Monday, 31 October 2011

Raspberry Fluff Cake

Looks sweet in the top photo... but this is one of those cakes that will remain forevermore in the disaster hall of fame!

My plan for my dear friend Lindie's birthday was to make a chocolate cake, using a jar of Raspberry Marshmallow Fluff to sandwich them together and ice the top. I was inspired by Nigella's raspberry heart in the book 'Feast', so I used this as the sponge recipe, which didn't work out too badly. However, the Marshmallow Fluff... well. Not only did the top layer start to slide after it had between spread between them, but somehow overnight I returned to the cake to find all of the middle Fluff had seeped out to the sides of the plate! So between the two was nothing but sticky residue.

Oh dear.

Still, it went down a treat and the Marshmallow Fluff proved a wonderful way to get extremely messy! Let's just say people had to shower at the party and Lindie's post was landing in a sticky plate the next morning...


Saturday, 29 October 2011

Rocky Road Cupcakes

I have had such a busy and stressful week (writing my first essay for four years, which is also why this post is late… eeek sorry!) that when it came to Friday afternoon I needed something chocolaty and indulgent. I only discovered rocky road recently, and I feel I’ve defiantly been missing out, so when I spotted these rocky road cupcakes in my recipe book I just couldn’t resist. I had such a fun afternoon with my little brother shopping for all the toppings, marshmallows, milk chocolate chips, chunks of white chocolate, almond slices, and of course mixing them all into the cake mixture. The icing was a rich blend of double cream and melted chocolate which made them the perfect chocolaty treat.

Tip #1 Just a note of warning the marshmallows in the cake mixture made such a mess –  however I would never omit them from the mixture they were just too yummy!


Adding the rocky road ingredients 

The final product :)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Bright Homemade Birthdays

A hobby which I have yet to share with you on fashionwaffle is my beloved cardmaking. My nanny is an art teacher, and ever since she gave me a ton of crafting papers and accessories about seven years ago, I have been hooked. I admit, being at university it is a little trickier to keep it up; my collection is at home, so I have to make cards when I take trips back, or over the holidays. Also I have a love of browsing greeting card sections in quirky shops and have often been tempted to buy unique cards which say just the right thing, rather than make something a little impersonal. Masculine cards in particular can be tricky to design.

Anyway, before I ramble on further here are a few of my latest creations. I have found myself recycling broken bits of jewellery and iron-on tattoos in order to save cash; plus, they make great 3D embellishments. The Betty Boop card was made from an out-of-date calendar (look out for these in the January sales).

I also love to wrap gifts decoratively with ribbons, bows and gift boxes. The ones below were wrapped in reduced Paperchase wrap and recycled ribbon.

I would love to see your creations!


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Forget cape... hello, shape

Burberry image from

I'm sure you remember the cape craze of last year. Oh, how I toiled and troubled over finding the perfect (affordable) cape, only to find the perfect one in the sale, to try it on and realise it did not suit me at all! Well, at least this year there's a little more variety on the coat front... then again, that may make it even trickier...

With the frost starting to appear here in the UK I thought I would introduce you to a few of my favourite coat picks from, using Burberry's A/W 11 collection as inspiration. The huge spectrum of coat shapes at the label was glorious: huge collars, high waists, masculine shoulders, hoods... all interspersed with contrast sleeves, checkered print, buckles and fur. Dazzling.

But, if you fancy saving yourself £1,000 or so, ASOS has a grand selection heavily influenced by the label, as do many other high street names.


Short check, £60, AWear @ ASOS
Fur, hood, and buckles - £85
Collared, £120
Contrast sleeve, £220, Cooper & Stollbrand for ASOS

Friday, 21 October 2011

Cupcake of the Week - Banana Cream

I constantly find myself seeking new ways to use up old bananas, usually just turning to good old banana bread, which thankfully gets eaten pretty fast as I have a couple of friends with extreme banana weakness! This time, for a variation, I used my favourite banana loaf recipe (in Tiffany Goodall's 'From Pasta to Pancakes: The Ultimate Student Cookbook'), again substituting caster sugar for brown sugar and adding banana, as I did before (see my banana bread post). The topping was my favourite of the moment: that pesky cream cheese frosting from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook again! (Sorry, I can't get enough of it!)

And ta-daa... banana cream cupcakes!

Word of advice: If you plan on doing something similar, these are best served cold from the fridge. Otherwise the dampness of both the frosting and the 'cake' tends to taste a bit soggy.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Chilli Chocolate Brownies

My ongoing quest for the perfect brownie recipe led me this time to none other than my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, which I'm sure you are tired of me exploiting by now! But I seriously thought I had it in the bag. The brownies in the picture looked incredible and the recipes was so low-maintenance and fail-safe...

These ones I made with the help of my brother Ben and his girlfriend Laurie. I used Montezuma's Extra Hot Chilli Chocolate, which to me gave it just enough of a kick. They were delightfully squishy and crumbly at the same time, and went down a treat, so maybe to the general public this is indeed the perfect recipe. But for me... it has to be gooier, damper. I have considered trying it again with one less egg, as egg is a raising agent... but then again, would this dry it out? Any tips from brownie experts would be much appreciated. 

The quest continues!


Laurie melting...

... and Ben mixing

Friday, 14 October 2011

Marble Cupcakes... (of the week)

Now I have to make a confession, these cupcakes were meant to be iced and decorated carefully and inquisitively with dulce de leche. This didn’t quite happen. No matter where I looked I could not find dulce de leche so I attempted to use a simple toffee sauce (one I think that was primarily used for ice-creams). Again this didn’t quite happen to plan. The toffee sauce soaked into the cream cheese icing and, if I’m being honest, looked like the biggest gooey mess ever.

