Friday, 30 September 2016

Great British Bake Off Week 6 | St. Clements Butterfly Cakes

This week on the Bake Off was Botanical Week, which included flowers, citrus fruits and herbs. I decided to make these St. Clements cupcakes as I haven't made cupcakes for ages and also everyone seems to love a citrus flavoured cake. I found the recipe for the cupcakes here.

You will need:
55g Unsalted Butter, Softened
175g Golden Caster Sugar
2 Large Free-Range Eggs, Beaten
200g Self-Raising Flour
Grated Zest from 1 Orange
Grated Zest from 1 Lemon
150ml Whole Milk

100g Unsalted Butter, Softened
100g Golden Icing Sugar
Grated Zest from 1/2 an Orange
Grated Zest from 1/2 a Lemon

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180c. Line a cupcake tin with 12 baking cases.
2. Beat the softened butter and caster sugar together with an electric whisk or a wooden spoon, until well combined.
3. Whilst still beating, gradually pour in the beaten egg until thoroughly mixed. Gently fold in the flour, orange and lemon zest until just combined.
4. Stir in the milk. Spoon the mixture into the cases, and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden and risen. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
5. For the buttercream, beat together the butter, golden icing sugar and zest of the orange and lemon using an electric whisk until smooth and creamy. For a smoother buttercream, you can replace the zest with a few drops of lemon and orange extract.
6. When the cakes are completely cool, use a small knife to carefully slice little rounds from the top of each cake, then slice the removed sponge in half. Spoon a little of the buttercream on top of the cake and place the halved rounds on top in a butterfly winged position.
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Monday, 26 September 2016

Lush Creative Showcase Haul 2016

Santa's Belly Shower Jelly - £3.95
One of the first things I ever bought from Lush was a shower jelly and I loved it. This one smells of apples and is covered in glitter, as well as being shaped like Santa's belly with his belt buckle. It's so adorable and I love how Christmassy it is.

Pumpkin Bath Bomb
- £3.95
I had to pick up at least one thing from the Halloween range and when I smelt this, it had to be this. I picked this up for my Mom, I can't use it as it has cinnamon in, but that is why it smells so good. It's scent is vanilla and cinnamon, it smells so festive and whilst it was sat in the bag made my room smell amazing!

Snowie Bubble Bar - £4.25
This bubble bar is a tribute to David Bowie and I absolutely adore it. I bought it for my Mom mainly because the scent is grapefruit, and also David Bowie has been her favourite musician since she was a teenager, so I thought she'd love it too.

Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub - £5.75
Blackcurrant is one of my favourite scents and I adore Lush lip scrubs, especially before putting on matte lipsticks. This smells amazing and it's definitely my favourite scent of lip scrub I've ever bought from Lush.

The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar - £3.95
Penguins are my absolute favourite animal so I couldn't leave this little guy behind! I can't wait to use it, it's the cutest bubble bar I've ever seen.

Candy Mountain Bubble Bar - £2.95
This is actually a Christmas present for someone, I picked it up for them because it's the same scent as Snow Fairy and most people love a bit of Snow Fairy! It's also a great first Lush product in my opinion.

Father Christmas Bath Bomb - £3.75
How could I not pick up Father Christmas?! The most jolly bath bomb of them all and it smells sweet, almost like candyfloss, another one of my favourite scents!

Butterbear Bath Bomb - £1.95
This is a classic Christmas bath bomb, I loved this last year because it made my skin SO soft in those cold months. It's also a nice affordable bath bomb filled with cocoa butter.

What's on your Lush Halloween/Christmas wishlist?
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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Top 10 Songs This Week #7

Just like last week, I've mostly been listening to McFly as I went to see them on Thursday. They were incredible and I wish I would've gone to the first and last nights too! It was great to hear songs that remind me of my younger years haha. Green Day also brought out a new song this week, it brings out all the emotions and I absolutely love it. 
1. Still Breathing - Green Day
2. Walk in the Sun - McFly
3. Happy Little Pill - Troye Sivan
4. I'll Be OK - McFly
5. Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden
6. Sentimental Heart - She & Him
7. A Whole New World - Aladdin
8. Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
9. Better the Devil You Know - Kylie Minogue
10. Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's

What songs have you been enjoying this week?
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Friday, 23 September 2016

Great British Bake Off Week 5 | Lemon Meringue Pie

On Bake Off this week, it was pastry week. I will admit I cheated a bit on this bake - I made it before GBBO aired Wednesday night and I didn't make my own pastry. In my defence, I normally bake on a Thursday evening but this week I went to see McFly instead. I also therefore didn't realise that they're actually making Lemon Meringue Pie on Bake Off next week! It didn't go amazingly though, my pastry shrunk and didn't taste great, so I'd definitely recommend you making your own.

