So I don’t know about everyone else but my festive feeling is in full swing! My Christmas Shopping is nearly done, All I want for Christmas has been playing and there is even an odd decoration here and there throughout the house. All that said I felt this weekend was the perfect opportunity to make some mince pies – with a slight twist might I add. Here is what I did:
250g Plain White Flour
25g Icing Sugar
125g Chilled and Cubed Butter
Zest of 1 Orange or Lemon
1 egg Beaten
1/2 400g of mincemeat (GUILTY – I didn’t make my own)
75g Dried Cranberries
1 egg yolk beaten to glaze
Icing Sugar to decorate
- In a mixer, combine the flour, icing sugar and butter together until they form fine crumbs. Add the zest (orange or lemon) and the beaten egg to the mixture and continue to whizz for a further few seconds until the mixture forms together as one.
- Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap the mixture in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until approx £1 thickness. Cut out 12 x 8cm rounds with a fluted cutter and press lightly into a 12 hole greased bun tin. Re-roll the remaining pastry to the same thickness and cut out 12 x 5cm rounds for the tops. Here I used a star cutter to cut out the middle however this isn’t necessary and crosses in the middle of them would work just fine.
- Spoon a large teaspoon of mincemeat into each pie base followed by a sprinkle of dried cranberries. Press the pastry tops on top of the pies and transfer the tray to the fridge to chill for approx. 20 minutes while the oven is pre-heated to 190C/fan 170C/gas5.
- Once chilled brush the tops with the egg, then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes then lever out of the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to finish.
I have been a member of Love Me Beauty (LMB) for a couple of months now and this month was definitely one of the best in terms of products on offer. I haven’t tried and tested the products fully yet but here is what I received:
1. Percy & Reed Dry Instant Volumising Spray
2. Lanolips Rhubarb Lip Ointment with colour
3. Monu Hydrating Moisturiser and Hydrating Mask
4. Nuxe Multi Purpose Dry Oil
Incase you didn’t know, I still live at home with my parents but I am literally OBSESSED with looking at homeware items longing for the day I have my own home. Unfortunately it won’t be any time in the immediate future but there’s no harm in looking (and making a few purchases on the way) …Right?
1. Kitchen Aid – Artisan 4.8L Stand Mixer, Almond Cream at John Lewis
2. Vintage Light Bulb at Not on the Highstreet
3. Rustic Wooden Ladder Shelf at Cox and Cox
4. Metallic Plant Pot at Not on the Highstreet
5. Emma Bridgewater Toast & Marmalade Cake Tins at John Lewis
6. Sumptuous Sheepskin BeanBag at Cox and Cox
Some of you may not know but I am literally The Great British Bake Off’s Number 1 Fan! So when I found out there was a show on at Event City in Manchester, I just HAD to get my hands on some tickets!
Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos, mainly because the whole thing was so overwhelming but I did manage to catch a glimpse of 2015 partakers: Sandy, Mat and my favorite, NADIYA!
Whilst there, there was one stall in particular which was TO DIE FOR and that was Sponge, who had the cutest mini sponge sandwich cakes I had ever seen. In true sweet tooth style I bought four different flavours: Apple Crumble, Carrot Cake, Victoria Sponge, Sticky Toffee. All equally as scrummy!
Now the part I did want to mention is the cakes below. I was completely gobsmacked by some of the amazing cakes I saw and just have to show you…they don’t even look real!
I think they’ve inspired me to give something like this a go!
So yesterday while at the Trafford Centre I just couldn’t walk past Lush without going in. The smell was enticing me from three shops down and eventually my resistance gave in and I just had to buy things! Of course with November in full swing Lush have all of their Christmas products out and they are amongst some of the cutest things I have ever seen! Here is what I bought:
First up is the Karma Bubble Bar – £4.25. ‘A Zesty lemongrass, orange and patchouli scent which will deliver all kinds of good karma to your bathroom.’ Those of you who don’t know me will soon start to realise that I LOVE all things glitter, gold and generally anything shiny. So this was a MUST have product which went straight in the basket. I have already had this in my bath which is why unfortunately it didn’t make it into the collection image – oops.
Next was the Father Christmas Bath Bomb – £3.65. The scent of this little fella is something along the lines of freshly spun candyfloss – yummy. He is sat next to me while I right and smells delicious!
The Magic of Christmas Reusable Bubble Bar – £5.95. ‘Stir up clove and almond Christmas magic with this toasty cinnamon stick.’ This is a definite fave of mine! I can’t stop looking at it and am afraid I may not dare use it because of how pretty it is. This is for sure going on my Christmas list!
Peeping Santa Bubble Bar – £3.95 – ‘Sack loads of bubbles, full of fruity bergamot ad floral geranium.’ This is the most adorable thing I have ever seen and can’t wait to get this cheeky Santa under the running bath water.
Santa’s Belly – £3.95. – Smells amazing, very fruity, possibly cranberry? I love the concept of these and are just a fun way the cleanse your body. Unfortunately though, when I got home this had leaked everywhere :(, however is still usable!
I cannot wait to use these!!
“OLAPLEX™ is a single active ingredient, designed to reconnect the disulphide sulfur bonds broken by the process of permanent hair coloring and lightening. OLAPLEX™ is free of silicones, oils, aldehydes and parabens.”
Used by top Hollywood celebs including Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston and also by our fave Youtubers: Tanya Burr and Zoella. Olaplex, developed in the US, is the new MUST HAVE hair product and I can assure you it will put an end to bad hair days forever!
An in-salon treatment which repairs the condition and texture of the hair after breakages from colour, heat and other environmental damages…CRAZY RIGHT!? The two step process is applied at the hairdressers and completely transforms the hair…I have had this done myself and after feeling the finished result my hair didn’t even feel like my own, more like Barbie’s hair!
Just when I thought my hair couldn’t get any better…Olaplex No.3 was introduced to me, a take home product which maintains the hairs’ strength and health in between salon visits! I have applied No.3 once a week like a hair masque and left it to work its magic for just 10 minutes. My hair has never felt better!
I would highly recommend this brand to anyone! I mean, if it’s good enough for Kim, it’s good enough for me!
With the house to myself and the weather being dreadful, I decided to challenge myself and make what I believe to be the perfect Cake for Autumn! Admittedly I am probably a week behind schedule with this as it would have been perfect for a Bonfire party but never mind!
Although I would like it to be, I have to admit this wasn’t my own recipe but one I saw on the front page of the October issue of Good Food. The first thing that came into my head when I saw the image was ‘Showstopper’ and it was from this that I decided to give it a go.
The sponge itself is essentially a carrot cake mix with the carrot exchanged for grated apple which I have to admit I had never had before. Once baked, a sticky mix of butter, dark brown sugar and fresh lemon juice was drizzled over the top and left to soak into the sponge making the cake even more mouthwatering!
And here is the finished product! The icing being a gentle mix of Cream Cheese, Greek yogurt, Vanilla and White Chocolate (heavenly.) Topped with my first attempt of Spun Sugar along with Toffee covered Apple pieces. I have to say I am very impressed with the outcome (although very time consuming) and the taste is unbelievable! A definite delightful slice of Autumn.
I hope you liked my first post and please let me know your thoughts! Also if anyone has made this before or any ‘Show stopper’ worthy cakes, I would love to see them!