Yummy Battenberg Recipe!

Yummy Battenberg Recipe!

Hello everybody!

Wow I’ve had a long break from blogging… post on that very soon! But I thought I would pop on a wonderful little recipe for battenberg cake which I made today. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

4oz softened butter

4oz caster sugar

4oz self raising flour

2 large eggs

1 tsp baking powder

2oz ground rice

Red food colouring

Almond paste if desired

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Apricot jam

Marzipan

Icing sugar

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  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c, and grease and line a square baking tin. The tin I use is an 18cm square tin, not too deep.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder and ground rice into a mixing bowl and beat for about two minutes, or until it is smooth. Have a boogie to Beyoncé as you beat the mixture, it’ll go quick as a flash.
  3. Split the mixture in half. Put half of the mixture carefully onto the right side of your baking tray.
  4. Add a few drops of red food colouring into the mixture you have left in the bowl. Mix it until it is a deep pink colour. If you were really fun you could mix things up and have some different coloured sponge in your Battenberg; go wild you only live once.

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  5. Carefully spoon this mixture onto the other side of the tin, make sure the line between the two colours is smooth, and make sure your mixture is even. Smooth over the surface.
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  6. Pop it into the oven and bake for about 35-40mins. Once it is cooked, check it springs back when touched, and maybe try the skewer test like I did. Leave it to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then put it on a cooling tray to fully cool down. Remove baking paper.

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  7. Once your sponge is cool, trim the sides and cut it down the middle so you have two sponges each a different colour. Then cut the sponges in half again, so you have four long pieces of sponge, two of each colour.
  8. Warm the jam in a pan, and use this to stick your sponges together in a checkerboard style. Pop some jam on the top of the sponge, ready for the marzipan.

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  9. Sprinkle some icing sugar on your surface, and roll out you marzipan. This can be tricky and I had a small disaster when my marzipan decided to stick completely to the surface. After wailing for a moment I was handed a scraper to scrape it off the surface and start again. Dust your surface well.
  10. Once rolled out, pop your sponge on one side of the marzipan, then wrap the marxipan round the cake. Make sure you pinch the corners and edge so it stays together.
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  11. As a finishing touch, you could score a pattern on the top of the Battenberg, or sprinkle some icing sugar on top.
  12. Pop the kettle on, call your mates and have a gossip with a lovely cup of tea and some yummy Battenberg, and listen as your friends shower you with baking compliments. Job done.

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NOMMY.

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Love Sophie xx

Planning a Little Tea Party

Planning a Little Tea Party

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Hey guys!

So in celebration of me completing my Early Years Teacher Status I thought what better way to celebrate than to have a Tea Party with my closest friends. I wanted to post some ideas and create a little mood board including some cute ideas for a party, such as colour themes and décor. I love to look at other blogger’s party ideas so if you have any links to cute decorations feel free to comment and share!

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I love the whole idea of an outdoor tea party theme, with lots of bunting and lots of flowers to create a bright and pretty area that’s relaxed and laid back. It needs a vintage/floral/bright theme running through it and a lot of summery colours and shades, as well as vintage tea cups and teapots! I’m inviting about ten to fifteen people, so something quirky and also relaxed is what I’m thinking of, it will have some lovely personal touches as well.

Here are some ideas for my party:

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Now that I’d found a great theme for my party I need to get some invites out, otherwise said friends wouldn’t be coming. I need something fast and preferably something easy, and that’s how I came across paperless post. The idea of online invites is genius to me, a lot of my friends are online as well so it makes sense. I can’t believe the range of invites they have, and I have found myself browsing the website looking through all their beautiful designs. Check them out here!

Here are some examples of some of the wonderful designs:

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The website is so cute and a good resource to inspire my party ideas too! It has some more quirky ideas rather than the bog standard ones you normally find, you can personalise your cards or invites and they even have the option of buying them or they have a range of free ones too if you have a budget for your party. I love them!

So if you have a party coming up let me know about it, and share your ideas I would love to see them. And check out https://www.paperlesspost.com/cards/section/invitations for some cute and quirky invites!

I look forward to hearing all about your party 🙂

Love Sophie x

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Gran’s Rock Cakes

Gran’s Rock Cakes

Hey guys.

So on Saturday my beautiful and wonderful Gran passed away.

It’s all very raw still and it’s early days but I feel I need to keep busy and fill my time with small happy moments amongst all of the sadness.

