Thursday, 29 March 2012

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These cupcakes have to be some of the yummiest I've attempted so far - and also some of the trickiest! Including the cooling times, they did take a couple of hours... but I reckon they were worth it.

The recipe, taken from The Hummingbird Bakery book 'Cake Days', involved making a lemon sponge, then digging out the centre of each cupcake to fill with lemon curd. Then for the topping, I had my first attempt at Italian meringue (the softer kind you tend to find on lemon meringue pie), which was more technical than I had imagined. As with any meringue, there was a LOT of whisking involved - but there was also the tricky stage of making the sugar syrup, which took a fair amount of patience (and uncertainty on my part!).

Give them a try - I doubt you'll regret it!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Fell in love with a shoe...

 So I just got one of those little email updates from ASOS and... my gosh... it was love at first sight!

I knew tropical print was taking over, but I had no idea it had branched out to shoes. There's something about the paint-brushed exotic print on these - it has that retro, US pin-up girl feel and yet it still looks refreshing. These little slippers are just adorable, and as for the sandles... that is summer in a shoe right there! At only £16 a pair, it seems almost crazy not to buy them.

Too bad I can't really justify buying any shoes right now. I'll be sure to stick them on a summer wishlist though!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Cheese & Pumpkin Scones

I'm in a baking mood and have just remembered I have a tub of pumpkin puree in the freezer, left over from the last batch of scones I made... which I realise I did not post about on here!

The recipe for these was taken from Nigella Lawson's beautiful book 'Kitchen'. To me, they taste more cheesy than anything, but the hint of pumpkin is definitely there. They make for a great lunch - just warm a couple up in the microwave (or make them larger than I did. Note to self - they do not expand in the oven!) They use half a standard-sized tin of pumpkin puree, so you can freeze the rest to make another batch later on (genius Nigella).

Remember to sprinkle a little cheese on for extra yumminess.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

MANGO - The Edit

Dress, £34.99

Living in a city without a Mango store, it's sadly very easy to forget about it. But who could fail to notice the stunning new ad campaign featuring a timelessly elegant Kate Moss? I know I couldn't. Couldn't believe the prices either - £27.99 for that t-shirt? Not bad at all! So I just had to have a little browse of the site and compose an edit.

Here are my top three buys. The above dress is totally on-trend with the tropical print (and comes in a maxi shape if you prefer). The sparkly t-shirt - well, is there any need to justify it? I still have an obsession with sparkles and this is great to take from day to night. (Plus, Kate Moss has worn one - hello?!) And last but not least, the turquoise dress is a perfect nod to Louis Vuitton's S/S '12 focus of pastel-meets-lace. I just picked up a similar one in yellow from ASOS.

What are your thoughts?

Top, £27.99

Dress, £69.99

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Hot Chocolate Cake... with a sprinkling of marshmallows

What kind of cake do you make for a person who doesn't have a big sweet tooth? That was the question I had to ask when picking the recipe for my lovely housemate Juliet's 21st birthday cake. Still in love with my new Hummingbird Bakery book, Cake Days, I had come across the recipe for hot chocolate cupcakes already and was fascinated... so they sprung to mind immediately! Not too rich or chocolatey, but just a delicate chocolate hint. I made the recipe in one large cake form and added novelty appeal with a sprinkling of miniature marshmallows.

It disappeared before the day was over!


Brewing the hot chocolate

The sponges, ready to bake