Thursday, 24 April 2014

RECIPE: Lemon Sponge Cake

It was my Dad's birthday back in March, so I decided to make a cake. But no ordinary cake. A sheep cake! I had seen one in Waitrose and decided to set myself the challenge of recreating it, which was surprisingly easy. I wanted the sponge to be a light colour, so that the white chocolate curls would really look like wool. I settled on a lemon sponge, with lemon curd and lemon buttercream - lemon heaven!
What you'll need:
175g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
175g Unsalted Butter
175g Golden Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
For the Filling and Covering:
3 to 4 tbsp. Lemon Curd
150g Unsalted Butter
300g Icing Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
100g White Chocolate Curls
Chocolate Flavoured Icing (you buy it in a tube, ready to ice with)

What to do:
1) Preheat the oven at 190'C. Grease and line two 18cm by 4cm cake tins. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then add all the other ingredients. Using an electric whisk combine for about 1 minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency.

2) Next divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, level off using the back of a tablespoon and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes.
3) When a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre of the sponge, remove from the oven. Let the sponge cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.

4) To make the lemon buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth and to your preferred sweetness. Stir in the lemon juice.

5) On the top of one of the sponges, spread the lemon curd generously. Then put the other sponge on top. This is when I started to 'carve' the sheep. Using a bread knife, I cut at an angle around the top of the cake. The bottom sponge was no cut at all. This creates an upside bowl kind of shape.

6) Cover the 'sheep' shaped cake with lemon buttercream. This can be challenging as the crumbs of the cake will combine with the buttercream but it doesn't need to look perfect as you'll cover it with white chocolate curls.
7) Sprinkle the white chocolate curls all over the cake, until it is completely covered. Pipe on a sheep face using the chocolate flavoured icing and 4 little hooves.
Have you ever made a 'shaped' cake?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

PHOTO A DAY: Day 112

^We've now moved to the next place we're staying at near Melbourne, which is further up towards Orlando. The view from the apartment is simply breath taking, once again turquoise sea and white sands. Oh to live in a place like this....^

For loads more holiday photos head over to my Instagram - link in the sidebar :)

WEDDING: Pastel Bridesmaid Dresses for less than £85

Planning a wedding is all about setting a budget and sticking to it! As hard as this can be, there isn't any point struggling financially for your wedding. Think about what you really want and what you can cut back on, with the things you really want then look at trying to get them cheaper. Bridesmaids dresses can take a serious chunk out of any wedding budget (you only have to watch one episode of Don't Tell The Bride to know that!), so I've put together a range of pastel bridesmaid dresses for less than £85 each. If you'd like me to do a similar post for bright coloured bridesmaid dresses then let me know :)


Warehouse Botanical Print Dress 65


Do you know of any shops that sell dresses, for less than £85, perfect for Bridesmaids? 

I'd love to know, so please leave me a comment below :)

PHOTO A DAY: Day 111

^We visited Miami Beach again today, it truly is a magical place. After eating in a retro American diner and doing yet more shopping, we watched the sunset on Miami Beach and admired the beautifully lit up strip of Art Deco hotels and restaurants.^

Monday, 21 April 2014

PHOTO A DAY: Day 110

^HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE! Despite being in America this year I tucked into a Cadburys Egg 'n' Spoon that Tom had bought me before I went - I can confirm they are delicious :)^

Sunday, 20 April 2014

SHOP: Current Top Picks from dotcomgiftshop

dotcomgiftshop has a fantastic range of rustic, vintage inspired and shabby chic products available on their website, which is one reason why I love this website! I came across it for the first time a couple of years ago when I spent a small fortune on their January sales. There are always brilliant bargains to be had in their sales and as I was browsing their website recently I noticed how many lovely items they had. I just had to share my current top picks from the dotcomgiftshop website with you all - browse and enjoy...

Ivory Retro Kitchen Wall Clock
Snack Tray Red Vintage Doily
White Hanging Heart T-light Holder
Large Japanese Bowl Poppies
Large Japanese Bowl Blue Daisies

Rambling Rose Paper Lampshade
Heritage Turquoise Rectangular Picture Frame
Set Of 6 Medina T-light Holders

Which are your favourite items from dotcomgiftshop?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)