Clotted Cream Fudge Recipe

Whilst walking around a shop on Sunday, I found a recipe for some fudge that looked pretty easy. But being a clotted cream loving family, it had to be adapted to suit or needs! So, here we have a super easy recipe for clotted cream fudge.

WARNING: Do NOT try if you are on a diet!

Ingredients:
8oz (225g) caster sugar
8oz (225g) clotted cream
3 1/2oz (100g) golden syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla essence 

Method:
1. Grease a small baking tin (17cm) and line with greaseproof paper. Once you have lined the tin with the greaseproof paper, you will need to grease the paper so the fudge will not stick (if it does it will be a nightmare and you will just have to eat it all in one go!). You can grease the paper with something along the lines of melted butter or sunflower oil.

2. Weigh out all of the ingredients and combine into one fairly large saucepan. The ingredients will then need to be cooked over a medium heat, until the sugar dissolves, stirring continuously.

3. Once the sugar has dissolved, continue to cook but over an increased heat without stirring. You will need to use one of those weird sugar thermometers here as you only continue to cook the mixture until it registers to 116 degrees. 

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A Sugar Thermometer

4. As soon as the mixture is up to temperature, remove from the heat and beat vigorously for 8-10 minutes, depending on how crumbly you want your fudge to be. The mixture will still have to be thick and grainy before you finish though – trust me, this is a seriously good workout!

5. Pour the mixture into the tin and leave it to set a room temperature preferably overnight, but if you are desperate to try it then an hour is good enough!

The end result is something quite amazing! Honestly, you wouldn’t think it is home made. I know that in places like South Africa you can’t get clotted cream so another recipe will have to be made to substitute the cream for something equally as yummy!

Book Review: The Pastor’s Kid

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A few days ago, my Dad gave me this book, ‘The Pastor’s Kid’ by Barnabas Piper, to read to see whether it was a useful resource, but also to give my opinion on the book as he has never read it. As a Pastor’s Kid (PK) myself, I thought that it would be helpful to give some insight on what I read and whether I thought it was a good representation of how the average PK feels. But before I start, it is important to note that we are all different and every PK’s experience will differ, both culturally and on an individual basis. I mean, even my experience compared to my brother’s has it’s own unique set of privileges and challenges as our characters are incredibly varied.

Almost as soon as I started reading this book, I was struck by just how whiney it was. It felt as if there were absolutely no positives to being a PK what so ever! Piper clearly faced many challenges as a PK, and I understand that American culture is very different to the UK, but I have to question whether the book could have been written in a way that expressed what he went through without me feeling as if he was consistently criticising the way his parents raised him. As well as this, the extensive use of vocabulary used by Piper can be seen to have a detrimental effect, causing the reader to be confused as to what he was trying to convey, like the fact that grace changes everything, and only see the negatives of being a PK.

Moreover, whilst reading, I was struck by just how much Piper was talking to the wider congregation about what being a PK is like, rather than talking to PKs about how to deal with some of the challenges that come their way. Whilst this is helpful to those who may not understand what goes on after church on a Sunday, my problem with this is that there was a seriously negative light cast onto pastors and how they are doing their job. Being a pastor is probably one of the most difficult jobs around and I understand, first hand that it can be difficult for them to balance family life with the running of the church. Yet, it appeared to me that Piper was suggesting a lack of parenting from that pastor. Not all pastors (and their spouses) completely neglect their children – if any! It seemed to me as if Piper is making severe generalisations that just cannot be made. Pastors are very hard-working men and without their God-given gifts and abilities, the church would be a mess; that is why God placed them in that position after all. It is by the grace of God that they are in that position. But, more than this, most pastors work hard to make sure their family is in a good place and gets to spend time with them. So, Piper’s generalisation here is not applicable to everyone, like many others in his book. I am afraid that this could only be relevant to him and the “dozen” other PKs that he spoke to.

Furthermore, it could be seen that Piper portrays being a PK as a curse something no one should have to go through. Yes, it does come with its challenges, like anything. Dad spends a lot of time at meetings or praying with people, trying to find new venues or is just trying to finish his work for the day. But when I was speaking to a friend of mine who’s dad is a builder, she said that it was much the same for her; her dad will work long days until a specific job is done, they will often be unsociable hours and he will often work on Saturdays. So PKs aren’t on their own here. But aside from this, there are also some amazing privileges that PKs get to experience. Piper does touch on this in the closing few pages of the book, highlighting the fact that us PKs get some amazing opportunities. But the way he puts it, especially after a book seemingly full of pessimistic comments, just makes it seem in vain, like he is trying his hardest, searching his brain for something that can be considered a positive. Without the opportunities being a PK has brought me, I would not have met half the people I have, I might not be 25 days away from moving to South Africa. My faith has grown immensely by having parents so in love with Jesus, living by his example, not only in church but at home, and by having them pray with me, even when I never wanted to. Therefore, being a PK is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, I love it.

