Sunday, 30 October 2011

Pretty Package

Pretty Package

This week on Flickr Faves Sunday, I bring you some gorgeous pretty packages in sugary colours from some of the most creative people on Flickr. I can't wait to start wrapping my gifts! I just have to buy and make them first!

Some beautiful shots from my Flickr favourites (clockwise from top left):

Have a sweet day!
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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Super Cute Cookies by Chloe Coker

Super Cute Cookies by Chloe Coker

This week I'm reviewing Super Cute Cookies by Chloe Coker, from illustrated lifestyle publishers Ryland Peters & Small and CICO Books. Chloe Coker has been baking cakes and treats since she was a small child. From jam tarts to Victoria sponge, her love of baking grew into beautiful wedding cakes and kitsch cookies, eventually turning into her profession. Leaving her old city-lawyer life behind, Chloe trained as a chef and in 2010 opened Chloe Coker Cakes & Catering, specializing in beautiful bespoke cakes and cookies for special occasions. I chose to review this book as I am determined this year to make super cute cookies for Christmas!

The book is split into five main chapters, from an Introduction into all the essential know-how from recipes, to covering and decorating cookies; in depth advice on cooling, storing and a great step-by-step tutorials on making cookie cutters. The second chapter, entitled Celebrations and Gifts, has some of my favourite cookies like the gingham ribbon-strung bunting cookies, polka dot balloon lollipops and the wonderful vintage corsages.

Next up is Fun for Children, which has the cutest bright red apple cookies, the perfect gift for a teacher. There are also animal faces, lady bugs and teddy bears. For little princesses there are tiaras and wand cookies and the delightful retro looking train set. The penultimate chapter, Holiday Cookies, has the cutest polka dot pudding cookies for Cath Kidston fans, fun looking jolly penguins, glittery ghosts and witches and wizards.

Last up is the Love and Weddings chapter, full of pretty, romantic cookies like broderie anglaise cookies. The Tiffany coloured gift box cookies, sparkly diamond ring and the hot pink and white henna tattooed ones. Each of the thirty five cookies are beautifully photographed with accompanying easy to follow photographed instructions and templates.

The Super Cute Cookies by Chloe Coker is a delightful hard back book book full of whimsical and, yes, very cute cookies. At a recommended price of £14.99, I think this hardback book is a great buy as it is full of great advice and inspirational cookie ideas.

Some of my favourite shots:

Bunting Cookies



Polka dot pudding cookies



Broderie Anglaise cookies



Rosette Cookies


To summarize, Super Cute Cookies by Chloe Coker is a delightful book full of inspiring cookie ideas with great tips and advice.

Please note that my opinions are my own and I am not paid for these reviews (apart from receiving a free book, of course!).

I must go start making my cookies!

Have a sweet day!
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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Shloer, Berry Punch - a review

Shloer

I often get asked to review products, and if you are a regular reader of my blog you will know I don't often do product reviews. But when I got an email from the PR company behind Shloer's new limited edition Berry Punch offering me a bottle to try, I thought why not! I love Shloer, and have fond memories of serving it at dinner parties I had as a teenager! With Christmas around the corner it would be good to find something new to serve my thirsty friends and family who have to drive home!

Last Sunday I took the bottle of Shloer around to my folks, who were hosting roast dinner for myself, and my sister, brother in law, newly engaged little sister and her fiance! My elder sister found it a little sweet to have with roast but agreed it would be great with some sweet treats! I loved the sweet sparkling fruity flavour and everyone who tried it wanted a top up!

The limited edition Berry Punch gives a nod to traditional Autumnal English flavours, packed with blackberries and a warming hint of spice. I will be purchasing a couple of bottles for my Christmas Winter Wonderland party, to serve over ice with slices of pear and blackberries!
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Chocolate chip fudge cake pops

Chocolate chip fudge cake pops

I loved making the leopard print cake pops, fruit cake pops and ice cream cake pops for recent events so when I needed to make a sweet treat for a friend's upcoming wedding anniversary party I knew they would fit the bill and I could make them in black and white with little pink cases to match his colour theme.

Additionally, I also decorated three of them in Hotel Chocolat white chocolate with aqua sugar crystals and put trimmed down, striped straws over the sticks as an idea for some cake pops for my Winter Wonderland dessert table.

