I am still so enthusiastic about baking since watching the Great British Bake Off and all the amazing challenges and everything I still had to learn about. At the time I wanted so badly to join in at home but it was just too much to do every week on top of daily life. So, instead, this year as part of Project 2012 I’m preparing my own top wish list of baked goods.
- Eclairs – I will conquer choux pastry.
- Swiss Roll/Roulade – These are definitely a skill and make so impressive easy bakes (I hope) – Chocolate Roulade
- Creme Brulee – Bliss. I may get very fat working my way through this list
- Tart au Citron – In the Summer this is just the best dessert. Take your chocolate stuffed cakes and puddings, I will choose this every time
- Lemon/Lime Meringue Pie – I LOVE these. I first fell in love with them living in the States (they are big there, and not so here) but I haven’t managed to have one since coming home. Boo.
- Scones – Don’t get me wrong, I have made many a batch of scones but none ever have that lovely lightness of cafe bought ones. Where am I going wrong?
- Shortbread – Well I do live in Scotland.
- Cake decorations (chocolate swirls, sugar baskets and things) – In order to step up my cakes and cupcakes.
- Traditional Christmas Cake – Make in October and feed it with booze ’til Christmas and then cover in marzipan and royal icing. A mammoth job but I’m willing.
- Tortillas – I’ve never had anything but shop bought tortillas. I imagine fresh they are just awesome. They can’t be that hard, right?
Wish me luck. And don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it!
Published January 22, 2012
Tags: Baking, brown sugar, burnt butter, cupcakes, easy, gold spray, icing, nigella lawson, pimp my cupcake, Recipe
It’s time for another Nigella Lawson Recipe, following on from last week. I forgot how fool proof her recipes are. If you have never given them a try, I would really recommend it. So, onto baking Burnt Butter Brown Sugar Cupcakes (from How to be a Domestic Goddess, you can find a similar recipe here at Cakestorm). I picked the recipe because it sounded so different that your standard vanilla or chocolate. So onto the baking. I have to admit I was incredibly lazy and just whizzed most of the ingredients in the food processor (It’s bliss! So easy). The cupcakes turned out really well and this lovely dark golden to the outside and caramel coloured inside. When it came to the icing, I didn’t use the golden icing sugar listed and used just regular icing sugar but I thick they turned out just fine. And to give them that final flourish I used Gold Shimmer Spray to bling them up (to pimp my cupcakes really). And they look so bling with their gold shimmer and yellow icing. I definately have to try them for a special occasion. The cupcakes taste? Lovely, sweet and nutty (thats the burnt butter) and light. Yum.
Published January 15, 2012
Tags: Baking, buttercream, Chocolate, coffee, cupcakes, diy, espresso, fairy cakes, how to be a domestic goddess, icing, mocha, nigella lawson, Recipe
The other day I was rooting through my baking cupboards and my cookbooks to try and find a recipe the contained the ingredients from my very limited larder. I love going out with a shopping list for all the different aspects of the next spectacular cake I’m dreaming of but there are an awful lot of days when I just feel the urge to bake without leaving the cosy confines of the apartment. So, while flicking through my recipe stash I came accross Nigella Lawson‘s ‘Espresso Cupcakes’ (from ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess.’ You can get a adaptation of the recipe from Cate’s World Kitchen here). I love coffee, and I love chocolate. Perfect. So I set off.
They were, as any cupcake recipe is, so simple to make. I opted out of Nigella’s suggested icing as I had a taste for some nice coffee buttercream (unfortunately I added a little too much coffee and the butter and liquid separated. darn, noted for next time). But overall they were delicious. They even appealed to the ‘non-coffee drinking but chocolate loving’ boy. Success. So with this, it is back to baking my way through 2012.
It’s that time again – time to set down in
stone cyberspace my resolutions for the year. Listed below are my 12 for 2012. These are the most pressing resolutions and life ambitions that I think I can manage to train myself into this year. Some are most definately easier than others, but that is the idea. They can’t all be Everest style missions otherwise I would never be able to complete them. This way I can tick off the easy ones on lazy days and on days when I’m feeling like I can take anything on – well they are the days for epic events. Bring it on.
- Read a book a month – OK so this isn’t so ambitious but it is so easy to slip out of the habit of reading regularly. So this is just to get me back in the habit again.
