I went to a Baby shower last night for one of my ex work colleagues and I had such a great time!
It was so lovely to catch up with everyone as, although I don’t miss the early starts and long hours, I really miss the people I worked with and I wish I could see them more often.
It always seems that when I’m invited out for dinner with them, either we’re going to my parents, or they’re coming over here! But I’ve managed to get down twice in as many weeks, so that’s been really good.
I decided to make some cupcakes (I’ll post the recipe soon) and since my friend doesn’t know what she’s having I put pink and blue edible baby feet on them. They looked adorable!
I’ve decided to change my skincare as I’ve been using Dermalogica Clean Start for a while now and it used to really suit me, but now I find it can be a bit drying so I researched into new cleansers, toners and moisturisers this morning and read loads of reviews.
What did I do without the internet?! I have combination skin, but it’s really prone to breakouts. I’m looking awful at the moment, but I can’t seem to stop picking them.
I think it’s because I want my skin to feel smooth, so I pick the spots and then until they scab over again, my skin is smooth. I know it’s a bit screwed up, but I’ve tried really hard to stop and I can’t. Sometimes my skin looks OK and I’ve recently bought a new foundation which is much better suited to my skin, but I want to find a good range of skincare so hopefully I won’t have as much to cover up.
I eventually went for an Estée Lauder cleanser which had amazing reviews and is meant to be really soothing and not drying for combination skin and then an Elizabeth Arden oil free toner, so hopefully my skin won’t get any oilier than it does naturally!
I recently used a trial version of Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream for face and I’ve found my skin really likes it, so I’ve bought a full size one, but I’ve chosen an SPF50 as I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the sun and even in winter I want my skin to be protected because, quite frankly, I don’t want to look like a wrinkly old prune at 40.
The only problem with the internet is I now have to wait for it to arrive and stalk the postwoman every day.
Now if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you’ll realise I have a somewhat fragmented relationship with the postwoman, I think she’s awful at her job and I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m some crazy dog woman who’s really rude.
Anyway, I’m impatient and I want my stuff now, but I couldn’t be bothered to go into town and be jumped on by tangoed sales advisor’s in Debenhams when I’m not in a chatty mood.
So I have to wait. Poo.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I made these chocolate spice cupcakes as I always make lots of chocolatey things, but I’ve seen lots of recipes for chocolate and cinnamon etc so I thought I’d give them ago. They were lovely, a dense, moist cake with a lovely hint of spice. I topped them with a half milk/half dark chocolate ganache which really complimented the cake. You should definitely make these!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
> 1tsp baking powder
> 2/3 cup boiling water
> 1 1/4 cups plain flour
> 1/4 cup cocoa
> 1tsp ground ginger
> 3/4tsp ground cinnamon
> 1/8tsp ground nutmeg
> 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
> 5tbsp butter
> 1 egg
> 2/3 cup black treacle
Ingredients for the ganache:
> 3oz dark chocolate (at least 70%)
> 3oz milk chocolate
> 2/3 cup double cream
> 1tbsp golden syrup
> Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a cupcake tin.
> Place the baking powder and boiling water in a small bowl, give it a quick stir and then leave to one side.
> Place the flour and spices into a medium sized bowl.
> Mix with a spoon or spatula until the cocoa and spices are evenly distributed.
> Leave to one side. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
> Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
> Add in the egg.
> Mix until well combined.
> Add in the black treacle and baking powder mix.
> Mix until combined. Now, don’t fret at this stage, the mixture looks truly disgusting, but the original recipe says it should look lumpy and horrible at the moment. (I know when I saw it I was like “EURGHHHHH!”)
> Add in the flour.
> Starting on a low speed, mix the flour in, once the flour is combined turn the speed up to medium/high and mix until light and smooth.
> See it turns out fine! Split the batter between the cupcake cases, about 2/3 full.
> Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
> Remove from the tin as soon as possible to ensure the cases don’t pull away from the sides and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
> Once cooled, place the cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
> Break up your chocolate into chunks and place it in a heatproof bowl.
> Do not let the cream boil, but when it is slightly simmering take it off the heat and pour over the chocolate.
> Wait until the chocolate looks like it’s melting and then stir carefully with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and you have a love glossy ganache. (This makes quite a lot of ganache, so you will have leftovers)
> Using a desert spoon, spoon the ganache onto the cupcakes and smooth.
> Sprinkle with some sanding sugar if desired and you’re done! 🙂
> Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.