Sunday, 22 March 2015

Borough Market Review

Located near the picturesque London Bridge is Borough Market, a area filled with bustling food businesses selling their delectable produce. Every corner you turn, there are different stalls selling a diverse variety of foods (from expensive truffle oil to miniature macaroons!) you can certainly collect a concoction of different ingredients, that you wouldn't necessarily be able to find with ease and in such a close proximity between each other in the city.

Stunning architecture - perfect for those artsy Instagram shots!
As it is located so close to the river, the market tends to be bustling with tourists who are eager to take pictures (stopping right in the middle of where everyone is trying to walk) but once you manage to navigate around them (without losing too much patience) the stalls are incredible. I went on a Wednesday morning at 10am so relatively early, which meant that it was reasonably empty and the perfect time to chat to stall holders and wander around in temporary peace. 

Stalls packed with fruit and vegetables - tomatoes in all shapes and sizes that you probably wouldn't find in the shops!

Mainly what I loved about the market, was the variety of international food stalls serving lunch, including goat, pulled pork, traditional fish and chips, Ethiopian and even Egyptian cuisine! - Let's just say, no matter where you're visiting from in the world, you'll be right at home!

Yes, I left the best until last, THE PATISSERIE, is remarkable. Although being slightly over price (probably having to compensate for the price of hiring a prime stall in central London) the baked goods are stunning, a mixture of macaroons, tarte au citron, meringues, enormous cookies, the list could be endless, but this stall never fails to provide me with ideas of what to bake in the future.

I think i is definitely worth a trip to Borough Market, it's been there for over 1000 years... so the market must be pretty incredible! Enjoy xx

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Easter Mini Egg Cake

Easter is right round the corner, which means it's the best excuse to binge eat on chocolate mini eggs (probably the best thing about the holiday) and obviously seeing family and friends... but probably more about eating several hundred mini eggs... no wonder we need to go on a summer diet soon! This is such a wonderful recipe to share when the family comes round with a cup of tea.

On to the Recipe: 
100g brown sugar
125g caster sugar
4 eggs 
225g butter
50g cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour 
Icing and topping: 
Mini Eggs (2 packets) I underestimated how many mini eggs would be in a packet (I'm pretty sure the quantity has gone down since I was little) and used 2 packets which filled up half the cake. It has a lovely effect but if you wanted to fill the whole cake, 4 packets would probably be a safer option! 
200g icing sugar
50g butter
50g cocoa powder
Milk (to loosen the mixture)

On to the recipe: 
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
2. Grease 2 tins - with butter and parchment paper
3. In a large bowl cream the butter and both sugars together
4. Gradually beat in the four eggs - a little at a time and add the vanilla
5. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder to the mixture and fold in - being careful not to over fold it as it will remove too much air
6. Once combined pour evenly into the 2 tins
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and the mix comes off clear on a skewer
8. Allow to cool and start the icing
9. Beat the icing sugar, butter and milk together until there is a smooth paste 
10. Place in between the cakes and all around so it is smooth
11. In straight lines, place the mini eggs upright on top of the cake 
12. Place some festive chicks around the cake

There you have it! A beautiful yet simple Easter cake with plenty of mini eggs, Enjoy xx

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Miniature Valentines Vanilla Pink Roses Cupcakes with Buttercream

Valentines Day is right round the corner and if you're looking for a sweet treat to give to your partner then you've come to the right place. But if not, and you're looking for something to gorge on whilst watching 500 days of summer for the billionth time on February 14th, then this is also the right place to come. However let me tell you that you should never feel sad about being alone, because one day you will find someone, maybe not now, but one day someone will open your eyes and make you realize why you're intoxicated with the expectation of finding love. And in the mean time, focus on what makes you happy; as Roald Dahl says 'If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely', so stop searching, after all, great things come when you least expect it.

