Cheeky Chocolate Fudge Cake!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Mmmmm..



The girls were having a night in to catch up and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to make something naughty but nice to eat - I mean, what better excuse is there?!

Me and my friend Rachel searched the internet and decided on this chocolate cake! We already had most of the ingredients so decided to head to the shops and find some yummy treats to decorate the top!

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Sponge:

175g Self Raising Flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
150g Caster Sugar
2 Egg Beaten
150ml Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
150ml Semi-skimmed Milk
2 Tbsp Golden Syrup

For the Coating and Filling:

75g Unsalted Butter
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
175g Icing Sugar
Splash of Milk



What to do:


  1. Turn the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Grease two sandwich tins and line with baking paper
  3. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well
  4. Make a little well in the centre of the mixture and add the eggs, oil, golden syrup and milk. Then stir with an electric whisk until nice and smooth
  5. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25-30mins (during this time put the kettle on and have a cuppa :)!! )
  6. Once the cake has risen, take it out and leave to cool  



Now for the butter icing:

1. Beat the butter in a bowl until soft
2. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar and mix in along with the cocoa powder
3. Add a splash of milk and keep doing so until the mixture becomes spreadable
4. Once the sponge has cooled, spread the icing between the two layers to hold them together and then     smother all over the top
5. You can then add any extra toppings you want to decorate!! (the fun part!)

Tada!!!




Posh Cheesy Chips!

Saturday, 23 August 2014


Sweet Potato Chips with Melted Goats Cheese

Cheesy chips (and garlic sauce!) are usually how I choose to finish a tipsy night out but today I decided to try and create my own healthier version!

Sweet potatoes and Goats Cheese are two of my favourite foods and complement each other so well! These are really easy to make and are a good alternative snack to those you get in the chippy.

You will need:

  • Sweet potatoes (1 per person is about right but depends how hungry you are!)
  • Goats Cheese (again you can crumble on as much or as little as you want!)
  • 1 Calorie Olive Oil Spray
  • Salt and Pepper to season


Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius

2. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into chip like shapes - or you could even make wedges!

3. Put the sweet potato into an oven tray and spray a few sprays of olive oil so that all of them are covered

4. Season with salt and pepper to your liking




5. Put in the oven for 20-25mins (time to cook will depend on how thick your chips are)

6. Crumble the goats cheese over the top and then pop back in the oven till it has melted to your liking. I went for 10mins

7. Enjoy!!! :)

Blueberry and Greek Yoghurt Breakfast Muffins

Thursday, 21 August 2014

With the new Great British Bake Off series having recently started, I have been desperate to get back into baking again. I found this recipe from Donna Hay's website and just had to have a go myself. These blueberry muffins would be perfect as a 'grab and go' breakfast!

I managed to make 12 muffins from the recipe below, but I do like my muffins big!


You will need:
  • 375g of Self Raising Flour (Sifted)
  • 110g of Caster Sugar (And a little extra to sprinkle the tops before baking)
  • 3 Beaten medium Eggs
  • 180ml of Vegetable Oil
  • 140g Low Fat Greek Style Yoghurt (note: does not have to be low fat)
  • 30g Rolled Oats (And a little extra for sprinkling)
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract 
  • 150g of Blueberries (I used fresh ones but frozen will also work) 
  • A few extra blueberries to nibble on whilst the muffins are baking 

Ingredients

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Mix everything together in a big bowl ( I recommend adding the dry ingredients first, then your wet ingredients and finishing with the blueberries)
  3. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases
  4. Sprinkle with Sugar and Rolled oats
  5. Pop in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown

Ready to bake!


Bon App├ętit!


My Space

Tuesday, 19 August 2014




 I've been having a bit of a room re-vamp this summer and it's almost there - just need a new bed! I love the crisp white walls and pastel floral patterns! It really has brightened what was a dull room! I didn't buy any new furniture as a lick of paint can really go a long way...and if not then we can call it 'shabby chic' ey!
I'm trying very hard to keep it all tidy (tidy room, tidy mind!!)


This cute little fairy hangs from my chandelier right over my bed - I like little bits and bobs like that hanging in my room!


This is one of many owls I have in my collection haha. I always change the message on it, usually to something uplifting and optimistic! I had to change this before taking the photo because I was recording my weight on it - not something I want on the internet!


Don't you just love re-discovering a song you used to love but had forgotten about?! Billy Myers' Kiss the Rain came on in a pub where I was having dinner and I couldn't wait to get home and play it over and over and over....until I ruin it for the next few years!!

