Sunday, 27 April 2014

Weekend Baking

This weekend I have enjoyed a spot of baking and thought I would share my recipes with you! 

I have been making the melt in the middle chocolate puddings for years and they are one of my most favourite things to bake, my whole family love them! They are delicious served with Chantilly cream. The raspberry and apple crumble squares I made for the first time today as I was craving raspberries. I slightly over cooked the apple but I think I preferred them this way as it meant the cake was soft and fudge like. I will definitely be making these again - the perfect summer pudding! 

Hot chocolate fondant puddings (melt in the middle chocolate puddings)

50g butter
75g caster sugar
170g tube condensed milk
4 large eggs, beaten
1tsp vanilla extract
350g dark chocolate, melted
75g plain flour
icing sugar to dust

1) Grease and base line six 150ml Dariole moulds or pudding basins
2) Beat together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Gradually whisk in the condensed milk.
3) Gently whisk in the eggs and then the vanilla essence. Add the melted chocolate, mix throuoghly then finally add the flour. Whisk all until smooth.
4) Divide the mixture between the 6 moulds. You can store in the fridge untill needed or cook immediately.
5) If you cannot resit the temptation to eat, cook for roughly 10 mins. If cooking from chilled the puddings will need 12-13 mins. 
6) Run a knife around the edge to tip out the mould, when cut into the middle they should be soft and gooey and delicious!

Raspberry and apple crumble squares

1 Bramley apple, peeled and diced
100g butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
1 egg
280g self-raising flour
200g raspberries

for the crumble
50g butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar
85g self raising flour

1) Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 20 x 30cm cake tin with baking parchment. Put the apple in a small pan with 2 tbsp water. Cook for a few mins or until the apple starts to soften.
2) Meanwhile, make the crumble topping. Rub the butter into the flour, sugar until it resembles big breadcrumbs, or put in a food processor, then set aside.
3) Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, then gradually add the egg. Tip in the flour and milk, and continue to beat until everything is combined. Incorporate the apples then spoon the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface, then dot with the raspberries. Sprinkle over the crumble topping and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, and the topping is golden.

Happy baking xoxo

Things I'm Loving - April

As April draws to a close I write my monthly 'Things I'm Loving' post. April has been a pretty good month, with an amazing holiday (posts here 1,2,3), lots of chocolate and the occasional sunny weather! Not to forget my birthday which is the last day of April.

1) Summer cropped/printed trousers

I am loving summery cropped or printed trousers and think they are perfect for spring weather. I have been trying to find a pair for a while now, however me being very short and skinny, I cannot find a pair that fits! All the pairs I have found are far too long for me or too baggy! (any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!)
Here are my pick of best trousers on the high street:

Zara - £25.99

Zara - £29.99

Zara - £39.99

Zara - £29.99
Asos - £20

Asos - £25

River Island - £35

2) Nike+ Running app

As I am training for the Colour Run I have downloaded the Nike+ Running app, this is free to download from the app store. You can either run with it in your hand or put your phone in one of those cases around your arm. It tracks how fast you are running, how far you run and your route. It can even speak to you or clap to motivate you!
I am loving the app as it gives me motivation to run everyday and also enables me to track how far I am running and see my improvement.

3) I Heart.... series by Lindsey Kelk 

This month I read the first in the series called 'I Heart New York' and absolutely loved it! There are six books in the series and I cannot wait to read the next one. The series follows a women called Angela as she visits cities to discover herself. In I Heart New York, Angela discovers that her boyfriend of 10 years is cheating on her so she runs away to New York. The book follows her as she learns how to date again, gets a makeover and also makes new friends in the city that never sleeps. I couldn't put it down!

4) Masterchef

I am so glad this is back on my TV and I am loving the new series already. As I love to cook I love watching what the contestants come up with, especially the invention tests, I wish I was skillful enough to come up with amazing food like this. I cannot wait until the semi-finals where the competition gets even tougher!

5) The Great British Menu

Again, another cooking programme - I just can't get enough of them. This year on the Great British Menu the chefs are competing to cook at a banquet held in St Paul's cathedral to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The 3 chefs cook a different course each night during the week, and then on the Friday 2 of the chefs cook for the judges and also a veteran from the war. At the end of the week one chef wins the round and is in the running to cook at the banquet.

6) Frozen

The highly successful animated Disney movie is out on DVD and I couldn't be happier. The movie was such a success and I can definitely see why, I loved the film. The film is about two sisters who are Princesses and my favorite character, Olaf the snowman. It is set in the snow and have an excellent story line along with many catchy songs. Olaf is available to buy from the Disney Store for £18, but be quick he is selling out fast!!

Happy May!! xoxo

Monday, 21 April 2014

Pineapple Obsession

I have recently noticed a tropical print theme running throughout the high street, especially pineapples.

On a recent trip to Forever 21, I actually picked up a pineapple print item myself.

