Thursday, 25 September 2014


For The Love Of Copper!

My predictions for the next trends in style are that brass, bronze & aluminium are going to make a come back, as copper has definitely made a statement as it's use adds a new dimension to any kitchen, dinning/ living room or bathroom. Just a few pieces adds a clean feel, minimalist finish to any apartment  or home.  The rose colored semi precious metal looks great in  modern, industrial and country style homes as it can add a clean finish, a warm feel or makes a bold statement depending on it's luster and use.
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; a freshly exposed surface has a reddish-orange colour. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)

The Allure Of Copper
Copper is one of nature’s most beautiful materials and one of my favourite materials used in design today. Striking and industrial, it possesses a lustre and shine like no other with an attractiveness that arises out of its propensity to patina. Copper brings a modern minimalism to any design. Throughout both the interior and exterior application of copper, few materials rival it’s allure in the world of interiors and design. Such a precious metal and a hot commodity, the scarcity of its use throughout design is often a result of its high cost.
As an old age material, it’s had a resurgence in design. Why has this material taken so long to become beautiful in design? Historically copper has been an important metal widely used in electrical, plumbing and other building applications. As well as performing utilitarian functions in pots & pans due to its high electrical conductivity traits. Now it has come to the forefront of design as an application that has bold design aesthetics. Not only in its newly installed form, but in its ability to age which brings life, depth and an ever changing dimension to a previously entrapped material. It’s now used as a striking exterior detail including roofs, water fountains, walls and ceilings. In addition it makes for a striking interior feature in living spaces and kitchens.
(Justine Hall -Contributing Editor-Coco Republic, Field Notes, Your guide to the great outdoors - The Allure Of Copper, 7/01/13)

I think I need to upgrade to this Kitchen Aid!



Question: Are Copper Bowls Really Better for Whipping Egg Whites?
"The bowl you use makes a difference when you are whipping egg whites. Copper bowls produce a yellowish, creamy foam that is harder to overbeat that the foam produced using glass or stainless steel bowls. When you whisk egg whites in a copper bowl, some copper ions migrate from the bowl into the egg whites. The copper ions form a yellow complex with one of the proteins in eggs, conalbumin. The conalbumin-copper complex is more stable than the conalbumin alone, so egg whites whipped in a copper bowl are less likely to denature."  (Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert, About education)

Nigella's Lemon Meringue Pie
Cheat's version
It's fine to buy a decent-quality cooked sweet pastry case if you don't fancy making your own. This recipe requires a sugar thermometer. You could make regular meringue instead, but it doesn't deliver the same texture and finish as Italian meringue. 
For the pastry
140g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
zest 1 lemon
2 tbsp cold milk
250g plain flour
For the lemon filling
6 eggs
140g caster sugar
4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
175ml double cream
For the meringue
300g caster sugar
25g liquid glucose
4 egg whites

  1. First make the pastry. Either by hand or using a food mixer with a beater attachment, cream the butter, icing sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest together. Add the milk and combine well. Tip in the flour and a pinch of salt, then rub or beat to form a dough. Shape into a thick disc and chill for at least 30 mins or overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, make the lemon filling. Beat the eggs and sugar together then add the zest and juice and stir in the double cream. Cover and put to one side. 
  3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll pastry out to a little thicker than a £1 coin and line a 23cm tart tin. Leave the excess pastry around the edges as this can be cut off when the tart has been cooked. Line the tart case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 20 mins. Remove the baking beans and reduce the heat to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and cook for another 20 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Trim off the excess pastry from the edge of the tart using a serrated knife.
  4. Pour the lemon mix into the tart case. This may be easier with the tart case sitting in an open oven as so not to have to move it when full of mixture. Turn the oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1 and cook for 30-35 mins until set with a slight wobble in the centre. Remove and cool to room temperature.
  5. For the meringue, put the sugar, 65ml of water and the glucose in a heavy bottomed pan on a medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once it is dissolved, bring to the boil and use a sugar thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. 
  6. Using a pastry brush dipped into cold water, brush down the inside of the pan just above the level of the sugar syrup, this will stop the sugar crystallising. Place the egg whites into a food mixer with a whisk attachment and when the syrup temp reaches 110C, turn on the mixer and whisk the whites
  7. When the temperature reaches 118C (soft ball – this will be marked on the sugar thermometer), steadily pour the sugar syrup in a thin stream into the now stiff egg whites and continue whisking for 20 mins until completely cold. Transfer into a piping bag with a medium-size star nozzle. As it is cooked, this meringue can be made in advance. You can even make it the day before.
  1. You can pipe the meringue onto the tart as a whole or in individual portions, then glaze with a blowtorch. It can be easier and neater to cut the slices before piping with meringue. They can still be served in tart formation on a serving dish, with an ice-cold glass of limoncello, if you like.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2011

Soy candle by Vintage Homespun

Mum & Dad's vintage bedside lamp



Great garden planter idea from a friend

Hand poured, scented soy candle by Vintage Homespun!

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