Friday, 29 August 2014

I made a lemon meringue cake!

I rarely bake, even though I do really enjoy doing it, I find it can be quite time consuming and I always end up making a huge amount of mess. Yesterday, however, I decided to venture into the kitchen and bake something. A lemon meringue cake to be precise! I saw the recipe on YouTube and made one or two changes to their original recipe but I'll still link the video at the end. I would say this cake was actually really easy to make, tasted amazing and I would definitely make this again.

So the ingredients you will need for the cake:
375g caster sugar 
375g softened butter
6 eggs 
Zest and juice of two lemons
400g self raising flour
Tsp baking powder 
2tbsp milk

This will take 25-30 minutes in an oven at 170 degrees. 

For the marshmallow meringue crust you will need: 

175g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar 
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
2 egg whites


1) Combine sugar and butter into a bowl. Mix until fully creamed together and it looks pale and fluffy. It may take up to five minutes to get here. 

As you can see the mixture is not quite ready at this stage I think I mixed it for two more minutes. 

2) Add an egg one at a time slowly into the mixture whilst mixing at the same time. 

3) Using a smaller section on a grater or an actual zester, I rolled the lemons on the table using the palms of my hands. Which seems a bit odd but it's something a cooking teacher at school mentioned and it does something to the membranes in the lemon meaning the juice comes out easier. I zested them both fully first then cut them in half and juiced them. 

Even though the recipe does ask for the zest of six lemons I only used two because I like lemon flavours but I am not too keen on the gritty taste zest can sometimes leave inside a cake.

3) Next I added the 400g of self raising flour along with the tsp of baking powder. Becauase I used a lot of eggs and lemon juice, if the mixture looks a bit too wet add in more flour to thicken it up. 

4) Add in the 2tbsp of milk. Or if the mixture is wetter you can leave this step out. 

5) Make sure once the mixer is off, to run the spoon through the mixture a few times to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed in. 

6) Bringing over the already buttered and floured cake tins, I evenly distribute the mixture between the two. The original recipe does use three cake tins but I only had two so made two quite big layers. 

Whilst this is baking in the oven, I did the washing up and made the meringue frosting. 

For this you will need a Bain-Marie (a saucepan with about an inche or so of water and then a bowl resting on top, careful not to let the bowl touch the water. 

7) Pour the sugar into the bowl, followed by the cream of tartar and salt.

8) Next add the golden syrup. To make this bit easier I had a small jug of water to dip the spoon in which helped get the syrup off of the spoon. 

9) Add in the vanilla extract and the water. 

10) You will need to add the egg whites. Separating eggs used to seem like a really tricky thing to do but recently I have got better. I do it over another bowl (clearly not thinking about the amount of washing up I'll have to do later but it'll save the recipe not getting ruined) I crack the egg in one hand letting the whites fall into the bowl but keeping the yolk in my hand. I do this same technique for the second one. You can keep hold of the yolks and make something else with them as well!

11) Over the heat (medium to high on the stove top) I use an electric mixer until the mixture has gotten stiffer, white and forms stiff peaks. 
All done! And this tastes absolutely amazing if you have a sweet tooth just like me! It tastes almost exactly the same to marshmallow fluff! 

Once the cake is out of the oven and cooled comes the fun part. In between the cakes I covered one side with a lemon buttercream. The opposing side I covered with a zingy lemon curd and pushed them together. 

Using a palette knife, I slathered the cake with the marshmallow meringue frosting, being as careful as possible not to drag any cake crumbs around the edge. I covered the whole cake until it looks like a beautiful little lemon cloud. 

Next step was a little dangerous as I used a blow torch to burn the sugar and give it that yummy crispy, golden taste. If you aren't old enough ask an adult to do this step or equally if you don't own a blow torch I think putting it in an oven would have a similar effect. 

Et voila! The finished produce. 

Thanks for reading, I really hope you enjoyed this post! Love, A x

PS the YouTube video link is just beneath!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

August haul

Hello everyone! I hope you're all well.

So I went shopping today with my mum and sister and I most certainly shopped til I could have dropped. I bought a few things that I've really wanted for some time now and a few other little bits too. 

I'll start with Primark. I was a little disappointed with some of the things in Primark at the moment, nothing was really jumping out at me screaming 'BUY ME' although I did pick up a basic grey cami top for £2.50. 

It's a basic wardrobe staple and I could pair it with jeans, shorts or even tucked into a skater skirt or something. Plus it was such a steal at £2.50!! 

