All posts tagged “cake

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World’s Biggest Coffee Morning with Macmillan and M&S

Who doesn’t love a cheeky slab of cake washed down with a steaming hot brew?! NO-ONE. Don’t trust anyone who tells you otherwise; they are fibbing, and don’t deserve your time, cake, or coffee making skills. They are brew-deniers!

For those of us who do like to partake in a spot of sugar indulgence, it’s that time of year again where those fantastic folk Macmillan are hosting their World’s Biggest Coffee Morning tomorrow, Friday 25th September, to raise awareness and vital funds for their worthy cause.

Macmillan World's Biggest coffee morning 2015 - tea and cake

Not one to pass up the opportunity to eat a lot of cake, I jumped at the offer to get involved with all the action when those kind folks over at M&S sent me some cake treats to host my own little get-together.
If there’s one shop who knows how to make cake well, it’s M&S. Even their packet sponges taste absolutely blimmin’ delicious, and are delightfully home-made enough for you to pass them off as your own (it’s ok, I won’t tell).

tea and cake macmillan coffee morning
lily doughball in apron for macmillan biggest coffee morning
lily doughball in apron for coffee morning with marks and spencer

Also, can we talk about how adorable this apron is please?! You can get your mitts on one from M&S and know that you’re doing your bit to help out Macmillan -these ruffles are perfect for dishing up a bit of cake and supping a cheeky brew.

To find out more about the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and how you can get involved, take a look at the Macmillan website here.

A massive thanks to Marks and Spencers for my cake and apron! 

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Bristol’s Best Bits: Tart

Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol
Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol
Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol

Ahh, tea and cake. It’s like a fundamental right of British people to stop whatever they are doing at around 3pm and placate themselves and their dwindling sugar levels with a slab of cake or a nice biccy and wash it down with a nice hot brew. Such is our collective love of the good stuff that it’s almost become part of our national identity, with winners of everyone’s first love The Great British Bake Off being practically heralded as royalty as soon as they win the top prize.

Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol bakewell tart
Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol

There are many amazing cake establishments in Bristol, but the one I find myself going back to is Tart, slap bang in the middle of the longest stretch of independent shops in the UK, Gloucester Road. It’s like a mecca of tea and cake, and always my first port of call if it’s a nice cup of Rosy I’m after. What I like about it is its ability to appeal to all groups – it’s the type of place you could take your mum, meet a friend for a catch up, or while away a few sunny hours sitting outside by yourself, watching the world go by.

We headed up on a busy Sunday afternoon to just get out of the house, really, on one of those occasions where you need to treat yo’self for no reason whatsoever. I don’t think you ever need an excuse to eat cake. For me, my treat was a pot of Earl Grey and a slice of Victoria Sponge (classic!), for Tom it was a single espresso and a generous slice of chocolate torte.

Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol
Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol
Tart Patisserie Gloucester Road Bristol

It goes without saying that the cakes are absolutely amazing. My usual favourite is their orange polenta cake but sadly on this occassion they had run out ūüôĀ next time, it will be mine! All of their teas are loose leaf and freshly brewed before your very eyes, plus they do a brilliant every day offer of tea and cake for just a fiver, meaning our little outing cost us no more than ¬£10!

Next time you’re up Gloucester Road and have been shopping your heart out at Repsycho and Fox & Feather, take a little rest, put your feet up and enjoy a lovely hot cuppa and slice of homemade cake from Tart. You won’t be disappointed.

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Bath Xmas Meet!

Bath fashion museum

Chandelier

Mannequins

Dress up like a victorian

Only for children

bath Xmas meet bloggers

Beas vintage tea rooms bath

Carousel bath Christmas market

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Bath Christmas meet up hosted by the lovely Megan over at Briar Rose Blog.

I was particularly excited at the prospect of going to a meet up in Bath because, despite spending nearly a year working just down the road, I had never seen Bath from a tourists perspective. It was nice just walking down the little streets and appreciating just how beautiful it is.

We met in the (fairly new, very nicely designed) SouthGate shopping centre, where we met all the other friendly blogger faces and each got a Christmas card and a present! I had a rather lovely Santa printed scarf from a place called Spoiled Brat; there were so many other treats that everyone was gifted, and I felt very lucky to receive mine – I’m all set for Christmas now!