Chocolate chip fudge flavoured gluten-free cake pops (makes 24 cake pops)

Ingredients
  • 560g Chocolate chip cake (see below for recipe)
  • 160g Chocolate fudge frosting (see below for recipe)
  • 283g (1 packet) black candy melts
  • White non-pareils

What you will need
  • Baking parchment
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Cupcake cases
  • Polystyrene block

Cooking instructions
  1. Crumble chocolate chip cake into small pieces with your fingers
  2. In a food mixer, mix the chocolate fudge frosting with the chocolate cake crumbles
  3. Whisk until it resembles a dough-like mixture
  4. Place mixture into fridge to firm up, making it easier to work with
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  6. Using electric scales, measure out 30g of mixture, roll into a ball, and place on the baking sheet
  7. Repeat until all mixture has gone
  8. Leave cake balls in the fridge for a few hours or overnight
  9. Place candy melts into a microwavable bowl
  10. Heat for 1 minute on medium, stir and continue heating in 30 second intervals until candy is fully melted
  11. Dip lollipop stick about 1/2 inch into melted candy then push into a cake ball, just over halfway through
  12. Carefully hold lollipop stick and dip the cake ball into melted candy, swirling gently until cake ball is covered. Gently tap to remove any excess candy
  13. Immediately cover coated cake ball in sprinkles before the candy sets
  14. Place in polystyrene block and leave to set
  15. Eat and enjoy, or they can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days, or freeze them


Cake pop pics by Torie Jayne

Chocolate chip cake (makes one 20cm size cake)

Ingredients
  • 125g (4.5 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/6 ounces) vanilla extract
  • 150g (5.2 ounces) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g (8 ounces) gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 60ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
  • 100g (3.5 ounces) 70% dark chocolate drops

Cooking instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160-180 deg C (325-350 deg F)
  2. Line and grease tin
  3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture turns a pale colour
  4. Beat in eggs, flour, milk and vanilla extract
  5. Stir in the dark choc chips
  6. Pour batter into tin
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  8. Place cake on a wire rack to cool


Chocolate fudge frosting

Ingredients
  • 60g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 30g (1 oz) 70% dark chocolate drops
  • 225g (1 cup) sifted icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk

Cooking instructions
  1. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave or using a Bain marie
  2. Place icing sugar, vanilla essence and milk in a bowl and gradually whisk in chocolate mixture
  3. Leave to set


Black & White chocolate chip cake pops
Chocolate chip cake pops
Chocolate chip cake pops

Have a sweet day!
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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cute ceramic birds

Cute ceramic birds

This week on "Wonderful World of Etsy" I have gone all a-flutter and I wanted to share with you some cute ceramic birds, from the birds perching cake stands from Whitney Smith to the handmade clay birds.

Have a sweet day!
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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

House Doctor Winter 2011

House Doctor Winter 2011
House Doctor Winter 2011
House Doctor Winter 2011
House Doctor Winter 2011
House Doctor Winter 2011

Today on label love I am sharing with you some of my favourite pics from the new House Doctor catalogue. I, for one, absolutely adore their ribbons on wooden spools and have started to put many of my ribbons on wooden reels. I am also loving their Christmas tree decorations like the pretty aqua snowy pine cones, mini toadstools and elegant deer. To see more inspiring pics check out the new catalogue here.

Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Christmas Winter Wonderland wreath inspiration

Christmas Wonderland wreath inspiration

This week on Flickr Faves Sunday, I bring you some pretty, inspirational ideas for Christmas wreaths. I have a polystyrene wreath just begging to be decorated and I'm thinking of wrapping it in yarn and adding some birds and roses.

Some beautiful shots from my Flickr favourites (clockwise from top left):

Have a sweet day!
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Friday, 14 October 2011

Heather Bullard

Heather Bullard
Heather Bullard
Heather Bullard

Heather Bullard is a stylist, photographer and editorial story producer based in southern California. Heather started her career in retail, interior design and antique industries as a shop owner and antique dealer. The vast experience she gained whilst running her shop became invaluable when she started work on editorial assignments, which included fresh story concepts, finding locations, styling and photography. She is currently a contributing editor at Country Living Magazine and also produces a quarterly online publication called Souvenir - A Seasonal Lifestyle Gazette.

To see more of her gorgeously fresh photography check out her portfolio and her popular lifestyle blog, Heather Bullard, which she started in 2006.

Happy Friday, sweets!
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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Mini doughnut packaging supplies

Mini Doughnut packaging supplies

This week on "Wonderful World of Etsy", I wanted to share with you the fabulous Etsy shop, Avenue 55. They stock some wonderful packaging supplies, from pink and mint twist ties to the prettiest floral paper bags. I have ordered some of the ties and translucent bags to put my Christmas mini doughnuts in to give out as gifts.

Have a sweet day!
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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Nordal Autumn/Winter 2011

Nordal Autumn/Winter 2011
Nordal Autumn/Winter 2011
Nordal Autumn/Winter 2011
Nordal Autumn/Winter 2011
Nordal Autumn/Winter 2011

Today on label love I am sharing with you some of my favourite pics from the new Nordal catalogue. I adore the patterned drawers with the white ornate handles and the distressed white paint finish that gives them a lovely vintage feel. I am also coveting the quirky coat rack with the velvet ribbon.

Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Snowflake cookies

Pretty Snowflake cookies

This week on Flickr Faves Sunday, I bring you some of the prettiest snowflake cookies. This year I am determined to make some of my own...., to serve on my Winter Wonderland dessert table and give as gifts.