I want to dedicate this post to one of her very favourite recipes The Rock Cake. My earliest memories are (I must have been about five years old) standing in her kitchen licking the spoon covered in rock cake mixture. I remember them being HUGE and can even imagine the smell now! She absolutely loved baking, and made the best cakes. So I feel like it is my job now to bake and preserve her memory.

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Ingredients

8oz Self raising flour
pinch of salt
4oz margarine/butter
3oz raisins or dried fruit
2oz caster sugar
1 egg
A little milk to mix
Demerara sugar to sprinkle

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Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C, grease/line two baking trays.
  2. Mix the flour and salt, rub in margarine,
  3. Stir in raisins/dried fruit.
  4. Stir in sugar.
  5. Mix to a stiff dough with the egg and a little milk.
  6. Roughly place on tray and sprinkle a little demerara sugar over the top of each cake.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes

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If you happen to make some rock cakes, I would love to see your links and photographs so feel free to paste them in the comments. Make some happy memories with your loved ones that you can always look back on.

Enjoy a cake with a lovely cup of tea, and think of all the great times you’ve had and have yet to come.

Love you Granny xx

Healthy Flapjacks – Perfect For Lunchboxes

Healthy Flapjacks – Perfect For Lunchboxes

So when I lived in Australia, I used to make these flapjack bars ALL THE TIME. They’re such a good way of piling in fruits and seeds into a yummy bar. The kiddies I used to look after loved them and always wanted more! We’d have so much fun thinking about what ingredients to use and it’s so exciting experimenting with flavours together!

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You can use any array of dried fruits/nuts/seeds, whatever you fancy really, this time I opted for dried apricots, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, so lots of energy to get the brain and body warmed up!

The method is pretty simple, just remember you need to melt the butter, syrup and sugar on a low heat, you don’t want to burn it!

Have fun!

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Ingredients:

200g butter (I used dairy free butter but you can use either)
150g light muscovado sugar
100g golden syrup
350g oats
100-150g chopped dried fruits/nuts/seeds

Method:

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan (you could microwave it if you like, whatever suits!) slowly, stir as it melts.
Once it has all melted and dissolved, take it off the heat.
Pour in the oats and the dried fruits/nuts/seeds and mix well.
Make sure all the oats are covered and the syrup is mixed well throughout all the ingredients.
Press into a lined/greased tin (I used a 12 x 8” tin) and bake for about 25 minutes at 180°C.
Let it cool in the tin for about 10-15 minutes before cutting it into bars.

Some yummy ideas for other fillings:

Coconut and a sprinkling of dark chocolate
Dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks
Almonds and sunflower seeds
Banana chips, crumbled pecans and chopped fudge
Tropical mix – dried pineapple and coconut
Coconut and dried raspberries or cranberries
Glacé cherries and sliced almonds

So have lots of fun making these whether it be with your kiddies or just a treat for yourself or a treat for your lunchbox, and feel free to show me 😀

Love,

Sophie xx

Welcome To My Workspace.

Welcome To My Workspace.

I love my workspace.

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It’s completely personal to me, a bit quirky, full of little interesting artefacts that remind me of where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced. Depending on my mood, I might sit at my desk and write up an essay for my postgrad degree, or if I’m feeling relaxed, I’ll sit on my bed and think up some blog ideas. Whatever it is I choose to do, I love that my room makes me feel comfortable and creative. It’s home.

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I love light, so my workspace is airy, bright and full of lighter colours such as creams and whites, and you can see there are little pops of colour here and there. I keep my deskspace fairly minimal, like they say; tidy desk, tidy mind. The books I keep on my desk include notebooks (love a notebook, who doesn’t?), my Filofax, and my happy book. I also have a few postcards from various people and places. Looking at them just makes me ooze with nostalgia, and a smile always pops up on my face. For that split second I can look back and reminisce on those happy memories, then focus back on my work.

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As I write about all kinds of stuff, I change up my space according to what I’m writing about. I have a lot of beauty and make up trinkets and treasures in my drawers, but the things I use most I keep out for ease of access. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a magpie, in that small sparkly things really attract my eye and I love to see them on display! One thing I’m definitely working on is how to create a bit more storage for my beauty products, so any suggestions feel free to send them my way! How do you store you makeup?

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I love that my bookshelf is overflowing with different recipe books, children’s books, romantic novels and photo albums. I love to look at things that bring back amazing memories and inspire me to make more. I’m so lucky to have travelled so far in my life so my little tourist books are always on display!

