Sunday, 24 August 2014

Chocolate cupcakes with blackberry butter cream frosting

blackberry cupcakes chocolate

I am taking part in a Great British Bake Off 'Cake That' competition in association with The Euphorium Bakery which will run over the course of the next few months. This post isn't sponsored by the way... it's just a fun bake off challenge / competition between me and some other fellow bloggers, after three bakes an overall winner will be chosen, there are some amazing prizes up for grabs and the bakes are going to be judged by ITV's Lorraine and John Whaite, The 2012 winner of the great british bake off (wahhh)! I chose to bake chocolate cupcakes with Blackberry butter cream frosting (A favourite of my dads, it reminds him of when we used to pick them when we went camping as kids!) So here is the recipe and what you will need to make the cupcakes and the butter cream frosting…


For the chocolate cupcakes you will need:
1 egg
100 grams of self raising flour
20 grams of cocoa powder
140 grams of caster sugar
1 and a half teaspoons of baking powder
40g of unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
120ml of whole milk
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

First things first, pre heat the oven to 170, in a large bowl place the flour, cocoa power, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter and whisk until everything is nicely combined. In a huge, whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together. Sift in the flour mixture and whisk on high speed to avoid any lumps, make sure the mixture is nice and smooth but try not to over mix. Line a baking tray with paper cases, carefully spoon the mixture into them until they are roughly two-thirds full. Pop them in the oven to bake for around 20-25 minutes. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cupcake and it should come out clean. Place the cupcakes on a baking tray and leave them to cool completely. 

blackberry cupcakes 2

To make the Blackberry Butter cream frosting you will need

1 punnet of fresh blackberries
100g of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
200g of icing sugar
piping bags

Wash and dry around a handful of blackberries. I didn't want the flavour to be too overpowering, but you can add as many as you like. Put the blackberries into a bowl and mix them with the back of a tea spoon, then blend them until they are pureed and leave them to one side. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and set aside, cut up the butter into small chunks, this should be easy to do if the butter has been left at room temperature, because it will now be nice and soft. Whisk the butter until it has a creamy, light texture. Slowly add the icing sugar and whisk, add a teaspoon of the pureed blackberries at a time until the icing resembles the colour and taste you are after. Place the bowl of icing in the fridge for around 20 minutes and leave to chill, I find it makes it a little easier to pipe when the icing isn't too soft!


Once the chocolate cupcakes have completely cooled, take out the bowl of chilled butter cream frosting from the fridge. Pipe on your blackberry butter cream frosting and then decorate with blackberries, sprinkles, whatever takes your fancy. Oscar clearly wanted in on these delicious cupcakes, he was never far from my side whilst I was icing / photographing them, what do you think of these cupcakes? Next month I will be re-creating and blogging a bake from !

A few of you wanted to know where the cupcake cases were from. here is the link...They arrived really quickly and I love how chic and pretty they look!

(The chocolate cupcake recipe was taken from the Humming Bird bakery book)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A blog post for the 90's kids.

The other day, I went up into my mum and dads loft to get a suitcase down. Exciting, I know. I totally forgotten that all of my childhood toys / books / games etc were stored up there. I had stumbled upon a goldmine of pure nostalgia. I was up there for a good hour, covered in dust re-living my childhood, it was SO much fun. I brought a few things down to show you, oh how I wish I could have showed you tons more stuff. If you were a fellow 90's kid you might just remember some of these beauties… 
goosebumps booksgoosebumps book
Oh I used to adore reading these books, there was a whole box full in the loft, jam packed with Goosebumps books. I even remember there being a TV show too, maybe on Nickelodeon? With the dog on a porch with those really, super believable green 'demon' eyes. Man, I miss Nickelodeon.
polly pocketpolly pocket toy
Polly Pocket
I smiled so much when I saw this, I dusted it off and it's still pretty perfect. I couldn't find Polly though, that was always the trouble with her being 'pocket' sized, you could never bloody find her. I used to have so many Polly pockets, the gold heart necklace version, the summer house version, ah...
my little ponies toy My little pony 
How can you ever forget the opening theme tune? 'my little pony, my little pony' 
sabrina the teenage witch
sabrina secrets magazine
Sabrina The Teenage Witch
This was a Nickelodeon classic, I used to love salem the cat, but I didn't realise how witty and sarcastic he was until I was much older. I also used to collect the Sabrina's Secrets magazine, you even got your very own Salem cat plush! He was in the loft too, perched proudly on a shelf.
cabbage patch kids
Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls
I used to love my Cabbage patch kids 'baby' I'm sure I got this one Christmas and my parents battled the crowds in Toys R Us until they found one. Did anyone else remember them weirdly smelling of baby powder too?!
Sega mega drive games
The Sega Mega drive (or should i say SEGAAAAAA)
My brother and I used to love playing this, Sonic, Micro Machines, The Lion King, James Pond, Super hang on, Streets of Rage, don't tell me you didn't say 'SEGAAAAA' when you read the title ;)
90s toy
Sky Dancer Dolls
As much as I loved dolls like Barbie and Cindy, this made me burst out laughing when I found it. You used to perch on this huge post, made out of dolphins(?) it had a cord that you pulled and it flew, well sort of. I just remember launching it at anything I could, the wall, the sky, my brother…