From here we battled the rain and the crowds in the centre of Bath to make our way to the Fashion Museum. Much like everything else in Bath, this was housed in a very grand looking building, the Assembly Rooms. I was surprised to discover that the Museum had been open since 1963, it was celebrating its 50th year! It contained some of the most beautiful and fascinating pieces I had ever seen, from classic designers like Chanel and Dior to more contemporary names such as Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

After having a little tour we congregated outside, and a group of us decided to pop round the corner to Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms for a slice of cake and a cuppa. It did not disappoint! I had a pot of Earl Grey and a slice of Vicky sponge, which had fresh cream and strawberries in the middle. Lush. It was a very cute little tearooms, like stepping back to the 40s with its vintage crockery and waitress ladies in pinnies and headscarves.

On our way to the station myself and Miriam from English Mademoiselle Diaries spotted a rather stunning carousel, but unfortunately we did not have the time for a ride!

All that remains is to thank Megan for organising such a wonderful day, I had such a good time and met so many lovely bloggers.

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Cinnamon Rolls!

Autumn = cinnamon.

I mean, let’s face it, the smell of cinnamon is just reminiscent of crisp cold mornings waking up with mugs of cinnamon coffee, or grey miserable English days sitting in a coffee shop with a vat of hot chocolate topped with a mountain of cream and dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg. Or is that just me?

I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year over the weekend and it has just put me in autumn-hyperdrive; I am furiously craving anything warm and spicy which puts me in the mood for winter. I have been meaning to make cinnamon rolls for probably about two years now, and seeing as I had nothing better to do last night I gave it a go!

homemade cinnamon rolls

cinnamon roll with maple glaze

homemade cinnamon roll

Now there are many, many recipes on the internet for cinnamon rolls. Some use yeast, some don’t use yeast, some use buttermilk, others use eggs to enrich the dough. I found this very basic recipe from Food Network UK, which appealed to me because it didn’t have a list of ingredients as long as your arm.

There were a few amendments which I made – firstly, I didn’t use all the butter it stated for the filling, and it was practically¬†swimming¬†in pools of butter when I pulled it out of the oven. It would have definitely overflowed if I had used it all. Same thing goes for the cinnamon and sugar filling, but now I have leftovers for my cinnamon coffee!

Also, before rolling and baking, I did a little ‘massage’ on the butter and sugar to meld it all together, a little trick I learned from Man v Food, where he visited a diner which made the¬†largest cinnamon rolls known to man. This makes it a lot easier to roll up ready to cut.

Lastly, this recipe doesn’t mention any salt whatsoever. I used unsalted butter for the filling and there was something not quite ‘right’ about them – they were almost too sweet! If you don’t use salted butter for the inside (which you probably should) then add some salt to the dough.

All in all, I will most definitely be making these again. Now that I have begun hibernating for winter I think this will be my staple diet food.

Have you done any baking recently?

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Chocolate Courgette Cake

Hasn’t the weekend flown by?!

We went to a beer festival on Saturday, so most of yesterday was spent sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, trying to get over our hangovers. We ended up having dinner at Bella Italia (courtesy of some Tesco vouchers), and fell asleep at 10, full of pasta and chocolate brownie sundae. Lush.

Today was far more productive – dressed distinctly like a 1940s housewife I managed to get all the boring house jobs out the way, whilst finding time to rustle up this bad boy.

cake

cake-1

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This is another recipe which has been sitting on my foodie Pinterest board for well over a year, and considering the autumnal turn the weather has been taking recently, I thought it was about time I gave it a go.

It’s a recipe from BBC Good Food, who are pretty much my go-to nowadays; their website has literally hundreds of awesome recipes, and the reader ratings are usually pretty accurate.

I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out, although there are always a couple of things which could have been done differently – I put a bit less courgette than recommended because I was afraid of it not cooking properly in our crap oven, meaning it was a bit dry. Also I had no mixed spice, so substituted 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 ginger, and it would have been nicer if it were a bit ‘spicier’.

The chocolate ganache topping is AMAZING, and the easiest thing to make – heat a pot of cream and then tip it into a bowl of chopped chocolate, keep stirring and it melts into a shiny pool of deliciousness. I probably should have waited for the cake to cool properly before I put it on but I was too hasty in wanting to stuff it in my face.

