Recipe for Jennie’s White Chocolate Mango Easter Cake

Jennie’s White Chocolate Mango Easter Cake (invented Easter 2017)

Ingredients:  125 g butter, 125 g golden granulated sugar, 125 g self raising flour (can be gluten free if necessary)

            2 large eggs

            Mango puree:  125 g (soak dried mango strips in water till hydrated – I used organic mango with no preservative)  – blend and set aside till needed

            1 x large bar (200 g) good quality white chocolate (I used Waitrose own brand)

            1 x packet (or more!) of good quality mini chocolate eggs with a sugar       coated shell.

Method:     Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy in large mixing bowl.  Beat eggs together in small bowl and add to mixture, beating thoroughly.  Stir in half of blended mango mixture (should be about 2 rounded tablespoons).  Fold in flour using a metal spoon.

Cook:  Spoon into greased or non stick cake tin and cook at 170 c for 15-20 minutes I pre-heated oven:  centre should spring back to touch, and top should be golden brown.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool (when cool enough to touch pan.)  

Fondant icing:  Melt chocolate in basin standing in 2 inches of boiling water in saucepan, (just on the simmer).

Stir thoroughly.  Remove basin from heat and stir in remainder of mango puree (approx 2 rounded tablespoons).  Spread the mixture over cake while still warm.

 Decorate with mini eggs (I used Cadbury’s mini eggs with coloured pastel sugar shells).

 NB  This makes a smallish cake – quantities can of course be increased as long as the proportions remain the same…the mango makes for a beautiful warm primrose colour very suitable for Easter, and the fruit has the effect of making the chocolate taste even more exotic.  Tried and tested by 5 people!  Jennie CK 

 

 

 

 

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Slaughterhouse 5

An interesting science fiction novel which turns out to be an autobiographical journey for the author. Suffering from PTSD he has hallucinations which you could call space travel, or you could attribute to his damaged mind.  I found the graphic descriptions of war time and torment distressing, and could see why he felt the need to exorcise his demons (as they say) by projecting his mind out of the situation. I felt compassion too, and was left wondering about the ways in which we seek to make meaning out of difficult situations. But there is a psychologist speaking!

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Zimiamvia book review

This hefty tome was recommended by J R R Tolkien, one of my favourite authors, and so I persevered with it.<br /><br />An extraordinary mixture of the exotic, the detailed, and the brutal (one of the characters kills one of his hunting dogs who is misbehaving with his own hands). It took me a while to work out that Aphrodite manifests herself within the various female characters in the book. The over the top” descriptions of physical perfection (in the female characters) and luxurious settings read almost like a parody as they are so extreme. I find myself wondering whether ordinary women (in terms of looks) have any place in the mind of the author. I was also confused by the fact that the women were not in any way “noble” characters but seemed to be excused everything they did on the basis that they were so beautiful. The men are much more well drawn characters and more believable, and therefore more likeable. The author maintains that he is not a poet and yet his descriptions read like poetry – they are beautifully crafted. The time settings switch from the mediaeval to the 1950s without warning, and I was startled to suddenly find parts of Norfolk near where I live described in detail.
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A Graphic Musical Score (R13+)

colinblundell

I’m looking foward to going to the COMA Summer School in August 2015 to enjoy a week of music-making and listenings as I have done since 2006. When I joined COMA it was an acronym for Contemporary Music for Amateurs (which is what I am) – the name has been changed to Contemporary Music for All.

Perhaps we’re all amateurs really… The need to go back into Beginner’s Mind…

Enjoying the challenge of concocting musical scores (mostly for my own amusement since they usually remain unperformed), this year, amongst other things, I responded to the following challenge:-

A project to consist of ‘…imaginative works of around 3 to 8 minutes duration for soprano voice and cello… fresh, exploratory, experimental approaches to this combination of voice and cello are welcome, for example, non-conventional notation, unusual vocal techniques and speech. Works that could be convincingly performed by competent amateur musicians will be…

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A Little Poetry?

Chapelfields Shopping Centre, Norwich

Surreal, but not (alas) a drug trip…

Confusion reigns amidst the multiple

Entrances, Exits, and Escalators

Round and round about,

Up and down, faceless floors

Amidst flawless displays.

Overwhelmed by racks and stacks of clothes

Alleged bargains which are often overstocks

Ends of ranges,

Unsold, mass produced

Too much to look at,

Too many people,

Noise and dissension

Big and little bodies in conflict

In pushchairs, pranks overflow

To help with the boredom…

Too tired to be shopping…

People are none the less driven

To search for the moon where it can’t be found…

Distracted, busy

Lonely

Diminished…

I feel very small and insignificant,

Trapped in a treadmill.

The old fashioned charm of the lanes in Norwich

Has time travelled back to Meadowhall, Sheffield…

Its as if I have been teleported to a parallel universe

That I don’t want and which is enervating,

Not exciting.

Suddenly I am back in South Yorkshire…

In the kind of place that I like to avoid…
A huge shopping mall –

Frivolity and effervescence

Displayed lavishly and continuously,

Giving a false hope of happiness.

Will I be able to get out of here?

I retrace a route for the third time –

I think I have been here before

But I still can’t make any progress in getting out.

I ask for help…again…

Folks are too busy to be helpful…

And finally emerge at the entrance.

I sink into a chair in Cafe Rouge,

Foot sore and weary…

And order a cappucino to recover.

JRCK 07.15

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Benefits of Singing

North Norfolk is unique in having choirs every mile or two in the area in which I live…over Easter I took part in a performance of Steiner’s Crucifixion (Good Friday) – a Flash mob performance of “You Raise Me Up” in Morrison’s Cromer, on Holy Saturday…and am part of another local choir, “The Poppyland SIngers” on a regular basis. We also had a visit from the Vienna Festival Ballet on Cromer Pier on Holy Saturday evening, which was an extra “treat” for those who attended.

Geoff and myself also hosted a concert on April 10th in Northrepps Church, where we performed various items with friends.

See link below photo on the Easter Daily Press page for a condensed performance of “You Raise Me Up”.

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/cromer_shoppers_went_to_get_their_easter_groceries_but_got_a_singing_surprise_in_the_supermarket_aisles_1_4022387

 

 

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A Brief History of Torino

My daughter’s comments on her first experience of Turin, Italy…

lizzy c-knight

Ever since I was little my dad has always stressed the importance of history, forever telling me different stories about some Emperor or Queen from history who had an intriguing background. And so, now by moving to Torino maybe it is my turn to tell him some thing about Torinese history as he knows very little about this period.

So… the city of Torino was founded around 2400 years ago by the Taurini -a Celtic tribe. The name of the city itself, Turin, comes from Celtic tau, which means mountain. In modern Italian, Torino means “little bull”, and so a bull is on a part of the Torino city flag, and can be seen on the drinking fountains dotted all over the city.

Torino was almost totally destroyed by Hannibal during his Alpine campaign, but in the 1 A.D. it was rebuilt by the Romans. Modern Torinos square plan layout still remains…

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