Monday, 21 December 2015

Building the tiny gingerbread town

Last year my husband bought me this awesome tiny gingerbread house cookie cutter (off Amazon) unfortunately it didn't arrive in the mail until after Christmas. That means I have basically been waiting a whole year to use it!

Their construction was actually not as difficult as it might look. We just follow the recipe and instructions on the back of the cookie cutter. My pro tip is that you need to make sure your royal icing nice and thick! This stuff is like your cement for building them, if it's too thin it won't hold them together and you'll be waiting for ages before you can put the next piece on.
We had so much of fun decorating these cute little houses instead of making one big one this year. They were pretty fiddly and time consuming but they are also so cute that I think it was worth it :)
We decided to put silvered almonds on for roof tiles, as well as coconut and cranberries- yum! We also piped on some glitter icing for a few of them and then decorated them. Each one was a little bit  different just like a real neighborhood of houses.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! xx

Thursday, 3 December 2015

My quick and easy Christmas mince tarts

Christmas mince tarts are one of my favourite Christmas foods. I've made them from scratch lots of times in the past but it's a pretty time consuming process and sometimes you just want a quick version that tastes really good.

This is my quick and easy mince tart recipe, the whole thing takes about an hour including cooking time. I really love the addition of chocolate chips and coconut but you can leave those out if you'd prefer.

Ingredients:

1/2 a standard pot of fruit mince mix (I used this one by the brand Tasti)
1/4 cup of coconut
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 packet of red glace cherries
Pre made frozen shortcrust pastry (thawed out)



Combine all of the ingredients except the pastry in a large bowl. Mix until combined.

Preheat your oven tow 190 degrees Celsius. Roll out your shortcrust pastry to about 1 cm thick and cut out 8 circles using a large cookie cutter or a wine glass works well. Place them into pre greased muffin tins. After this you should about a quarter of your dough left over. Roll this left over dough out and cut 8 snowflakes or any other shape of your choosing. Divide your fruit mince mixture into even amounts for your 8 pies. Place your snowflake or shape on top of each pie and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and baked through. Dust with icing sugar.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Going to Hummingbird Bakery, London

So many pretty cupcakes!
Getting to visit the Hummingbird Bakery in London was one of those amazing 'Wow!' moments for me because as long as I've been interested in baking I've dreamed of going there.

I've you haven't heard of Hummingbird Bakery it is one of the founding cupcake stores in London and has a series of beautiful and delicious recipe books you can purchase around the world.

I first started using their recipes about 6 years ago (about the time I started this blog) because my Brother-in-law gave me one of their books for Christmas.

Their recipes are just really, really good! Even if you are an absolute beginner just follow their instructions and you will be able to make great cupcakes, I promise.

Here are some photos of my experience.

Their famous Rainbow cake was my pretty impressive!
I got the classic 'Vanilla Cupcake' because it's my favourite to bake
On our way there my sister and I stopped to say hello to Paddington Bear.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Some of my favourite North American treats.

As some of you know I've been on a healthy eating quest for the last year or more so spending the last 6 weeks in North America probably wasn't the best thing for that! What it was good for though was lots (and lots!) of sensational baked treats which I couldn't resist but indulge in.

This is a run down of some of my favourites and recommendations for any friends who might be planning a visit to America or Canada soon.

1. Donuts. 

Theres just nothing like their donuts! Think of the best, most delicious donut you've tried in New Zealand and you're not even close to most of the ones they just sell in their local coffee shops or supermarkets.

One of my ultimate favourites was this coconut cream custard filled one from Firecakes in Chicago. The best part was that the donut was coated in toasted coconut flakes and for this coconut lover it was sensational!


We also had some really great lemon poppy seed ones. Probably not conventional donut flavour but still great! I liked how the different flavours of donut seem to have very different doughs. These ones below were more of a dense cake consistency than the fluffy spongy textured ones we seem to find in our stores. Either way there really wasn't a bad donut I tried in the last 6 weeks. Some of my favourites included the Boston cream, cherry filled, bacon maple, custard cream, toasted coconut and just plain frosted. Simple but so good! We also tried many different kinds in Canada thanks to Tim Horton's incredible selection. 

2. Banana splits

It seems like such a simple concept but getting it right is hard and American's have really nailed it! I think the 3 different flavours of ice cream is key here.


3. Pie

I actually only tried pie once in the states (I know what's wrong with me!) but that was because their dinner portions are so huge that you physically can't eat dessert no matter how much you want to. This pie was so great that it automatically comes in at number 3 in my mind.


It was at Manhattan Diner in New York, it was Cherry and it was incredible!

4.  Cupcakes

We went to the cupcake ATM at Sprinkles Cupcakes which was pretty exciting. Unfortunately for us the machine didn't seem to be working so we had to go into the store to purchase our treats. They didn't have that many flavours but I love how beautifully presented they all were! These were their black and white cupcakes.


We also tried mini cupcakes from a store called Baked By Melissa in New York City. They were so cute and very addictive!

Mine was peanut butter and jelly and it was divine!
5. Boston Cream Pie.

Sometimes you can imagine what something is going to be like in your mind but then get it so very wrong. This was one of those times for me. I had always assumed that a Boston Cream Pie was in fact a pie. Nope! It's a cake and I also discovered that it is incredibly delicous. I'd really love to try and make one of mine own at some point.

Here is a rather ugly picture of my piece which I purchased from a cake shop called Mikes pastry shop in Boston's North End. It was (as my husband would say) legit! It's pretty much the best sponge cake you've ever had filled with fresh vanilla custard and topped with rich chocolate icing.

Here's a much prettier picture of one from the Betty Crocker website. It honestly doesn't look that hard to make so I'm looking forward to taking up the challenge when we get settled into a new place.