I am loving this fresh summer look, not only because I love pineapples but because the pineapple adds bright colours to your summer outfit to complete the tropical look.

I have pulled together my favorite pineapple print items that will be perfect for the summer. My favourite item is the Topshop jeans, these would look great with a crop top and some sandals on a summers evening.

River Island - £10

New Look - £5.99

Topshop - £38

Topshop - £34

ASOS - £12 now £9

Forever 21 - £9.50

Nasty - £10.80

What summer trends have you noticed recently? xoxo

Friday, 18 April 2014

Ile de Re - post 4

La Martinère

When visiting the Île de Ré you must stop by La Martinère for the best ice cream on the island! With 36 flavours of ice cream to choose from and a vast array of sorbets, it's easy to please everyone! 

The main ice cream parlour is in St Martin and is heaving everyday, with queues blocking the road and people pushing to get to the front, and after sampling the ice cream I can see why!! You can get ice cream in a pot or in a cone. I watched a chef make the cones one evening and it was fascinating watching him at work! You can have 1,2 or 3 scoops of ice cream. You can have sauce on your ice cream and even chantilly cream - that's once you have made the tricky decision and picked which flavour to go for! My personal favourite is the famous caramel fleur de sel (salted caramel), it's delicious! 

Along with having an ice cream parlour in St Martin, La Martinère also has a place where you can buy waffles to take away, again these are amazing! The waffles are served warm with a choice of sauce and also chantilly cream if you desire. I have only tasted the caramel fleur de sel waffle with chantilly cream. However members of my family have enjoyed chocolate sauce with chantilly cream, and also Nutella.

Additionally there is L'atelier La Martinière in St Martin, here sells macaroons, ice cream macaroons, ice cream kebabs and other ice cream treats such as ice cream lemon meringue pie. I personally don't like macaroons, however my sister tried both the normal macaroons and ice cream ones and said they were tasty!

Along with three premises in St Martin, there is also an L'atelier La Martinère in La Flotte. Here you can eat in and enjoy, breakfast, snacks, ice cream, sweet treats or a coffee. We visited here twice. Both times I enjoyed ice cream. My mum enjoyed the salted caramel coffee which looked amazing, as all the parts of the drink were in layers. They were also selling macaroons here, ice cream kebabs and the ice cream desserts all similar to the ones in their main shop in St Martin. 

Happy eating!! xoxo

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Ile de Re - post 3

Today we visited two beaches: Plage des Gros Jonc and Plage des Gollandières

We first cycled to Plage des Gros Jonc in the morning, the tide was out and there were plenty of rock pools to explore. People were also there collecting mussels and oysters from the rock pools with tools that looked like pick axes to prise the fish from the rock. The rocks were covered in seaweed and the green looked absolutely beautiful. The seaweed looked so soft as if you would want to lay in it!

We then cycled to a village called Le Bois for some lunch at Le Moulin a Cafe. I ate pizza as I do not like seafood but the rest of my family enjoyed moules frites (mussels and chips!) in a gorgeous looking sauce. My sister and I also had a mango mojito, which was perfect in the sunshine! 

Following lunch we cycled to the second beach, not far from Le Bois. The beach was simply stunning. A full sun, golden sand and bright blue sea was enough to make anyone happy! It was a beautiful beach and if we had not forgotten sun cream we would've stayed all afternoon! We dipped our toes in the freezing sea and also took some cool jumping pictures, which was lots of fun!

Enjoy the sunshine xoxo

Top - Forever 21
Skirt -Topshop
Necklace - Forever 21
Phone case - Primark 
Sunglasses - H & M
Espadrilles - mobYdick 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Ile de Re - post 2

La Couarde sur Mer & La Flotte

Today we did two cycle rides around the islands. This morning we cycled to across the island to La Couarde and this afternoon we cycled along the coast to La Flotte.

The cycle ride to La Couarde took as across the island to the otherside cycling alongside vineyards and through forests. It was nice to get away from the coast for a change and cycle inland. We passed a pretty windmill on route too! La Couarde was a lovely village with quaint gifts shops, bakeries and restaurants. There was also a salon de thé, but it was quite expensive. We explored the village and headed to the beach, the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky. The beach was vast and beautiful with golden sand and also rock pools to explore. In the height of summer I can imagine the beach full of people in their swimwear, however today we pretty much had it to ourselves! 

In the afternoon we headed along the coast towards La Flotte, we passed through La Flotte onto an abbey which is in ruins, again the scenery was beautiful and the warm sea air/breeze was nice. We then headed back to La Flotte for an ice cream and drink at La Martinière (blog to follow!). I opted for 3 flavours - salted caramel, creme brûlée and chocolate, delicious!! La Flotte is a beautiful harbour village with lots of cute gift shops, boutiques, clothes shops and also a cupcake shop called La Suite Cupcake. La Flotte is my favourite place so far on the island that I have visited! 

Until tomorrow :) xoxo