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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Cupcakes

So, I decided to do a bit of experimental baking this weekend to expand the recipe selection at Sarah Bakes (www.facebook.com/SarahBakesEtc) my very newly fledged small business :-)

I wanted to do a range of "Great British Desserts" for an order for a couple leaving the UK for Oz-and after taste testing this was a favourite!

The sponge itself is a basic vanilla and it's filled with a rhubarb compote with a custard buttercream and topped with "crumble"

Cake Recipe:
80g butter unsalted
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
240ml whole milk
2 eggs

Rhubarbs Compote:
2 sticks rhubarb, chopped in to chunks
100g soft light brown sugar
Up to 100ml water

Custard Buttercream Topping:
160g butter unsalted
600g icing sugar
Half a single serving packet of custard powder
60ml whole milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Shortbread biscuits, crumbled
Rhubarb compote

Makes 12-15 cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade

1. Mix the butter with the dry ingredients until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs (this is best done in a freestanding mixer, if possible)

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and add to the milk with the vanilla essence, and mix until combined

3. On a slow speed add the milk mixture until the cake mixture comes together then scrape the sides and mix together on medium until its well combined

4. Turn the mixer back down to ow and add the remainder of the milk mixture slowly

5. Scrape the sides down again and mix until its all well combined

6. Fill cake cases and cook in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on if the oven is fan assisted) or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

7. Take out of the trays and leave to cool on a wire rack

8. Whilst the cakes are cooking make the compote. Put the rhubarb chunks in to a heavy bottomed pan with the sugar and put the lid on, cook on a medium heat until the sugar's melted.

9. Add enough water to keep the mixture loose and cook until the rhubarb pulls apart (around 15 minutes) then transfer to a dish to cool

10. For the buttercream put the butter and 500g icing sugar in a mixer and mix until it comes together. It is likely to be ball like texture at this stage.

11. Mix the custard powder mix with the milk until smooth and add gradually to the buttercream to loosen the mixture.

12. Once all combined, add the additional 100g icing sugar if the buttercream is too thin, and turn up the mixer and beat for 5-10 minutes until thick and creamy

13. Once the cakes are cooled scoop out the middle of the cake and put around a teaspoon full of compote in the middle, replacing its "lid" by gently pressing down

14. Once all the cakes are filled, frost using your choice of nozzle, and then top with some of the compote and some shortbread crumbs

15. Devour greedily-anomanom!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

MAC Haul

So there was a great offer on Debenhams online this weekend using their online offer, a Facebook code and good old Topcashback!

Here's how it worked...

1. 10% off cosmetics online
2. Debenhams Facebook page issued a code for an additional 5% off
3. Click via Topcashback for an additional 5.05% cash back! For those who aren't in the know... www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/wassavsnowsmith

WELL with an offer like that, payday just gone and a MAC lippy wish list how could I refuse haha!

I ended up getting 3 lipsticks and 2 eyeshadows. Photos below (still working on how to get them in order using the Blogger app-is this even possible?? Lol)

1. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Lady Bug. OMG LOVE THIS COLOUR! It is the perfect red even to wear-dare I say it-out in the day! Not even just at night? It's the perfect amount of sheer and colour and nice and buildable. My favourite.

2. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Patissiere. This is my second favourite and is a lovely my lips but better pinky nude. Perfect for every day or I think layered on thicker would be great with a smokey eye look. The lustre finish gives it a lovely glossy sheen.

3. MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Ravishing. This is the one (as you'll see from my picture) I'm not 100% on I think it's a little too orangey on me! Knew I should have got Fanfare haha! The finish is nice though and a lovely summery colour-maybe I'll keep it by for when I have a tan (might be waiting a while!)

4. MAC Single Eyeshadow in Contrast and Print. I wanted some shades other than black to do smokey eye looks and they are good for that, but a little too similar. My favourite is contrast which has a very slight shimmer and a lovely blue edge. The photo shows it along my lash line smudged in.

So, did anyone else take advantage of this offer??

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

TK Maxx Haul!

Another day another TK Maxx haul!

I have officially fallen back in love WTH TK Maxx. I used to shop here loads around 10-12 years ago but stopped, not sure why?!