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Another thing in my space is a lot of interior design magazines. I am always dabbling with different ideas and themes to create my dream environment, especially innovative ways to use the tiny amount of space I have. Through my mini interior design journey I came across WeWork who are a coworking  company that specialise in creating shared workspaces. On their site you can see some of their amazing spaces, all designed for people like us bloggers and beyond! They really motivated me to have a think about my space, and how I can make it unique and personal to me, and get my creative juices flowing. Check out their Twitter page here.

Check my Pinterest to see some of the workspace ideas I’ve pinned, and feel free to send me any links to your Pinterest boards in the comments! Follow me on twitter, my name is @sophie_d247

I’d love to see some of your spaces, send me your blog links 😀

Love,

Sophie xx

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Marvellous Marble Cake!

Marvellous Marble Cake!

So this cake came about when I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself, and needed something scrummy to have with a nice cup of tea. It’s so unbelievably easy to make, and even yummier to eat! The prep time is only about 10-15 minutes, and it takes less than an hour to cook. So you could pop it in the oven and then have a lovely bath while you wait for it to cook!

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What you will need:
Weighing scales
Mixing bowl x 2 (you will split the mixture into two halves later)
Electric whisk or metal spoon*
2 spoons
Skewer

Ingredients
8oz butter
8oz caster sugar
4 medium eggs
8oz self-raising flour
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method
1. Heat oven to 180C/Gas 160/gas mark 4.
Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

2. I am a firm believer in the all in one method, so if you are similar to me, pop all the ingredients except the cocoa into a mixing bowl and combine. You can use an electric whisk if you are lazy like me, or be a badass and do it by hand.

(If you are a bit more careful and would prefer not to pop all the ingredients at once, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time making sure they’re well mixed. Add the milk and vanilla extract, then fold in the flour.)
Whichever method you choose, make sure your mixture is smooth.

3. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls.
Stir the cocoa into one of the mixtures until nicely combined.

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4. Take 2 spoons and dollop the vanilla mixture and cocoa mixture into the cake tin alternately. When you have used up all your mixture, tap the bottom of the cake tin on your work surface. This makes sure your mixture evenly covers the bottom of the tin, as well as getting rid of any air bubbles.

5. Use a skewer and swirl it around your mixture, this will create a marbled effect.

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6. Bake your cake for 45-55 minutes. When you think it’s done, pop your skewer in the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s ready! Quick, pop it on a rack so it cools and you can eat it! Nom.

I really hope you enjoy this recipe and if you’d like me to post more please comment and I will be super happy to!!

Love Sophie xxx

Teaday Tuesday

Teaday Tuesday

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Hello everybody!

Firstly let me say thank you to the lovely people who read this, I started this blog as a way to write about what I love, particularly to keep me sane through my postgrad. It’s purely based on my own interests so to see people read my posts is really lovely. Enough of the sop now, I promise 🙂

On to the tea!

So this week has really taken a turn for the worse; frosty mornings and short days surrounded by darkness. I have spent a fair few hours in the cold waiting for trains, playing outside with the children at nursery and walking the dogs, and one thing that makes it more bearable is a lovely steaming drink to warm my cockles!

This week I have been loving Tesco Finest’s Vanilla Chai tea.

10858398_10154968270500232_7155193680180473831_nI first discovered this tea in Australia. I’d popped round to my gorgeous friend Nichole’s little place in Bronte and we were having a girly chill night. She made me a cup of tea (in the microwave, she didn’t have a kettle ha) and instantly I was in love. With the tea.

Today I chose to enjoy this tea as I was snuggled in bed reading The Hunger Games yet again, along with cuddling my lovely dog Molly. Heaven.

This tea is best without milk, and is definitely better from a teapot, as most teas are. It’s a very fragrant tea, and I would say it has a bit of spice to it which is why it’s perfect on a cold Winter’s night. The vanilla flavour is very subtle but takes it to a slightly sweeter taste, to take the edge off the spice.

If they bottle the smell of this drink, or made a candle with the scent I would buy it in a flash; to me it smells like Christmas time: cinnamon, star of anise, a distinct Wintery scent.

I would recommend this tea to those who like a herbal black tea, maybe you like green tea, or even lapsang souchong.

If you have tried this do let me know  what you thought 😀

Love,

Soph xxx

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