Some beautiful shots from my Flickr favourites (clockwise from top left):
Have a sweet day!
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Friday, 7 October 2011

Ania Wawrzkowicz

Ania Wawrzkowicz
Ania Wawrzkowicz
Ania Wawrzkowicz

Welcome to Friday Feature. This week I am sharing with you the beautiful photography of Polish born Ania Wawrzkowicz. Ania currently resides in London and is completing her MA in photography.

To see more of Ania's work check out her site and lovely blog.

Happy Friday, sweets!
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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Hey Yo Yo

Hey Yo Yo

This week on "Wonderful World of Etsy" I bring you one of my favourite Etsy stores for cake decorations, Hey Yo Yo. Hey Yo Yo was started in June 2008 by Amanda Graff, cupcake baker and glitter duster. She has a diploma from The Culinary Institute of America in pastry but her love of all things crafty was born out of working on the Martha Stewart television show.


Have a sweet day!
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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Pretty baking supply stores

Planet Bake



Cake Decorating Company



Bake it Pretty



Fancy Flours


Today on "shops I love", I am featuring four online boutiques that are full of a baker's dream goodies.

The UK based Planet Bake has a wide variety of creative baking and partyware supplies, from pretty cupcake boxes to sugar craft equipment.

The Cake Decorating Company has an enormous catalogue of delights. For the cake pop enthusiasts there are sticks and wrappers, candy melts and cake pop stands for displaying your latest creations. They also sell the trendy new cake push-up containers and can print your photos and designs onto edible paper! Oh, and they also sell edible shimmery ribbon - how neat is that?

Across the pond there is Bake it Pretty, which was started by blogger Amanda who struggled to find stylish, unique, and retro baking supplies. Her store started out as an Etsy store in 2006 and now she has her very own brick and mortar boutique in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Also in the US is Fancy Flours, a site dedicated to edible art and they are passionate about all things related to sugar crafting. They sell over fifty shades of glitter and edible dust, along with cake, cookie and candy moulds, and the prettiest packaging supplies from treat boxes, bakers twine to cake stands and cupcake holders.

Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Birdcage inspired sweet treats

Bird cage sweet treats

This week on Flickr Faves Sunday, I bring you some inspiring Birdcage sweet treats. I can't wait to have a go at making my own Birdcage cake for Christmas.

Some beautiful shots from my Flickr favourites (clockwise from top left):
Have a sweet day!
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Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Vintage Tea Party by Angel Adoree

The Vintage Tea Party by Angel Adoree

This week I'm reviewing The Vintage Tea Party by Angel Adoree, the complete guide to hosting your perfect tea party which was sent to me by Tesco books.

I chose to review this book as it sounded fun! Angel Adoree started her career in Accountancy but her pink hair and piercings became a problem so she swiftly left and started freelancing as a management accountant for alternative London-based companies. At this time she also started an event entitled 'Angel - A Vintage Experience', a new shopping experience where she wined and dined her guests and sold them vintage treasures. Hailed as a huge success, from here she opened her 'Vintage Patisserie' and has never looked back.

The book is a culmination of all things Vintage and Tea Party split into five chapters, starting with an introduction into hosting the perfect tea party with location suggestions, invitation ideas, sourcing props and tying the perfect headscarf. The second chapter, Brunch, is full of both sweet and savoury recipes from chocolate coconut granola to potato and bacon pancakes, and contains features on flower arranging, decorating china and making an apron. The third chapter, Afternoon, is full of cute recipes like lollipop jam sandwiches, bunting butties and, to my delight, a decadent gluten-free chocolate cake. Features in this section include making a bird mobile and how to dry edible flowers.

The fourth chapter is all about the Evening and has recipes for British favourites like beef pie, crown of lamb and fish pie. For dessert there are countless recipes, from a strawberry and raspberry Charlotte russe to pear dumplings with a caramel glaze. Features on candle making and parlour games to encourage laughter and keep your guests amused for hours! The last chapter, entitled Style, gives tips on buying the perfect vintage dress, creating classic hairstyles like the roll and the poodle and how to apply fake eyelashes. Each chapter is accompanied by fabulously British styled photos and delightful illustrations.

The Vintage Tea Party by Angel Adoree is a bumper packed book full of recipes and ideas to creating the perfect tea party. At a recommended price of £20, I think this hardback book is a great buy as there is so much content to pour over! Some of my favourite shots:

Hair and make-up



Earl grey truffle hearts



Bunting Butties



Cherry and Dark Chocolate trifle shots


To summarize, The Vintage Tea Party by Angel Adoree is a wonderful book full of yummy sounding recipes with great tips and advice.

Please note that my opinions are my own and I am not paid for these reviews (apart from receiving a free book, of course!).

Have a sweet day!
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