
Dylan made friends with a praying mantis.
The kids love spending time with the grandparents and great uncle moustache and uncle Masdoelhak.
 All in all they really enjoyed Indonesia. We had few tears when we had to go back to England, but life goes on, we had to go back to the real world.

I took my kids and Alan to see 'Stomp' for the first time, it was a great show. we had fun watching the show.

I grew a great fondness of this band called 'Take That', love all their song and love the voice of Gary Barlow.

Me and Alan have been together for 6 years this year. Hopefully stronger that the year before. We had our differences, but we seem to manage to tolerate each other and understand each other more and more every year.

We had plenty of snow at the end of the year, the school had been closed for few days because of the snow. but we had fun sledging and enjoying the fluffy snow.

My brother, sister and her son came around for the holiday during Christmas and New Year. We had plenty of food and alcohol...(well, I have been cooking plenty of food for everybody) 
We went bowling together, and went for a meal out. Julie and the girls came around and  stay overnight at our house. The kids had an extensive amount of time with the Nintendo DS... too much for my liking.

And then... there's the new year of 2011... will it be eventful as the last, or more???... I shall wait and see......

Thank you so much to my lovely family and friends.