Due to rumblings of the amazeballs beauty offerings (mainly on Beauty Box Swappers) I thought I'd take a butchers.

I have found other items on other days (posts to be up shortly) but absolutely loved yesterday's!

I literally snatched them off the shelf. So, the goods...2 lip blushes for £5.99 (yes that's for 2) and 2 lip treats also for £5.99!

The lip blushes are a big chunky pen type lip stain. The shades I got were Happiness and Youth. Happiness is a gorgeous fuchsia pink perfect for spring/summer. Youth is much more subtle and reminds me of Benefit's Posie Tint with a bright pop of pink.

The Lip Treats are quite tiny stick wise and a lovely sheer slightly glossy lipstick which remind me of the Revlon Lip Butters. I had shades LipPeach a fab sheer nude shade which is lovely for everyday, and LipRose a dusky pink shade with a hint of mauve.

These were great value and I'll definitely be popping in to TK Maxx more often to check out the items.

My fave? The Lip Blush in Happiness perfect for sunny nights! What do you think?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sock Bun Curls...

So, whilst looking at how to do a sock bun I came across sock bun curls.

This was a very quick attempt with some hair restyler and a hot hairdryer. I just spritzed the bun then held the hairdryer over the bun until it was dry and then left to cool for 10 minutes

You can see below the delicate wave already formed.

I've seen YouTube videos of ladies who spritz their hair with water then roll in to a sock bun and sleep in it. The next day they have tumbling girls-so clever! Will update this post once I've given it a proper go...

The Sock Bun...

So anyone on instagram? I am and last night after ANOTHER perfect pre bed bun I decided to photograph said bun and put it out there - "why oh why are the best buns always at a time like this, never when you want that no effort special up do?!" Haha!

One follower commented I should try a sock bun.

Now maybe this is me being massively ignorant but I'd never even heard of this before. Several google and YouTube videos later and I am setting to my husband's sock with nail scissors!!

For those not in the know, here's the how...

1. Take one sock similar to your hair colour preferably, and cut the toe end off

2. Roll it up in to a donut shape

3. Slide this over your pony tail

4. Pull back down the pony tail and loop the ends through, then start rolling the sock back over the pony tail, pulling more hair through as you go

5. Continue until you're at your hair elastic, and tease in to shape

6. Fix with hairspray, cute accessory and a smile!

Here's the first attempt....

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The first empties of 2012-part two!


So I got through 12 of my empties yesterday and I have another 14 to go so what else is on the list?...

13. Benefit Her Glossiness "Didn't Hear It From Me"-these glosses have been discontinued and I am GUTTED! They are in my opinion the perfect texture, have fair colour payoff and smell like those dolly sweet bracelets-yum! This shade is a lovely peachy nude with no shimmer, and is great alone or over lipsticks. There is also jojoba oil to moisturise. I was so so pleased when after a plea on Beauty Box Swaps, the lovely Julie Harwood came forward with a brand new one for swaps-thanks Julie!!!

14. Benefit Her Glossiness "Who Are You Wearing" this was again great scent and texture and a lovely sheer fuschia tint for the lips. I got both of these free with Glamour way back I'm 2008-they often have great freebies. I got a small double ended one in a swap on Beauty Box Swaps as well-awesomeness. These are as a said discontinued but you can still find them online.

15. Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation, Hammam Delight, Eucalyptus & Rosemary-I got this in a Glossybox back in December and LOVED this product.

For those of you not familiar with Glossybox, it is a beauty box sent to you monthly with 5 luxury high end samples inside, for the price of £12.95 per month. Its a great way to try new products and is a lovely monthly treat. You can sign up here.

The nozzle is fairly vicious to start off with and goes everywhere if you're not careful, (don't say I didn't warn you!) but has an amazing medicinal smell great for easing muscles and stuffy heads. I would definitely repurchase and have several swaps in reserve and have also purchased the bath oil. At £6.50 this is a good value product and you can buy it from John Lewis here.

