Friday, 10 February 2012

Love (Happy Valentine's Day)

Now, I'm not going to be here on Valentines Day, I'm jetting off early tomorrow morning to Obergurgl in Austria for a touch of skiing! So, as I've been packing (or watching my mum pack, sorry mum), I've been a little pathetic on the baking front.

However, fear not. I have some lovely Valentine's themed chocolate cupcakes, using my well-tested Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Cupcake Recipe.

BUT THEY'RE LOVE THEMED! I would share them with my millions of suitors just waiting to ask for my hand in marriage, but sadly they don't exist. So I'll watch a Leonardo DiCaprio movie instead.

I don't feel totally unloved, though. I sold these cupcakes for World Challenge fundraising, and one girl who bought one chased me a day later and kindly told me that my cupcakes tasted like 'war had never happened'. I can only take that as a compliment, no?

I hope everyone has an absolutely incredible Valentines Day, whether you're spending it with someone special, or whether you're spending it under the duvet with your dog and a tub of Jaffa cakes.

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Ella recorded her first original song! As her biggest fan, I feel obliged to tell absolutely everyone about it. So here it is. Please tell us what you think, let me know in the comments. It would be great to hear from you

And she's my Valentine. BIG UP PLATONIC LOVE Y'ALL.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Apple and Oatmeal Cookies

When my Food Tech teacher said I had to make a healthy snack product, a thousand monkeys inside my soul groaned simultaneously. I thought that healthy food meant boring food. (And 90% of the time, it really is)

But then I remembered about this recipe that someone on my Instagram account told me about. They had seen a cookie recipe in the 'The Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days' book that they thought I would really enjoy. Thank you by the way, total life saver!

I know cookies aren't really healthy. But another girl in my class, Georgie, made my rocky road recipe as a healthy snack, so it's all in comparison!

135g butter, softened
80g caster sugar
80g soft light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
190g plain flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 Granny Smith Apples
60g rolled oats

1. Preheat the oven to 170C / gas mark 3 and line two sheets with parchment. Cream together the butter and both sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda, then add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in two batches and mix thoroughly until a dough forms.

2. Peel and finely grate the apples and squeeze all of the liquid out of them, discarding the liquid. Add the oats and 60g of the grated apple to the cookie dough and stir in by hand.

3. Break off pieces of the dough, about 2 tablespoons in size, roll into balls and place on the baking sheet. Make sure they are spaced apart by about 3 inches because the cookies will spread quite a bit while baking. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown. Leave on the sheets for about 10 minutes to cool, then remove to a wire rack.

I like my cookies chewy. If there's one thing you should know about me, let it be that. I get my cookies out of the oven just as they turn golden. Scrummalicious.

Make these cookies, I won't ask you again, just make these cookies.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Review: Upsy Daisy Bakery

If you hadn't noticed by now, I like everything British. The monarchy, teapots, rainy weather, old fashioned sweet shops etc. Tea shops are no exception.

So, in 2012, I'm making it my aim to visit lot's of different quaint cafes/cupcake shops/tea rooms. Starting with the Upsy Daisy Bakery in Hammersmith, West London.

According to the website, they sell various flavours of cupcakes, but my friend Bebe and I went for the classic chocolate and vanilla, and we shared them. They were gooooooood.

We didn't go for afternoon tea, just simply stopped by for tea and cupcakes. If you're interested, I chose Earl Grey. If you aren't interested, I told you anyway.

It was so lovely seeing old fashioned sweet jars filled with sweets. They also sold mugs, teapots and homemade jams! It was like being in a quiet corner of the English countryside, only we were on a busy road in London!

BUNTING. I mean, who doesn't love bunting.

And there we are, standing outside the bakery. The whole menu looks scrummy, so I will definitely be there for brunch at one point. Scrambled eggs and salmon on toast, I'm coming for you.

I pass this bakery twice a day, every single day on my way to and from school, so I'm surprised that I'd never popped in. However, I will definitely return again and again, stop buying from Starbucks and support the local, because it would be such a shame to see it disappear.

Friday, 3 February 2012


If you don't think Rocky Roads are the most incredibly thing in the universe, you don't deserve to live on it. Got it?

I mean, what more could one ask for in a snack? There's chocolate, biscuits and marshmellows (and the cheeky addition of Maltesers)! Also, they're really popular and people will pay anything for them, making them a good fundraising choice!

125g soft unsalted butter
300g milk chocolate
3tbsp golden syrup
200g rich tea biscuits
100g mini marshmellows
2 tsp icing sugar, to dust

1. Heat the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat. Remove from the heat, scoop out about 125ml of the melted mixture and set aside in a bowl.

2. Place the biscuits into a plastic freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin until some have turned to crumbs but there are still pieces of biscuit remaining.

3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, then add the marshmellows.

4. Tip the mixture into a square baking tin and smooth the top with a wet spatula.

5. Pour over the reserved amount of the melted chocolate mixture and smooth again.

6. Refrigerate for about two hours or overnight.

7. To serve, cut into fingers and dust with icing sugar.

They. Were. Incredible.

That's all I'm going to say. Incredible. This one is getting made again.

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I use the excuse of 'I bake' to taste every single cupcake in my sight. Seriously, if you have cupcakes, I will charge towards you at a high speed.

Cupcake shops are no exception. I want to try every single cupcake from every single shop (can you imagine how fat I would get?). So today my dad brought home cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery.

The flavours he chose were Violet, Carrot, Early Grey, Orange Blossom and Chocolate with White Chocolate frosting. YUM.

You might have remembered when I made Earl Grey cupcakes? Well, they were a Primrose Bakery recipe, believe it or not. So I did a comparison... 

They didn't quite look the same, however...

My cupcakes were delish though, and they will be baked again. And more tea cupcakes to come!