Baking Fashion

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Monday, 18 December 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas - Rudolf Cupcakes

Rudolph-cupcakes
Rudolph -cupcakes
Rudolph-cupcakes

'Rudolph the red nose reindeer...'

I make a lot of cupcakes throughout the year, but these little cuties are one of my favourites! They are so sweet, so festive and most important of all, they are very tasty!

These little guys are chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate butter cream. But you could add any flavours you like to make them not just look Christmasy, but taste it too. Peppermint would be a good one! Or maybe orange? They are easily adjusted to your taste, but I just wanted to keep things simple this time. I love to make cupcakes at this time of year, big cakes are great, and can be very impressive, but not so easily shared all the time.

Rudolph-cupcakes
Rudolph-cupcakes

Ingredients: ~ makes 12
cupcakes~
115g of butter room temperature
2 eggs
200g caster sugar
100ml of milk
95g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
30g plain flour.

icing~
200g butter room temperature
200 icing sugar
200g dark chocolate melted

decorations~
100g dark chocolate
white fondant
red fondant
black fondant
red glitter

- Preheat your oven to 170°C, and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cases.

- Into a large bowl, add the butter, and caster sugar and mix until smooth, then add in the eggs and mix until combined.

-Add the milk, alternating with the flour and cocoa powder, and mix until everything has come together.

-Put in the oven, and bake for 22 - 25 minutes.

- For the icing, mix the butter and icing sugar together until smooth. And then once your melted dark chocolate has cooled, add that in and mix well.

- For the decorations, cover a flat board with a sheet of greaseproof paper, and melt the dark chocolate. 15 second bursts in the microwave is the easiest way I find, and put this in a small piping bag.

- Start drawing out sets of antlers onto the greaseproof paper, there is no right or wrong way, just have fun and make them any shape or size you like. When you are finished, carefully put the board in the fridge for the antlers to set. 20 minutes is more than enough time as they are only small.

- Roll out 12 little balls and put them in a bowl -a few at a time, with a little of the glitter. Roll them around in the bowl until they are completely covered, the glitter should stick to the fondant.

- Using a piping nozzle, or anything else you have handy, cut out 24 larger white circles, and 24 smaller black circles. Using a toothpick or small brush and a little water, stick the black circles to the white circles.

- To decorate, pipe or spoon icing onto the cupcakes, so you have a kind of ball -no fancy piping needed. Carefully add the antlers but sticking them into the icing. And for the other decorations, a little water is all you need to stick them on.

Rudolph-cupcakes

Seven Sleeps Til Christmas! 
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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Gift Wrap

Christmas-gift-wrap
Christmas-gift-wrap
Christmas-gift-wrap

I LOVE our gift wrap this year! I always do, but I am especially fond of it this time round.

Planning what the presents are going to be wrapped in is one of my favourite part of this time of year. I really get into it! I enjoy all the little details, and I do enjoy having a theme so they all look beautiful sitting under the tree together. When I started thinking about this year, what seemed like months ago now, I had a completely different idea in mind to what we ended up with. I originally wanted navy velvet ribbon, to go with our favourite brown paper and string, but it became quite difficult to find. And the only ribbon I could get hold of was quite expensive.

Christmas-gift-wrap
Christmas-gift-wrap
Christmas-Gift-Wrap

I started looking at other options, and I just couldn't find anything I liked as much as the navy. Then one day, while Paul and I were picking up milk in Sainsburys, I spotted it! The most beautiful gift wrap, and I fell in love! We went back the next week and picked up rolls of paper, a couple of gift bags, and boxes of ribbon. They also had boxes of what could just as easily be tree decorations, and in fact, I think I will keep a few to put on our trees next year. I also liked the idea that other people may even do the same. They are beautiful little additions to the brown paper luggage tags we like to use. I love the combination of the gold and green gift wrap with our usual brown paper, there is something very traditional and yet modern about it. And I love how the packs of ribbon we picked up come with a roll of black, not your usual Christmas colour but so pretty.

If you're still on the hunt for gift wrap, Sainsburys have some beautiful things, and it's all 3 for 2! We have nearly finished with our wrapping, still a few little presents left to do but they wont take to long.

Have you finished wrapping all of your presents?

Christmas-Gift-Wrap

Eight Sleeps Til Christmas! 
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Saturday, 16 December 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas - White Chocolate Snowball Cheesecake

white-chocolate-snowball-cheesecake
white-chocolate-snowball-cheesecake

Cheesecake is always a great dessert option. It's simple, nearly everyone likes it, and the options for flavours seem endless. As it's Christmas, and as I'm constantly hoping for snow, I thought I'd make a little of my own. The snowballs for this cheesecake come in the form of Raffaellos, with their coconut covered shell they look the part. And they are bloody tasty. Even though it's full of white chocolate, this cheesecake isn't too sweet, and would be the perfect treat for any occasion this festive season.

Ingredients:
base~
450g digestives
190g melted butter

topping~
800g Philadelphia
200g mascarpone
150ml double cream -softly whipped
125g icing sugar
250g white chocolate -melted
50g finely chopped white chocolate
12 Raffaello

white-chocolate-snowball-cheesecake

- Crush your digestives, making sure you have no big lumps and add the melted butter. Mix well until biscuit crumbs and butter are fully combined.

