Sunday, 29 July 2012

An Ode to FroYo

Just look at this beauty! My oh so yummy Snog frozen yogurt from Snog in Covent Garden this evening, natural frozen yoghurt with toasted coconut, raspberries and brownie chunks mmmmm. And why does this deserve such praise? Because the yoghurt is so so creamy, and it's 100% fat free! Just imagine how healthy it would have been if I had resisted the brownie joy :-) the yoghurt at Snog is sweetened with Agave nectar as well, so no refined sugar (if you get nice healthy toppings) so there it is, I didn't make it but it needed a little shout out cause it was just so innocently yummy :-)
Hayley :-)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Pretty in Pink

Rather absurdly, my summer holidays began today (the absurd part being that on the way back from school I was under an umbrella, some summer eh?) This means the end of term, which provided me with a decent reason to bake up some cupcakes; a dozen for my German teacher who is leaving and 2 half dozen boxes as little gifts for my 2 of my mum’s colleagues (she’s a school teacher so the end of term is doubly busy in our household) I went for pretty pink flowers as my “theme” to try and bring a little summery-ness to this slightly gloomy British July. These were basic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, topped with glitter galore, various shapes of pink fondant flowers and little edible pearls- very girly and colourful enough, I hope, to bring a little summer-energy.

The dozen for Mrs Lee, I went for a fairly concentrated pink glitter circle so that the outer petal detail on the paler flowers would show properly.

And a half dozen box, one of the two for Mum’s colleagues.

And a closer look at one of the flowers, cause I like to poorly imitate fancy magazine photos!
So now its “summertime”, hopefully the weather will clear up soon cause at the moment it really doesn’t feel like the holidays!  
Hayley x

Friday, 6 July 2012

Lovely Leaves (and creepy monster eyes!)

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent lots of my food technology lessons decorating cupcakes! It’s been lovely and relaxing to have these little cakey interludes to my normal day of studying, and –even better- I’ve been able to teach some of my friends some leaf painting goodness! I used PME plunger cutters- ivy and rose leaves as well as multiple size daisies; and they were painted with Kroma airbrush paints (though I wasn’t actually using our airbrush) and Rainbow Dust metallic paints (I’m very lucky with my school’s sugar craft supplies!) We had so much fun!
First up- this gorgeous rainbow-leaf cupcake was made by the wonder team of my friends Liv and Kate:
And second, this beauty was created by the aforementioned Kate and also Alex- this was their first go at leaf painting and I think this is a pretty cool result! The colours of these leaves were so magic, and I added on a couple of tendrils as well as their initials to finish off the cupcake- and I’d say the result was pretty cute!
This is what I was up to while Alex and Kate were working their magic on the leaves and flowers above, just a few simple ivy leaves and tendrils
And finally, this is what I was doing when Kate and Liv were painting their rainbow leaves, this is inspired by our recent visit to Alton Towers, more specifically the ride Nemesis. The back story of the ride revolves around an alien, and the sign of the ride is a big creepy eye with what looks like redweed from War of the Worlds all over it, so I decided to immortalise the ride on a cupcake. I don’t think it’s the most appetizing design- but suitably creepy!
Happy Weekend!
Hayley x  

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge

Hello! Welcome to my first proper recipe-post. As I had a free Sunday today I decided to celebrate by making a batch of fudge. I had wanted to try making peanut butter fudge for a while, so that was what was on the agenda for this morning; when I started looking for recipes none of them seemed all that great to me, so I decided to ad lib and this recipe was the result- and it turned out pretty well!
So you’ll need:
·         800g granulated sugar (I always use unrefined for the yummy fudgy flavour it has already)
·         200ml double cream
·         100ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed, doesn’t matter)
·         100g salted butter
·         1/2tsp salt
·         150g crunchy peanut butter (you could use smooth but I like the crunch in the fudge)
And pretty simply, you just weigh out all the ingredients except the peanut butter, and put them into a heavy based pan with a lot of room for the syrup to bubble up (also, this is the best time to grease your tin with a little flavourless oil, sunflower etc- I used a 7 by 11 inch, 1 inch deep tin)-
Then put over a low heat to dissolve the sugar with the cream and butter-
Once dissolved, the mixture needs to boil. Obviously be careful of the sugar-napalm you are working with here- no fingers! And you should use a wooden spoon so the heat doesn’t conduct and burn your palm. The fudge doesn’t need constant stirring, but do give it a mix here and there. It needs to get to just above soft ball (testable the traditional way with a glass of water, or preferably with a sugar thermometer. Or in my case two because I’m a little paranoid since my Christmas fudge disaster of ‘08) my batch took just over 10 minutes to do this-
Once it has reached the correct temperature, leave the mix to cool for a few minutes, so the bubbles die down, and then beat the syrup until you can feel that it has become grainy, and it isn’t glossy anymore. Then add in the peanut butter, giving it a final beat.-
Then transfer the mix into the greased tin and leave to cool.
Once it’s cooled, tip the block out onto a board and cut it into pretty little squares- and dig in! I keep my fudge in the magic that is Tupperware, anything airtight will do the job (and it would look lovely in a Kilner jar) Oooh and when you’ve poured the fudge into the tin, don’t throw the pan straight into the washing up, scrape the set fudge from the pan and make yourself some yummy yummy fudge sprinkles! And then you can make this pretty dessert by scattering them over bananas and crème fraiche J

Hayley x