But more than anything else, the thing that got me about this book was that it was supposed to be biblically based and looking to the Bible for help, yet I could only find one piece of scripture in the whole book. Other than that, it was a book full of Piper’s own opinion, that could be seen as unable to apply to anyone else. If it had been rooted in scripture and started every chapter with a Bible verse rather than a criticism of being a PK, then I probably would have been more likely to accept some more of the points Piper made; but it wasn’t. And I would consider that as a problem. Although Piper makes the point that we all need grace to be able to help us with what we are doing, where we are placed and how we react to it (a good point well made), it could be argued that it would be more helpful if he could have found more verses to help bring more of God into the book, rather than what just comes across as an opinion.

Overall, although there are some valid points made about expectations placed upon PKs to be perfect children and his comments on how grace can help us all, I found it difficult to read this book. I just found that it was too negative and made being a PK seem like such, for want of a better word, a bad thing. Would I recommend this book? Unfortunately not. But that is not to say that it would not apply to other people. Without a doubt, there are those who have found being a PK a real challenge and without hesitation would wish to change their position. But, my experiences as a PK makes it difficult to say that I agree with this book. Maybe I have just been fortunate. Who knows? Yet, I would like to assume that there are many, like me, who have also had very positive experiences – and I thank God for that.

Book Review: All My Friends Are Superheroes

I was given this book, by Andrew Kaufman, by a friend who said it was one of the best books she had ever read. She wasn’t lying!

On looking at the cover and reading the blurb, I wasn’t really convinced. In fact, I was unsure whether I would pick it up and read it at all. Knowing that you should not really judge a book by it’s cover and realising it was only just over 100 pages long, I thought I would give it a try though, read the first couple of chapters and see how I got on.

You see, the clever thing about this book is not that it draws you in super quickly because of the short chapters and quirky content; it is clever because it leaves you questioning reality. It leaves you wishing that you couldn’t see the parallels between this world and the one of the novella; leaves you wondering whether this is what society has really come to; leaves you questioning whether you had a super power that could change that. Finishing the book made me think about what super power I have and whether it is really something to be proud of. Kaufman has done himself proud, taking a step back and perceptively looking into the depths and, dare I say it, uncomfortable aspects of modern society. 

Yet, not only has Kaufman managed to capture the insecurities of the Western world, but he has successfully integrated a feel good plot line, filled with romance, heartache and a bit of humour sprinkled on top. 

Needless to say, I had finished this incredible book in 2 hours, finally helping me to understand that, in fact, ‘All My Friends Are Superheroes’!

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have been asked recently whether I would write a blog post about cake. Now, as much as I love cake (and those of you that know me will know how much of an understatement that is), I really struggled to think of what on earth I could write about. It is harder than I thought it would be if I am honest!

So, after much deliberation, here comes a blog post about cake – a recipe for my double chocolate chip muffins:

Ingredients:
– 8oz self-raising flour
– 8oz caster sugar
– 8oz butter (at room temperature)
– 4 eggs
– 2oz cocoa powder
– 1 average sized bar of milk chocolate (broken into smallish chunks)
– 2tsp vanilla essence
– 1tsp baking powder
– milk (at room temperature) if you think the mix looks too thick

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/gas mark 4. Place muffin cases into a muffin tin. This mix should make 12 generously sized muffins.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until a nice, light colour.

3. Add 2oz of the flour and one egg and mix into the creamed butter and sugar. Continue doing this until all 8oz of flour and the 4 eggs have been used.

4. Add in the cocoa powder, vanilla essence and baking powder and mix together. At this point, if you feel as if the mixture is too thick, feel free to add some milk, probably only a couple of tablespoons though.

5. Next, add in the chunks of chocolate and fold into the mixture. Feel free to add as little or as much of this as you want to; it depends on how much of a sweet tooth you have!

6. Pour equally into the muffin cases and bake for 15-20 minutes.

7. Enjoy them warm and with ice cream or cool with a nice dollop of clotted cream. Or you could just eat them on their own. However you fancy!

There you have it. Hopefully, if you follow the recipe, you can’t go wrong! Enjoy!