- Add the buttery mix to the cake tin and press down with the back of a spoon, making sure it's flat and compact. Put in the fridge to chill.

-To a large bowl, add the philadelphia, mascarpone, icing sugar and softly whipped cream. Whisk these together until everything is smooth.

- Add the melted but cooled chocolate, and the chopped chocolate. Mix everything together until you have a smooth creamy mixture. Add this to the biscuit base and level the top with the back of a spoon.

- Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight. When you are ready to serve, top with the Raffaella -your little snowballs! 

white-chocolate-snowball-cheesecake

Nine Sleeps Til Christmas! 
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Friday, 15 December 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas - Happy Festive Things

made-me-happy-this-week

It really was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the beginning of this week. The temperatures here in the UK dropped so low, that everywhere was covered with a blanket of frost for days. And a lot of the country even had snow! We didn't here, but I was happy to have the frost, at least everything looked white. Everywhere you go now there are Christmas songs being played, there are fairy lights covering almost every window, and it all makes me so very happy. It really is the most wonderful time of year, and what I love most, is that everyone seems to be in a good mood. It's the magic of fairly lights, they can't fail to put a smile on your face.

1. Cinnamon scented candles, there really is no better scent for this time of year. Unless it's Yankee Candle's 'Red Apple Wreath'.

2. Our new stockings from Anthropologie, that's one in the picture above. They are honestly the softest things you will ever feel, and the colours go so well with our extension. I can't wait to fill Paul's with the presents I've got him.

3. Hot chocolates with toasted marshmallows. If you haven't ever tried toasting them, you have to give it a go this Christmas.

4. Hot baths with lots of Lush bubbles and festive bath bombs.

5. The dark evenings. I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I'm fully embracing and enjoying them. Especially since they mean fairy lights and fluffy blankets, just like the one I'm currently under.

6. Hot food for breakfast. Porridge, eggs and toast, grilled tomatoes, it's all so lovely on a cold morning.

7. Carol singers in the supermarkets and shopping centres.

8. Writing out the shopping list for all the Christmas dinner food! We have a few more people than usual this year, so hopefully everything goes to plan.

Ten Sleeps Til Christmas! 
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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas - Easy Brie and Onion Chutney Parcels

Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels
Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels

The supermarkets have been full of Christmas party food for a while now, and they have some amazing things! We usually pick up a few packs of them to have in the freezer for when we have those last minute guests. Or for those nights we don't want a proper meal and little picky things are much more appealing.

There are still certain things I like to make myself though, like sausage rolls. These apple and cranberry ones from last years Twelve Days, are my absolute favourite, and homemade sausage rolls always taste better than any you can buy. These little brie and chutney parcels are another, they are so tasty, and the combination of fillings with the buttery filo is so good. They may take a little bit of time because they are small, and can be fiddly at the beginning, but I get around 50 from a 220g pack of filo, so much cheaper than buying ready made. Perfect for any Christmas parties you're planning, or just to have in the freezer for when you feel like a little treat. The can also be cooked from frozen, just add another 2 - 3 minutes to the cooking time. Oh, and if freezing, it's best to do it before you've cooked them.

Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels
Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels

Ingredients:
Box of ready made filo pastry
Jar of your favourite onion chutney
Wedge of brie - around 200g cut into 1cm cubes
75g -100g of melted butter (or oil if you prefer)

Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels
Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels
Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels

- Run a clean tea towel under cold water and ring it out so that it's still slightly damp. Lay your filo out flat, and keep the tea towel on top of it while your making parcels. This stops the filo drying out.

- Preheat your oven to 190°C

- Take 3 sheets of the filo at a time and cut into 9cm squares. Take one of the little squares, lay it flat on a chopping board and brush with the melted butter. Repeat this with two more squares, laying they at a different angle each time.

- To the middle of the sheets, add half a teaspoon of chutney and 3 cubes of brie. Start to lift up the pastry, bringing the edges together, pinching in the middle so it seals. Continue until all your little parcels are finished.

- If you'd prefer cups to parcels, brush 3 squares of filo with butter like before, but this time, place them into a mini cupcake tin and add the filling.

- Place your mini parcels or cups, onto a baking tray, and pop in the oven for 10 minutes.

Brie-and-Onion-Chutney-Parcels

Oh, and it's best to leave them to cool slightly, so that molten cheese doesn't burn your mouth!

Eleven Sleeps Til Christmas!
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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas - A Lush Christmas Bath

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

Twelve Days of Christmas is here! You know what that means...there are only 12 sleeps to go until the big day. I'm struggling to understand how we've got here so quickly, I sweat it was October two minutes ago. But here we are, and I wanted to kick things off with a few festive bits from Lush.

