Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Marco Raffine Coloured Pencils

You will recall from a previous post that I have been bitten by the adult colouring book bug.  I say this unashamedly since it is an acknowledged phenomenon here in Britain and across the wider world.  As a result, I have spent an extraordinary amount of time and considerable bits of cash researching the best coloured pencils to use in this pleasant pastime.  



My most extravagant expenditure was for a tin of 60 Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils.  They are without a doubt the top of the line fine artist quality pencils, beautiful to look at and to use.  But honestly, they are a bit pricey for the average budget and to use to scribble away on that £3 pound colouring book you pick up at the supermarket along with the bags of spuds and oranges.  So, after a little look around I found these, Marco Raffine pencils.



Now I won't say they are going to replace the Faber-Castells as my favourite pencil but they are a very good second choice.  I only paid £17.69 for 72 by ordering them on line from Amazon.  That is a bargain for good quality pencils.



The range of colours is very good. The texture of these oil based pencils is soft enough to be very blendable and bright but not so soft as to be brittle and breakable.  



So, if like me you've been bitten by the colouring bug and fancy a lovely packet of new pencils, you might want to check out the Marco Raffine offers online.  To find them at amazon.co.uk search for Taotree Professional High Quality Marco Coloured Pencils.  Now please excuse me, I need to get back to my colouring book. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Mocha Loaf Cake....meh!

OK, I confess, lately I've been feeling really guilty about neglecting this little blog.  It's not that I don't love it still, it's just that other things in the 'real world' have occupied my time.  So when I saw a recipe for Mocha Loaf Cake in the free-bee newspaper from Waitrose, my favourite posh supermarket, I thought this would be the perfect recipe to share.


With renewed blogging vigour, I embarked on the baking.  Now, I won't say I didn't have some reservations about one or two things.  For example, rarely have I ever seen a cake that needs baking for an hour or more, so I knew I'd have to keep an eye on the time to make sure I didn't over bake the cake. Secondly, 100 grams of flour just didn't seem like enough to me but Hey Ho you have to give it a go.   And this is the end result:


Are you underwhelmed?  Yeah, so was I.  It turned out more like a brownie than a cake and the icing is so strongly flavoured with coffee that it tends toward bitterness.  I am sure I followed the recipe to the letter, with the exception of the baking time.  The tester came out clean at 45 minutes.  Baked for an hour this would have turned into a brick.  It's good enough to eat...but not good enough to bake a second time... well, not in my opinion.  

So I've come to the conclusion that in future the blog posts may not be as regular as they once were but when I share a recipe with you it will be one that we will want to make over and over again.  After all, when it comes to the really good things in life, it's quality that matters, not quantity.