Next I'll show the things I got in Lush. I'm feeling a bit low and in need of a pamper so skipped into the store and picked up three bath bombs. 

The first one I picked up was Butterball. 
This one is great if you suffer with dry or sensitive skin, it contains cocoa butter which is good to soothe and soften the skin leaving it feeling silky soft. It also contains the essential oil Ylang Ylang which is a great relaxant dealing with stress and depression. 

I also picked up Fizzbanger. 
I picked this one up nearly wholly based on the bold, vibrant yellow colour too it. It has an amazing apple and cinnamon smell as well as containing popping candy as well! I've never used it before but it sounds like it'll make lots of fizz and bubbles!

Lastly I picked up Twilight. 
I've never tried this one before but it looked pretty and pink so I wanted to try it. It contains lavender oil and Ylang Ylang oil releasing a sweet and floral scent. These both are also calming and soothing essential oils so will leave me feeling relaxed. 

Next in Superdrug I picked up something I've really wanted to get for quite some time now and seen quite a lot of good reviews about. 

I'm really into the contoured look and would love to give it a go. After looking into which would be the best palette or set to get this one came out on top. I'm really looking forward to trying this, I'll post a review on it too! 

Next H&M. Probably my favourite shop on the high street. I can usually always go in here and find something reasonably priced that I like. 

I got this flannel shirt. I like wearing them over a black dress, I think they look quite cool but casual.

I also picked up a similar flannel shirt as I really like them. H&M fabric always feels really nice and the shirts fit nicely too. 

I got this oversized jumper for £7. It looks really cosy and I picked up one in a size bigger than my usual for a looser fit.

I got this cami vest. It is blue cami with a flower pattern. Around the top it has some lace which I thought looked cute. 
I think this would look nice with jeans and sandals. 

Lastly I got this blue and white ruffle cami top. Unless you haven't noticed I'm really loving cami tops at the moment! I thought the ruffle style was a bit different and the pattern is really cute too. 

It has a quirky spotty pattern to it and would look nice paired with some white or light blue jeans I think. 

Lastly, John Lewis. This product is something I've used before and will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. 
This is the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb perfume. I got one for Christmas two years ago and there is a small amount left and I wanted to get some more. I absolutely adore this scent, so much so if I was rich I would bathe in it. The bottle is shaped like a grenade linking into the name and has beautiful sweet notes to it like vanilla, patchouli, jasmine and rose. It is my go-to scent and you can wear it day or night. 
John Lewis also kindly threw in some sample perfumes like Chloé Chloe perfume, Chloé Rose and the Roberto Cavalli perfume too. 

Thanks for reading, I hope you liked this post! Love, A x. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Topshop and Boots shop!

Now I am working more or less 5/6 days a week I often don't really fancy doing anything on my days off. So much so, I haven't been into a big town or shopping for what feels like ages! So today, my stepdad and I quickly drove to a big town near us and I had a little look round the shops. Why is it when you have the time to browse and more money than usual that things in shops just don't appeal to you, yet when I have no money everything looks great?!

So I'll start with Topshop! 
I got this top for £25. It is a navy and white stripe tee with a bit of lace at the bottom and the sleeves. 

I think it will look nice with a pair of jeans, either blue or white, or even with a pair of shorts or a skirt. 

I also picked up this choker for £5.50 in the sale. I'm a little bit obsessed with chokers at the moment!

I really liked this one when I picked it up, it's a bit different compared to usual chokers and I also really love the teal colour. 

I bought this set of rings too for £8.50 in the sale. I love stacking rings at the moment so I think a few of these on my hand would look really cool.
I like that this set has a selection of rings as well as midi rings. 
Excuse my sausage fingers!

What I got in Boots!

I've repurchased this time and time again. It really is one of my favourites, it's very soft and nourishing, leaving your hair feeling silky smooth and smelling amazing too because of the honey extract in it. These are both £2 off at the moment too!

I picked up these make up sponges because they are so easy to apply nail varnish to and do an ombré effect with.

I know practically all bloggers don't favour these, but I love them! They are so much easier to use. Just wipe my face and it's all done! I do also have make up removers, toners, cleansers etc but if I want to take my make up off quickly before bed I'd just use this!

I can't find my old tweezers anywhere and these are quite cheap so I got these.

I also got some scissors.

I got this fake tan spray by Garnier, I really like this one, it dries quickly, makes you looked tan and not orange and I personally think it smells quite nice too.