You will need:
A Jus-Rol Pastry Block
5 Eggs, Separate 3 of the Eggs
300g Caster Sugar (Split in half)
3 Lemons, Juice and Rind
125g Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200.
2. Roll out pastry block and use to line flan tin. Cover with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 10-15 minutes.
3. Beat together the 3 egg yolks with the 2 whole eggs, 150g caster sugar, lemon juice and rind. Place in pan and heat gently stirring continuously. When warm but not boiled, gradually add the butter, stirring throughout. Allow the mixture to just start to thicken then remove from the heat.
4. Once the pastry is baked, remove from the oven and pour the lemon mixture into the case. Reduce the oven temperature to Gas Mark 5/190 and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (When you shake the tin, the filling will be a little wobbly but will set up on cooling).
5. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy, then gradually whisk in the remaining caster sugar a little at a time, until it is all incorporated and the egg whites are glossy and stiff.
6. Place tablespoonfuls of the meringue on top of the lemon filling - starting at the outer edge and working inwards until all of the filling is covered. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the meringue is golden brown and crisp.
7. Serve warm or cold.
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Lush Creative Showcase 2016

Last Wednesday, I headed to the Lush Creative Showcase at the Tobacco Dock in London with Becky and Sarah. It's the first time it's been open to everyone and I was so excited about going. I have another related post going up very soon, it's a Lush haul so be excited about that haha!
We woke up way too early to get to the coach station in time for our coach, which ended up being delayed so we grabbed a drink in Starbucks before getting on the coach. I fought hard not to fall asleep on the coach but we had a nice chat and excited talk about Lush products. When we eventually got there we did even more travelling to get to the Tobacco Dock where the event was held, it was decorated so prettily and we spent a long time taking photos of everything as bloggers do. Hence why this is a very picture heavy post! We spent a long time in the Christmas Market, taking in the Christmassy atmosphere and taking photos of all the amazing Christmas and Halloween products Lush have to offer this year. I was happy to see some old favourites but also some amazing new products that I'm extremely excited to try and I may have picked some of them up. There was also live talks about Lush, a careers section, demonstrations going on and loads of different rooms to go in.

There was so much to see and do at the Lush Creative Showcase, we barely had time to fit it all in due to having to get back in time to get our coach and sweating to death - anyone who went to the event will know what I'm talking about! It was so fun getting to experience a massive Lush event with incredible friends. I will be doing a more in-depth view of the Christmas products nearer the time of release but for now here's the sneak peek!

Did you go to the Lush Creative Showcase? What's your favourite product?
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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Top 10 Songs This Week #6

This week I've been enjoying listening to a lot of McFly, especially their Wonderland and Motion in the Ocean albums, I'm going to see them next Thursday which I'm very excited about! I'm also loving Emeli Sandé's newest song, I can't believe how long it has been since she released new music and I'm glad she has. I've also been enjoying some old favourites, Naive and She's So Lovely, they definitely remind me of the Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging film haha!

1. I've Got You - McFly
2. Gave Me Something - Jess Glynne
3. Some Unholy War - Amy Winehouse
4. Deep In My Heart - Britney Spears
5. She's So Lovely - Scouting For Girls
6. Revolution Radio - Green Day
7. Hurts - Emeli Sandé
8. Heathens - Twenty One Pilots
9. Elevate - Hacktivist
10. Naive - The Kooks
What songs have you been enjoying this week?
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Friday, 16 September 2016

Great British Bake Off Week 4 | Churros

This week on the Great British Bake Off, they made Yorkshire puddings, lace pancakes and churros. The churros appealed to me the most this week, as I've never actually tried them due to all the street vendors covering them in cinnamon sugar. It's always risky making something you've never made before and as you can see my churros are not 'uniform' in the slightest and actually some were raw in the middle (which unfortunately I found out by biting into one). I didn't make the chocolate dipping sauce in the recipe or add the cinnamon to the sugar, I just melted a bar of Dairy Milk to dip them in haha. You can find the recipe here.

