Sunday, 29 March 2015

Gluten Free Easter Cupcakes With Gold Bunnies

Over the years I've made countless Easter cupcakes, mostly chocolate egg nests but this year I fancied something different. I've even stepped away from the chocolate sponge and dark chocolate butter cream in favour of lighter flavours. I've opted for a vanilla sponge and white chocolate butter cream to compliment the season and to make the decorations stand out. 

This recipe is super easy, it's one I've adapted from an old family favourite which I've also made gluten free. Now not many gluten free cakes actually taste that great, but I've managed to find the right ratio of ingredients to work well with this flour to create a soft light sponge. 
I also wanted easy decorations that anyone could do. These are so much fun to make with friends and family. 

For 15 cupcakes you will need:


2 extra large free range eggs
175g Butter 
175g Undefined golden caster sugar
141g Gluten free flour
1 rounded tsp Baking powder
2 tbsp Milk 
1 tsp Vanilla bean paste 

 Butter cream

180g Butter 
190g Icing sugar
150g Lindt white chocolate 


15 mini Lindt gold bunnies
A pack of Lindt lindor mini eggs


Preheat the oven to gas Mark 3, 325F or 170C fan.
Using an electric whisk or food processor cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla bean pasta. Add the eggs one at a time and mix them in well. Add the flour and baking powder and combine the mixture together. Add the milk to get a smooth thick but flowing consistency, you might not need it all. Add to the cupcake cases and bake in the centre of an oven for 20-25 minutes. 

While the cupcakes cool down you can make the butter cream. Start by whisking the room temperature butter  until light coloured. Add the icing sugar and continue to mix. In a bain Marie slowly melt the white chocolate on a low heat. Add the melted chocolate to the butter cream and whisk it in. 
Remove the cool cupcakes from the tin for decorating. Add the icing to a piping bag and pipe all the way around all of the cupcakes starting from the outside working your way in. Finally add a bunny and two eggs. 

Enjoy with tea and friends! Let me know if you try making this recipe, I would love to know what you think. Happy Sunday!

Emma Xx

Large gold bunnies c/o Lindt

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Queen Of Hearts

This Easter I have been treated to an alternative gift from Queen of Hearts cookie company. An independent British company based in Lancashire, formed by a woman after my own heart. Sarah, shares my love of Alice in Wonderland and baking, and has cleverly combined the two to create a bespoke handcrafted cookie company. Sarah's well decorated biscuits would be right at home on the Mad Hatter's tea table and are good enough to sit along side the Queen's royal jam tarts.

It was a magical moment opening this box from Queen of Hearts which are packaged so beautifully in their own white gift box with a regal gold logo. With my box in hand and a cup of Assam tea in the other I stepped out into my back garden for a biscuit tea party of my own. I smiled as I opened the box and saw the treasures within. These beautiful Easter cookies are all hand made and lovingly decorated. They smell divine and are a treat to eat. The icing and vanilla biscuit really compliment each other. I truly admire the work that has gone into making these stunning Easter themed treats. I know from first hand experience that decorating any bake is a timely experience that requires so much patience.
Easter cookies come in different size boxes to suit all price limits, starting at £9.99. View the range (here).You can also find many other designs for all occasions and events (here). I have my eye on a few designed for some of my close friends' birthdays and maybe some Alice in Wonderland themed treats for a cheeky gift to myself!

Hope you're all having a lovely week,

Emma Xx

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Daffodil Yellow

A few days ago I went for a little wonder in one of my favourite places near my home. I am so lucky living in Surrey, I'm surraounded by so many beautiful places, everywhere is covered with sunny yellow daffodils and the sun finally has some warmth to it. Spring is well and truly here. It's that new hope after the greyness of winter. The older I get the more I wonder how I will deal with the next winter, it's a thought I don't like to think about but for now it's time to look forward. My health always improves slightly after the cold dark days, and so does my mood. The last few weeks I've not been as housebound as late, so I thought it would be the right time to celebrate with a few photos and what better way of celebrating than wearing this fabulous dress, by Chi Chi clothing. I'm so lucky and happy to add this complete stunner to my wardrobe. I'm always impressed by Chi Chi dresses and how much volume they have. I adore the 50's shape and length which I've not seen done very often, it's a great spring dress.

Dress - c/o Chi Chi Clothing (here)
Coat - Marks and Spencer
Shoes - Marks and Spencer
Necklace - Birthday present 

When I'm feeling very ill it seems pointless dressing nicely only to sit in the dark but I've noticed how much it effects my mood so I'm being more conscious of how I dress. I want to dress however I fancy, whenever too. I'm starting with this yellow vintage style spring coat from M&S. The colour is so vibrant and happy, plus so easy to throw on for little short outings in the spring sun, of which I hope there will be many!

I hope you are all having a lovely sunny weekend.

Emma Xx

Monday, 16 March 2015

Amazingly Tasty Healthy Brownies

By now I'm sure it's no secret that I love cake. I especially love an afternoon cup of tea with a slice of something tasty. These days I try to keep my afternoon tea habits on the heathy side with something that won't make my sugar levels rise and crash, especially if it's a long time until dinner. It's not easy to find heathy snacks that aren't full of other rubbish and don't taste like cardboard, so in the last few years I've taken to the kitchen to make up my own recipes. I've experimented a lot and have found this recipe to be one of my favourites. It's easy and quick to make and there's not loads of washing up. You also don't need a an industrial strength food processor like so many recipes out there. I once tried to whizz up some dates with a hand held processor to make sweet potato brownies and ended up with my appliance smoking. Luckily it was raining out so I chucked it outside quickly before I burnt the house down! I can guarantee this recipe will never end in that situation!

