Monday, 5 September 2011

Hydrangea's and Hens

I do love colourful rainbow things like this picture here. I made these pretty creations myself . I've been busy these last few weeks making hydrangea flowers in various colours its quite easy to do when sitting down and I have had a bit of a fascination with them of late, they look so pretty on top of cakes, and making them has kept me busy and occupied. They are made from sugar paste, so are edible.

What better way to use some of them than for a friends birthday was my 'oldest' friends (not by age but by length of friendship) birthday...we've been friends for a long long time...she's a lovely person...we always mange to laugh together, despite whats going on...and if I don't see her for ages we just pick up from where we left off. She loves cake and I made her what I think is a lovely cake...the first one of these giant cupcakes I have ever made. 

I like the look of these and they are really popular, but I can't help but think there is too much sponge inside...or maybe its just me, I think my preference is for the middle filling in any cake as much as the sponge itself...

The recipe for this madeira cake can be found here... I substituted the lemon for vanilla in the cake itself, and put buttercream and blackcurrant conserve in the top third of the cake. Madeira cake recipes are often used when carving (shaping) cakes is required as the texture of the cake is more dense.

By the way readers and followers, (and in case you don't know) the eggs for this and all my cakes came from our very own hens, and we have 4 new additions now added to the 2 remaining girls from the first batch we adopted a year ago now (we lost 3 girls all in different ways over the last year or so). The 4 new girls have been here for about 6 or 7 weeks and are settling into free range life really well, surprisingly there has been no blood shed at all, while the new pecking order is sorted out. Our hens are all Warrens and were adopted from the BHWT, did you know that hen keeping is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the country?

Maybe you can't adopt hens like we do but you can support the welfare of these animals by buying free range eggs and supporting food suppliers that use only free range eggs in their products.

Some of the new girls early escapades!
If you want to read more about ex battery hens, and their life of freedom after being re-homed, then this is a lovely blog from Jo who writes about them so well and is a great advocate for these wonderful animals (who deserve so much more from a life of daily giving us the best eggs ever!).


  1. Those hydrangeas are amazing, they look just like the real deal! And as far as the chooks go ... well I have to have a special spot for the early escape turned into a hammock approach. She is a chook after my own heart lol.

  2. Very pretty flowers. Wish I had the patience!

  3. Well, I can't believe a contestant on this years Great British Bake Off has said that!
    Most especially after all those wonderful and amazing creations you came up with on that TV programme. Now that's patience!
    You were brill and many thanks for your comment.

  4. Chele, you would not believe that hen was let out to roam freely on the lawn and in the borders, but she flew back over the fence to get back into the run and landed on the netting! (quite liked it there actually, didn't panic or anything)

  5. Beautiful Susan! Those hydrangeas are stunning - love the shading. Thank you so much for taking part in Cake of the Week!

  6. Your flowers are so pretty! I love the way you arranged them.
    I'm toying with learning some sugarcraft skills at the moment (instead of winging it!) so it's lovely to discover this post :o)

  7. Loving the flowers and the hens, we have three, I had to buy some extra eggs for baking this week which is really unusual and felt quite disloyal!

  8. Your hydrangeas are amazing and so pretty. The cake looks wonderful too and beautifully decorated. I bet your friend enjoyed it. Lovely to see those poor hens enjoying a bit of freedom at last. I've only ever bought free range eggs and prefer organic if I can. I also try not to buy anything made from battery eggs too - it's just such a horrible thing for us to do in our "civilised" society.


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x