Whilst I was in the loft I also found, my(very creepy) Furby, my 'Baby All Gone' doll with her food that smelt 'just like real cherries' A folder full of pokemon cards and POGS, it was so nice to remember some of the toys from my amazing childhood, it's crazy to think these days kids have iPads, Apps, Mobile phones, Tv's etc. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, I had a lot of fun putting it together :)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Is it autumn yet?

leopard print shoes
I adore these Leopard print pumps from Elia B*. I instantly fell in love with them, they're so chic, I love the statement bow detail. I've already paired them with skinny jeans, cosy grey knitted cardigans, chunky knit jumpers and deep red painted nails. I am so ready for Autumn, when is it acceptable to start stocking my wardrobe with gorgeous A/W finds…now? Anyone else far too excited for the beauty of autumn? Crunchy pretty coloured leaves and conkers scattered on the floor, cosy nights in with scented candles galore, warm soup, hot chocolates, endless amounts of bobble hats, ankle boots, frosty mornings, scarves and gloves Just me?! Okay then. Roll on September...
mums birthday flowers
It was my mums birthday yesterday, I bought her these pretty flowers, I have no idea what the large flower in the middle is but I couldn't resist buying this stunning bouquet. We celebrated with red wine, pizza and buying make-up!  Life has been kind of busy lately, but in a really, really good way. I'm so happy with everything right now. Exciting work plans, meeting new friends, dancing on somewhat sticky night club floors and obviously getting any form of fast food on the way home, laughing a lot, starting driving lessons again, booking a mini break away and mainly spending lots of time with my Tom, just enjoying the simple things in life, as always those are always the best. End of soppy rant.
Buying more costume jewellery, that I do not need. I have learnt that midi rings, also like to magically disappear. Much like bobby pins and hair bobbles, or hair bands I am 5 and still call them bobbles. I will buy a multipack and by the end of the week there will be one or two left. Where do they go?! Answers on a postcard please. (perhaps a sneaky little sausage keeps stealing them, who knows) 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The lucky dip club

I was asked if I'd like to review a box from 'The Lucky Dip Club' Monthly Beauty Boxes never really appealed to me and I always ended up cancelling after a while. However this might just be the cutest package I have ever received in the post. You can buy a box as a one off for £15.00 or sign up to a 3 or 6 month subscription for £15.00 a month. A small cardboard box was popped through my letter box, tied with pastel string and covered in sweet little stickers… So, here's what was inside my box…
the lucky dip club 2
Underneath pastel green tissue paper was a box full of pretty goodies, including badges, jewellery, stationary, little cards and other small, ridiculously cute goodies as you will see below... 
lucky dip club goodiesgoodieslucky dip clublucky dip club goodies 2sticky notes
This box was so cute, I loved all of the hidden trinkets in pastel, paper packaging. I was impressed at how much was in the box too! You can see a budgie peeking out in some of the photos, that's a budgie bunting set, which comes with pegs and pastel string to make your own bunting, I loved how different everything was in this box, seriously thinking about signing up and also buying my friend a subscription box, as this would be so lovely to receive through the post each month, what do you think?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

de cluttering my desk space...

I've been really trying recently to keep my desk area minimal and as de cluttered as possible. I find it a lot easier to work when I'm not surrounded by mountains of stuff, aka junk. I know some people don't like fake flowers but I think these ones from Home Bargains (with the glass vase too) are quite nice! 
panda pencil sharpener
I bought this little guy from Tesco. Yeah, sure I could have bought a plain pencil sharpener but why? When I can have this cute little guy sat on my desk. I think there was a cat version and a lion one available too, I know for a fact some of you will be tempted by the cat one. Besides, life is too short to not have cute / tacky / over the top everyday life things…right? That's my excuse anyways.
I've posted about these cute pens before, I also bought these from Home Bargains (God, I love that shop, if you couldn't already tell) Some of you commented that they look quite Cath Kidston-esque, which they do! A pack of three pretty patterned, pens for 50p, perfect.

p.s In case anyone was wondering I found the August 2014 gold polka dot wallpaper  here

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