Malteaser cake

Malteaser cake

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If you’re anything like us you’ll probably have received a glut of chocolate over Christmas, or you’ll have vastly overestimated the number of Malteasers you’ll realistically be able to consume.If this is the case, this recipe is for you. This cake used one of those giant boxes of Malteasers to decorate it, but if you have a few blank spaces I’m sure you can add some other chocolates. The cake and buttercream icing have less cocoa in them than most chocolate cake recipes which makes it more child friendly. Perfect for family parties or for baking with younger children.

To make a Malteaser cake you will need:

For the sponge

3 large eggs

170g caster sugar

170g butter

160g self raising flour

10g cocoa powder

For the buttercream

120g softened butter

220g icing sugar (approx.)

1tbsp cocoa powder

1tbsp milk (again I used coconut milk and it was fine)

To decorate

1 large box of Malteasers (approximately)

Preheat your oven to 170Β°C and line 2 10 inch cake tins. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick and frothy and leaves a trail on top of the mix. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Melt the butter and slowly add to your mix while you’re whisking in the flour. Once the mixture is smooth separate this into the two cake tins. Bake for about 12 minutes, until a skewer comes clean when poked into the sponge. Set aside to cool.

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While your sponged are cooling prepare your buttercream by whisking together the ingredients. The whisking will make the buttercream light and airy.

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Remove the paper from the cakes and sandwich together using a thin layer of the buttercream. Then cover the cake with the remainder. Once the cake is covered add the Malteaser chocolates as desired. I put mine on in a compact manner, but you can do it in a patter or dot them around a bit more if you wish.

This cake is a great crowd pleaser. I made it when we had friends at our house and it was very popular. Perfect to make in the lull between Christmas and New Year.

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Easy ramen for tired stomachs

Easy ramen for tired stomachs

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Around Christmas time you really do just need to enjoy a bit of a treat and the odd overindulgence. Its practically mandatory, what with chocolate, cheese, wine and roast dinners aplenty. However after 2 Christmas dinners at D and my respective parents houses and our usual boxing day mini buffet my stomach was feeling pretty tired of rich food. I needed a break from overindulgent and to eat something a bit less hearty; something at the opposite end of the comfort food scale.

Anyway, this was so easy to make and the good news is *drumroll* I made this just for myself so you can scale it up or down to your heart’s content. Feel free to make any substitutions (like the tuna for another fish), I had to work with what I had in. I suppose this makes this a bit of a store cupboard recipe.

To make this you will need (per person):

250ml vegetable or chicken stock

Ginger root

Soy sauce

A spring onion

1 handful frozen peas

1 brick frozen spinach

2 forkfuls canned tuna

1 egg

1 bundle noodles – I used sweet potato and buckwheat

Boil your egg for 7 minutes – so that it is cooked but still slightly soft inside. While the egg is boiling heat your stock, grate in some ginger and add a dash of soy sauce. Add your frozen vegetables and stir to loosen out the frozen spinach. After about 4 minutes add the noodles to this as well as the spring onions. If your egg has cooked rinse it a few times with cold water to prevent a grey ring forming and set aside. Once the noodles have cooked, stir in your tuna so that it disintegrates into the mixture. Serve your soup out. Remove the shell from your egg and half it. Top your soup with the egg and serve.

I can assure you, your stomach will feel a bit happier once you’ve finished eating this.

Christmas – the people who have made it better (soppy post)

Christmas – the people who have made it better (soppy post)

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Initially last week I planned to write a post about how to cope with the festive season when you’re really not feeling great. It can sometimes be so hard to put a brave face on when everyone wants you to be happy and to enjoy festivities. However, this time last week I got struck down with a kidney infection. I can only describe this as one of the most painful episodes of my life. It hurt to walk, it hurt to sit down. My lower back felt like someone was digging a screwdriver in at exactly the point where my kidneys apparently sit. Anyway I am feeling a tonne better and I thought I would instead post about some of the lovely people who cheered me up.