You will need:
50g Butter, Melted
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
250g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
About 1 litre Sunflower Oil
A few chunks of bread

200g bar of Dark Chocolate
100ml Double Cream
100ml Whole Milk
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

100g Caster Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Boil the kettle, then measure 350ml boiling water into a jug and add the melted butter and vanilla extract. Sift the flour and baking powder into a big mixing bowl with a big pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the contents of the jug and very quickly beat into the flour with a wooden spoon until lump-free. Rest for 10-15 mins while you make the sauce.
2. Put all the sauce ingredients into a pan and gently melt together, stirring occasionally until you have a smooth shiny sauce. Keep warm on a low heat.
3. Fill a large deep saucepan one-third full of oil. Heat until a cube of bread browns in 45 seconds – 1 min. Cover a tray with kitchen paper and mix the caster sugar and cinnamon together.
4. Fit a star nozzle to a piping bag, 1.5-2cm wide is a good size. Fill with the rested dough, then pipe 2-3 strips directly into the pan, snipping off each dough strip with a pair of kitchen scissors. Fry until golden brown and crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the kitchen paper-lined tray. Carry on cooking the rest of the dough in batches, sprinkling the cooked churros with some cinnamon sugar as you go. Once you’ve cooked all the churros, toss with any remaining cinnamon sugar and serve with the chocolate sauce, for dipping.

Do you like Churros? Have you ever tried to make them?
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Monday, 12 September 2016

Outlaw Everlasting Liquid Lipstick | Kat Von D

Like a lot of people in the UK who haven't visited America, I have been waiting for the day that Kat Von D make up was available here and very luckily it's arriving in the UK tomorrow at Debenhams! I am part of the Debenhams Sampling Community, so sometimes I get to review new beauty products before they're released. I received this Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in mid-August and was so excited to finally try it out. I picked Outlaw over Lolita as I love my red lipsticks!

The packaging of this liquid lipstick makes it slot into your makeup bag perfectly and the gothic prints add that more high-end feel to the product. I absolutely adore the colour of this liquid lipstick, it's that perfect pillar box red. I've never owned a liquid lipstick before, but nonetheless this was easy to apply, with the softest applicator ever and didn't take me as long as I thought it would. It dried matte, but with more of a velvety feel, so it wasn't extremely drying which is great as I suffer with dry lips, especially coming into Autumn/Winter.

My first impression of the lasting power of this wasn't so great and I was disappointed, until I realised I didn't use a lipliner and it would probably work better with one. I tried it again with a lipliner and I was really impressed with the lasting power! I will definitely be wearing this a lot in the coming months, especially over the festive season.
Have you tried any of Kat Von D's products?
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*Gifted for reviewing purposes

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Top 10 Songs This Week #5

This week I've mostly been listening to Green Day and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they've both announced tour dates for the end of this year and early next year, I've got Green Day tickets but can't go to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers unfortunately. However I've still been enjoying listening to them and quite a few other older songs (as always)! It's been mostly the same sort of genre this week I've been listening to, which doesn't happen often!
1. Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Poprocks & Coke - Green Day
3. 7 Things - Miley Cyrus
4. Through The Wire - Kanye West
5. Hush - Eliza Doolittle
6. Stacy's Mom - Fountains Of Wayne
7. Sugar, We're Goin Down - Fall Out Boy
8. Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. Best of You - Foo Fighters
10. Asleep - The Smiths
What songs have you been enjoying this week?
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Friday, 9 September 2016

Great British Bake Off Week 3 | Bloomer Loaf

This week on the Great British Bake Off they made different types of bread and I decided to stick to a simple bread for my post, as I didn't really have much time to go and get loads of fancy ingredients. I used the one and only Paul Hollywood's recipe, which you can find here. It's safe to say it didn't turn out looking how I wanted it to - I had a few issues with the proving and it burnt slightly even though I baked it for the right amount of time.

You will need:
500g Strong White Flour, plus extra for kneading
10g Salt
1 x 7g Sachet of Instant Yeast
320ml Cold Water
40ml Olive Oil, plus extra for kneading

1. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl, taking care not to have the salt and yeast touching. Add the oil and 240ml of the cold water.
2. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. Gradually add the remaining water (you may not need it all), until all the flour leaves the side of the bowl and you have a soft, rough dough.
3. Pour a little oil onto a clean work surface. Sit the dough on the oil and begin to knead. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and silky. Once the correct consistency is achieved, place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until tripled in size.
4. Once risen, place the dough onto a floured surface. Knock the dough back by folding it in on itself repeatedly. Do this until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth.
5. To shape into the bloomer, flatten the dough into a rectangle. With the long side facing you, fold each end into the middle then roll like a swiss roll so that you have a smooth top with a seam along the base. Very gently roll with the heel of your hands.
6. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper, cover and leave to prove for 1-2 hours at room temperature or until doubled in size.
7. Lightly spray with water and dust with a little flour. Make four diagonal slashes using a sharp knife across the top.
8. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/220/425 and place a baking tray filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven - this will create steam when the loaf is baking. Place the loaf on the middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes. After this time, lower the heat to Gas Mark 6/200/400 and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

What is your favourite type of bread?
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