Thursday, 24 April 2014

Summer Shopping List.

I really love gingham at the moment, it just makes me feel really summery and I adore both this Topshop red gingham slip dress and Oh My Love dogtooth dress although, I think the Topshop one is a bit out of my price range if I'm honest. I really like the trend of styling camisole slip dresses over t-shirts too like fashion blogger LLYMLRS did here with the Oh My Love dogtooth dress and I think it will create some really cute outfits for the summer months. Ofcourse wearing a t-shirt underneath helps to hide the old tops of your arms as well which, is never a bad thing if you're a bit self-conscious about them like me .

I also adore pastels and florals and have had my eye on the Motel Morris Flower Hoppy Playsuit for months now as I just love the icy blue colour and think that it would be perfect for the summer although, it is currently out of stock so I will have to keep a look out for it. The Motel Winter Rose playsuit is just gorgeous too and it would look lovely with a little white crop top underneath and some black Dr Martens (another expensive summer want) on the feet but, I do already have the winter rose print in the Beatrix Babydoll Dress  so is it a bit silly to get the exact same print in two different styles of dresses? I'm sure I'll be able to justify it though! 

Finally, I'm really liking boho and folk style pieces at the moment and would love to get my hands on literally anything in the Motel Mandala print but, I particularly love the blue skirt and red crop top. I think the Topshop Folk tee would be perfect to throw on with my Levi shorts and converse too for a simple, laid-back summer outfit while, the Motel Sunflower camisole is just really vibrant and pretty and again I think it would look great paired with some Levi's and converse to add a girly twist to a casual outfit.

What do you think of my summer fashion finds? What's on your summer shopping list?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Creme Egg Cupcakes.

Another yummy treat for the Easter weekend; chocolate cupcakes, butter-cream frosting and two mini Cadbury's creme eggs, I don't think you can really go wrong with that can you? 

For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
110g unsalted butter, softened
220g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
165g self raising flour
55g cocoa powder
½  tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder 
140ml sour cream
12 Cadbury's Creme Egg minis
For the Butter-cream Frosting:
500g icing sugar, sieved
160g unsalted butter, softened
50ml whole milk
3-4 drops of vanilla extract
Yellow food colouring
12 Cadbury's Creme Egg minis


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.

2. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.

3. For the cake, cream together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk. Gradually beat in the eggs. Add the sour cream. Sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and fold in to the mixture. Divide the mixture between the cake cases, filling each half full and place a Cadbury's creme mini egg into the centre of each and cover with more mixture so each case is about 2/3 full.

4.Bake for 15-17 minutes or until risen and just firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

5.Prepare the butter-cream  frosting. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, add the softened butter, vanilla and milk and beat until pale, soft and fluffy. You are aiming for as white as possible to form the egg on top.

6. Pipe a swirl of white frosting onto the top of each cake using a large round piping nozzle and then colour the remaining icing yellow. Pipe a yellow dot into the middle of each swirl to form the yolk and place another Cadbury's creme mini egg onto the top of each cupcake.

Note. Although, I had wanted to make a bright, vibrant, yolk yellow I had to use a pale yellow frosting instead as my food colouring just wouldn't go beyond pale yellow and the more colouring I added, the more my frosting became very bitter and chemically to taste. I used Morrison's natural yellow food colouring but, I will deffinately invest in a proper food colouring paste or gel in the future to gain a better colour and flavour. I have heard Wilton colour gels are very good.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Carrot Cake.

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new blog and a very happy Easter to you all! I thought I would start by sharing this delicious carrot cake recipe with you which, I made last weekend for my sister's 26th birthday as I thought it would be the perfect cake for this Easter weekend. 

It is a lovely recipe and a gorgeously moist cake with a nice cinnamon flavour and a lovely cream cheese frosting. I've never been the best at making large cakes, in fact you can almost guarantee that every time the lid goes on all of the filling will squidge out the centre and my cake will be left looking like a sloppy mess. I tend to stick to baking cupcakes which seem to be more forgiving to my impatient, slap everything together attitude but, as it was my sister's birthday I thought that I would give this carrot cake a go and I was very pleased with the results. I even managed to colour some marzipan orange and green and create my own little carrots which I don't think look too shabby. So, whatever you are doing this Easter weekend whether it be; having an easter egg hunt in the garden with the kids, munching on hot cross buns, relaxing in the sun with a few days off work or whipping up this carrot cake or some of your own Easter treats, have a lovely time!


For the Carrot Cake:
100g walnuts and pecans
340g raw carrots, finely grated
260g self-raising flour
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
300g caster sugar
240ml sunflower oil
2 tsp. vanilla essence
120ml pureed pineapple 
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
300g icing sugar
50g butter
125g mascarpone or full-fat cream cheese such as, Philadelphia
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest (optional)


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan and grease and line the base of two cake tins with greaseproof paper.

2. Chop the walnuts and pecans coarsely and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes until lightly brown and fragrant.

3. Peel and finely grate the carrots.

4. In a large bowl mix together the walnuts and pecans, sieved self-raising flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

5. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and whisk until the batter is thick and pale in colour (about 3-4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture along with the pureed pineapple (blitz pineapple chunks in a food processor until pureed) and beat until incorporated.

6. Fold in the grated carrot and evenly divide the batter between the two cake tins.

7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cakes are just firm to touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

8. Remove from the oven and after about 5 minutes remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.

9. Make the cream cheese frosting by beating the cream cheese, sieved icing sugar, butter and orange zest, if using, together with an electric whisk, blending until there are no lumps and the frosting is light, fluffy and smooth. 

10. Spread about half of the cream cheese frosting on the top of one cake, leaving a gap of about 1cm around the edge to allow for spreading when you place the other cake on top. Spread the remaining cream cheese frosting on top and sprinkle with cinnamon or grated chocolate e.g. terry's chocolate orange. Arrange walnut pieces around the edge or bought or homemade marzipan carrots. I used a few drops of red food colouring to colour some golden marzipan orange and some blue food colouring to colour some golden marzipan green. I then formed little carrots and used a tooth pick to indent them.

It is also easy to convert this recipe into cupcakes and the mixture will produce about 24 cupcakes but, it can be halved if you only want 12. If making the full 24 cupcakes you may need to double the quantity of frosting. Pipe a swirl of frosting on the top of each cupcake and top with a walnut or marzipan carrot.