As a side note, if you do feel rubbish this week, the best thing you can really do is to talk to someone about it. Your family and friends really do only want you to be happy all the year round and will always be there with a listening ear and a cuddle; even if they can’t provide a solution to your problems. Sometimes you don’t need to even talk, just sitting together watching a favourite film, or taking a boxing day walk will help. Comfort can be found in the smallest things even just taking yourself off for a long bath or snuggling up with a good book.

Anyway instead of a gift guide this is a nice little list of the people who cheered me up and actually made me feel all festive:

  1. The nice NHS direct lady, who kept me calm and sorted me out with an out of hours doctors appointment with no hassle.
  2. The out of hours doctor who went out of his way to make sure I was prescribed the most effective antibiotics, making life way easier than having to trail backwards and forwards.
  3. TheΒ friends who kept contacting me to make sure I was feeling better, offered to go to the shops, tagged me in funny videos on Facebook, made me up a missing out on going to see Star Wars present and understood me barely showing up to one of their birthday parties. You are all very sweet and I miss those of you I don’t see as often any more.
  4. My Mum and Dad; who cooked me my favourite tea, consoled me over the phone and generally looked after me. You are both wonderful.
  5. My brother; thank you for making me laugh a lot with your new cat and cheering me up by being so happy in your home.
  6. D’s mum for also contacting me to make sure I was feeling better and for always making me feel so welcome in their family.
  7. D; thank you for it all. Driving me around, keeping an eye on me, bringing water and making me smile even when I didn’t have the energy to really get out of bed. Also thanks for the massive card that came in a box. I don’t think I have ever received a boxed card and I’m so excited to be spending Christmas with you.

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Obviously I’m feeling much better now after rest, antibiotics and lots of water and I feel very loved.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I hope you enjoy spending time with your loved ones.

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Maybe in a few days?
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Milk chocolate and Bailey’s truffles

Milk chocolate and Bailey’s truffles

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So this is a last minute recipe and its an absolute dream to produce for a crowd. I actually made these for my brother’s 30th birthday back in October but I thought, for many of us, the time we need to feed a lot of people delicious items is over the festive period. I hope you enjoy my last minute Christmas blogging and now you will have another festive recipe set aside should you need it.

These truffles are a dream as they only require 4 ingredients:

200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

190ml double cream

10ml Baileys

Chopped hazelnuts

(This recipe can be scaled up or down as required)

In a heavy pan heat your cream and Baileys. Once it starts to simmer add the milk chocolate and allow to melt in. Once the ingredients are combined pour the mixture into a glass bowl and cover with cling film.

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Freeze this mixture for a couple of hours until it is solid. Once it has hardened use a teaspoon to make mouth sized pieces (technical term). Use the warmth of your hand to round the truffles – there is no photographic evidence of this as I was covered in chocolate!

Once you have the truffle shape roll this in the chopped nuts to decorate. These keep best if stored in the fridge. Serve with the Christmassy themed drink of your choice.

7 signs you suck at social media

I love blogging, when I miss a few days, or weeks I always have a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that I want to write and I miss having writing s a creative outlet – I often find myself bursting into song and dance routines or doodling in my diary during meetings (sorry work!) when I have to be serious for too long. However, I am so aware that I write and take photos about things that make me happy and good times with my friends rather than producing super polished work. Sometimes I think if i had more time I would make my blog more magazine style and take photos of myself where I look dreamy, but then I sit back and think, I work full time, I try to exercise, I’m in a show and I have a happy relationship, a nice home, great friends and a lovely family. So I can’t pretend I sit and worry and compare myself to others social media too much; yes it makes me smile and I enjoy reading others blogs and seeing beautiful instagram stuff x, y, z; but its not something that keeps me awake at night. So this is me basically poking fun at myself for not being as hip and happening and some of the blogosphere (I kind of hate that word).

I suppose what I really want to get across through this is to other people thinking of blogging, or who post photos of instagram that don’t immediately get flooded with likes, don’t worry! You’re still cool, you’re still edgy and fun. Don’t get bogged down by all the wonderful things people seem to be doing on social media. Happiness is way more about what is going on right now than anything else! Whilst I love social media and sharing my life and photos I do think it can be damaging, especially around certain events (summer, Christmas, etc) as it only shows the best sides of life.

