Dr. Seuss cake!

I had the urge to bake a big colourful cake last week, I searched the internet for a recipe I liked. When my sister saw it she said it looked like something from Dr.Seuss, so I thought that'd make a good name for it. I came across Rachel Allen's Victoria Sponge recipe that I liked the sound of. I doubled it to make a three layer cake with 25cm cake pans.

To make the sponge colourful I added just a few drops of liquid food colouring. I wanted the colours to be very light so a drop or two did it.



Ingredients
250g softened butter
350g Caster sugar
6 eggs
350g Self raising flour
2 tbsp milk
500g icing sugar
Whatever colours and decorations you want too use.

Method.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter until very soft, and gradually add the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, one by one, beating well all the time. Sieve the flour and baking powder, and stir in gently, then stir in the milk until combined. Divide the mixture into three equal parts. Add a few drops of your chosen colour to each. Add each third to one 25cm baking tin. Bake for 12-18 minutes, or until just cooked; the centre of the cake should spring back when you push it gently with your finger. Turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool. Cool the cake that is going to be the top layer on its base, so that it's not marked by the grid of the cooling rack. The colour of the cakes might look quite brown on the outside, but the middle will be clear of that.

Mix up the 500g of icing sugar with about 50grams of butter at room temperature and a few tablespoons of milk. Just add slowly until you reach the consistency you want. Seperate into however many colours you want of containers and use the food colouring to get it to the pretty shade you are after! The idea is to add as slowly as possible, as liquid food colourings are highly concentrated.

Enjoy! This is a MASSIVE cake by the way, so if you wanted a smaller one just divide the ingredients by two and use only two tins.

Pastels.


I love pastel colours. I originally went into Dorothy Perkins to get these heart print tights, but they were sold out. I did however leave with this lovely pair of lilac tights. I love them! Dorothy Perkins tights are brilliant, and they are often 2 for £8 which is good since they last so long. And they come in more than one size, I hate when shops sell things in one size fits all. That makes no sense!



Cardigan - Marks and Spencer
Dress - Primark
Tights - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Office
Brooches - LLROK
Necklace - Topshop
Birdcage umbrella - Lulu Guiness

The dress (which I love to pieces, the print is amazing) is from Primark and was just £7.50! I might get the blue one as well. The buttons are tiny roses.

I got these lovelies in the sale, total bargain and beautiful as always. Lady Luck never fail to impress me!

How sweet is thisTopshop necklace? The mirror on it is real, not one of those useless plastic ones. Handy for checking your make up on a night out! Please excuse my terribly chipped nails.

And just to finish (since they are also pastel colours!) here are some photos of some of my baked goods. I made these cupcakes for some friends, they're just the vanilla ones I shared in the last post decorated differently. I had one, they were yummy!

Tagged: 10 things that make me happy!

I was tagged by Becky over at Becky Blog to post about 10 things that make me happy.

Percy pig cupcakesChocolate fudge cake!Vanilla cupcakes.My first wedding cupcakes.

1. Baking.
I guess I should start with the obvious one! I actually have a cake in the oven as I type. I loved baking when I was little, my granny Lily always baked chocolate cupcakes for us and covered them in galaxy chocolate. I started baking cupcakes when I was about 13 and loved it, I loved decorating them. Since then my passion for cooking and baking has grown so much. I love baking for other people, to see how happy it makes them to get something that someone has put a lot of care and love in to.


45/365 | Bed fort!

2. Napping.
I know this is a really bad habit but I just love napping. One of the ways I can get myself out of bed in the morning is to think of the nap I will have when I get home. I set up my t.v. with an episode of something to fall asleep to and curl up for 'half an hour' which usually turns into about three hours. I can't help it!

Beautiful girly shop!

3. Shopping.
I need to cut down on this! I love shopping though. Especially for dresses and trinkets. My room is cram packed with what everyone else calls junk, but I love it.

Film Studies

4. Film.
This is another obvious one as a film student. I've always loved films. We had a little video rental shop at the top of our street growing up and I would rent a film every weekend until I had seen every film in there that I was old enough to see. I just love being absorbed in a story and seeing things in different ways, places I've never been and experiences I didn't even know were possible. I was a bit of a loner as a teenager so I spent all weekend and most evenings watching films. My love for arthouse cinema grew in my early teens before DVDs were really popular or affordable. I would just watch a lot of films on t.v., and I was a night owl even then so a lot of them were probably not age appropriate! The first dvd I ever bought was Moulin Rouge.


Jewelery corner.Cherry blossom lightsPoster wallAudrey

5. Home decoration.
I think I have been planning my dream house since I was about 8. My bedroom colour since then has been changed about 10 times, I'm constantly rearranging and buying new things. Every time I say something like "I need a new desk" my dad just says "Claire, you need a house" and it's true. I have moved out but I'm back home now. I have lots of ideas for my house when I finally get it, I definitely want a Smeg fridge.



Chocolat chaud!

6. Hot drinks.
Tea, hot chocolate, ovaltine. I love it. I wish I was a coffee person though, I could do with a pick me up like that. Can't stand the taste though.

