Thursday, 21 August 2014

Iced Cherry Cake

There are only two programmes in the whole year that I will make sure I can stay in for. If anyone tries to organise anything on these certain nights, I am immediately thinking about how I can't miss this week's show. One of these programmes is Downton Abbey, while the other is, of course, The Great British Bake Off. I need to get my weekly fix of Mary Berry guys, I just love her!
cherry cake 1
So you can imagine my excitement when the new season started a couple of weeks, and the first weeks challenge was cake! Cakes are very important to me; I feel like my motto should be 'Cake is Life'... Anyway, when I saw the technical challenge, I knew I had to have a go at it as well. Who doesn't love a cake containing glacé cherries.
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cherry cake 3
Mary Berry's Cherry Cake
200g Glacé Cherries, cut into quarters
225g Self Raising Flour
175g Softened Butter
175g Caster Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
50g Ground Almonds
3 Eggs

175g Icing Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
15g Flaked Almonds, lightly toasted
5 Glacé Cherries, cut into quarters

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease a 9inch bundt tin.
Cut all of the cherries into quarters, and put 5 cherries to the side to be used later. Wash the rest of the cherries in water, drain and pat them dry, and toss them in 2tbsp of flour.
For the cake batter, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, before adding in the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Finally, add in the flour and ground almonds, and mix thoroughly. Lightly fold in the cherries, and turn the batter out into the bundt tin.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden-brown in colour, and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before cooling on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing by beating together the icing sugar and lemon juice, until the icing is smooth and glossy, and has a thick texture. You want the icing to be able to stick to the cake, and not run down the sides too much. At the same time, toast the flaked almonds in a pan over a low heat for a few minutes, making sure they don't burn.
When the cake has cooled, spoon the icing onto the cake until it is covered, or use a piping bag to make a nice pattern. Finally sprinkle the remaining quartered cherries and the flaked almonds on top of the icing.
cherry cake 4
As a side note, apparently sales of glacé cherries have increased over the past couple of weeks... This just shows how much of an effect Bake Off has on it's viewers.

Sophie x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

July Favourites

I know that we are already over a week into August, and this post is meant to be done very early in the month, but I just haven't had the time to do it until now, so apologies for the delay. I've also found that I haven't really had a lot of things which I've really been loving, but I'm hoping that next months post will have more, as I've already got a couple of things that I'm loving.  photo IMG_1560.jpg
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The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet
I am absolutely in love with this face cream, I have been religiously using it everyday ever since I bought it last month. It comes in this cute little frosted glass pot, and the cream itself is more like a gel, but it goes on so nicely, and I find that I only need a little bit to cover my whole face. And because it is a sorbet, it has a nice cool, refreshing feeling when applied, and my face feels really fresh and ready for the day.
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Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Face Powder
This was kind of a summer impulse buy, as I suffer from slightly oily skin, especially when its warm, so I wanted something that would just take away the shine from my face. I saw this somewhere on youtube and thought it would be worth having a go. This has a nice translucent powder, which doesn't effect my skin colour, and it has a nice smooth texture when applied, and it doesn't feel horrible if you apply many layers. I've found that it's a really useful item to have in your bag for some touch ups during the day, and I would really recommend it to anyone that suffers from a bit of oily skin.
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NUME Titan 3 Hair Curling Wands
This curling set is amazing, it just works for me. I have tried a few curling wands before, and they never really did what I wanted, but as soon as I got these, it was like all of my curling worries were over. They are perfect. And the fact that you can change the barrel size is brilliant too, so I can choose what types of curls I want for my hair. I did have to ship them from America, and normally they are $250 (!!!!), but luckily I managed to use a discount code from a youtube video, and got the set for $99 instead! But they are completely worth the money.
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Urban Decay Naked3 Palette
It was only a matter of time before I went back and bought this palette, especially after how much I loved the Naked2 palette. There is just something about Urban Decay's eyeshadows that is just heavenly to apply. And the rosy pink colour scheme is just perfect for me as I have blue eyes. There's nothing more I can say about this palette except that it should be an essential part of every girl's makeup collection.

What have you guys been loving this past month?
Sophie x