Carrot Cake & Victoria Sponge From Tanya Bakes

 

Over the last couple of weeks I have been doing some baking, especially from the Tanya Bakes cookbook. I made the carrot cake and the Victoria sponge cake from the book and did a poll on twitter if you wanted a blog post on them, you all said yes so here it is.

First of all, I was excited to receive Tanya Bakes for my birthday as I am a fan of Tanya. The book is really lovely with gorgeous photos in and amazing looking recipes. Its one of those cookbooks where you flip through and you would genuinely bake and enjoy every single thing in the book. Which is really nice as usually when I get a cookbook I fold down a few pages, bake a couple of things and never really touch the book again.

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Carrot Cake

Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 10-12

What you will need:

◊ 3 round cake tins
◊ 325g light muscovado sugar
◊ 25g plain flour
◊ 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
◊ 1 teaspoon ground ginger
◊ 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
◊ 2 teaspoon baking powder
◊ Juice of one orange
◊ 3 large eggs
◊ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
◊ 300ml vegetable oil
◊ 300g grated carrot
◊ 100g sultanas or raisins

For the icing:

◊ 125g butter, softened
◊ 300g icing sugar
◊ 150g full-fat cream cheese
◊ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate:

Chopped Walnuts and Pecans
I personally decided not to go for the decoration suggested I used mini carrot decorations and gold glitter.

What to do:

◊ Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/GM4. Line the cake tins with grease proof paper.

◊ In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, spices, bicarbonate or soda and baking powder.

◊ Add the orange juice, eggs and vanilla extract and mix through, then slowly add the oil, mixing as you go to form a smooth batter.

◊ Fold through the carrot and sultanas or raisins. Divide the batter between the cake tins and spread until even. Bake for 18-20 mins. Cool in the tin the transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

◊ For the icing, in a bowl cream together the butter and icing sugar until smooth and light. Add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

◊ Sandwich the cakes together with the icing and add a final layer of icing on top. Decorate the top with pecans, walnuts and lemon zest or what ever you decide to decorate with.

This was probably the nicest carrot cake I have ever had. It was so moist and delicious!

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Victoria Sponge Cake

Serves 8-10
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins

What you will need:

◊ 2 round cake tins
◊225g unsalted butter, softened
◊ 225g caster sugar
◊ 4 eggs
◊ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
◊ 225g self-raising flour
◊ 1 teaspoon baking powder
◊ Pinch of salt

For the filling:

◊ 200lm double cream
◊ 1 jar strawberry jam
◊ 1 punnet fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

To decorate:

◊ A couple of strawberries hulled and halved
◊ Icing sugar, for dusting

What to do:

◊ Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/GM4. Grease the cake tins and line with greaseproof paper.

◊ Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract, the mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until you have a smooth batter.

◊ Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 mins or until risen: springy and golden and a skewer poked into the middle of the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

◊ For the filling, whisk the cream in a bowl until thick and peaks form. Spread one cake with a thick layer of strawberry jam, then gently lay the cream on top. Note that the cream and jam don’t need to completely reach the edge of the sponge as both will spread out once the cake is cut.

◊ Add a layer of strawberries, and gently rest the other cake on top.

◊ Pop a couple of strawberries on top and dust with icing sugar to serve.

This cake was also so delicious, but don’t do what I did and go to the shower whilst the cakes were cooking. They may have gotten a tiny bit burnt. The cake still tasted good nether the less.

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ENGL8721I really hope you all enjoyed reading this post. Get baking!!

Thanks for reading,

Love from Liv xo

 

 

 

 

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Private Preview Of The New HomeSense In Chelmsford

Hellooooo,

I kindly got invited to the preview of the new HomeSense in Chelmsford. I was excited to get this invite as I had been to a HomeSense in another location and loved it. Plus I am a massive sucker for anything home wear related, I know that I have definitely hit adulthood as I would rather spend my money on bits for my flat rather than bits for myself.

When I arrived I was greeted by the PR girls and there was an option for all types of bubbles, soft drinks and nibbles, who in their right mind doesn’t love a little spread? They had a gigantic gold gnome which you had to take a guess at his/hers name which was fun and they also gave us all £20 on a gift card each to spend. Which was very generous of them. The other thing that was lovely was the fact that it was just bloggers and the staff which made for a very relaxing shopping trip as you can imagine. Also everything was so clean and neat ready for the stores opening the next day.

So off I went with my gift card, fizzy Elderflower drink and my basket in to what can only be described as home wear heaven. I started up stairs and then worked my way downstairs (I went up and down about 5 times) getting far too over excited envisioning everything I laid my eyes on in my home and where it would go. I had to have a little reality check and remind myself that I live in a flat, I have all the furniture and bits I need and plus I’m not made of money and to be sensible. *BORING ADULT ALERT*

After browsing round with some fellow bloggers, (Jade, Sophie & Ami – they are all amazing bloggers) I picked up a chalkboard which is something I have wanted for a while to put in my kitchen & a candle. Anyone who knows me knows that I am candle obsessed, love them, the more the merrier in my opinion. I actually managed to stay under £20 which was great because usually I go a bit crazy but then again I did have that little pep talk with myself.

Whilst browsing round you cant help but think about how you would love to re-do your space, whether you did it 6 months ago or 6 years ago. Theres always room for improvement I guess!

If you haven’t been to HomeSense please do! It has so much from mirrors to stationary to cookbooks to kitchen utensils to weird and wonderful food to gigantic pots and so much more and the best bit is it is all so reasonably priced.

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Thanks for reading as always!

See you next week,

Love from Liv xo

 

 

What Happened In July?

