Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Girl enters the Cambridgeshire Bake Off... and had to try very hard not to lick the bowl in front of the professionals

This is my story of pretending to be Cathryn from series three of the Great British Bake Off.

So I entered the The Cambridge Bake Off with a nice picture of some cuptail cakes I made and I made it through to the first round: Layered Chocolate Cake!

Well, despite my claims of being a Master Baker in my application it turned out I had never really made a layered chocolate cake before and it was a case of Mary Berry to the rescue.

With her Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe I made this baby:

She was a three layered chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache and then covered in spikes of white and milk chocolate sheet. NOM. (Although I practiced this cake so much I still don't ever want chocolate cake ever (unless it is a brownie, obvs)).

Sadly she didn't survive the travel on the bus all that well but she got me through to Round Two: VICTORIA SPONGE. 

This round is where it all went pear shaped. A week of practice resulted in beautifully risen Victoria Sponges which then resulted in my over confidence on the day. I only had some sly eating of cake batter before turning out two lovely massive sponges ready to be sandwiched together with cream and jam. I piled the stuff on with abandon but my cakes were still too hot! By the time the cake got judged my poor Victoria Sandwich looked like a creamy accident belonging in A&E. I lost points on appearance so did not get through to the next round BUT I had a great time for three reasons:

  • I got to eat a lot of cake.
  • BF got to eat a lot of cake with me :)
  • I now have a really buff arm from hand whipping cream.
Lesson: making cake is actually v good exercise and tasty.


Monday, 24 September 2012 cake

It has been very chilly here of late and it is time for snuggling under duvets with hot chocolate, cake and a film. I LOVE food in films... the chocolate cake in Matilda, croissant in Breakfast at Tiffany's, the icecream marshmallow chocolate concoction created by Kevin when he is first left Home Alone... that sort of thing. Here are some of my favourite film and food combinations for a jolly good evening:

Kiki's Flying Delivery Service
A beautiful Studio Ghibli film about a young witch who travels to a new city and starts a delivery business accompanies by Jiji the cat and her broomstick.
The cute food factor: Kiki lives in a little bedsit in a bakery and also makes a lot of pancakes. I quite envy her lifestyle.
Watch this film whilst eating: Pancakes and Nutella, like so:

A charming Pixar film where Remie the rat goes to Paris and becomes a chef, which causes quite a bit of bother.
The cute food factor: The perfectly arranged ratatouille *dreamy*
Watch this film whilst eating: I recommend profiteroles for this one although good cheese and biscuits would do it.

Juliette Binoche opens a chocolate shop in a little French town. Johnny Depp is there. 'Nuff said.
The cute food factor: A shop full of beautiful chocolates - makes me want to be Willy Wonka and throw sprinkles everywhere.
Watch this film whilst eating: A chocolate souffle made with high percentage cocoa chocolate.

Beauty and the Beast
My favourite film ever ever in the whole world. Belle is imprisoned in an enchanted castle in order to free her father.
The cute food factor: The song 'Be Our Guest'. Yay for talking teapots!
Watch this film whilst eating: WAFFLES

I hope you have enjoyed my post and having a good start to the week :)
Happy film and noms!


p.s. After re-reading my post I think I should just move to Paris and have done with it.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Girl makes.. DIY Embellished Collar Necklace

Alas, I spend far too much money on cakes, crepes, and sprinkles to have many pesos. Therefore when I saw a pretty embellished peter pan collar necklace in a magazine I resolved to make my own. This is my version: 

Sparkly huh? It was very simple to make, and due to my craft hoarder habit, completely free!

If you want to make one too, you shall need:
  • Felt 
  • Ribbon
  • Paper
  • Pins
  • Craft glue (that can be used on felt, plastics, etc.)
  • Needle and thread
  • Pearls, gems, or anything that you would think look pretty on your collar. 

I first drew a collar shape onto a piece of paper. I measured my neck and then used a plate little bigger as the inside of the collar shape, and drew the peter pan shape around it. I cut the shape out and pinned it to the felt. I folded my felt and pattern in half, and pinned it so it would be identical on each side in one piece like so:

Cut cut cut cut....

Ta da!

I then arranged my gems and pearls to get an idea of how I would like them to look when it is finished.

I started gluing the beads and sewing the pearls on. On both the pointy tips of the collar I sewed a little piece of ribbon. 

And that is it! You have a lovely sparkly embellished collar necklace.

And can make pose-y camera shots with it on like this :P (Sorry no one was in the house to take a shot of the collar on with a tee!)

