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Archive for May, 2010

One of the biggest problems with baking cakes regularly is eating cakes regularly… but I’d hate to be put off by something so trivial.

A friend’s birthday gave me the chance to try something different, and I have to admit that they went down so well that I think I might be the long lost lovechild of Mr Kipling.  Mrs Kipling may be less pleased.

An admission: due to my inability to multi-task, these tarts were a team effort.  Thanks Olly for making the short crust pastry!

This was rolled and rolled and rolled… zzz… until thin enough to provide the outer casing for the bakewells.

I used a yorkshire pudding tray as opposed to a muffin tin, which is shallower, but seemed to work better.

Pop a tsp of jam in the bottom of each. The recipe said to use strawberry but I think raspberry jam is what Mr K uses…

The best bit about a cherry bakewell is undoubtedly the the almondy bit. Forget the actual cherry. Half the people I know pull it off and bin it anyway.

Note to self: remember to give yourself enough time for tarts to cool sufficiently before trying to ice. If you don’t you might find yourself  putting the tray near an open window because it’s almost midnight and you want to go to bed.

Top tarts with water based icing.

Make sure it’s really thick. Nobody enjoys a disappointing icing.

Add half a glacé cherry to each while the icing is still sticky. Water icing sets quickly so have the cherries pre-halved beforehand.

et voilà

Nom nom nom.

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Motherducker

If you don’t think this is cute, you’re heartless. Fact.

in Victoria Park

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Just how cool is Daisy Lowe? Not only has she got the fringe that I tried to have before I realised that I looked just like my mum (it took me ages to grow that little mishap out), but she looks bloody good in polka dots too.

Taken from Pearl Lowe’s second collection for Peacocks, this cerulean blue and white polka dot tea dress features sheer fabrics and ruched, cap sleeves.  A lined interior stops you from flashing more than expected in Sainburys. And all for £40.

What about this little number? Too twee or not too twee?

Baby blue, with a floral print, nipped waist and lace trim. I can’t decide if this is something that I really want and might love forever, or something that I’d wear once and then hate because it made me feel like I was 6 years old.

Daisy makes me think that it might be a worthy purchase. But then Daisy doesn’t look like my mum with her fringe.

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… yup Little J.  Meet you outside at 11am?

Sadly for Little J, Nate had to cancel, but luckily for me, Big J (Jacq) didn’t.

I can’t say I’m the most dedicated fan of Tim Burton’s work, having only seen a handful of his films, but when I found out that I was in New York for the last weekend that Tim Burton was exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art, I signed up immediately.

After a ‘Welcome back to New York’ breakfast of brioche French toast at my favourite breakfast cafe Pershing Square, we trooped over to MoMA only stopping to stare with a sinking heart at the queue which was snaking around the block.  Thank god we booked our tickets online and were allowed to smugly skip the queue! (Although I didn’t feel quite so smug when the ash cloud threatened the entire trip and we were facing wasted tickets…).

Once inside, we were treated to the entire range of Tim’s creative work, from scrappy sketches on bar napkins to music videos. The exhibition explored the timeline of his career starting with his doodles in school books which display his distinctive style even at a very early age, to collections of paintings, storyboards, moving image works, maquettes, conceptual art and cinematic paraphenalia.

With a larger collection of stripes than a Breton show room, the dark, comic angst that runs through Tim’s films was evident in full force from even his earliest work. Crazy cartoon strips and sarcastic humour showed us a man stifled by his home town who managed to break out without changing the basics elements of his style to become one of the most recognisable film makers of this generation.

And I wish I could’ve taken some photos to show you just how awesome the exhibition was, but I seriously suspect that I’d have been rubgy tackled by the militantly strict bouncers and thrown out on my ear.

Ah, true love… courtesy of Tim Burton.

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Mmm cake.

My recent trip to New York gave me the chance to do one of the things I really love: take pictures of food! Why doesn’t food in London look the way it does in America? Why don’t we have bakeries on every corner? Why can’t we have 3 hour boozy Sunday brunches? Why don’t we have whipped butter? Whipped butter is amazing!

Whipped butter aside (because whipped butter doesn’t make for very good pictures) have a gawk at this lot…

Earl Grey tea + Bloody Mary + “Farmer’s breakfast” = a good brunch @ The Cornelia Street Cafe.

A right pair of (fruit) tarts

A plum in plum flavoured Jelly… maybe I’ll just have a Creme Egg.

I need these cupcake cases

I was inspired by this edible overload to do a bit of baking this weekend which resulted in a batch of “vanilla vanilla” cupcakes, with a twist. Pink sponge! Unfortunately, over-enthusiastic consumption (by friends! Not me!)has ensure that no photographic evidence remains.  I took it as a compliment.

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I know they’re available nationwide in the UK but they are a teeny tiny bit cheaper in the US.  The question is ‘ is the almost non-existing saving of money worth the pain of trying to carry a suitcase overfilled with showergel down the stairs?’.   It depends on how much you love Philosophy 3-in-1s…

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Amazing Azuni

You could never accuse a chef of having bad taste.  Azuni, built on the taste of former chef Ashley Marshall, mixes precious metals with semi precious stones to create jewellery that is both stunning and wearable. Carefully sourcing materials and stocking at a wide range of locations, including both gorgeous Liberty and Browns, there really is an Azuni piece for everyone.

An upmarket twist on the classic friendship bracelet is this bracelet from the Athena range, made from round semi precious stones with gold plated spacers.

As opposed to a nondescript conventionl fastening, Azuni have made it into a feature of the bracelet by using a generously sized, gold plated lobster clasp.

There are 2 similar bracelets in the Athena range. One features round stones throughout the length of the bracelet.  Mine has a 1 inch section of the spacer blocks, which brakes up the look of the bracelet, making it appear even more delicate in style.

The bracelet measures 7 1/4 ” in length.

And if the whole thing wasn’t adorable enough, every piece is delivered in a lined silk drawstring pouch.  Lovely.

www.azuni.co.uk

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