Wednesday, 30 June 2010
vanilla ice cream
root beer / cream soda
Half fill two glasses with root beer, place a generous scoop of ice cream into the glasses and
top with root beer.
Pour the root beer slowly over the ice cream as the combination of the two will create a very tall foam head, which is exactly what your after.
Notes: I haven't given amounts for the ingredients because quite frankly I think this depends on both the glasses you use and your tastes. I tend to use one large scoop of ice cream and one can of soda per person in tall glasses.
These cupcakes are fantastic, they are so soft, moist, light and have the most amazing maple flavour. I have been wanting to try some Maple Bacon Cupcakes for ages and I'm really please they have come out so well. I used my own Maple Buttercream recipe, for preference but have provided the frosting recipe that originally came with the cupcakes.
There is no bacon in the actual cake, I just topped the cupcakes with shards of maple smoked bacon. I was also going to drizzle the cupcakes with maple syrup to finish but the maple flavour of the cupcakes and frosting was perfect so I didn't want to over do it.
I am a huge fan of American pancakes soaked in maple syrup, with a side of bacon. That being said I still wasn't sure I would be that into the maple bacon cupcake. I have however been totally won over and think the bacon makes these cupcakes!
The combination of salty and sweet, maple and bacon is perfect and I know I will be making these again very soon.
You could of course leave the bacon off, the original recipe does and these cupcakes will still be amazing.
Maple Buttermilk Pancake Cupcakes
From Country Living Magazine
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
Preheat your oven 350 degrees F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger together. Set aside.
Then beat the butter and sugar on medium speed in a large bowl until they are fluffy. (Your butter must be soft!) Add in eggs, syrup and vanilla. Mix until blended.
Then mix in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Do about one-third of the flour and then one-third of the buttermilk, and so on.
Add the nuts if using.
Fill muffin or cupcake tins, either lined or buttered, according to your preference.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until your tester comes out clean. I use a steak knife.
Cool totally and then ice with Maple-Butter Frosting.
Makes about 18 cupcakes.
Maple-Butter Frosting Recipe
1 cup of softened, unsalted butter
3 ounces of cream cheese, also softened
2/3 cup of dark-brown sugar (I use golden)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of confectioners' (icing) sugar
Beat the softened butter, cream cheese, brown sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl until fluffy. Once again, it is critical that your ingredients be softened.
While you keep beating, add both the maple syrup and the vanilla.
Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and gradually increase the speed to high. Continue beating until the icing is fluffy.
Chill the maple-butter frosting for one hour before using.
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
For Top Left to Right:
High Heels - Kurt Geiger
Black Cardigan - House of Fraser
Cropped Jacket - Topshop
Ballet Style Dress - Wheels & Doll Baby
Ballet Flats - Chanel
Nail Varnish - Chanel in Ballerina
Black Bow Flip Flops - Dior
Ballet Shoe Charm - Tiffany's & Co.
Pink Tutu Style Skirt - Lipsy
Monday, 28 June 2010
I love, love, love this cake. I used the Williams Sonoma recipe that came with the cake pan and was really pleased with the results. It is actually far more brownie like than cake like but I expected this as it's pretty obvious from the recipe. Like all good brownies I took this cake out of the oven whilst still a little undercooked and it cake out perfectly gooey and moist.
The buttercream was also lovely, although a little over sweet for my taste.
You can also buy a Williams Sonoma Cake Mix with the Oreo Cake Pan which I think is
great and would love to try.
I used my Wilton Bake Easy Non Stick Spray and the cakes, just like last weeks brownies fell straight out of the tin. This stuff is genius!
great and would love to try.
I used my Wilton Bake Easy Non Stick Spray and the cakes, just like last weeks brownies fell straight out of the tin. This stuff is genius!
The recipe also suggests make this into an ice cream cake, using ice cream in place of the buttercream. I can't wait to try that! It will be my first ever ice cream cake so if you have any tips let me know. I think I will make it for my friends party/barbecue in a month or so.
As with the Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan the detail isn't as perfect as I had hoped and it certainly doesn't look as good as the cake on the box. However it is still very good and the cake really does look like an Oreo.