Hola amigos,

Another month done and dusted, this year is going crazy fast. I can’t believe we are now in bloody August. July for me was busy, sociable and a little bit disastrous. But we are all human and we all make mistakes, right?

Let me take you back through July…

♥  I went for Thai with 2 of my best friends, Thai is my fave ever!

♥ My partners mum had her house-warming party, which turned out to be hilarious due to a game we played where you have to tie a balloon around your waist and basically hump each other till the balloons pop. We played other games and we ate and drank the night away.

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♥ Visited Hadenham Beer Festival (Hadenham is a small village outside Cambridge.) It was very small and cute but had food, drinks and music. Perfect to just chill out on the grass in the sun. The beer that I chose had elderflower and lemon in, it was lovely, i did top it up with lemonade though because  I’m not a geezaaaaa. My boyfriend and his friend decided to make their way down the cider list and ended up rather drunk. Which was quite amusing for me.

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♥ Chelmsford Beer Festival, I know your probably all thinking another beer fest, I must be an alcoholic, I was driving on both occasions so don’t worry. There was too much choice, the lists were never-ending of drinks but they had run out of a lot of beers and ciders, the queues were also so long but I had an amazing strawberry beer which tasted like an absolute dream. But even though it wasn’t the best we still had a chilled afternoon in the sun.

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♥ Did a bit of shopping with the boyf and got treated to some Armani & Versace sunglasses and few bits from FCUK. Which was very kind of him.

 

 

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♥ I went to the Essex Food Festival with my bestie. There were so many stools with all different types of food, each stool you could stop at and try their produce which left us feeling full. I’m quite a foodie so I enjoyed it so much, seeing all the different kinds of foods and brands. I purchased a couple of Indian/Thai fresh sauces to cook a curry with, pre made gluten-free lemon and poppy-seed muffin mix, some ciders, a diabetic jam for my dad & a big homemade sausage roll for my partner. It was such a hot day and one of the stools sold all weird and wonderful fruits and they were selling young coconuts that you can drink from, so we sat and drank them in the sunshine!

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♥ I am the world biggest idiot, I was in a rush and put petrol in my diesel car. I didn’t realise till I got half a mile down the road and the car just started jerking and slowing down. I had to pull in to a bus stop, started crying and having a panic attack because I soon realised what I had done. God, I have never felt so stupid before. It’s such a simple yet massively inconvenient  mistake to make. The car got taken away and we didn’t have it for 4 days. Silly me. I wont be doing that again (*Insert emoji with the rolling eyes*)

♥ I did a review for Eden’s Semilla, to review their Jojoba oil, I absolutely loved it. One of the best reviews I have done. You can check out that blog post here.

♥ I did a huge clear out of my wardrobe, I just needed a good old refresh. I literally have about 10 items of clothing left lol.

♥ I went on a night out for one of my best friends birthday, I haven’t been on a night out in about 2 years. Baring in mind I don’t have any more than one alcoholic drink, i did 4 bars and didn’t get home till about 2am, I don’t think that’s bad going for a sober gal with anxiety.

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♥ I received the Tanya Bakes book for my birthday and I couldn’t wait to bake something from it. My first cake of choice was the carrot cake which was deeeeeelicious!

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♥ I have recently been having meetings with a skin care brand to work with them and help with the social media side of things.

♥ I got invited to the Home Sense private preview for the brand new Chelmsford store. The store was so lovely and had really amazing bits in. They kindly gave us bloggers a £20 gift card to spend whilst we were there. I kept going from upstairs to down stairs contemplating what to buy, I ended up getting a chalk board for my kitchen (which is something I have been after) and a candle of course, I am OBSESSED with candles, the more the merrier. The store was so clean, well thought out and had such a great stock. The stationary is so on point, its like notebook heaven. I had to restrain my self many times, I do not need any more notebook with quotes on. The staff and the PR were lovely.

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♥ I also made the Victoria Sponge cake from Tanya Bakes, i was so impressed with that one too.

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♥ Me and my mum tried a new restaurant that had just opened, Côte Brasserie. They have many other restaurants but that was the first one in our area and I had never heard of the chain before. The food was so good. We ordered a mixture of starters, I had steak for main and my mum had fish. We had no issues with any of the food, it was all perfect. We both tried pickled cucumbers which i had never had before, they were amazing! Defo worth a visit if you’re near a Côte Brasserie.

♥ When I had the incident with putting petrol in my diesel car, the car garage were vile to us. So I made a few complaints and received an email saying that the garage was sending me and my partner for a spa day. Which is always a nice email to read!

♥ Some friends and I took a trip to the Food Park in Cambridge. I think its only on in summer time. Its held at a farm in Cambridge and it has all different food traders there, from fresh pizzas to gourmet burgers to spicy buffalo wings to Asian food and many more. We arrived quite late which was a bad idea as the traders had nearly run out of food so my advice would be to get their fairly early and expect to queue. I had a Sri Lankan curry which was delish! It was very cute, with live music, blanket and fairy lights. Here is a link to the food park, take a visit if your close.

♥ I reversed our car in to a brick wall. So not only earlier in the month did I fill the car up with the wrong fuel I have now hit it. Great going for me. You can probably imagine how happy I was when i did it… NOT!! I actually hit the corner of the wall so the damage is worse than if I had just hit in on a flat wall. It wasn’t a good month for the car :(.

So that is all my main highlights of July rounded up in a nutshell. Did you all have a nice July? Did you do anything fun, let me know in the comments…

Thanks for reading my weekly rambles,

Love from Liv xo