My brownies have that lovely sticky  goodness full of flavour and sweetness, but with less quilt as I know I'm getting so much goodness for my body. They didn't last very long and I got a lot of compliments on them. The oats and nuts will keep you full for longer and I've also added acai and beetroot powder by Indigo Herbs for a added health kick. 

Ingrediants (serves 6)

Two medium ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp Indigo Herbs acai berry powder (here)
1 tbsp coco powder
Two tsp Indigo herbs beetroot powder (here)
100g ground almonds
Two table spoons maple syrup
Two tsp honey
75g dried Morello cherries 
Half a cup of oats
Handful of flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 170 Fan, Gas 5.

Purée the bananas and add the powders, honey, maple syrup and vanilla, mix well before mixing in the almonds followed by the oats and cherries. Pour into a small lined tin and top with flaked almonds. Cook for 40-50 minutes until the top is firm. Allow to cool down before cutting up and enjoy!

If you make this recipe I would love to know what you think!

Hope you have a good week.

Emma Xx 

 Herb Powders c/o Indigo Herbs

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide

My Mum is one very special person, she's my go to person for most problems, she's funny, kind and the most caring person I know. Sometimes I feel like she's the only person who doesn't have ME that understands how the illness works and effects me. She is my rock and gets me through the good and the awful days. Recently my Mum has been very ill, which has reminded me just how important she is. Luckily she is home recovering and we've got some help with the cooking and cleaning while she needs to take it easy. I'm not really sure what we are doing on Mother's Day but I do know I want to spoil my mum with some of her favourite things and a few surprises too. There's only five days left before Mother's Day but there's still lots of time for last minute presents. Here are some of my favourites and a few of the gifts my Mum will be getting this year. So Mum if your reading, please stop now!!

 I can't tell what I'm more excited about, the gifts or the wrapping paper! I am one of these weirdos who loves wrapping up, I also love picking out a good paper too. This year I know my Mum is going to love the wrapping paper I've wrapped her presents in. She's always wanting to see my latest Instagram post, so what could be better than presents wrapped up in my photos?! Wrap Me allow you to quickly and easily make your Instagram or Facebook photos into wrapping paper. All you have to do if pick the photos and they do the rest. I can't believe how super easy it was to order from them. Prices start at £4.99 and they ship worldwide, to find out more click (here). For a special gift I think it's well worth the price. To have a sneaky look at what's all wrapped up, keep reading!

 Mother's Day wouldn't be the same without some beautiful flowers. Iflorist have some stunning floral arrangements full of the colours of spring especially designed and made for Mother's Day. You can pick and choose from elegant bouquet, colourful baskets to planters of daffodils and other spring beauties. There are nearly always fresh flowers in our house, mainly orange roses, so it's nice to give my Mum spring flowers for Mother's Day. I’m loving the combinations of vibrant pinks mixed with softer pastel pinks, yellows and whites all complimented with fresh green foliage. Iflorist have also added free pretty Mother's Day greetings cards to add a personal touch and even free chocolates with specific orders, as well as free standard delivery, which makes it very good value for money. You can also find other gifts such as food hampers, from baskets of fruit for the health conscious to hampers of chocolates fit for a chocoholic Queen. There's also the option for next day delivery so there's no need to panic at all! The lovely people at iflorist have made some fabulous colour combinations, it’s actually been hard for me to pick out these six as there are so many beautiful ideas on the website but here are a few of my favourite choices from their Mothers Day range.

Citrus basket £34.90 (here), Sophie Bouquet £29.90 (here), Roses & Carnations £24.90 (here), Lemon Sorbet Bouquet (here), Safari Blush £29.90 (here), Hydrangea Gift Bag £17.90 (here)

 Sakura Spring Foaming shower gel £8.50 (here), Magic Touch body cream £17.00 (here), Spring Garden Candle £19.50 (here), Rice Scrub £9 (here)

My Mum is always looking after everyone else before herself, sound familiar? This year I've chosen a few of her favourite items from Rituals, one of her favourite places for lotions and potions. One of mine too! So far I've tried out a few different items from their ranges and I have to say that I've been very impressed with them all. Not only do they smell amazing, you can feel the quality especially in the creams which leave my skin feeling fantastic. My Mum tried a few samples at Christmas and loved them but said they were too pricey for her to buy all the time, so I thought it would be a lovely surprise to have a box full of rituals goodness. The products below smell beautifully fresh, like cherry blossom and spring time. Currently you can get free delievery on all standard orders which take 2-5 days, so get in there quick!  Above are the items I picked out.

Here are a few more gift ideas.

Hotel Chocolat For My Mum Sleekster £22 (here), Chloe Roses de Chloe £30 at John Lewis (here), 'What I love' hanging sign £12 at Debanhams (here) Scotty Dog Cushion £20 at Debanhams (here) Emma Bridgewater Mum Mug £19.95 (here)

I hope you enjoyed my little gift guide. I can't wait to see my Mum's reaction to her very special gifts this year. Although I believe we should show our appreciation all year round, I love having a day just to celebrate the woman who gave life to me and so much more.

Emma Xx