Slightly disappointing for me were the cinnamon rolls we had from Cinnabon. My husband enjoyed them but they just seemed really soggy and kind of uncooked to me. Anyway, I guess you can't win them all!

Thanks for the wonderful treats North America :)

Monday, 18 May 2015

ANZAC Biscuits, movie cake pops and the very delicious cupcakes!

I've been doing a lot of baking recently but have sadly been neglecting my blog big time! This is mostly due to my study, work, life balance or should I say imbalance at the moment.

I made these awesome ANZAC biscuits last month thanks to a previous post I did over 3 years ago. I used the same recipe and it served me well again :) They are just so, so good!


I also this month I made some delicious popcorn inspired cake pops for my friends movie night :) Yes! I totally got the idea from Pinterest hehe.



I cheated and used a red velvet cake mix but they were still pretty good considering!

Last but not least this month I finished my practicum and celebrated by baking all the lovely teachers I worked with my famous raspberry chocolate cupcakes.


These are seriously the best cupcakes I've ever tried and after years of perfecting the recipe I think its a hard one to go past when I need to bake something special. They are super moist and rich hence I call them 'The very delicious cupcakes' AKA the best cupcakes ever?

Also this month we are in the process of packing up our lives and heading off on our big O.E! This might be one of my last baking posts for a while because 'Eat, Bake, Love' moves to aboard in less than a month, exciting!

I'll let you know when I'm all settled into my new life and as always I'm looking forward to sharing more treats and delicious baked goods with you all very soon.

xx SR


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

My March Favourites

I've been watching a lot of Youtube tutorials this past month and have been inspired to do my very own March favourites blog post.

I case your not sure what I'm talking about I'll explain. A common thing to post on Youtube are these monthly favourites videos where people talk about some of their favourite things they did, bought or tried for the past month plus some reviews.  I figured why can't I do this in a blog version? So here I go....

While we're on the topic of Youtube I figured I'd start with one of my favourite Youtubers at the moment. Her name is Brittany and she is so awesome! Her channel is 'beautywithbrittanyxo'


She mostly does makeup tutorial videos but she also does cool hair tips and outfit ideas. Plus she's really sweet and has a really funky style.  I'm pretty sure we are kindred spirits even though I've never actually meet her. She's just really good, you should check out her channel.


All things Cinderella!


Over the Easter weekend I was lucky enough to twist the arm of my husband and we went and saw Disney's Cinderella together. WOW! What an awesome movie! So many sparkles, cute animals and of course magical spells that end in a fairytale romance *sigh* What's not to love? It really was great, you should go an see it!

So when I read online that they have their very own range of M.A.C makeup in Cinderella colours I decided I needed to buy some asap! Unfortunately for me and to my absolute horror they have sold out of basically everything in the range (in Wellington stores anyway). Just look how pretty it is, it's no wonder really!




The lipsticks especially look like they are great neutral colours and they have really pretty shimmering eye shadow too! I will get my hands on one, somehow!

Cinderella inspired cakes

If you're looking to waste a few hours of our life just google image or Pinterest the word 'Cinderella'. Oh man! I found some many lovely things! Here are some of my favourites...

http://cakesdecor.com/cakes/180849-cinderella-cupcakes-cake-international
Click on the picture to see more photos and details.


http://www.colincowieweddings.com/articles/cakes/the-20-prettiest-wedding-cakes

How about this for a Wedding cake? Soo pretty! If you want to check out some more of the 'prettiest wedding cakes' click on the picture for 20 more :) They are seriously gorgeous!

You could even make Cinderella cake pops,  talk about adorable.

http://midtownsweets.com/2013/04/18/cinderella-carriage-cake-pops/


My final March fav is...

Netflix.

I'm sure if you're reading this from the states or the UK you will already know all about the awesomeness of Netflix but in case you don't I will sum it up for you in one word. Life-changing.

Netflix basically means you can watch shows and movies on demand whenever you like! It's also really cool because it remembers your shows and recommends shows/movies to you that you will actually like!

I just started watching this hilarious new show called 'The Unbreaklabe Kimmy Schmidt' and having just been really sick with the flu I've been able to watch the Gilmore Girls (they have all 7 seasons!) whenever I like and that's pretty awesome :-)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Birthday cake pops fit for a Frozen princess

Since my cake pops were such a success I thought I would attempt them again but this time for a very special occasion! For a lovely little 5 year old I have been teaching for the last three years.

I decided to make them a few different themes just to be a bit clever. Her party was a Disney's Frozen one so I did a few with glitter and blue sprinkles, I also did some with butterflies and pink and yellow sprinkles and finally some with pink and white love heart sprinkles. Just right for a girl who loves princesses and fairies I think :)
Instead of baking the cake, breaking it into crumbs and rolling them into ball (like last time).
I  decided to use my cake pops silicon pan and it was awesome! The size of the little cakes was just right for a lollipop stick. You can buy one of these great little pans from Spotlight or online from Amazon.

Then it was time to mix up a yummy strawberry cake batter and bake these cuties!

Ta da! I was pleased that they all popped out perfectly and were cooked just right! (Phew). The most important step is to place a stick in each one and then freeze them for at least 30mins or until they like little cake pop rocks. I actually baked these in my friends kitchen while we were watching a movie and luckily for me she has a way bigger freezer than I do! but if you have a little itty bitty freezer you might have to do it in batches!

Then it was time to decorate, I had three bowls of sprinkles and one big bowl of melted 'Cadbury Dream' chocolate then just got to work dipping them in and sprinkling up a storm -my favourite part!


Heres my final result, sooo pretty and flippn delicious plus I think the Birthday girl loved them- I know her Mum did! So all in all a huge success :-)


I'm already looking forward to making some more really soon, I just need another special occasion.... suggestions?

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