Sunday, 29 July 2012

Aldyth's Summer Cheesecake

Last summer, my dear friend and ex-music A-Level teacher Aldyth invited a group of her ex-students round for a lovely dinner. It was here that I first sampled this delectable cheesecake, and so I asked her for the recipe. It has taken me a year to get round to making it - but here it is!

To make it, simply bash together 90g butter and 180g digestive biscuits for the base (although I mixed in ginger biscuits too), then bake for ten minutes at 160 degrees C. Leave the oven on.

Then, for the topping, mix together two eggs, their weight equivalent in caster sugar, 250g cream cheese and 250g plain yoghurt. Bake for around 35 minutes.

Top with fruit. I added a dusting of icing sugar for fanciness. Et voila! 

Many thanks Aldyth, for the easiest and most successful cheesecake recipe I have tried so far! This went down a storm at a family meal!


Monday, 23 July 2012

The Humble Flapjack

Whilst many of our readers may know I am on a permanent quest to find the perfect brownie recipe, what they may not know is that my mission has extended to flapjacks.

My mum has always made wonderful, squidgy flapjacks from an old recipe a friend gave her. But I also adore those flapjacks which have a sort of sticky toffee glaze to make them extra-moreish.

The basic recipe for these was taken from 'Good Food: Cupcakes & Small Bakes', but I added:

A generous sprinkling of cinnamon
100g Ready Brek (I think...)
75g sultanas
50g crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp golden syrup

These were adequately squidgy, without falling apart; I feel the Ready Brek was the key ingredient here to bind everything together. Yet, despite their scrumptiousness, they were still missing that toffee stickiness that I love.

Anyone got any tips?


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Butterscotch Marshmallow Bars

I have made many overtly sweet things in my time - you know the ones - those cakes which look so delectable but after a few bites, no matter how sweet your tooth, you are defeated. These are up there with the best of them.

The recipe for these, once again taken from the wonderful 'Cake Days', is certainly more challenging than some of the others in the book, simply due to the patience required whilst waiting for the butterscotch (which I prefer to describe as 'caramel') to reach the 'soft ball' stage. This is the point at which you can add a drop to cold water, and it suspends in a ball. Believe me - my friend Ray and I were there a while.

Then of course, there was the overnight wait while they set, the marshmallows gradually expanding, a pastel-coloured homage to the fried egg. Poor Ray now has to collect his another day.

Slicing them this morning was a struggle; the marshmallow layer stretched and stuck and sometimes slid off. But now, having tasted one (okay - two, but seriously, no more could be managed), I deem them worth the wait.


Thursday, 12 July 2012

D&G Goes Baroque

Images from

I know we aren't through with summer yet - not even halfway through, technically! - but all this dull weather has got me thinking about trends for A/W 2012. After a shopping trip in London yesterday with my good friend Ray, I found myself sorting through some of my old clothes to re-sell or give to charity... and found some real forgotten gems. A lot of black, glitter, and heavy embellishment. So it comes as no surprise that my favourite look for A/W '12 so far is that romantic yet dark Baroque trend, seen at Dolce & Gabbana.

Here's a selection from their runway show. As you can see, beyond-vintage rose prints are back (time to dig out that tapestry bag), as is the socks-and-heels trend of last year. Nice to see the Peter Pan collar is sticking around, as well as the peplum. And just look at that cape! 

Hope this gets you as excited about the colder months as it does myself!


Friday, 6 July 2012

Wimbledon Cake

So, despite the grim weather we've been having here in the UK, there's no denying that 'Wimbledon' is the word on everyone's lips at the moment. Last weekend, when the sun was still shining, I decided to use up the masses of strawberries our plant in the garden has been producing and make this yummy dessert.

The cake is simply a sponge with whipped cream, passion fruit drizzled on the inside layer, and strawberries on both layers. The recipe was taken from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook, and Berry being the legend she is, I had high expectations. Although those expectations were not quite met - the sponges didn't rise - I think I was at fault; the cake tins I used were probably a little wide.

Still, it tasted light and disappeared fast!


Monday, 2 July 2012

The Perfect Peplum

Oasis, £35

Hello again readers! I'm back after a very exciting three weeks in Ghana, during which I worked in a school and a creche, lived in a house of 24 people and traveled loads. I even designed a dress and had it made for me, so that will be sure to appear on the blog sometime soon!

Ok, so it has come to my attention - and I'm sure your own - that peplums are HUGE at the moment.  And who can blame us for loving them? The high neck is sophisticated whilst the shape flatters in all the right places. It's feminine yet smart. It's fast becoming a wardrobe staple - and I am missing one.

I have scaled the internet far and wide and come back vaguely unsatisfied, as I like a top with a lot of personality, and to be frank, there doesn't seem to be a huge range of peplum tops on the market. However, here are my top four - what do you think?


ASOS, now £11

Topshop, £30

Paprika @ ASOS, now £17