Thursday, December 28, 2017

Spiders, Craters and New Year.

 I was amused by this new spider species which has recently been discovered. It is, for obvious reasons, called the Sorting Hat Spider. I saw this in a National Geographic email which I now can't find!! They showed pictures of four new species. Whoever named this was obviously a Harry Potter fan.

Tonight I caught part of a PBS show about the Day the Dinosaurs Died where they were talking about the vast crater The Chicxulab in the Gulf of Mexico where they are now drilling to find out as much information as they can about a huge asteroid which caused the extinction of 70% of life on earth. Didn't see the whole programme as Matt was ready for bed so I had to help him. However, if you follow the link above, it seems to be a similar programme. This crater was formed 66 million years ago by the way.

In case I don't post again this year, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. With particular emphasis on health.

We've probably all devoured too many rich goodies over the last few days, but I couldn't resist sharing this recipe. Makes me want to cut myself a slice right away.

European Mocha Fudge Cake

1-1/4 cups butter or margarine (2-1/2 sticks)
4 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans finely chopped
CREAMY COFFEE FILLING (recipe follows)
Chocolate curls (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of two 9-inch round baking pans. Line bottoms with wax paper; butter pap

2. Melt butter in small saucepan; remove from heat. Add cocoa, stirring until blended; cool slightly. Beat eggs in large bowl until foamy; add salt and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add cooled chocolate mixture; blend thoroughly. Fold in flour. Stir in pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pans.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Carefully peel off paper. Cool completely. Spread CREAMY COFFEE FILLING between layers, over top and sides of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired. Refrigerate 1 hour or longer before serving. Cover leftover cake; store in refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings.


1/2 cups cold whipping cream

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

7 teaspoons powdered instant coffee

Combine all ingredients; stir until instant coffee is almost dissolved. Beat until stiff. About 3 cups filling.

MAKE AHEAD DIRECTIONS: Cooled cake may be wrapped and frozen up to 4 weeks; thaw, wrapped, before filling and frosting.

Source Hershey's

Have a great day


  1. And a Happy New Year to you and Matt!

  2. The cake looks so decadent and good. The spider is gross but a fitting name. I wish you a very Happy New Year as well.

    1. Doesn't it Birgit. Thought I might use the filling for my Pavlova as a dessert. Gross? Thanks, I need some happy right now.

  3. Very interesting post. I'm fascinated by dinosaurs and how they became extinct. That cake looks delicious, by the way!
    What a pain for you. Students like this waste time for those students who DO want to learn.
    That's Purrfect

    1. It is fascinating Patricia isn't it? Not sure about your Students comment??

  4. Happy New Year to you and Matt, Jo. That crater has fascinated me for years.

    1. Thanks Pinky. I didn't even know about that one.

  5. Hi Jo,

    I wasn't even aware of that crater. I think dinosaurs may still be roaming about.

    Oh my, it's almost 2018. Here's to a healthy New Year. That's quite the tempting recipe.


    1. Nor me Gary. I don't think there are any of those large animals any more. Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your son and of course Penny.

  6. Very nice your blog and article. I like this blog thank for sharing.