Let's go to the Beach-each

I was back on my little UK tour last week and found myself in Blackpool!! I've always wanted to go so jumped at the chance when my friend offered to drive us there for the evening.


The air smelt like candyfloss and dunkin' donuts which brought me right back to the days when I'd get sooo excited about the fair coming to the local village! I haven't been abroad this summer so it was nice to go on a very mini 'staycation.' The pier was buzzing with people all with big smiles on their faces!


I'm not a fan of rock but the shops were filled with all different coloured and flavoured rock - even chicken tikka (eew!!!)


We didn't have time (or money!!) for the pleasure beach but I could make it out in the distance!


So after bobbing and weaving through the hustle and bustle of people around the fair rides that sat on the pier and after stopping to take numerous touristy photos, we found this quiet and serene spot right at the end. Wind blowing through our hair and this beautiful view!! It was like being in another place, despite there being only a wooden beach hut separating us from the craziness we'd just walked through!

There's something about looking out onto the horizon that makes you stop and appreciate things around you!

Northerner down South

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Beautiful Clovelly

One of my highlights this summer has been visiting around the UK for placements that are part of my Uni course. My favourite place so far has been Devon and I'm already desperate to go back! Pictured above is the gorgeous little village that is Clovelly. It's unique in that there's no cars and it's all on a slope so the villagers have to carry things up on little sledges. I sat with my friend down by the harbour with a pint of cider (an absolute must down country) and took in the stunning view!! Definitely one of the cutest places I've been too.

Cream Tea!

Since being back up North, I've had a nearly constant craving for scones! Tesco's finest cherry scones are really good but nowhere near as scrummy as this one from Tea on the Green was! I lurrrve clotted cream. And it turns out there's a bit of a debate over whether you put your cream on first (the Devonshire way) or your jam on first (the Cornish way.) I vote the Cornish way - sorry Devon!

Bude Beach

One of my favourite nights was sitting on the beach with a bag of white chocolate cookies and a bottle of Elderflower and Lime Koppaberg and watching the sunset on Bude beach - Just wow!

And this is just me being a child :)


Finishing Touches

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

I recently redecorated my room as I wanted a change and something to keep me busy over the summer. Over the last year or so I've found a love for shopping for homeware and furniture - this confirms I must nearly be a proper adult now!!

I decided to paint the walls white which has really brightened the room (and also gives my parents a bit more freedom to do what they want with my room when I eventually move out!) So because of this, I have had to introduce colour with little ornaments, candles and pictures.


I absolutely love these button shaped trinket boxes. One is full of spare buttons and a mini sewing kit and I'm not sure what to put in the other one yet (probably some kind of  rubbish useful bits.) I found them in Dunelm Mill which is becoming one of my favourite shops. If you've ever seen the film Coraline then you'll know why these trinket boxes remind me of it.

I've actually had the button picture for years, it was a gift from my mum but I think it fits in well next to my button boxes. I keep meaning to have a go at making one of these myself!


Okay, so this last one isn't exactly bringing any colour but I spotted this lamp in my local garden centre before I'd even started decorating my room. I love the detail of the base and its overall simplicity.

I also have owls all over my room - bit of an addict!

Time Out


Life can very quickly seem to run away with you, leaving you feeling tired, stressed and frankly just in need of a little 'me time.'

Well after a busy couple of weeks of early starts (by early I mean getting up at 3:45am!! eeek) and hard work, a friend and I decided to take a little time out to recharge our batteries. A friend had recommended the Garage Spa and after having found an evening deal, we were booked in!

I've been to a few spas in the past but this one was the first I've seen with an outdoor area! Turns out that even in the UK you can lounge around in your bikini - does help that there's a hot tub though.


The spa has a hint of a garage theme with its 'Ferrari Facials' and a few other subtle touches. I guess this might make it slightly more appealing to stubborn males who won't admit they'd love a spa day!!

Our deal included a 25 minute treatment, so I went for the neck, back and shoulder massage - bliss!! The therapist used aromatherapy oils of which I got to choose my favourite scent at the start. This did take me a while as they all smelt so nice but I soon realised I was eating into my treatment time so went for mint and eucalyptus which is supposed to help soothe your joints and muscles!


I think it's so important to just sit back and rejuvenate sometimes. My Great Grandad always used to say "life's a whisper" so make sure you actually stop to enjoy it!

The evening was rounded off with a glass of Prosecco and some nibbles, including Brie, Salmon and Olives...mmmm

Find the Garage Spa's website here. The deal we went for was "Girls Night In."

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