  1. You frequently forget to post flat lays. When you do it looks like something you dropped on the floor rather than something carefully placed.
  2. When you post a photo of yourself and your significant other nobody comments saying “relationship goals”. You consider it a success if you manage to fit both of you into a picture where you look vaguely normal.
  3. 98% of your facebook photos you’re either drunk, windswept or have potato face. But they make you strangely happy looking back on a nice event.
  4. Your instagram feed is filled with pictures of your pets and nice cakes you have eaten, coupled with the odd blurry photo of a gig you went to. You bet I’m cool.
  5. You forget to tweet for weeks at a time. You rarely use hashtags and don’t understand what 50% of emojis mean.
  6. You’re not 100% what the terms “bae”, “instagram famous” or “on fleek” really mean.
  7. You get really, amazingly happy whenever somebody follows your blog, comments on an instagram photo or likes or comments on a blog post. I adore it when people do this (thank you if you have).

    Thank you and goodnight.

Homemade Christmas Wreath

Homemade Christmas Wreath

I wish I could pretend I had a grand plan about making my own decorations this year. I am so far from organised sometimes when it comes to planning blog posts (and also how our home will look) its unreal. However, in a fit of Christmassy enthusiasm last week, D and I may possibly (definitely) have bought too many baubles for our little tree.

Anyway, credit goes out to D for suggesting that I used out smaller ones last year to “fashion some kind of wreath”. I think it looks pretty good. Very rustic and homemade, but pretty cute. As a bonus I wasn’t slaving for hours or struggling with a hot glue gun making this.

Anyway if you want to make something similar you will need:

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A plain natural rattan wreath (mine was the 30.5cm one from Hobbycraft)

Approx 25 small baubles (or other little Christmas decorations)

Craft wire

At least 60cm festive ribbon

A suction hook to attach your wreath to the door if you don’t have a knocker (see here)

 

If your baubles have any string attached, cut this off. You won’t need it and you can use the loops on your baubles to attach it to the wreath with the wire. Cut about 8cm wire and tightly twist it around one of the sticks in your wreath. Add your bauble and twist the wire to hold it in place on the wreath. Twist the wire all the way along and tuck the sharp ends into the wreath so nobody’s finger gets cut on it.

Although this looks best if its not exactly even (it adds to the homemade charm) try to make sure the baubles are relatively evently spaced and the colours aren’t grouped together too much; unless that’s what you like best, but you may need more decorations to achieve this effect.

Once the wreath is nicely covered in baubles tie your ribbon to it around some of the sticks in a bow.

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The good thing about this is that although it looks pretty natural it can be used year after year.

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I hope you’re all starting to feel nice and festive. Have a good day.

Baked eggs with spinach and chorizo

Baked eggs with spinach and chorizo

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I’m all for winter warmer type recipes but I dont believe they always have to be overly stodgy. There’s something wonderful and cosy about baked eggs and they’re certainly very popular in this household! We tend to have these for our tea (dinner if you’re fancy) but they also work as a breakfast or a brunch (if you’re instagram fabulous).

Anyway, there’s not much more to say except using the oil the chorizo gives off when heated and using low fat cheese makes this a healthy and delicious recipe. I don’t actually think you can even tell it is particularly healthy.

Anyway to make enough baked eggs to serve 2 you will need:

4 eggs

1 tin chopped tomatoes (or 1/2 a large jar of passata)

1 small onion

1 clove garlic

Approx 50g cooking chorizo

Approx 100g frozen spinach

A handful of low fat cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to about 200Β°C. Peel and slice your onion, crush your garlic and dice your chorizo. Fry this with no oil in a non stick pan over a medium heat. Your chorizo will release oil which you can cook your onion and garlic. Once the onion and garlic have softened add your spinach and tomato. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the spinach has cooked. Season with the salt and pepper.

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Add the tomato sauce to a heavy ovenproof dish. Make indentations in the sauce and crack the eggs into these indentations. Top with cheese. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the eggs have set.

To serve eat with crusty bread.