On to the Recipe: Makes around 8 - 10
110g self-raising flour
110g butter/margarine
110g caster sugar
3 eggs 
1 tbsp milk 
Vanilla Extract
cupcake cases 
200g icing sugar
75g margarine 
Pink food colouring 
Vanilla Extract/Pods 
Piping Bags
Small star nozzle

1. Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4/ 180C / 350F 
2. Place cupcake cakes in a cupcake tray
3. Whisk together the butter and sugar until it is smooth
4. Gradually add three eggs (if it does curdle just add a little flour and mix) and vanilla extract
5. Sieve the flour in and gently fold in 
6. Spoon into the cupcake cases (3/4 full) 
7. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until golden 
8. Put on a cooling rack until cool
9. Whilst cooling make the icing. Whisk together the icing sugar and butter until it is smooth and a pale white colour (this could take a while). 
10. Separate into 2 bowls, in one bowl make a light shade (using less pink food colouring) and stir.In the other bowl add a little more pink food colouring to make a dark pink colour. 
11. Place each colour into the same piping bag - with one colour on one side and one of the other  - (similar to this
12. Staring from the middle of the rose outwards make 5 small roses around the outside of the cupcake and 2 or 3 in the center. 

There you have it, simple yet beautiful rose cupcakes,enjoy xx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Library Of Fragrance Food Scented Fragrances Review

The Library of Fragrance is such an incredible brand. Their motto is 'Extraordinary Fragrances. Inspired by life.' Which is entirely true because aside from the fact that they have created food scented cologne; the company additionally has scents of Baby Powder, Fresh Laundry, Gin and Tonic and even Snow - along with OVER 300 fragrances designed by the New York Brand 'Demeter Fragrance Library Inc.' 
So whatever your unusual yet appealing, guilty pleasure scent is (whether it be petrol or even grass) The Library of Fragrance will assure that you will be smell of it for the rest of your life (or until the bottle runs out!). 

The Best 'Food Scented' Sellers include: 
Gin & Tonic,  Vanilla Ice Cream, Gingerbread,  Pumpkin Pie,  Chocolate Chip Cookie and Vanilla Cake Batter.  So if you don't have time to bake, then with these, your house will be 
smelling of freshly baked goodness; which I think it perfect if 
you required to sell a house as it would be more welcoming and enticing.

I decided to bake a pumpkin pie to see how similar they'd be (which was a great excuse to do some baking). The scents are so similar, the perfume is spicy but sweet and smells like autumn in a bottle with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

*The Library Of Fragrance -Pumpkin Pie 
The pizza scent is unbelievable similar, (you'd have to be exceptionally brave to wear a scent that smells like cheese) however if you get cravings for pizza (which I do more often than I should) this should satisfy them! 

 *The Library Of Fragrance - Pizza
Boots sell a variety of these different innovative scents here, so I'd highly recommend picking one up! 
Enjoy xx

* Sponsored Post 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Years Eve Carrot Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Icing

Happy New Years Eve to everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful evening and have had a rather eventful 2014. Let's hope that next year will be even more incredible, I think the best thing about New Years is not knowing what the next holds and that the anticipation and suspense builds so much adrenalin, pushing you forward to make something of your life that you maybe would've been too lazy to do the previous year. Yes, it is awfully cliche to say, but it's a start of new beginnings and new decisions each one of them leading you down a different path; however the new years resolutions should not start simply because you feel like you have to make them because of that saying 'new year, new me', because if you felt so passionately about the change you wanted to make, you should start in this very moment. 
So I hope you all enjoy your new year and have a brilliant night, here's to 2015!

This light and fluffy carrot cake would be perfect for a New Years Eve party or gathering that you may be holding or just to enjoy if you're spending it alone watching tv. 

On to the Recipe: 
Cake - 
450ml vegetable oil
400g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g caster sugar
250g brown sugar
5 free-range eggs
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
525g carrots, grated
Handful of mixed dried fruit and nuts

250g icing sugar
125g butter/margarine
2 handfuls of pistachio nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. 
2.Grease and line the three 8" circular tins 
3.Mix all of the ingredients for the carrot cake, except the carrots and dried fruit and nuts, together in a bowl until well combined. 
4.Stir in the carrots and dried fruit and nuts. 
5.Add the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes (or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.)
6. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
7.Carefully remove the cake from the tin and set aside to cool completely on a cooling rack.
8. Whilst cooling make the icing. Add the sieved icing sugar and margarine together until it is a pale colour. 
9. Assemble the cake. Using a thin layer of icing, stack the three cakes on top of each other (if the cakes are not flat at the top then using a serrated knife trim them so they lay straight.) 
10. Using a palette knife, smooth the icing over the top and sides of the top two cakes (I did not cover the bottom layer as I thought it would be too sickly if that was covered too). 
11. Crush the pistachio nuts using a pestle and mortar (or in a bowl with the bottom of a rolling pin) and sprinkle on the top of the cake, and over the sides until the cake is covered. 