Another repurchase here with Loreal Super Liner Ultra Precision eyeliner. This one is a very bold black and has a wonderful staying power.

I got Soap and Glory's Hocus Focus illuminator which I am quite excited to try. I usually really like most Soap and Glory products so I hope this will live up to expectations.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little haul! Thank you so much for reading, love A, x. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Head Full of Flowers' Deathly Hallows multi-layer bracelet review!

Hello, I hope you are all well! 

So the lovely Lizzie from Head Full of Flowers asked for some bloggers to review one of some of the lovely things she has on her blog shop, I jumped at the chance. Lizzie is one of the nicest people I know through blogging and it would mean a lot to both me and her if you'd check her blog out! 

Anyway, from everything in her shop, the Deathly Hallows bracelet stood out to me the most not just because I'm somewhat of a massive potterhead but because it's really cool and looks quite boho. I think the boho styling would look so cool in the summer, paired with a floral dress what with the earthy colours. 

In the middle is the deathly Hallows sign, above it/ to the left are two owls (which I am a bit obsessed with) and beneath is the golden snitch. It has a yellowy pearl style sphere in the middle too.

The bracelt is made up of brown leather type thread with two bits straight threads, a plaited section, followed by two more straight sections, a plaited section and then two more straight strands. 

The bracelet has a small brass clasp which was a bit stiff to begin with but got easier. 

It came with quite a long chain to do it up which I liked in case I wanted it tighter or looser. 

A close up of the bracelet. 

So this is what it looks like on. I think because the plaited sections are quite tight and also because of the metal bits makes it a bit more rigid so won't fit around my wrist as circular and comfortably as I'd like. 

Overall I really like it, I think it looks really cool and perfect for the summer as I love the multi layered stack of bracelets. However I was a bit dissapointed that it's quite difficult to open the clasp and is a bit stuff.  

Thanks for reading, and thank you to Lizzie too! Love, A x

Monday, 4 August 2014

Born Pretty water nails decal review.

I love nail art. I always enjoy trying out new designs, looking at what's popular by The Illustrated Nail or Wah Nails, fiddling with false nails and seeing what I like to wear on my fingers and find comfortable. So when the lovely people at Born Pretty offered to send me two sets of water decals for my nails I was so excited to try them out.

Just to point out I have no formal qualification with make up or beauty everything I do is based off of my own knowledge. I don't have the steadiest hand so I always try to have something to rest on and spend a little extra time doing  it too. 

The first water decal set I used was this one above in the enchanting floral pattern which you can purchase here!

I started off with clear nails. I filed them down to the shape I wanted and buffed them too. 

I cut the decal square into four columns then I cut those into fours again. Just a bit bigger than my nail size. Before applying to my nails I cut them to a more exact nail size and shape. 

Next,  I filled my sink up with a small amount of water. 

This was a square I had left over and realised I didn't take many photos during this process. 

Basically you pop the decal you want to apply to your nail into the water for 10-20 seconds, as well as moistening your nail a little at the same time too. Once the decal is done you place it on your nail, puttin a bit of pressure on it, it'll release off of the paper on the back. Then flip the sticker decal side over and slide into the right place. This'll set and then cover with a top coat et voila you're all done!

Then for the French edge wafer decals in the Camellia pattern which you can buy here. I started with one hand with a white nail paint and the other with a black paint.

With these French tip style decals you do the exact same method as with the other decal set. 

And these below are the French tip decals. 

As you can see some of the decals are quite big and I have quite small nails. So if they are too big you can trim them to size before you stick them on.

Once again, you fill the sink up with a small amount of water.

The decal I have cut to size.

I left it to soak for 10-20 seconds.

It's on and now just leaving it to dry.

Halfway through. It's actually quite hard to do. Especially as they are a bit wet so slip away from the nail before drying.

I think it looks really cool against the black nails. I had to redo the pinky nail again as it was far too big haha!

Grr so annoying! Just as I was about to take this photo, one of the nail decals fell off.

As much as I liked the end look of both of these decals to use. I found it incredibly hard to do as the decals didn't stay in place. I was a bit dissapointed with these products as they looked really good on the website. 

Check out their website Born Pretty too for some great pieces at very affordable prices! 

Also! The very kind people at Born Pretty have given me a 10% discount code for you lovely readers to use at the checkout. The code is SAATX31. Happy shopping!!

Thanks for reading, I really hope you liked this post! Love, A x