ANYWAY. Hope you enjoyed my crafty post, I would love to know what you think - if there is anything you would do differently or if you are going to have a go etc. :)

Eat cake and prosper

Erin Lian


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Girl makes... Homemade Nutella!

As we all know, Nutella is one of the major food groups and should be eaten about three times a day. Naturally I had to try and make my own. 

I used a recipe from the lovely blogger The Eccentric Cook. The ingredients are only chocolate (I used a mix of dark and milk), evaporated milk, hazelnuts and milk.

Melted chocolate and evaporated milk are combined with ground down hazelnuts, then hot milk is added till your chocolate spread is to the consistency you prefer. It worked an absolute treat. I did find when puree-ing the hazelnuts it took a long time, and I wonder if my hazelnuts would have ground down smoother if I had left it to puree longer. But I think my machine would have started smoking.

This version is grainier than Nutella, and has a slightly tackier texture. However, it is not to say it is absolutely delicious. I had my jar spoonful by spoonful in two days. I would make some in future to use as chocolate sauce by heating it with some milk to make it runny. I would also put a big spoonful in hot milk for hot chocolate :)

I garnered two jars out of my batch, but I think it would have made more had I not eaten so much of the mixture as I went along/had a less thick consistency. However, it was worth eating so much of the mixture and I actually think it is impossible not to, therefore I say it makes two jars.

I would very much recommend giving it a go - I am giving one jar away as a present with biscuits the right shape to dip right into the jar with :D

Let me know what you think. I would also love to hear how you get your three portions of Nutella a day. Possibly to make me feel less bad about my own addiction.

Blog love 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween lovely fellow bloggers!!

I hope your pumpkin is carved and you are already on a massive sugar high! :D Naturally I am already on a sugar high due to eating the butter cream icing and sweetie toppings of my Halloween cuppycakes. This year I made evil mouses cuppycakes AND mini monster cuppycakes. I might have chosen these themes because it means I can eat chocolate mice and smarties during assembly, but I still think the cuppycakes look quite sPoOky!

Tee hee.

Evil mouse
I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes in regular and mini size and topped with chocolate butter cream (I maintain butter cream has nutritionally value... calcium or something). For the evil mouses I used a cocktail stick to dab red icing onto the chocolate mouse's eyes and stuck them on a cupcake.

Mini Monster
The mini monsters just have smartie eyes with pupils made from really thick chocolate icing, applied with another cocktail stick. I would love to know what you are doing for Halloween, are you having a party, trick or treating or just sticking to eating sweeties? Either way I hope it is wonderful :)

A massive huge big thank you to Little Random Happiness for awarding me with the Versatile Blogger Award, it has truly made me very happy!!

P.S. I have to dress up for work Saturday night and was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions that are practical for waitressing/bar tending please!

Friday, 14 October 2011

A visit to Patisserie Madeliene

Well hello lovely lovely blog people :) I hope you are all excited for the weekend and have cake plans. Today's post is a boast review of a WONDERFUL cafe bf took me to last Sunday. Patisserie Madeleine is a tiny cafe in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, serving cakes, tarts and macarons and you can believe me when I say its claim of being 'a small piece of Paris' is truly justified. Just look at these noms!

I chose macarons (obviously) and my goodness I didn't regret it, even though the choice is too magnificent.

One day I shall sit in the cafe all day and try one of each. One day...

I also had a mocha and it was divine. Patisserie Madeliene use Belgium chocolate to make their hot chocolate/mochas and you can tell in how velvety the texture was, and that when you were nearing the end of the drink there was not powdery sludge but just more chocolate :) If I could I would live off them in replace of meals :P ANYWAY I tried three different flavours of macaron: praline, coconut chocolate and salted caramel.

The salted caramel was my favourite. I have never tried that flavour combination before and I can only say that the crispy chewy texture of a macaron complimented it perfectly. The other two were delicious, but I could write a poem about the salted caramel one! 

I shall finish my ode to Patisserie Madeleine by saying that if you are ever within a 60 mile radius of this lovely cafe, I recommend a visit!

I would love to know if you would have gone for anything different, bf (whose elbebone you can just see peeping in the photo a few above!) had a Black Gold, which is dark chocolate in many different textures and forms and is basically a work of art. Or even if you do not like patisseries at all? Quelle horreur! :P


Friday, 9 September 2011

Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes!!


Eeeeee! Caterpillar cupcakes are flavoured with Green Tea and the Flutterby cupcakes are flavoured with coffee. I thought it was quite nice having 'grown up' flavours considering the cupcakes cases and toppers are for little ones! I am going to nom down on these tonight after sushi hand made by BF :) I hope you have a lovely Friday evening planned also, what are your plans? :)