Thursday, 27 March 2014

Iced Biscuits Are My New Vice...

Iced by meee, inspired by Cupookie

I was at work the other day when I got an email from Emerald Street casually mentioning a competition to win an icing class at the Biscuiteers School of Icing in Notting Hill London.

Magical place of wonderment

I nearly fell off of my chair.

How did the existence of a such a magical place escape my attention?

Like really though...?

Cake :)

I entered the competition twice and then remembered that I can't leave key life events like this in the hands of competitions associated with the Stylist Magazine, so I booked a space on the first available class.

Butterfly cookies

Arguably, that level of urgency wasn't entirely necessary. Arguably, I could have put the money towards fixing my car or paying a bill. You could even argue that I should have waited on the outcome of the competition in case I won.

But what can I say? I'm impulsive like that. 

Plus I've been under a lot of stress lately and my heart skipped a happy beat when I thought about doing the course. It appears iced biscuits are my new vice.

Lorena - my cool teacher :)

Besides, due to a series of (un)fortunate events, I was the only person in the class. I think my excitement at having a 1-2-1 icing session was more than the teacher bargained for. 

Sometimes I wish I was slightly less impulsive & more sensible with my decisions. I wish I knew how to have balance and spend a little time in my comfort zone rather than on a constant knife's edge. And other times I love my life and the fact that I never know what the next day or hour might bring. I love seizing opportunities and being a pioneer in my own destiny.

Mostly though, I like icing biscuits and Notting Hill.

Peace & Love


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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Confessions Of An Introvert

Recently there seems to be much on the web about how to treat introverts. 

Like most people, I thought introverts were quiet and shy, so I didn't apply that label to myself. I can be quite loud, I'm comfortable in groups & I'm definitely not shy. It turns out though, or so I am reliably informed, that introversion is about how people get their energy, not about being socially 'awkward'. Introverts replenish their energy reserves from within themselves, extroverts get theirs from other people.

I've always been an introvert, just a confident outgoing one. I need solitude & thinking time & space, but I really love people. In the midst of my solitude my mind races & my heart longs for the people that I love. But my spirit demands me-time.

So to those that I haven't seen in a while or spoken to, please forgive me & know that I am thinking of you. 

I'm good, we're good & we will reconnect soon.

Peace & Love
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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you...

Many people say to me "Your children must love that you bake all the time!" That is only a half truth because my oldest son just isn't into cakes. It stems from his aversion to anything with egg in it which I partially blame myself for, because egg (& only egg), was all I ate for most of my pregnancy. He's not actually allergic to them, he just isn't interested at all.

He does love doughnuts though and I've been looking around for a suitable recipe to make my own. I didn't really fancy fried ones and luckily there are many baked varieties out there.

Enter stage left one of my favourite bloggers, Joy The Baker.

I've been following her amazing blog for years & I'm finally getting my hands on a copy of her first book this week. She posted a really lovely recipe for baked doughnuts that I tried out at the weekend (click here for the recipe link).

My tasters-in-Chief (it would have helped to capture them with a doughnut in hand!)
Well, the doughnuts are delicious, and after a little persuasion that they weren't in fact cakes disguised as doughnuts, I managed to squeeze out a reluctant thumbs up! I realise the trick is to hide the whole cooking process so that there are no psychological barriers!

Before I go, can I take a quick minute to celebrate the glorious weekend that we have just had?! The weather has been fantastic and for the first time in ages, I spent almost two full days outside soaking up the London sun (and taking copious amounts of selfies!)

Selfies in the park (because the light was just too perfect!)

Peace, Love & Doughnuts

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Monday, 3 March 2014

Ital is Vital... Vegan Cupcakes

Vanilla Vegan & Gluten-Free Cupcake with Vegan Buttercream and Strawberry Slices

Ital or I-tal (/ˈtɑːl/ eye-tahl)  a diet designed to increase Livity (life energy).

Growing up in a Rastafarian household, there was a time that we ate only Ital food. In it's most purest form, Ital food is akin to a vegan diet minus the salt. In truth though, there are variations on the theme, and it is open to some level of interpretation. For me, when I think of Ital baking, I want to make something that anyone can eat, whether they are vegan, have nut allergies, a gluten intolerance or whatever else can steal the joy of someone wanting to eat a tasty cake.


It's been a while since I did any, but last weekend, I tried my hand at a bit of Ital (in this case vegan and gluten-free) baking with a simple cupcake recipe adapted from Ms Cupcakes new cookery book - "The Naughtiest Vegan Cupcakes in Town"

Cupcakes fresh out of the oven
In my little bit of experience in making vegan cupcakes, I've discovered that there are a million ways to make them. Also once you get the right ingredients it's actually quite straightforward (my kinda cooking!)

Whilst I perfect my own recipe to share with you guys, check out PETA's website for a cool, step-by-step guide on how to make vanilla vegan cupcakes (Click here).

Some extra vegan baking tips;
  • Vegetable shortening use Trex (for the British readers)
  • Vinegar means Apple Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
  • Oil means flavourless i.e. groundnut, grapeseed or sunflower oil
  • I used gluten-free flour mix instead of the usual self-raising flour
  • Work quickly once the liquid has been added to the dry-mix & don't overmix
  • Vegan cakes don't last as long as normal ones so they are best eaten straightaway (which is really no problem at all!)

Vanilla Vegan & Gluten-Free Cupcake with Vegan Buttercream and Strawberry Slices - Ital baking at it's best!

Before I forget, the book is an essential item in a baker's kitchen - it's beautifully put together and the recipes are easy to follow. Get yourself a copy! :)

Peace & Love

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