Now luckily the actual cakes turned out pretty good. They rose perfectly and tasted scrummy. I will be using this recipe again, if only for the actual cakes. The contrasting colour, from deep brown to cream, really appeals to the eye and the mixture of chocolate and vanilla compliment each other perfectly. This effect was very easy to create – you just split the mixture into two bowls and flavour one with vanilla essence and the other with cocoa powder. Then add several alternating dollops of each into the cases, bake, and da-daa, marble cakes are born!


Note: I have since researched dulce de leche and discovered that Carnation caramel is the same thing or that it can be made with condensed milk – so here comes attempt number two!

Adding the cocoa powder and vanilla essence
Adding alternating dollops of chocolate and vanilla mixture

The finished marble effect

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A/W’11 Accessories Edit

I love A/W  – whether its huge fur coats or chunky scarves or knitted jumpers – this season is for me. Coming up are my top 5 choices so far in this years A/W accessories.


River Island £45

Snow, big coats, chestnuts, chunky hats, scarves - these are all but some of the things I long to enjoy when winter starts. However one of my favourite winter luxuries is faux fur. Usually I would wear it on a coat, yet this year these shoes are just spot on. I love the practical feel to these boots, yet they still look glamorous. I have no idea why it is, but winter clothes and accessories always call out to me. Winter, in no doubt, is my absolute favourite time of year for fashion.

Patternity tights ( £42

These tights will instantly boost any outfit they are paired with and this is why they are one of my must-have buys for this season. They are unusual and very fun!

Topshop £14 (left) and Oasis £12

I’ve never been a ring-wearer particularly however this season I am defiantly going to be channelling the vintage ring trend – piling several high on one hand.

Urban Outfitters £14 (left) and £98 

Back, quite a few seasons ago, on Americas Next Top Model one of the contestants won this beautiful large peace symbol necklace. Now I already have a peace symbol necklace, a beautiful delicate version, however I can’t help but indulge in another this year – in a larger, more bohemian looking style. I also can’t help but be inspired by all the vintage clock necklaces around. My plan is to keep my eye open in antique shops and buy a real vintage clock face, to string on a necklace – this way I’ll have my own unique version.

Warehouse Hat: £16, Scarf: £16

Last, but most certainly not least, is this gorgeous chunky knitted scarf and hat. My favourite time of the year is when I can snuggle in a big woolly hat and scarf, and it’s finally on its way!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

My 'It' Dress

Topshop, £46

Every autumn I seem to find an 'it' dress, a dress which will see me through the colder months as a bang-on-trend staple. This year, this is it.

Luxe fabric? Check. Black? Check. Sparkles? Check. It has everything to see me through to Christmas and beyond. Not too smart for day wear or too casual for any occasion. The moment I saw it I fell in love.

I could go on but I won't bore you! Would love to see your 'it' dresses.


PS - Thanks to my dear friend Marj for photographing me!

Dress: Topshop; necklace: Accessorize; watch (barely seen): jeweller's; pearl bracelet : Miss Selfridge; shoes: New Look.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cupcake of the Week - Candy Cupcakes

Last week my housemate Juliet made the most beautiful rainbow cupcakes, with each colour in a different layer! Inspired by this (but unsure how to make them, as she was away afterwards) I bought a bunch of different food colourings from a little sweet shop and made vanilla cupcakes in candy colours.

The recipe I used was again from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, but I added the food colourings and used cream cheese frosting as opposed to the suggested vanilla frosting - I can't get enough of it! On some I used up leftover lemon icing from a cake I made the other week, which did not have a perfect consistency (see the cupcakes at the back!) but still tasted yummy.

The multicoloured cases and pick-n-mix toppers just added to the delightful look.


I have never loved these bowls more!

Just a little colour contamination... thankfully it didn't spread out!

Delectable cream cheese frosting

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Zara - Chloe worshippers

Chloe, A/W 11
Last autumn, it quickly became obvious that camel was EVERYWHERE, and most likely thanks to Chloe's soft-as-butter collection. This year, Chloe has moved in a brand new direction channeling animal print; and no, it's not those dalmatian spots again! Perhaps oddly for a cold season, snake print is dominating.

One thing I've started to notice is that Zara seem dedicated to bringing Chloe's looks to the high street. Last year they stocked row upon row of camel delights (and I wanted all of them)! This year, they have reinvented the snake print in various pieces. This intriguing shirt is one of my favourites, and the bag is a gorgeous, go-with-everything addition if you simply want to nod to the trend on a night out.


Lastly, Chloe's collection is also big on blocks of opposite colours and insanely huge palazzo pants. Kill two birds with one stone and grab yourself these bargain statement trousers that will see you through to next summer.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Low fat brownies - who'd have thought it?

Brownies, as you may have begun to notice, are one of my major food vices. I am constantly on a quest to find the perfect ones. Whilst these may not be super gooey and indulgent, they are pretty delicious, and knowing that they are low in fat just makes them more moreish!

The recipe I used was from the book 'Fat Free Low Fat Cooking' and uses bananas and oatmeal instead of butter to create a dense texture. Whilst they improve in stickiness with age, they do seem to go off a little quicker than ordinary brownies, so make sure you keep them somewhere cool. Leaving them in a tin that hits the sun through the kitchen window every morning was not a wise move on my part!


Mixing it up

Pre-baking - notice the mixture is wetter than with ordinary brownies