Shrine in Kamakura

7. Travelling.
I love seeing new places. I've visited a good few countries for my age and about 10 US states. I really love Japan, and am planning on going back soon. I was there in 2007 for two weeks. After uni I am saving money for a year to go travelling for about an 8 month stretch.

New camera as well :D

8. Taking photographs.
I love taking photographs. I just love documenting everything. I don't claim to be a photographer, I just have a lot of fun with it! I have a flickr pro account which I love filling up with snaps.

34/365 | Songbird.
9. Music.
Everyone loves music right? I love putting my headphones on and being in my own little world. I am a big Tori Amos fan, I saw her perform 4 times last year and have met her a few times. I love folk music, I'm a big fan of the Wainwrights and the McGarrigle's.

44/365 | Me and Katy walk Molly.
10. Family and friends. I have two brothers and two sisters so this house is always buzzing. I'd be lost without them.

Thanks for tagging me Becky! You're supposed to tag 10 people but most I read have already done this so I tag Belle Fantasie, Seventy-Seven Broadway, Bright red cardigans over printed dresses, Pretty much Penniless and Afeitar.

More florals and a new bag.


Cardigan - A-wear
Dress - New Look
Tights - M&S
Shoes - Harrod's Ruby Slippers
Necklace - Topshop
Ring - Topshop

I apologise for all the florals, but I just can't get enough of them. I wear them all year round and they're no more appropriate than coming into spring. Plus our weather has been lovely this week.



Jumper - A-wear
Skirt - Urban Outfitters
Shoes - Primark




I might do a little post on my Cath Kidson obsession in a bit. I have a feeling I'm getting the little mini satchel I heavily hinted at for Valentine's day. I got the red tote in their Christmas sale with £20 off so I was a happy bunny!


Valentine's Vanilla Cupakes!


I just wanted to share my Valentine's themed cupcakes! They're my favorite vanilla cupcakes and they're from Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a Domestic Godess' . I just added some lovehearts and little heart sweets I got in the holiday aisle of Tesco! I'm hoping all the cute heart themed things I can't really justify buying will be reduced after Sunday.

This recipe is the most accurate I've ever used, it says it makes 12 and it always does. Usually recipes never make for me what they say. I used a basic buttercream recipe instead of the royal icing from this one, but it works well too.

INGREDIENTS

125g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g soft unsalted butter
2 eggs
Half a teaspoon real vanilla extract
Approximately 2 tablespoons milk
1 packet instant royal icing food colouring – for preference, colour pastes specialist cake decorations of choice
e.g. wafer roses, sugar flowers, dolly mixtures, and sprinkles
1 x 12-bun muffin tin
12 muffin papers

METHOD


1.Preheat the oven to 200C and line the tin with the muffin cases.
2.It couldn't be simpler to make cup cakes: just put all the ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blitz till smooth.
3.Pulse while adding milk, to make for a soft, dropping consistency, down the funnel. Or using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
4.Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
5.I know it looks as if you'll never make this scant mixture fit 12 bun cases, but you will. I promise you this mixture is exactly right to make the 12 cup cakes, so just spoon and scrape the stuff in, trying to fill each case equally, judging by eye only of course.
6.Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top. As soon as bearable, take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, right way up, on a wire rack.
7.Once they're cool, make up a big, uncoloured batch of royal icing, and then remove a few spoonfuls at a time to small bowls.
8.Using a bamboo skewer, add small dots of colours from the paste-tubs, stirring with a teaspoon and then adding more colouring, very slowly, very cautiously (pastel works best here, whatever your everyday aesthetic) until you get the colour you want.
9.Use teaspoons to coat the cupcakes with icing and leave each a moment to dry only slightly, on the surface, before sticking on a rose, daisy or whole stash of decorations.





Happy Valentine's Day for Sunday everyone!

Outfit 8/2/09.



I just wanted to share this outfit with you. The dress is new from A-wear. I bought the boots reduced to about £40 from something crazy like £120 from Faith years ago, wore them once or twice then lost them. You may wonder how you can loose a pair of boots but my dad tends to tidy things away when I leave them around and he tidied them into the cupboard under the stairs. I was so happy to find them! I feel great in these boots, that little bit of extra height to my 5ft self makes all the difference to my confidence!



Dress - A-wear
Belt - Primark
Tights - Marks and Spencer
Boots - Faith
Necklace - Topshop
Bag - The British Museum, London.

Do you have an item of clothing or a pair of shoes you feel great in every time you wear?



P.S. I plan on baking some Valentine's cupcakes this week so I'll have another recipe to share with you soon!

Winter dresses.


Cardigan - A-wear
Dress - Primark
Tights - Accessorize
Shoes - Office
Bag - ASOS Menswear
Necklace - Topshop
Bracelet - ASOS

It's definitely still winter here in the UK, and it looks like it's going to be another long while before spring arrives! I love autumn/winter clothes but hate the weather. I still insist on wearing tights throughout the year though. I am notoriously clumsy and have a habit of ripping my tights as soon as I get them. I swear by Accessorize tights. I have never ripped a pair, they come in beautiful colours and patterns and they fit really well. They're a bit more expensive than other shops but honestly would you rather buy the same pair of Primark tights over and over again or buy one pair that feel great and will last forever for around£8?

Outfit details: