Saturday, 27 June 2015

Emma's No Bake Fridge Cake Recipe

 I've based this recipe on one of my all time favourite sweet treats from my childhood, I remember making fridge cake a lot in summer holidays; it's quick to prepare and pretty much fool proof, I don't think it's possible to mess up. I've always known this cake as Fridge Cake but it's also known as Tiffin, and it's a little like Rocky Road, only without marshmallows. There's a foundation of biscuits, chocolate, butter and golden syrup and the rest you can add to your own taste. For this recipe I've made it a little more sophisticated than I would have done as an 8 year old. I've gone for a subtle cherry flavour by using Lindt Dark Cherry chocolate - which I must say is delicious - and I've replaced my childhood favourite glace cherries with Morello cherries soaked in Kirsch cherry liqueur for an added hit.
If you haven't already guessed, this recipe is not for the faint hearted, if you're on a diet or counting calories then look away now! 

200g digestive biscuits
100g pecans
100g peeled pistatio nuts
100g morello cherries
100g 70% Lindt Dark Chocolate
100g Lindt Cherry Dark Chocolate
150g salted butter
5 tbsp Kirsh liqueur
1 tbsp golden syrup 
70g Maltesers 

It takes around 10 minutes to make this cake and for best results it needs to be refrigerated for 24 hours, but at least 4- 5 hours in the fridge if you can't wait!  For spoonies (chronic illness sufferers) like me, you might want to rope in an extra pair of hands for the breaking and bashing and bossing around.

Soak the cherries in all the Kirsh and, if you can, leave it over night to really infuse.
Break the biscuits into small peices and add to a large bowl, add the nuts and soaked cherries but save the liquid.
In a second bowl add the butter, chocolate and syrup and melt in a ban-Marie. Once all melted add the reserved liquid and then add to the first bowl and mix well before adding the Maltesers. 
Spoon the mixture into a cling film lined loaf tin and squash it down. Let it set completely before carefully turning out and dusting with cocoa and icing sugar. Keep in the fridge especially in summer heat. Enjoy!

Emma Xx 

Chocolate c/o Lindt UK

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Time Turner

"I mark the hours, every one, Nor have I yet outrun the Sun. My use and value, unto you, are gauged by what you have to do."

This post has been a long time coming and it's been a little bit of a pest along the way, so it's safe to say I'm feeling pretty happy to be pressing that publish button today! Yay! Only last week I managed to delete all these photos off my camera SD card thanks to a strong bout of brain fog making me believe I'd already uploaded them and edited! Ha! I was far from that stage. The panic and dread that I might have to try to find the energy to do them all over again made me feel sick but thanks to some help via the twitter community I found softwear called Wondershare Photo Recovery to bring back my photos from the accidental cutting room floor. Three hours later, completly exhausted and £24 worse off I had my photos back. Phew! 

So here they are. This post is slightly less floral girly girl than you might be used to seeing on Emma's Looking Glass. There are times when I look at all my floral prints and not want to step near any of them, on those days I turn to stripes, I have well over 10 stripy tops, summer ones, winter ones, etc. I love a stripe. This top is one of my favourites and it's the only vertical striped top I own, it's been beautifully handmade by Helen at Windram Design, I love the loose fit, ideal for summer and days of feasting on ice cream and cakes!

Top - c/o Windram Design (here)
Skirt - Mango - thrift 
Poison arrow necklace - c/o Muchalove (here)
Time turner necklace - c/o Muchalove (here)
Shoes - Primark

A few months ago the lovely Tess from Muchalove sent me some samples of her beautiful handmade jewellery. Muchalove is a really affordable independent brand with so much creativity; Tess has various collections including one called "The Boy Who Lived". I was so excited to see what she came up with and I've not been disappointed. I was lucky enough to find a time turner in my samples, I've always wanted one ever since I read about the one Hermione used to save the day in the Prisoner of Azkaban. I don't know about you, but I love getting lost in a good book. Escaping this word to another for a little while is one of my favourite things to do. Growing up I struggled to learn to read and it wasn't until I was 15 that I really got into reading. I always think that when people say they don't like reading it's because they've not found the right book for them. For me I tried many and failed before I started reading the Harry Potter books. I've read and reread them all, now I'm older I turn to them when I can't find anything else to read, or when I'm in between books. I've actually just started Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban again after finally finishing the Mortal Instruments, a six book series with the sixth being big enough and heavy enough to use as a weapon! I struggled to pick it up sometimes. 
The poision arrow necklace is one of my favourites, I love how dainty and expensive it looks, definitely a favourite of mine for the summer.
It won't be long until I'm packing up for my holiday and this easy outfit will definitely be on my packing list. 