- Get myself an iPhone – I’ve wanted one for so long but money is very tight and they are very expensive, therefore no iPhone for me. But hopefully some savvy saving will get me there this year – Done! Hooray! (picture my jumping up and down and squealing. I LOVE my iPhone). And now I can log more about my life via Twitter and Instagram (I’m addicted!).
- Do 2 hours of yoga a week – must tone up! – Through my new fitness burst I just stepped back on the scales after a three year absence. I’ve put on ONE STONE. YIPES! Definitely going to try to keep to this.
- Post a new listing in my Etsy Shop every month – This one will be tough but I’m up for the challenge. I really want to develop my Etsy Shop much more. Oooh, I have so many ideas floating around my head. I’d better get to it – In the process up putting up new items, See Januarys
- Save, Save, Save – Last year I did really well but getting a job, I managed to clear my debts and save a few hundred pounds. This year I want to be even better. Can I triple the amount I’ve saved already? Here’s hoping – This is proving very difficult post Christmas
- Take better photographs – One of the downsides of always being on Pinterest is that I see so many stunning and beautiful photographs. It puts me to shame sometimes. I will try harder! – Do Instagram photos count?
- Get through my 2012 baking bucket list
- Get to 50 Etsy sales – hopefully this will come as I spend more time updating and developing new items for the shop.
- Get 200 Pinterest followers (currently 75) and 60 Twitter followers (currently 36) – This would be a great achievement. I still can’t believe that people follow me at all – I’m delighted that people seem to agree with my picks and want to follow my movements on both.
- Visit a new country – I love to travel and life is too short to stay in one place, especially when there are so many places and things to see
- Purge myself of craft supplies – I am a sucker for crafty supplies – wool, beads, fancy paper, ribbon – you name it I have it and still want more of it. But this is fast taking up the whole apartment. I am going to try and use the supplies I have rather than buy more. Promise, promise, promise.
- Do something epic!!! – a must do this year
Published January 4, 2012
Tags: christmas, gifts, presents, santa
Christmas was good this year (as every year) and I’m so delighted to be recipient of lots and lots of lovely gifts. I think I’m easy to please (but is that similar to the ‘When Harry Met Sally’ theory on girls that think they are low maintenance??), but everyone aced it this year. I almost couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over so I could come home and try them all out.
1.Sweeties from M&S (only available in store). I love the retro packaging don’t you? 2. Itty bitty slow cooker from Lakeland. It’s only 1.5 litres but it gets great reviews and will be really nice to come home from work to a cooked dinner. 3. Lots of glorious cook books! Hooray. I got four – The Hairy Bikers ‘Perfect Pies’ (yum! I can envision the extra pounds I will be putting on from all the pastry) Valvona & Crolla ‘A Year at an Italian Table’ (V&C is the MOST amazing italian deli/cafe/restaurant in Edinburgh. If you are ever in the city, go! So I can’t wait to be able to cook some of their recipes at home) Mary Berry’s ‘Baking Bible’ (I LOVE Mary Berry. She is definitely the queen of cakes. So many classic recipes in this one) and finally Sarah Lewis’s ‘The Complete Slow Cooker’ (for when I need inspiration for my new slow cooker) All in all, I have LOTS of recipes to get through 4. Felt cupcake & chocolate ornaments – made from pop colours and loaded with beads and glitter. Shame I have to wait ’til next year to display them 5. Donna Wilson ‘Circus Gloves’ I love these! Their bright colours and funky patterns and the fact that they are so cosy. They come right up my arms. Perfect for Scottish Winters and courtesy of the Boy 6. Knitting needles! Yes, my mum bought me needles, and yes I do already have two pairs of 4.5mm needles but that is absolutely not the point. Isn’t it lovely when people buy you crafty things?
Published January 1, 2012
Tags: bags, custom, handmade, leather, uk, zatchels
January’s object of desire, is something I’ve had my eye on for a while now. A lovely satchel from zatchels! Zatchels sell handmade, funky leather satchels made to order here in the UK. I love everything about them. You can get them in a huge variety of colours and even patterned and if you look carefully through your celebrity photos, you will so everyone has one! If only I could join the ranks. They range in price depending on size from around £75 upwards. Sigh, dare to dream….