24 March 2014

Easy Carrot Cake With A Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This weekend I had hankering to make a Carrot cake. As i'm getting older...yes the grand age of 23...I am swaying away from rich chocolate cakes and fancying something a little more grown up : ) So Carrot cake it was...

This cake extremely easy to make. It is not overwhelmingly spiced. It has just the perfect amount to give you a subtle, almost autumnal flavour.

You will need:

2 large carrots
225g/ 2 cups of self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g / 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
150g/ 1/2 cup of unsalted butter or margarine
1 beaten egg

For the icing:

200g soft cheese (such as mascarpone)
50g soften butter
85g icing sugar
1/2tsp of ground cinnamon (add less or more to your taste)

200g/9lb loaf tin, greased and lined with parchment paper


Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5, 375f or 190c.

Peel and grate the carrots into a large bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder and spices. 

On a medium-low heat add the sugar and butter/margarine to a small saucepan. Stir until it has completely melted. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until everything is well combined. Finally mix in your beaten egg and then pour into the loaf tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Whilst the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Whisk all the ingredients together until you have a light and smooth (this bit is much easier with an electric whisk but I did it by hand). Spread on top of the cake when it has completely cooled down.

Do let me know if you make this cake & what you think of it. I think it goes perfectly with a hot cup of tea and a flick through a magazine : )

Have you ever tried Carrot cake before?

Gemma xXx

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17 March 2014

Fashion, Home & Beauty Haul

Since starting my new job I've been treating myself to some retail therapy : ) I thought i'd share some of my recent purchases with you....

I'm a little on the short side so I find it hard to find a Maxi dress that doesn't swamp me. I spotted this cute dress in Primark and the length was perfect on me! It comes with a thin tan belt which will add a little more shape to the overall look when worn. I really can't wait for the hot weather to arrive so I can finally wear it. I think the dress was around £10.

I also found this bargain of a skirt in New Look. This black skater skirt was £5! I've been looking for something fairly smart to wear to work so this is perfect.

On one of my lunch breaks I popped in to Fat Face to look at what was on sale. I found this cream lacey top for £15...not bad for Fat face prices! It will look great with that black skirt from New Look or dressed down with some jeans and boots.

Moving onto home items now. My parents recently had a mini break in Brugge. All of the chocolate had that 'may contain nuts' warning so they brought me back this cute tea towel instead. It's from the brand Greengate who stock some really pretty homeware items. I love it! The colour is perfect : )

Beauty now. I have heard so many glowing reviews about the Bourjois CC cream so I just had to try it. This was £9.99 in Boots but was part of the 3 for 2 offer. Score! So far it has lived up to its reviews. It's a light formula which has fantastic coverage. I'm going to use it for a few days and post my own review on the blog soon : )

I suffer with some dark circles under my eyes so this was a must! The Garnier BB under eye cream applies really easily and hides any blemishes. It instantly makes me look more awake and bright eyed so I'm very impressed : ) This was also £9.99.

Finally I got Max Factor's Colour Elixir lipstick for free as part of Boots offer. I was looking for a subtle pink so settled for the colour Rosewood (833). Is it just me or do you find buying lipstick really difficult? The colours on the packaging seem completely different to the actual lipstick itself. I spent forever swatching until I found a colour I was happy with. This retails for £7.99.

What do you think of my purchases? What have you been buying recently? Do you enjoy reading haul blog posts?

Gemma xXx

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10 March 2014

Currently loving...


Today I thought i'd share a few of the things that I am currently enjoying...

Daffodils. As they are in season they are a very cheap way to add some colour and life into your home. I love putting them in a clear glass vase so you can see the vibrant green stems. They are a definite sign that spring is officially here!

Malteaster bunnies! They are my guilty pleasure at the moment...they are so yummy. As some of you know I have a nut allergy. These days I can't eat most Easter eggs as they have a warning on them, so the bunnies and cream eggs are my little Easter treats. No it is not Easter quite yet but you've got to make the most of these whilst they're in the shops...right ; )

My new scarf hanger. I have a few too many scarves, so when I spotted this cute owl scarf organiser in Primark for £3 I just had to get it. You simply pull your scarves through the holes and hang them all neatly away in your wardrobe.

Image via Google

Facetime. My parents went away this weekend so we decided to try out facetime for the first time. My gosh it's amazing! I knew it would be good but I was so impressed with how easy it is to use. It's such a great way to keep in contact with your loved ones who are far away from you...they feel like they are in the room with you. Very cool!

So that's a few of my favourites from these past couple of weeks. What are you loving at the moment?

Gemma xxx

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2 March 2014

Pancake Day Recipe

With Pancake Day nearly upon us I thought I'd share one of my favourite recipes with you. They are a little naughty luxury we have every now and then on a Sunday morning. I love the idea of them but in reality they do take forever to cook up a whole batch! You either have to keep them warm or you end up eating them as you make them. We tend to put the oven on low and keep them all warm until all the batter has been used up. That way everyone can eat and indulge together.

These are very gooey and chocolatey with fruity bursts of blueberry. So good!

You will need:

For the Pancakes:
Adapted from BBC Food

   135g/4¾oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml/4½fl oz milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp melted butter  (allowed to cool slightly), plus extra for cooking
  • Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Fresh Blueberries

For the chocolate sauce:

   55g/2oz caster sugar
  • A splash hot water
  • 30g/1¼oz cocoa powder

To make your pancakes, melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. Add the melted butter to the milk and egg and beat. Measure out your dry ingredients and sieve them into the wet. Mix until you have a smooth batter (a few small lumps don't matter). Add in the desired amount of chocolate chips & blueberries. 

Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and melt a little butter. Pour in some batter (I usually judge by eye, you could add half a ladle full or so depending on your pan size). The batter will soon start to form little bubbles on top, telling you that it is time to flip it over. Cook until golden brown on each side.

To make your chocolate sauce, simply mix the sugar and cocoa powder with a little hot water until it is of desired consistency. Heat it through on a low to medium heat until smooth.

If you have a love for Pancakes, Sainsbury's are offering four prizes for the best Twitter Pancake Selfie. All you have to do is follow and tweet a photo of your pancake to @SainsburyPR and @Sainsburys , including the hashtag #SainsbosPelfie by midnight on Tuesday 4th March. 

Do you have a favourite pancake recipe that I should try? 

Gemma x

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be sent a Sainsury's voucher and some kitchen equipment to purchase the ingredients and make some pancakes with. All opinions are my own.


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