Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coca powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 bottle red food colouring
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together

In a large bowl mix all the wet ingredients and whisk them together

Add the dry mixture to the mixture little by little until it’s well combined

Fill the cupcake holders and put in the oven for 18-20 minutes

Frosting

1 lb of cream cheese
2 sticks of butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups of icing sugar

Mix the butter until smooth and creamy

Add the cream cheese and mix well

Slowly add the icing sugar until it’s well combined, then mix at a higher speed

Finally, add the vanilla

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Vasilopita (New Year’s Cake)

It’s a Greek tradition to bake a Vasilopita, also known as the New Year cake, which we cut in the household as the new year enters. The cake contains a hidden coin and the person who finds it in their piece is known to be a lucky person for the year. It’s usually decorated with icing sugar and the new year’s number.

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History of the coin:
In Greek tradition vasilopita is associated with a legend of Saint Basil. According to one story, St. Basil called on the citizens of Caesarea to raise a ransompayment to stop the siege of the city. Each member of the city gave whatever they had in gold and jewellery. When the ransom was raised, the enemy was so embarrassed by the act of collective giving that he called off the siege without collecting payment. St. Basil was then tasked with returning the unpaid ransom, but had no way to know which items belonged to which family. So he baked all of the jewellery into loaves of bread and distributed the loaves to the city, and by a miracle each citizenreceived their exact share, the legend goes. In some tellings the sieging chieftain is replaced with an evil emperor levying a tax, or simply with St. Basil attempting to give charity to the poor without embarrassing them. (Source; Wikipedia)

Christmas desserts 2014

I was in charge of decorating the Christmas desserts for this year – a ginger bread house and a Christmas cake (actually baked by my mum). Although I am celebrating the holidays away from snow this year, the frosting was still a must! So here’s how they turned out!

Ginger bead house

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Christmas Cake

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

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Last week it was my cousin’s 19th birthday and of course I made her a cake! She’s a chocolate lover so it had to be a chocolate cake. I baked a basic chocolate sponge and filled it with whipped double cream. The cake was glazed with dark chocolate ganache and decorated with buttercream icing (19), a gold icing rose and sprinkles!

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Chocolate sponge ingredients:

  • 6oz/170g unsalted butter, softed, not melted
  • 6oz /170g caster sugar
  • 4oz/115g self-raising flour or plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 large egg
  • 2oz/ 55g cocoa powder, not drinking chocolate
  • pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan or gas mark 5. Grease and line two tins.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until creamy and lighter in colour, using a spoon, hand held mixer or frestanding mixer.
  3. Sieve the cocoa, flour and salt into a bowl and crack one of the eggs into a cup or ramekin. Stiring all the time, add the egg and a third of the flour mixture into the sugar and butter, add the second egg and third of the flour and add the last egg and flour mixture in to the butter and sugar. You should have a smooth thick batter. If your batter is sift, add a splash of milk and stir.
  4. Put into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until springy to touch. Take out of the oven and leave for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool cut into two even parts.

Filling ingredients:

  • 400ml double cream
  • buttercream icing
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • cherry jam

Whip the double cream adding in the sugar and buttercream icing until not runny (but not too firm). Layer the bottom sponge with cherry jam and add the cream filling on top.

Add the top cake sponge on top and decorate.

Serves 12

Christmas Crafts – DIY Advent Calendar

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Last year I just made this advent calendar for my boyfriend after I came across a similar idea on Pinterest. It’s unconventional and thoughtful. I used After Eight chocolates, one for each card and each card had a personal message inside.

Start by buying blank cards, the smaller the cuter (but that’s a preference). Decorate them with stickers and add your personal touch to them. I’m not awfully creative so anything simple will be just as nice! Inside the messages can be as personal as you want, I went with “I love you because…” and wrote 24 different reasons for each day of the advent calendar. I added an After Eight chocolate inside every card to keep it close to the conventional advent calendar and also, of course, have a treat! After Eights were ideal as they’re wrapped individually to avoid melting etc.

Once the cards are crafted, mark them with numbers on the outside to represent the day that you want them to be opened. Finish by putting them in a tin (I used a Ben’s Cookie’s tin)!

-KK_x

Barcelona

After I visited Lake Tahoe in California I didn’t think I would be so impressed by anywhere else. This time I fell in love with the city of Barcelona. It was my first time there and I was only there for four days. It felt like we were rushing through a lot, but it was all so beautiful and magic that it didn’t matter; it only made me sad when it was time to leave! I want to share some pictures and if you haven’t been yet, get planning!! I will be adding these photos on my Beautiful Places page soon too!

La Boqueria – The market on La Rambla 

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Park Guell

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La Sagrada Familia – The Cathedral

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Camp Nou – FC Barcelona

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Casa Batllo – Gaudi’s work

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Montjuic

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The cute adorable little streets behind La Rambla

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Park Citadel

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The Port

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The culture of Catalonia

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-KK_x