I literally cannot wait for autumn, this is only making me more excited about the approaching cold weather.

What’s better than ending a long weekend with a massive chocolate cake? Nowt.
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Chocolate Courgette Cake

Hasn’t the weekend flown by?!

We went to a beer festival on Saturday, so most of yesterday was spent sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, trying to get over our hangovers. We ended up having dinner at Bella Italia (courtesy of some Tesco vouchers), and fell asleep at 10, full of pasta and chocolate brownie sundae. Lush.

Today was far more productive – dressed distinctly like a 1940s housewife I managed to get all the boring house jobs out the way, whilst finding time to rustle up this bad boy.

cake

cake-1

cake-2

This is another recipe which has been sitting on my foodie Pinterest board for well over a year, and considering the autumnal turn the weather has been taking recently, I thought it was about time I gave it a go.

It’s a recipe from BBC Good Food, who are pretty much my go-to nowadays; their website has literally hundreds of awesome recipes, and the reader ratings are usually pretty accurate.

I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out, although there are always a couple of things which could have been done differently – I put a bit less courgette than recommended because I was afraid of it not cooking properly in our crap oven, meaning it was a bit dry. Also I had no mixed spice, so substituted 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 ginger, and it would have been nicer if it were a bit ‘spicier’.

The chocolate ganache topping is AMAZING, and the easiest thing to make – heat a pot of cream and then tip it into a bowl of chopped chocolate, keep stirring and it melts into a shiny pool of deliciousness. I probably should have waited for the cake to cool properly before I put it on but I was too hasty in wanting to stuff it in my face.

I literally cannot wait for autumn, this is only making me more excited about the approaching cold weather.

What’s better than ending a long weekend with a massive chocolate cake? Nowt.
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My weekend, in pictures.

It was a busy one.

weekend-1

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weekend-5

We went to Bristol Internation Balloon Fiesta on Thursday night for the ‘nightglow’ event – dozens of balloons lighting up in time to music; it was a pretty epic affair.

We met two really lovely families, one of which let us share their picnic blanket. It reminded me of how nice a city Bristol is, everyone around us seemed to be having a really good time, it was a really laid back atmosphere.

However, I never got to have a go on the carousel. Sad times.

We planned to go back to the fiesta on Friday and Saturday, but to be honest there was no need – we live about a 10 minute walk away from Ashton Court and everything which was happening at the fiesta we could see from our bathroom window!

Fast forward to Sunday, and I undertook a very tiring journey…

bath-1

bath-2

One of the home teams of Bristol Roller Derby, Daughters of Anarchy, organised a sponsored skate from Bristol to Bath along the old railway track, in aid of our chosen charity, Survive.

It was 15 miles of some of the roughest and most difficult surfaces I have ever skated on, but it was the most amazing experience. I was separated for most of it from the rest of the group, preferring the ‘slow and steady’ approach. The rougher parts really were hard, and only about 3 miles in I contemplated giving up, unable to take the vibration from the tarmac on my ankles and shins. I persevered, however, and on the smoother parts of the path it was thoroughly enjoyable skating with ease through the trees, taking in the sights beyond the edge of the path.

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We stopped in Bitton to pick up some more travellers and saw a steam train! Y’all know how¬†excitable¬†I am around trains, this one tooted his whistle at us when it went past.

We finally made it into Bath after roughly 2 and a half hours of ankle-vibrating pain, and I can’t begin to describe how proud I am of myself. If you told me 5 years ago I would make a 15 mile journey on skates, not a car, I would have laughed in your face. I guess derby really can change a person.

If you would like to be an absolute babe and donate some money to the cause, you can find the donating page here. Thanks!

cake-1

Obviously, I was absolutely Hank Marvin after my long day, and was craving cake.

I’d seen this pin¬†on Pinterest well over a year ago for a Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake, and had never got round to making it. I’ve never been the biggest fan of blueberries, but there was something about these pictures which had me craving this cake every time I looked at it. The power of good photography!

I made the cake and served it with creme fraiche, then suitably demolished it.

Hope you all had awesome weekends, too!

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