Hope you have a good weekend.
Emma Xx 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Buttercups and Daisies

Dress - c/o Windram Design (here)
Daisy bobby pins - Crown and Glory (here)
Pegasus Locket - Bonbi Forest (here)
Swallow Necklace - New Look
Shoes - Kew - thrift find

Finally we've shaken off that long wintery spring, it's warmer and I have officially packed up my many thick layers and jumpers. Hurrah! I'm still hoping for a hot summer, like the ones I remember from my childhood. A guarantee of hot days spent in the garden making forts and eating ice lollies - sounds perfect - but for now I'll take this unpredictable weather. When it's sunny it's beautiful here, the fields are full of life and wildness. Last week I headed to a local common to see the colourful buttercups and to take some photos. The sea of yellow was beautiful, I wish we had a picnic because I could have happily stayed in the quiet field for ages watching the flowers in the light breeze.
For the trip I wore this amazing smock dress made especially for me by the lovely and talented Helen at Windram Design. I love the loose fit, ideal for those hot ice lolly days, or you can add a belt for more definition.
 Helen made the dress out of repurposed recycled fabric, something that I love because it makes it more unique. Helen tells me she has enough of this fabric to make just one more dress in this design, meaning there will be only two in the whole world. If you would like a dress like this Helen can make it for you in size 8-14 costing £75 you can contact her (here) to have a chat about it. 
Something I really appreciate about this dress is that the pattern has been placed so well. After studying textiles and fashion I'm often put off by some high street stores because the pattern isn't always placed or centered well, making the garment look cheap, unlike a lot of independent sewers and sellers who often take more time to make everything look perfect, like Helen does.

On to another lovely lady who helped make this outfit so pretty. My lovely friend Ali (here) who I suspect to be a real life fairy, sent me a lovely surprise in the post last week including those amazing Crown and Glory Daisy clips. Only the night before I was looking at them online trying to decide which colour to buy so to have them turn up the next day was like magic! They go so well with the dress and I'm sure this will be a combination to be repeated many times over the next few months. 

Happy sunday!

Emma Xx

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Made With Love Heart Shaped Biscuits

It's been a while since I last baked so it was lovely to get stuck in and bake these biscuits. I've long been a biscuit lover. A dunker in tea, coffee and even orange squash - yes it sounds weird but trust me it's nice, especially with a plain digestive! These days I save biscuits for a rare treat and as it is a treat it's nice to make them look pretty and special. Normally that would require extra work but for today's heart shaped stamped biscuits it was so easy, which is great for me as my energy is very limited. The heart shape stamp took out all the hard work out by easily cutting a heart and leaving a little "with love" sign in the dough. For the recipe I used the one that comes with the cutter which came c/o Home Chill Out (here). It's such an ideal gift for bakers and at only £2.50 great value too. Home Chill Out also wrapped the cutter really beautifully, even more ideal for gifts!

I followed the easy recipe pictured above, the only adaptation I made was to add half a tea-spoon of vanilla bean paste - I'm obsessed with it and add it to so many bakes and smoothies. It adds a beautiful natural vanilla taste that I don't believe can be acheived with bogstandard vanilla extract. I also chilled the dough after rolling it out and after cutting out the biscuits, for about 10 minutes each time, I find this helps the biscuits keep their shape and stops them from spreading out while baking. I found with my oven the biscuits only needed to bake for 12 minutes.

The biscuits look so pretty and most importantly taste delicious, they went down a treat with my family and were gone so quicky! I also think they would make a great gift in a cellophane bag tied up with ribbon. 
If you fancy making these easy biscuits, you can find the cutter which comes with recipe (here).
 Happy baking!

Emma Xx