16. Batiste Dry Shampoo, Tropical-this is a staple product for me and I got this mini can in a Latest In Beauty themed box last year. I have very long hair and washing it is a chore so this is great for taking the grease out of my roots for a day, or for adding a bit of "oomph" to clean hair. I would repurchase but not in this fragrance as I found it a bit sickly. You can buy it from chemists and Boots sell a full size can here for £4.99 but the little cans are great for getaways especially the festivals!

17. Decléor Moisturising Body Milk-this was an extra in a swap and what a great one. It does what it says on the tin, is gentle and has the lovely Decléor spa product smell. At £26.80 for 25l it wasn't outstanding enough for me to repurchase but I'd definitely try samples again. You can get it with free delivery at Feel Unique.

18. Crystal Clean Skincare Wipe Away The Years, Anti-Ageing Cleansing Milk-this is another swap extra and I loved this product. You smooth it on and it melts away makeup and leaves your akin smooth and soft. I am in no need of cleansers at the moment but I may consider repurchasing if I was out of cleanser. It costs £27.00 on the website here.

19. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask-loved, loved, loved this product! You smooth it on and it foams up which feels odd but nice! It has a citrusy scent and left my skin feeling amazing and looking glowing. It is pricy but I will repurchase as a treat at some point, hopefully in the Christmas sales! This was a small bottle from a gift set but the full size is 100ml and costs (eek!) £39.90 from John Lewis.

20. Simple Kind To Eyes, Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover-I try other removers and have tried wipes but I always go back to this. It struggles a little with waterproof mascara but I hardly ever wear that anyway. It is great value and although Boots sell it for £2.29 here, you can often pick it up in Savers, Poundland and the 99p Stores. I have and will continue to repurchase.

21. Dermalogica AgeSmart Multivitamin Thermafoliant-this was another sample size product I got in Glossybox, and I love it. I love microfoliant scrubs anyhow and this one heats up on your skin it's lovely and smoothing and a little goes a long way. The full size isn't cheap and costs £34.45 for 75ml but it is ace so I MAY consider repurchasing once my back up swapped ones have finished, but it depends if I can find a cheaper dupe in the interim! You can get Dermalogica in salons or Look Fantastic sell it here.

22 & 23. Molton Brown Moisture Bath & Shower Gel minis, Heavenly Gingerlily and Enlivening Toko-Yuzu-I do like Molton Brown but I am not sure they are worth the money. Full size bottles are £18 for 300ml. Granted the scents are wonderful, but for scented shower stuff I prefer Lush, Body Shop or Philosophy. The hubby however would buy and buy haha! We do have an outlet close to us though which is good. You can get Molton Brown in good department stores and the website here gives a good overview of the range of scents.

24. Green People Day Solution, Hydrating Balancing Day Cream-this was ANOTHER swap extra (lucky me!) and I love this. I have loads of moisturiser to get through but I would repurchase this at the right time. At £12.55 it's a good price for a decent moisturiser as well. Feel Unique sell it here.

25. Boots Peppermint Oil 200mg, 60 capsules-for beauty on the inside haha! Anyone who suffers from IBS or similar these are amazing and do exactly the same job as Colpermin but a lot cheaper. Boots sell this tub of 60 for £5.65, whereas Colpermin will set you back £5.45 for just 20! And they have the same amount of peppermint oil. Just a little tip! I repurchase regularly and have them at home and work and always take on holiday.

26. Macadamia, Deep Repair Masque 30ml-this was from my first Joliebox, another UK beauty box priced at £12.95 per month. This masque smelt lovely a really nice fruity smell and not too fruity. It left my hair super soft and shiny and didn't make it heavy or greasy as many masques can. I will definitely repurchase. The cheapest I have found it online is on Amazon for the bargain price of £9.97!

So that's all from me, hope you enjoyed reading!

What empties have you been using up this month?

Monday, 2 April 2012

My first post-the first empties of 2012!

So I do have a blog, www.bakingmakingetc.com, but it is very broken and I am not a technical wizard so I thought I'd set up another to feed my blogging habit in the meantime!

So what better way to start than with my empties of 2012?

Admittedly I started doing this tail end of January so this is two months and a bits worth of product. I hope to now do this monthly.

