Afternoon all 🙂 I’m still feeling immensely Christmassy and last night we saw this new juice in the supermarket – Spiced Apple Winter Warmer. Ohmyword, it’s amazing! It’s like Christmas in a glass! We also bought some Christmas spice candles which I’m sitting here smelling whilst typing.
I’m normal really…
I can’t wait to get started on my Christmas baking, this year I’m making truffles and fudge for presents. Last year I made, festive biscuits, mince pies and mint chocolate cupcakes. They all went down a storm so I knew immediately I’d be baking again this year.
Of course, I’ll be buying presents too, but I think it’s the thought and effort that counts so by me making something and giving it to someone I’ve definitely put effort in 🙂
Since starting back up at Uni, I’ve pretty much only had Friday’s as baking days. I hate this so much, but there literally aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do all my work and bake, plus we have a really dark kitchen anyway and with it getting dark so early now, by the time I might have time or get home from Uni, it’s ridiculously dark in the kitchen and even with an external flash, my photo’s don’t look brilliant and take a lot of editing.
I so wish I could spend more time in my kitchen. Today I’ve made, Munchie Brownies and Shortbread and I’ll be making Baked Chicken Taquito’s for dinner. I feel so relaxed and at home in the kitchen and don’t even mind all the clearing up!
Speaking of baking, I was lucky enough to win a give-away on another food blog and I’m off to Cake International tomorrow! I’m ridiculously excited and will also get to spend the day with my Mum which will be lovely 🙂
I know I go and visit quite a lot, but I haven’t spent a whole day with my family for ages which is really bad on my part 🙁
I was really hoping that Student Finance would have sorted out my loan by now so I can actually buy things tomorrow, but no such luck so I’m going to have to look, but not touch 🙁
Don’t even get me started on Student Finance. My old Uni told them I’d withdrawn, not transferred so they deleted my whole application and I’ve had to apply again! So now I won’t get my loan until at least Christmas, which is a massive pain in my bum.
Money is so tight, I mean I know I’m incredibly lucky that my boyfriend doesn’t expect rent and buys food etc, but I hate not being able to contribute like I used to. He knows it’s not permanent though and one day I will contribute more, it’s just not how I was brought up. I was most definitely not brought up to be a sponger.
I say money is tight, it is because I don’t know when I’m getting my loan, but it doesn’t mean I have £10 in the bank, I’m too sensible, when I say I have no money, it means I have no money to spend. My parents have had to lend me some money so that I can pay my car tax and afford fuel, which I’m so thankful for, but I still feel uncomfortable having to live off of somebody else’s money.
Anyway, with everything that’s been going on lately, surely I’m due some good fortune soon?
Onto today’s recipe, Raisin and Cinnamon Loaf. This was so yummy, I had massive doorstops (I can’t cut bread straight by the way) slathered in marg. (I don’t like butter either…) and the whole loaf was gone within a few days. I’ve made this a couple of times now and it’s so much better than shop bought. I just love making bread, I think the best part is when you leave it to rise for an hour and come back and it’s huge! It’s like magic 🙂
Recipe adapted from How to Bake by Paul Hollywood
Makes 1 2lb loaf
> 500g strong white bread flour
> One 7g sachet of yeast
> 40g butter
> 1tsp cinnamon
> 50g caster sugar
> 3 eggs
> 160ml warm milk (about 20 seconds in the microwave)
> 160 warm water
> 250g raisins
> Preheat the oven to 100 degrees C. Once warm, turn the oven off to cool a bit, this is where your dough will rise.
> Place the flour, yeast, butter, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
> Mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.
> Add in the eggs, milk and water.
> Mix until a dough forms.
> Add in the raisins.
> Mix for about 5-10 minutes until the dough becomes soft and elastic. This is quite a sticky dough.
> Lightly grease a large bowl with butter and then place the dough inside.
> Cover with clingfilm and place in the cooled oven for 1-1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
> Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knock the air out.
> Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, shape the loaf and then place the dough inside the tin.
> Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 210 degrees C.
> Once the loaf has risen, with a pair of scissors, snip diagonally across the loaf.
> Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and it sounds hollow when you knock it. If it browns too quickly, but isn’t done, turn the oven down to 180 degrees C for about 10 minutes.
> Leave to cool in the tin.
> Once cooled store wrapped in clingfilm at room temperature for up to 4 days.