Friday, 25 September 2009

busy busy

september 21st

september 17th

These are two outfits from the past week in Uni. I have decided to return to Uni and study for my masters in Information and Library Management! Well, it has been in the pipeline for a while, along with many other job interviews too, but it seems like this is the best route for me to get into library work. So, I now spend 2 whole days in uni being taught about the wonders of cataloguing, classification and other library geekiness. As the girl who likes to organise her CDs in alphabetical order and organise her photos by year, month and date, it is becomng really interesting for me. I am already itching to change my photo organisation system by using tags and keywords so I can find things easier!

Also, last weekend, my sister got married! I was a bridesmaid and it was a lovely day. My dress was green and lovely, I think green quite complements my olive skin. I also had my hair curly which was very different for me! You can see a photo of me and Scott here.

Hopefully now that I am getting into a routine I can start posting and commenting more regularly, but the past few weeks have been a bit mad for me!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Step by step cupcakes

On Sunday I had the urge to bake some cupcakes so I though it would be the perfect opportunity to make some using my orange cocoa from Paris.

orange cocoa powder

I had been trying to save it for a special occassion, but a little goes a long way. The aroma when I opened it was AMAZING! I really want to try making hot chocolate with it once the weather gets cooler. I used the classic hummingbird bakery recipe for their chocolate cupcakes, but simple replaced the cocoa powder with the orange cocoa powder.

ingredients ready

Here are all the ingredients you need. 100g plain flour, 20g cocoa powder, 140g caster sugar, 40g butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt, 120ml milk, 1 egg and a few drops of vanilla extract. (oh and preheat the oven to gas mark 3!)

First you put all the dry ingredients and the butter into your mixer and mix well until it resembles sand.
adding the ingredients


dry ingredients and butter mixture


Then, whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla and add to the mix. Mix well until smooth (but be careful not to overmix!)

after adding the milk and eggs

Spoon into a muffin tin lined with 12 cupcake cases.

ready to go in the oven

Bake in the oven for about 22 minutes.

out of the oven!

Ta-da! Then make the icing. I used the magnolia bakery's recipe this time, which can be found here . I also mixed in a little red and a little yellow food colouring to make it a lovely orange colour. With the orange and brown cases, they looked kind of like halloween cupcakes!

piping the icing

finished cupcakes!

The cake was lovely, with just a subtle hint of orange with the chocolate. The icing slightly over powered the flavour of the cake though, so I think that next time I would make add a bit of orange zest or orange juice to the icing to complement the sponge cake.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Recently in the kitchen...

I haven't posted much of my culinary adventures here recently, and it isn't because I have given up on baking. If anything, my love for food and cooking is ever growing and I am always finding new recipes I want to try. I also got a subscription to Olive magazine for my birthday, which is the gift that keeps on giving, month after month! I love when it arrives through my postbox and I drool over all the recipes and plan what seasonal things I want to try that month.

blackberry bakewell tart

This was the blackberry bakewell tart that I made last week. Or, really, Scott made and I merely supervised. I didn't even get to try any of it because I had a stomach bug, but I was assured it was delicious and the time in that it took to disappear also assured me it was delicious. Traditional bakewell tart uses raspberry jam, but after the glut of blackberries we had picked and made jam with, I decided to use blackberry jam. It is seasonal and cheap! I also studded the tart with fresh blackberries for added fruitiness. It gave it quite a rustic look once all the frangipane had rose over it.

chocolate torte

This was the cover recipe of this months Olive, so we decided to make it for Scott's brother's birthday. I wanted a traditional layered birthday cake, but Scott wanted to try this, so we went with it. It was super easy and quite impressive! You simply mix together whipped cream and melted chocolate and leave it to set. Ta-da! Very, very rich though and is best served in a small slice with some cream.

homemade pizza

I also experimented with making my own pizza base, using yeast for the first time. It was surprisingly easy, although yeast always strikes fear in me for some reason. Will it work? Will it rise too much? The anticipation! This was a perfect pizza though, with yummy mozzarella and cherry tomatoes and of course basil. I love basil, it is definitely my favourite herb.

summer fruits sorbet

I also invested in an ice cream machine, hoping for this heatwave of a summer we were promised by the weathermen. It never did arrive... The ice cream machine has made some lovely things still though. This was a summer fruits sorbet that was so delicious and refreshing. I also made a peanut butter ice cream that was gobbled up so quickly I didn't even have time to take a photo of it. However, I don't think a photo would do justice to it's tastiness so I shall leave it to your imagination. Peanut butter ice cream.... yum.

What have you all been cooking lately?


Friday, 4 September 2009

new coatnew coat

This is my new coat! I still have my winter coat from last year, which is lovely and snuggly, but I really needed a coat for inbetween the seasons. A cardigan and a scarf was just not cutting it anymore. I had my sights set on a simple mac, as they are timeless and classic, but when I saw this charming coat on the Topshop website, I knew it was the one for me. I saw in real life shopping with a friend, but this was before payday so I decided to hold off. Then, after being paid and deliberating over it, I decided to get it. Then, typical, it was sold out in my size in store! I finally got my hands on it last week after ordering it online where it wasn't sold out. It has a lovely ribbon rose on the collar and rose shaped buttons on the cuffs also. I am slightly scared of getting the cuffs dirty though.

new dress

This is what I wore underneath it, to go and eat South American food at Las Iguanas and watch Inglourious Basterds over the bank holiday weekend. It's my new 'goth' dress, as I have affectionately nicknamed it after Scott complaining that it was too 'gothy'. I like it. It's a litle less colour than I would normally wear, but I quite liked that about it. There really is something so chic and simple about black outfits.

P.S. The shoes are also new! I was searching for the perfect red skirt but couldn't find one so the perfect red shoes had to do instead. You can see them in more detail here.

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