I got this idea from Jo-Anne on Beauty Box Swaps, and for everything I use up a shiny £1 is going in to a jar ready for my holiday in June.

I used up 24 products this month and I will review 12 now and 12 in an additional post to curb your boredom!

So, here's the products and my thoughts on them...

1. The Body Shop Deep Sleep Comforting Milk Bath Float-this is a lovely bath milk with a slight bubble and smells of Camomile it's really relaxing for a bedtime bath. It's currently £14 on the website here, and I can highly recommend the pillow spray as well.

2. Aveda After Sun Hair and Body Cleanser-this is a great product I used it for build up and also whilst on honeymoon. It has a lovely citrusy smell. I will repurchase before my Thai holiday in June. It's £16.00 and you can buy it here.

3. Soap & Glory Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel-this product is a huge pump tube and it seemed to last FOREVER! It has the classic Soap & Glory scent and is great value for money. I would probably repurchase but I have loads of shower gel to use up. You can get it for the bargain pus price of £5.50 for 500ml from Boots here.

4. The Sanctuary Mandelular Sensuous Body Scrub-this is a warm lightly spicy scented scrub with rice to scrub away. I didn't really like this product as I found it had the texture of a thick shower gel and so didn't have a great texture for scrubbing. I loved the smell though so may try something else from the range, but I wouldn't repurchase. You can get it in Boots for £6.12

5. The Body Shop Moringa Foaming Bath-I absolutely loved this product as I love all the Moringa product. I have already used up the shower gel on honeymoon last year and am finishing the remnants of the body butter at the moment. It has an amazing tropical flower smell and reminds me of holidays! Definitely will repurchase all of the range. You can get this for £8 which for a 400ml bottle isn't half bad. You can order online here.

6. Radox Muscle Soak Bath Therapy-I bought this one day as a bit of a blast from the past and it's as good as ever! Loads of bubbles and a lovely relaxing scent and good for easing a tired body. The hubby nicked loads of this as well! I would repurchase as its suck a bargain. You can get it half price in Boots at the mo here, for the bargain price of £1.02.

7. Neil's Yard Remedies Seaweed & Arnica Foaming Bath-this is a wonder product for aches and pains and my hubby used most of this for baths post sport. It has a strong medicinal smell which isn't for everyone and it isn't cheap, but I would repurchase as a treat or a gift for the man. It's costs £14 and you can buy from Neil's Yard here, or good department stores like John Lewis.

8. Origins Sensory Therapy Piece of Mind, On-The-Spot-Relief-I absolutely LOVE this product and have repurchased I think 4 times now. It is amazing for instant tension relief in the neck, shoulders and temples. It ha a very strong peppermint smell and feel on the skin. I tend to use it at bedtime when I known a tense neck/face will keep me awake. You can buy directly from Origins, but I always get mine from John Lewis here. It costs £11 and I have already repurchased!

9. Lush Dirty Springwash Shower Gel-this is one the hubby used up and he loved it. He usually uses Olive Branch but he got this in a Christmas gift so has been using this up. It has a fresh spearmint and menthol scent great for morning wake up showers! It is fairly pricey at £4.95 for 100ml but the hubby says he would repurchase but prefers Olive Branch. Buy from the Lush store, or online here.

10. Pantene Pro V Smooth & Sleek High Performance Conditioner-I got this in a travel size for a weekend away and it is a great value conditioner and smells really clean and fresh. I would repurchase especially from the choice of mini conditioners available for holidays and times away. Boots do the small one for £1 or so and they're often on 3 for 2 as well.

11. Sanex Dermo Antiperspirant Deodorant Hypoallergenic-a staple so would repurchase. I love Sanex deodorants and always get mine in the bargain shops like Poundland or 99p stores. I get whichever is in there at the time this one had a particularly good fragrance though really fresh.

12. Charles Worthington Results Mineral Hair Spa-this was a lovely light hair mask with a gorgeous hairdressers smell. I would repurchase as it didn't leave my hair feeling greasy or weighed down, but I think this may be discontinued now as I can't see anywhere to buy it booooooo!

So that's it for now (if you're still with me haha!) I will post soon regarding the remaining 12 products

Thanks for reading!