Friday, 31 October 2014

Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes

This has been my go to chocolate cake recipe for the last couple of years, I even doubled the recipe to make a layer cake for my birthday. It is moist and chocolatey and pretty much everything you want in a cupcake. These are also good with added chocolate chips so go crazy.

Chocolate Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery)

Ingredients: (Makes 12 cupcakes)

200g of Gluten Free Plain Flour. I use a blend by Doves Organics.
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
100g Cocoa Powder
280g unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
80g Dairy Free Butter
2 Eggs
240ml Almond Milk (or dairy free milk of your choice)

1. In a bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum and butter until combined. It should look like breadcrumbs.
2. In a jug, mix together the milk and eggs.
3. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients in 2 batches. Whisk well until combined and the batter is smooth.
4. Measure out your mixture into baking cases until 3/4 full. Bake at 190c for 20 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
6. Once the cupcakes are cooked, place them on a wire rack to cool and make the frosting.

Ingredients for Chocolate Frosting:

400g Icing Sugar
100g Cocoa Powder
160g Dairy Free Butter
50ml Almond Milk

1. Whisk together your icing sugar and butter until a sandy consistency.
2. Add the milk and whisk for at least 3 minutes. Keep an eye on it, depending on the butter you use it can go runny. You want a frosting that is smooth and not too thick. 
3. Pipe or spread onto your cupcakes.
4. Optional: Decorate with leftover Halloween sprinkles.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Take A Moment

If you have 5 minutes spare today and haven't seen Kodaline's "All I Want" music video then this is my gift to you. Brew a cup of tea, maybe light a scented candle, get comfortable and press play. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Recently Read: Before I Go To Sleep

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...' 

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love — all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. 

Welcome to Christine's life. - via Goodreads

Another book recommendation from one of my students, the same student who recommended Close My Eyes. I had recently been to the cinema and seen the trailer for the film adaptation which interested me and as I always like to read the book first I dived right in. 

I have to admit that it took me ages to work out what on earth was going on, I think I must have suspected every person in the book of something shady up until the final conclusion. The book is mainly written by Christine in her diary so everything is from her point of view which changes dramatically throughout the book, keeping the reader on their toes. Christine doesn't know who to trust and neither did I. I really enjoyed the book and the film is on my must watch list now too.

What have you been reading lately?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

5 Happy Things

This week has been a whirlwind, end of terms usually are as there is so much to do and everyone is tired. I was so ready for the week break this time around as I had contracted an eye infection and tonsilitus towards the end of the week - sad face - thankfully with a couple of days rest I am now feeling much better. 

1. On my way into the centre last week I spotted two artists making my city a prettier place.

2. New Pyjamas. Is there anything better when you are feeling under the weather? I opted for a pair of fox ones from Next.

3. I have discovered what I think is the best hand cream ever, I've only been using it a week though but if it continues to be brilliant I will post about it here.

4. I have been back on my yoga mat after a couple of weeks off. I was really noticing a difference in my anxiety levels and needed to get back into it. It's hard when you have to establish a new routine, I'm pretty useless when mine gets disrupted. Although I wasn't as flexible as I was before I stopped - don't you just hate that?! - it's been good to get back on the mat and I know it will improve again the more I practice.

5. This weekend I've given the blog a mini makeover and installed disqus all on my own! I'm not as computer savvy as I would like to be so this is quite an achievement for me. I'm much happier with a simpler design and I hope the new commenting system will make it easier for me to respond to all your lovely comments.

Favourites from the web this week:

Tori wrote about her thoughts and feelings on our internet communities ♥ Rosie gave some photography tips for shooting in the forest but they are also great photography tips in general ♥ Jess has made me really want to read this book ♥ Stefanie Claire wrote about growing up ♥ Amber wrote 15 reasons why she will always be on this side of the screen and it gave me a lot to laugh at this morning, so relatable! 

How was your week?

Friday, 24 October 2014

A Guest Post: Apple Crumble Cake

Before I moved I wrote my very first guest post for my lovely friend Jade and it went live as I was without internet. If apple desserts are your jam then pop over to Earth To Jade and get the recipe for my gluten, dairy and refined sugar free apple crumble cake. 

Have a fab weekend folks!