Sunday, 27 November 2011

A well-dressed man

Do you ever see a man walking down the street and think, 'wow, that is a well-dressed man'? Well my friends, I am lucky enough to know one. Here is my beautiful housemate and friend Eliot in a selection of my favourites from his wardrobe. His style is fun and young, an assortment of comic book t-shirts and skinny jeans, but there is a classic coolness there; dark chunky knits and high-quality textures.

 In particular I love the John Lewis leather aviator jacket (above), Topman shirt and Kurt Geiger boots (below).

I invite you to share with us the most fashionable men you know, and give them the fashion credentials they deserve!


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Heavy embellishment, tiny price

With sparkles and jewels taking the high street by storm, many of us have found ourselves staring at sequin-covered tops and shorts lustfully, knowing we could never afford the huge price on the label. Thankfully there are exceptions to the rule of embellished = expensive!

I was delighted to see a notification of a new evening collection for TRF at Zara in my inbox today. Browsing through the lookbook, I spotted a pair of incredible sparkle-covered shorts (above), expecting to see a price tag of over £70 at least. But - alas! - I was astounded to find that they are just £25.99! No wonder when I tried to get a closer look, I found that they were already sold out. Hopefully they'll stock up fast!

Now, the other sequinned bargain I discovered a little while ago was, admittedly, a one-off chance purchase. But it just goes to show that car boot sales and charity shops are definitely worth a look through. The sequin-covered, 80s-style top below cost me a tiny - believe it or not - £1.50. It looks great tucked into high-waisted trousers for nights out on the town.

I would love to see your bejewelled bargains!


Monday, 21 November 2011

Double chocolate mint cake

So I actually managed to squeeze an hour of baking into this week - hurrah! I don’t usually tend to create chocolately treats as I’m more of a fruity (!) type of girl but one of my close friends had invited me round and she loves chocolate treats more than anything. The result, this huge gooey mint chocolate cake. I loved the idea for the presentation of this cake; mint sticks scattered on top in a carefully placed but messy looking fashion with the arty chocolate sauce spilling onto the plate. However I was worried how minty the cake would actually taste, as it only had these mint sticks on top and smaller sticks in the actual cake. However it turned out nice and minty which was what I had hoped for. If I had had more time I would have concentrated more on the decorating but I was pleased with the speedy result. All that’s left to think about now is when I can fit my hourly baking slot in this week?


The ingredients

Yummy chopped mint sticks

Adding the sticks to the mixture

Greg's photography skills (of me baking the cake!)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Cupcake of the Week - Nutella Cupcakes

When I spotted the recipe for these in the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, I knew I would have to make them. Nutella-filled chocolate sponge with creamy Nutella frosting... *sigh*. Anyone who knows me well knows Nutella is my true weakness. I have been known to sit with a spoon and gradually consume the jar.

These were a little fiddly to make, as the middle had to be hollowed out to be filled with Nutella. The recipe actually stated that a blob should be placed in the hollow at the top, but I wanted mine to have Nutella centres, so once I had filled them I placed their little cake 'lids' back on and pushed them down. Not so attractive... until the mounds of frosting had been piled on.

These were not around for long at all, and I found them to work best out of the fridge, as the Nutella middles became a little too firm otherwise.

They are up there with the best!!


Mixing the batter

Swirling Nutella into the frosting mix

Filling the centres and re-attaching the cake 'lids'

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Birthday Rocky Road

As a yummy alternative to cake, I thought I would repeat an idea I had last year and make my dear friend Daisy rocky road for her birthday instead. I started off by baking blobs of cookie dough in a tub (from Tesco) ad breaking them up. I then melted 800g of milk chocolate gradually, before stirring in about 100g mini marshmallows, a few handfuls of raisins and the cookie chunks. I poured into a brownie tray lined with cling film and refrigerated. Lastly, I drizzled 200g white chocolate over top and refrigerated once more.

It went down pretty well at the party - just a shame I tripped on my way round, the tin went flying and the rocky road spilled onto the pavement! It was fine with a brush down...

Charlotte :P

Friday, 11 November 2011

Banoffee cupcakes

I love banana. I love toffee. I love caramel. And I definitely love cupcakes! So this week I couldn’t resist trying out some banoffee cupcakes. They were very indulgent and messy yet I like to think the banana balanced out the cream… the toffees…. the dulce de leche sauce… the cake etc – so very healthy of course! The cakes themselves had crushed toffees and bananas baked inside while the topping consisted of freshly whipped double cream, banana slices and dulce de leche sauce (which I finally managed to buy!).  Overall these cupcakes were without doubt worth a try.

I just wanted to say… I know I haven’t posted much at all the last month but I will be getting back on track soon! I’ve recently started a teacher training course at uni and they say teacher training is full on - full on doesn’t even describe it! After the next four weeks it’s the Christmas holidays (yay!) and I am dedicating these holidays to fashion waffle. I can’t wait to endlessly bake and search, and lust after fashion – and post!


Banana's and toffees used to create cupcakes

Decorated with cream and banana slices

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bejewelled - My Topshop Wishlist

With sparkles and stars hitting the runways this season, I have discovered a penchant for jewellery in shimmering blues, star shapes and loaded with fake diamonds. Combine that with my love for cute and quirky accessories and Topshop's jewellery section is my wonderland. Peek in there this month and you will find an absolute treasure trove of standout pieces, bursting with bizarre creatures from snails to hedgehogs, surrealist eyeballs, creepy crawlies and shimmer beyond belief.

Here are my favourite picks, some of which I have stuck on my Christmas list.

What are your thoughts? Will you be wearing flies around your neck or sticking with what you know and love?



Friday, 4 November 2011

Cupcake of the Week - Ghoulish Cupcakes

Be afraid, be very afraid...

Ok, I know Hallowe'en is over now, but Friday is our official COTW day so I saved sharing these until today. To make them, I used - yep, you guessed it - The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, following the recipe for Black Bottom cupcakes (but omitting the cheesecake chunks). I had hoped for a devilishly dark sponge, but the final product could have been darker.

The frosting was my favourite, cream cheese, with a few drops of red and yellow food colouring to make a spooky orange. I topped each one with an adorable ghost marshmallow (which, by the way, were delicious); a gift from John Lewis that my grandparents bought me. I'm saving the rest for topping hot chocolates.

These went down a treat with my friends and were definitely a naughty-but-nice morsel of kiddyish delight on Hallowe'en.