This recipe is really simple and I had finished making the batter by the time the oven had
pre heated. The quality of all my new Williams Sonoma bakeware is fantastic and I'm really pleased with the recipes so far too.
Williams Sonoma Giant Oreo Cookie Cake
For the cakes
1/2 cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
14 Tbs. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
For the quick buttercream frosting
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 1/2 Tbs. milk, plus more, if needed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180 C). Using a small pastry brush, grease 2 sandwich cookie cake pans with shortening or softened butter, making sure to coat the details and crevices in the pans. Dust thoroughly with cocoa powder; tap out excess. (Bake Easy people, get some! I didn't dust either).
To make the cakes, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave until melted, stirring once, about 1 1/2 minutes. Alternatively, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until blended. Let the chocolate mixture cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, the 1/2 cup cocoa powder, the baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated.
(I tempered the egg mixture by adding only spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture at a time initially).
Whisk in the flour mixture until combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread evenly. Gently tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until the tops of the cakes are shiny and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 35 minutes.
Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a cutting board.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 3 1/2 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks.
Using a large spatula, carefully turn 1 cake over so the printed side faces down. Spread the buttercream evenly over the flat side of the cake. Place the second cake, printed side up, on top.
I have a really exciting week coming up, I'm making a colourful Vanilla Cupcake order for a photo shoot, a Maple Bacon, Buttermilk Pancake Cupcake batch and have lots of Fourth July plans including Cherry Pocket Pies!◦
Thursday, 24 June 2010
I ordered in the little round sprinkles especially for this order but will definitely be using them again, they match the mini Whirl Pops perfectly.
I think there will be lots of sticky fingers this afternoon.
I was super excited to try out my new Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan, so armed with a can of Wilton Easy Bake Non Stick Spray, I decided to go for it.
I can't wait to try my Oreo tin now and I will definitely try these again soon maybe with my usual brownie recipe and a slightly less apprehensive demeanor.
Chocolate Bar Brownies by Williams-Sonoma◦
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces (we used semi-sweet)
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks/155g) butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30g) cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (315g) sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
11/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan.
( I used Wilton non-stick cooking spray, it is amazing!! Warning though using such a spray will alter your cooking time, check the brownies 10 minutes before you normally would).
Put the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (double boiler method) and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Temper the egg mixture by adding a small amount of the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg mixture at intervals until it is incorporated. Whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan ( I spooned it so there was no need to break the bars, consequently I don't think my brownies are as deep as they would have been).
Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
(Maybe not quite so gently...?)
Bake until the top is smooth and shiny and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a few crumbs attached. The original recipe called for baking 35-40 minutes but I removed them from the oven after 25-30 minutes - they were moist and chewy.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the brownie pan onto a cutting board and cut or break into 12 rectangular pieces.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
The sun is shining, Wimbledon is on, or at least it was yesterday and I think it is today. To be honest I'm not really that into tennis, I am however into Pimm's and yesterday just felt like a Pimm's sort of day.
Adapt and play with the recipe below until you find your perfect Pimm's.
250ml Pimm's No. 1
1 litre lemonade
(try different types until you find your favorite, I like mine quite sweet)
1 apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cucumber, sliced
( I use a clementine or two, peel them and just chop them in halve to expose the juicy part)
A small handful of strawberries, cut in half
A handful of fresh mint leaves
A few slices of lemon
Prepare all the ingredients and mix together in a large serving jug. Serve chilled with or over ice.
I love sprinkles!
Things like my little sprinkle jars are what make my kitchen the happiest place to be, they look adorable all in a little row and one day I will have hundreds of little sprinkles jars.
The jars are really good and I use the same to store my spice blends, I get them from a local kitchenware shop for £1 each. Bargain!
I bought these other adorable little jars with tiny wooden spoons from the same shop, I use them as sugar jars, one for white, one for brown, again I think these would be super sweet for herbs and spices.
Cupcake Salt and Pepper Shakers!
