Monday, 27 February 2012

Cute Spring Bakes

Ok, so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself calling our current season 'spring'... but these just reek of flowers and sunshine and all things associated with it!

The top cake, for my lovely friends Tori and Ryans' joint birthday, was a poor attempt at a Boston cream pie. The recipe, taken from Nigella's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess', claimed that making creme patissiere was not as scary as it seems... but it certainly was for me! It was just too runny and when I tried to sandwich the cakes together, it oozed out. So I ended up with just one half of a victoria sponge, dressed with chocolate glaze and wafer flowers.

The cake below, taken from the same book, was my first attempt at a Madeira cake - a sort of light sponge cake with a lemony tinge. Very easy to make and well-received by my dear friend Alex, for whom it was made. 

I may not be a domestic goddess yet... but practice makes perfect!


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Away!

I absolutely LOVE Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day). Last year I went all out, having three different types of pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This time, I made almost as big an effort, with melted chocolate pancakes for brunch, and bacon-and-maple pancakes for dinner. As you can see, the chocolate ones defeated me... but I'm pleased to say the bacon ones did not!

Thought I would throw in a few pics of some banana scotch pancakes I made last summer, which never made it to the blog. These are dead easy and quick to make for lunch, and apparently pretty low in fat too. Mmmm...

How did you celebrate Pancake Day?


Thursday, 16 February 2012

My First Whoopie Pies

I am pretty sure there are very few sweet delights more satisfying than a homemade whoopie pie. Not only was the chocolate-laden sponge delicious... but they were absolutely HUGE! It was like eating a cake burger... mmmm.

This recipe (for 'chocolate chip whoopie pies') was taken from The Hummingbird Bakery's Cake Days. The inner frosting was more vanilla than chocolate, as I had to replace cocoa powder with drinking chocolate, but I'm not sure it mattered. Without boasting - the credit goes to the recipe here - these were just so good and have become my dear friend Daisy's favourite bake of mine ever!

The only setback of the whoopie pie recipes in Cake Days is that they require use of an entire jar of Marshmallow Fluff per batch. So costly - but certainly a worthwhile treat.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sparkly Knitwear

Both Jade and I have acquired a fair few oversized jumpers over the past few years. Jade started off the trend after seeing Diana Vickers wearing an oversized cricket jumper on The X Factor (anyone remember that?) Soon, I too began to realise how easy they are to wear - and extremely affordable - if you look in the right places.

This starry number is one of my current favourites, totally in line with A/W '11's trend of glitter. (Ok, so it's spring now... but have you seen the weather?!) This one I picked up in Snooper's Paradise, a huge vintage thrift store in Brighton, for just £10. 

Not too shabby!


Monday, 6 February 2012

Cupcake Trinket Box

I must be honest with you... I have never been any good at sewing. In fact, you could say I am entirely terrible. I remember getting a school report when I was in Year 6, and one major criticism in it was my poor attempt at making slippers!

Two Christmases ago my parents gave me a cross-stitch tree decoration set (from Accessorize), which I somehow managed to pull off, although it looked misshapen and ramshackle. Then, last Christmas, I had to step it up a gear, as they bought me a cupcake trinket box kit (from Urban Outfitters, if you're interested). There were different stitches, different threads... it all looked very complicated. But somehow, over several hours, I managed to pull it together. I cannot deny that I am proud!

And here it is... my first inedible cupcake.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Warming Chilli Cheese Muffins

These muffins make for a great warming winter snack when re-heated in the microwave, or are ideal in a lunchbox as an alternative to a sandwich. 

The recipe was taken from the Hummingbird Bakery book 'Cake Days', and suggested using sweetcorn and onion, but I omitted as I wasn't sure I would enjoy them! The recipe also required chilli paste which I did not have, so as an alternative I used chilli sauce and crushed dried chillies. Sadly the heat didn't really come through.

Still... cheese in a muffin? What more could you want?!