There you have it, a simple yet delicious carrot cake with pistachio icing, perfect to indulge in whilst starting the New Year! Enjoy  xx 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Pretty Profiteroles

It's finally the festive season! That means I have an excuse to wear a profound amount of red, answer the phone saying 'Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite colour?', eat my own body weight in pigs in blankets and have the Frozen Soundtrack on repeat (lets pretend it hasn't been on repeat throughout November too). What a wonderful time of the year!  

Now, profiteroles always go down a treat in my household, however I could never bring myself to make them as they've always been shown as difficult and impossible. So I plucked up the courage and decided to bite the bullet and make them! The results were incredible and the recipe was so easy I had to share it with you. 
Mary Berry has always been shown as the Queen of Baking so I thought it would only be fair to use her recipe from 'Mary Berry's Baking Bible'

On to the recipe: 
55g Butter
150ml Hot Water
65g Sifted Plain Flour
2 Large Beaten Eggs
Melted Dark Chocolate 
300ml Whipping Cream 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas 7.  Lightly grease 2 baking trays
  2. Place the butter and water in a small pan, heat gently until the butter has melted, then bring slowly to the boil
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour all at once and beat until the mixture forms a soft ball.  Beat over the heat for a further 1 minute
  4. Cool slightly, then add the eggs a little at a time, beating well in between each addition.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe small mounds on to the prepared baking trays, leaving room for them to spread
  6. Bake in the pre-heated over for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5. 
  7. Cook the profiteroles for another 10 minutes or until well risen and a deep golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven.  
  9. I then make a small hole in each profiterole with a cocktail stick to let out the steam.
  10. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. Place whipped cream into a piping bag with a tiny nozzle 
  12. Place into the hole used to let steam out and fill up
  13. Drizzle chocolate over the top and allow to dry

There you have it, simple but impressive Profiteroles. I hope you have a wonderful run up to Christmas!
Enjoy xxx

Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween Ghosts Meringue Cinnamon Cupcakes

Finally Halloween is here, so let me start by saying HAPPY HALLOWEEN! If you're not a big Halloween fan, you don't feel like going out in the cold begging for sweets, you're stuck for ideas on what to make for a Halloween party or what to give to trick or treaters... then you can still be slightly festive and bake these adorable cupackes, just to join in the occasion! Yes.... I am aware that they look slightly like the poo emoji but they're are definitely ghost... if you look at them in the right way...

On to the recipe: 
For the cupcakes (makes 24):
220g butter
220g caster sugar
4 eggs 
220g self raising flour
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice 

- Preheat oven 180C/350F/Gas 4
1. Whisk together the butter and caster sugar until smooth and creamy
2. Add the vanilla extract and mix
3. Gradually whisk in the eggs until combined
4. Sift in the self raising flour gradually and fold into the mixture
5. Add the spices to the mixture and stir until combined
6. Place into cupcake cases 3/4 full and into the oven for approximatly 10 minutes, until golden brown.
7. Take out and cool 

On to the meringue:
3 free range eggs (egg whites needed)
150g caster sugar 
Icing sugar
Black food colouring and water

- Preheat oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1
1. Preferably using an electric whisk, whisk the 3 egg whites until soft peeks form
2. Gradually whisk in all the sugar, 1tbsp at a time - until firm peeks form
3. Pipe or spoon 4cm high swirls onto a lined grease proof paper tray
4. Place into the oven for an hour 
5. Turn off the oven and leave them in there until they cool 
6. Place the water and icing sugar until they form a hard and not too runny icing (Gradually add the water) 
7. Pipe the bottom of the meringue with icing and place it on top of the cupcake
8. Place the rest of the icing into a piping bag and cut a thin tip on the bag
9. Gently put two dots as eyes on the meringue around 1/2cm large 

There you have it, delicous Halloween cupcakes. Even if you don't want to celebrate it this year, you can still indulge in these sweet delights! Enjoy xx