Could these be any cuter? I'm not sure Baby Love is convinced and I'll admit they're not exactly fine dining but they are none the less, one of the cutest little kitchen trinkets I own.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Despite the company’s past success in the fragrance market, this is the brand’s first foray into cosmetics,
Christopher Bailey, Burberry's Chief Exec. said:
“ It [Burberry Beauty] started because I felt that, at shows and the shoots, the whole [Burberry] attitude is epitomized through the shoes, the bags, the clothes, the accessories, but then the face was the one thing I really struggled with. When we were doing makeup, I felt like we weren’t able to get the right attitude. It was either caked-on makeup or then just the wrong colors, the wrong tones, the wrong spirit for makeup. I wanted it to be this kind of effortless elegance.”
Taking inspiration from the brand’s iconic khaki trench coats, Bailey went for a color palate that is effortlessly wearable.
“I liked the idea of taking the trenchcoat and the weather as the two things that influence and define the colors,” said Bailey. “You’ve got the naturals from the trenchcoats and from the weather you’ve got these beautiful stormy grays and stormy blues. Then, when the sun comes out, you’ve got this glow and you’ve got lighter tones, as well.”
The campaign features Lily Donaldson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and new face 15-year old Nina Porter, all sporting Burberry trenchcoats and shot by Mario Testino.
The line is set to retail at around the same price as other high-end designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana.
It is so nearly July! Its all terribly exciting, I love the patterned lipsticks and can't wait to see the whole collection.
I will be wearing my gorgeous little cupcake with.......
Chanel Nail Varnish - Ballerina
I love this little Tiffany Bag Charm, it also comes in Silver but I love this one in Yellow Gold.
I think I'm going to have to start a collection, my little cupcake really is gorgeous and I love it so.
Shopping in Las Vegas was amazing, The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in particular. Featuring more than 160 boutiques and shops including Dior, Fendi, Gianni Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli, Tiffany's, Valentino, Victoria's Secret.
Whilst shopping at Caesar's we came across Morgan Miller - The Queen of Sole.
Morgan Miller is a brilliant store where you can design your own shoes!!! It was all far too exciting.
You choose your shoe base, these range in colour, (black, white and brown), and styles which range from flats and flip flops, high and low wedges and high heels and stilettos. You then choose your strap, they had a huge range of colours and designs, pink, black, red, yellow, tapestry fabric, mock python, suede and leather.
You then choose an accessory, I went for gold mesh and swarovski crystal bows, again they had loads to choose from, much more than is on the website.
You then select in soles, padding and tacks, once again everything came in a range of colours.
Monday, 21 June 2010
When I found out we were going to Las Vegas I was very excited, when I found out there was a Williams Sonoma in Las Vegas I nearly died with excitement. In the back of my mind I was wondering if it could ever live up to my expectations but it did! It was like heaven on earth.
I think it was probably quite small in comparison to some of their other stores but it was jam packed full of goodies, I wanted everything! Due to my lack of suitcase space however I had to prioritise and went straight for the good stuff. Bakeware.
So what did I get?
Finally the Oreo Cookie Cake Pan is mine. I can't tell you how much I love this one! I have to resist squealing every time I look at it.
I think I might make this to take to a friends on Friday, I got the giant sprinkles too.
I was so chuffed when I found this adorable heart-shaped pocket pie mold in the shop, they don't have it on the website anymore. They do have this Apple and Pumpkin Pocket Pie Mold, which is really cute but I really wanted the heart-shaped one.
I picked up a copy of Martha's Living July issue, the theme is 4th July and it has berry pies on the cover. Its all too perfect, I'm holding out till then to try out this cutie and will do a 4th July themed post.
It was Baby Love's genius idea to get this William Sonoma Apron, only thing is its so nice and white I don't want to wear it. At least not yet anyway.
I saw some other cool stuff too, I would have loved to try some of their mixes and ingredients but would never have got them in my suitcase.
I loved this Waffle Pancake Pan.
Weirdly I thought I also saw this Whoopie Pie Pan, I have to be honest I didn't like this. Yes it would make Whoopie Pies super easy but I wasn't convinced they would look right.
I found this picture on Williams Sonoma's website, I'm not a fan of the straight/flat edges.
Their Barbecue section was amazing and I have never seen so many pots and pans in my life.
All my goodies came with recipes, which I think is fantastic and I will be trying them all. I hope I get the chance to go again one day in the not too distant future, my bakeware collection looks so fancy now.