Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween isn't really a big thing here in Norway, not yet anyway. So far tonight there's only been 4 kids on the door, and they came at the same time. Didn't even say thank you for the sweets, which I thought was rather rude.

I think it would be really cool to celebrate Halloween in America one year. Just to get the whole experience. There are so many interesting decorations and sweets. Although England isn't far behind. I did get some of the experience while I lived there. I should have "savoured" it more.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Chocolate cloud cake

It looks full of lumps because of the orange zest
I made Chocolate cloud cake today, from Nigella Lawson's cookbook "Nigella Bites". It was quite nice, but too much cream for my liking, I think it would have been better if I had just skipped the cream completely (or possibly halved it) and had it with custard and berries or something.
The recipe is at the end of this post. I swapped the cocoa powder for strawberries and grated dark chocolate (I used the leftovers from the cake).

Defrosting the strawberries

250g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
My finished result
125g unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
175g caster sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)
grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
23cm springform cake tin

For the cream topping:
500ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Line the bottom of the baking tin with baking parchment.
Melt the chocolate in either a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.
Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g of the caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and the orange zest.
In another bowl, mix the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff. Lighted the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.
When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here. whip the cream until it's soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.

Serves 8-12. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

More books

I've read two more books by Cecelia Ahern, only got one book by her left now.

One of the book I read was "Thanks for the memories". It was rather confusing at first, and the story was a bit bizarre, but it'a good book.
It's about a man that donates blood, and then the woman receiving it also get some of the man's memories. like I said, rather bizarre.
I donated blood myself yesterday (or I was feeding vampires as I usually say) and I really hope the person getting my blood doesn't get my memories as well, haha.
While I'm  on the subject of donating blood, I just want to say that I think that's something everyone should do if they can, you never know whether you'll ever need blood yourself. Don't leave it up to everyone else to do it as they might think it's up to you. It only takes a few minutes out of your day, and by doing it you might save someone's life.

The other book I read was "The Book of Tomorrow", it was good, but it's more of a teenage-y book I think. It did have a lot of twists and turn, and it was fairly exciting.
It's about  a girl whose father has killed himself and they're in a lot of debt, so they move in with some family in the country. And then the girl learns a lot about her family and it's secrets.
Like I said it's more teenage-y than the others but don't get me wrong it's still a good book. I think this book could very easily be made into a film.

I've only got one more book by Cecelia Ahern to read now and I've read all of them, the ones she's written up until now anyway. She's also written a few short stories that I wouldn't mind reading. One thing that all her book has in common is that they all make me want to go to Ireland... Maybe I should save up and see if I can go before  go to Australia.

Speaking of Australia, I also when to my old school yesterday to get the letter I wrote about before, so I'm nearly ready to apply for financial support now. Just hope I get it.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Gift

I've just finished reading another book by Cecelia Ahern, The Gift. I have to say Ahern is one of my favourite authors, and this book did not disappoint. It's a book about realizing what's important in life, what we should spend out time on.
As usual I would recommend it to everyone. Especially to those people that has got jobs that take up a lot of their time.

I really enjoy Ahern's writing style, her books are hard to put down once you've started reading them. And because my vivid imagination I usually always think "who's to say that could never happen?" Although I guess out of her books that I've read so far "PS. I love you" is probably the one most people could imagine is "real".

I have also recently finished reading Eat, Pray, Love and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. These books were also quite good. I don't really want to watch the film based on Eat, Pray, Love though, I've seen clips from it and it looks too different from the book (as usual).

In Committed you learn quite a lot about marriage, and the history behind it, which I thought was written in a very interesting way. I don't really feel strongly about marriage in any way, and this book didn't change my thoughts in any way, but it was nice to learn more about it.

So there you go: three book recommendations in one go! Do you have any recommendations?
And I've just stared reading another book from Cecelia Ahern, so I'll write about that and another one soon.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Giving myself a headache

I've spent today trying to get in touch with the people that I need to talk to about getting financial support. As I've written before there might be a problem about my general admission. I need a general admission to get financial support. So on my next day off I will need to go to my old school again and get some sort of signed document saying I've got a general admission because of me being over 23 and having worked for the last 5 years.

The thing is; this 23+5 general admission thing looked even more complicated when I went online to have a look at it. Apparently I have to have had a specific type of work maybe, and a set number of hours that I must have spent studying some subjects... I don't know. I just hope I get it so that I can get financial support and go to OZ next summer.

So even though I've gotten accepted to the university, there's still a lot of hard work left before I can be 100% sure that I'm able to go.

And also, even if  get financial support, I still need to buy insurance, visa and plane tickets and also sort out a place to live when I get to Australia.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Tears of joy

I'm sat here with tears of joy streaming down my face at the moment. I'm so happy!! I just got my acceptance to Griffith university! I can't believe it!
There's still a lot to do. I have to get a vis and a loan and loads of other stuff but right now I'm just so happy just to have got accepted!
I got a day off tomorrow, so I'll start getting all the other thing ready then, just so that I'm finished with it as soon as possible, so that everything is in order and I can go next summer!

I can't believe it! I really got in!


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