Lush is at it's absolute best at Christmas. Everything smells amazing, with cinnamon, spices and cloves, and there is glitter absolutely everywhere. Everything looks so beautiful too, from the little characters, to the sparkly festive bubble wands. This year, I wanted to try a couple I've never had before, I don't think they are new to Lush, but they are definitely new to me. Plus, I had to pick up a couple of old favourites that without, Christmas baths just wouldn't be the same.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

The Snowman Bubbleroon is going to become a favourite going forward, I think. First of all, he's absolutely adorable, it almost seems a shame to run him under the water (almost). Also, his scent is much fresher than the other Christmas products. While I love all the heavier spicy scents of this time of year, the fresh lemon smell of this little bubbleroon is a nice alternative. Or even good for a bath on a cold morning to wake you up. He's also packed full of nourishing ingredients that leave your skin feeling lovely and soft.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

Just like the little snowman, the Shoot for the Stars bath bomb is another with a fresher scent, but with orange oil, instead of lemon. It's the colour of this one that always gets my attention, and this year I finally picked one up to try. It leaves your bath the most amazing shade of blue, with a very subtle shimmer from the gold stars. One I'll definitely be picking up again.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

This one is my Christmas favourite, I look forward to it coming back each year. The scent in fresh but warming, and the gold glitter covered outside, melts away to leave your bath a deep turquoise blue. When you step out you are covered in subtle shimmer -so is your bath, but it's Christmas so everything is covered in glitter. I've mentioned it before, but it will always be a must have from Lush for me at Christmas time.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

Butterbear is another I absolutely love! It's the most wonderful thing, to come home after being out in the cold, and warm up with a Butterbear bath. The sweet almost vanilla or chocolate like scent is so relaxing, so it's a great one to use before you go to bed. The cocoa butter leaves yours skin soft and moisturised, which is always good in winter when the cold weather and central heating can leave it feeling very dry. If you aren't one for all the glitter and stronger smelling bath bombs, try this one. It's the bath equivalent of a hug!

I think we'll make one more stop at Lush before Christmas, just to make sure we're stocked up for those few days between Christmas and New Year.

Twelve Sleeps Til Christmas!! 







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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A Little Update on Life and Goals


Over the last few weeks, my online and real life worlds couldn't have been more different. I mentioned it briefly in my last post, but while my online life has had to be a little quieter than I'd have liked, my real life life, has been crazy!

I wrote a few goals I had for November at the beginning of last month, and I thought it would be good to update you on them, and to write it all down for my own records too. No point setting goals if you never actually make a point of checking on your progress.

First of all, the good, the things I wanted to achieve and did. The Christmas present situation that was at the beginning of last month, really quite horrendous, I'm glad to tell you has seen huge improvement. We are nearly done!! Apart from one or two things that are still to arrive for Paul's Mum and Dad, and something to buy for his Gran, we are pretty much finished buying for friends and family. I have also bought all of Paul's, some of which are even wrapped and under the tree, and even the doggies of the family have their gifts. I can't tell you how much better I'm feeling about it all. Oh, and while I'm sure I've already mentioned it in a post, I now own my very own Christmas jumper. An unnecessary but fun tick off my list.

And to add to the unnecessary, we also picked up matching Christmas pyjamas!

As for the house, I finished all the sanding and painting that needed done in the extension in time for the Christmas decorations going up. I was so pleased when it was done, it made me feel so much better about Paul's birthday, and having everyone up. Not that anyone would have been the least bit bothered if it wasn't finished, but it was something off my to-do list. Oh, and we now also have living room curtains. They finish the room off perfectly, and now I wonder how we went so long without them.

Everything I had to do for Paul's birthday was done on time. The cake was my main task, I had help with some of the other things, but the cake took me a good two days to make, but Paul was over the moon with it, so all the time definitely wasn't wasted. The party on the Sunday was a lot of fun, everyone had a great time, we all ate far too much, and we had left overs for a couple of days after. The house, that was already decorated with Christmas decorations, was also then covered in birthday ones too, and then his birthday treats continued through the week. I had hidden presents around the house for him to find on the morning of his birthday, which he did with the help of clues I'd written. We then had an afternoon out with a bit of shopping, and picked up dinner at the Christmas market in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, Tuesday was a day of appointments and errands, but Wednesday was fun from start to finish. Our wonderful generous friends took us out for the day, to treat Paul for his birthday. They took us for pizza, to pretend to be pirates in an escape room, and then the evening was spent playing the VR and eating finger food. It was a perfect day from start to finish, and the rest of the week was lovely too.

So, now the goals I haven't reached. I didn't manage to get as many of my Christmas posts done as I'd planned to, in fact, not a lot at all. I also didn't manage to get back into a routine of posting on Instagram, which I was really looking forward to doing. And, because of the long busy days we've had, the exercising I had started to do, kind of fell by the wayside.

However, there was a point in the last two weeks that I decided not to beat myself up about it. Yes, I wanted to get done a lot more than I manged to, but sometimes you have to accept the limits of what's possible and what's not. And not only that, Paul had taken two weeks off from work, it was his birthday, we had so many plans and it would have been a shame not to make the most of it. So I didn't get everything done, but you know what...it's ok. I can catch up now that things are back to normal, and I can spend this week concentrating on some of the goals I didn't quite reach in December.
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