Saturday, 19 December 2015

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

With Christmas only days away I thought I would share with you a slightly different take on a classic winter warmer - Hot chocolate cupcakes!  With a marshmallow surprise centre and topped off with a little gold Lindt bear, these cupcakes go down a treat with friends and family. They also happen to be pretty easy to make! For those who are short on time or energy I have included an alternative recipe cheat!

For those wanting to make the cupcakes from scratch - trust me its easy! You will need:

275g Sugar
225g Flour
25g Cocoa powder
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2   Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
100ml Milk
75ml Vegetable oil
175ml Hot water
12 large cupcake cases
Packet of marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 160C, 350F, Gas Mark 5

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well, set aside. In a medium bowl mix eggs, vanilla, milk and oil together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed for 4-5 minutes. Then slowly add the hot water while you mix until everything is combined.

By adding the hot water you get a really lovely texture!

Add to large cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, test with a skewer to make sure they are cooked. It should come out clean. Carefully cut a hole in the top of the cupcakes and add a marshmallow. Allow to cool completely.

To decorate you will need:

200g Butter
200g Icing sugar
1 tsp Vanila extract or vanila bean paste
Chocolate chips
Mini marshmallows
Mini Lindt chocolate bears

Cream the sugar and butter together, add the vanilla and mix well. Add to a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes. Add a bear, marshmallows and chocolate chips.

For the cheat you will need a box of Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake and to follow the directions on the box. Like my recipe cut out a little hole from each cupcake as they are cooling and pop in a marshmallow. Allow to cool and follow my decoration instructions above.

These cupcakes would be a great Christmas Eve or Boxing Day treat,  I also think they would make a great alternative gift in a clear cellophane bag tied up with ribbons and bows.

Happy Baking!

Emma Xx

Chocolate Bears c/o Lindt

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Cosy Winter Outfit

Coat - Boden
Top - Pull and Bear at Asos (here)
Jeans - Pull and Bear
Shoes - c/o Loly In The Sky (here)

At the moment you will find me curled up next to the radiator, sipping hot tea and absentmindedly stroking one of my cats. My body feels like it's in hibernation mode. The dark winter days make me feel like consuming an entire tub of Nutella straight out of the jar, while cocooned under a pile of warm, cosy blankets. Instead of living that fantasy, I'm sharing with you my recent outfit photos. Taken a few weeks ago, my fingers have lingered over the delete button a few times but today I've bitten the bullet and decided that I can't be so damn picky. I am a perfectionist, it's true but I'm also very poorly at the moment. Two sentiments that don't mix well. When I get asked for advice about living with a chronic illness I always tell that person to be kind to themselves. Do your best but be kind. So today I'm taking my own advice. At the time these photos were taken I was slightly better than I am right now but still pretty weak and in pain. I planned on retaking them as soon as I could. I'm still waiting to feel well enough to attempt that, so instead of worrying about when I will be well enough to manage that, I am posting these not-as-perfect-as-I-want photos.

I'm really drawn to boho folk outfits at the moment, anything embroidered has me all dreamy-heart-eyes-emoji faced so this top that I picked up in the sale for £11 is a winner. Layered under this super warm sheepskin coat from Boden and I'm set for the colder days to come. With a nod to my more quirky side I've teamed this outfit with some really super comfortable flats by Loly In The Sky. I nearly always have issues with finding flat shoes that fit without killing my feet but these are like wearing slippers. The little 'Hello' and 'Hola' made me smile every time I looked down at my feet!

I hope you're having a cosy, happy Sunday!

Emma Xx

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Christmas Gifts with JillyJilly

December is finally here, which means Christmas shopping is at the top of most of our to-do lists, unless you've been super clever and finished it all months ago - kudos to you! Most of my shopping is complete, I just have a few more challenging people left to buy for before I can relax. One of my favourite way to buy presents is through independent shops, I think it's great to support creative people and to find unique gifts that your friends and family will love. One such shop that I've been following for a while now on Instagram is JillyJilly. Everything at JillyJilly has been lovingly designed and created by newly engaged Jilly and David in their studio in Fife. Their beautiful girly designs always put a smile on my face.

Recently JillyJilly have introduced a new range of personalised mugs just in time for Christmas. Being a hot drink addict, I was very excited to get my hands on one and for an excuse for a delicious hot chocolate. As if I need an excuse! Warming my chilly hands while I sip my hot chocolate I can't help but wish I bought a few of these for friends. From names to quotes, whatever you want can be printed on to mugs which come in 17 different designs.

Opening my mug from its pretty pink and gold gift wrap was like an early Christmas present. For anyone who is short on time for wrapping, JillyJilly will help you out by gift wrapping your order. You can also find lots of other treasures from greetings cards, jewellery, stationery, prints and compact mirrors which all come in a diverse choice of designs. You might have spotted the super cute snowmen earrings and compact mirror in my photos above.

Personalised Marshmallow World Mug c/o JillyJilly - Here
Snowman Earrings c/o JillyJilly - Here
Compact Mirror c/o JillyJilly - Here

 Spread a little Christmas love by supporting independent shops this year.

Emma Xx

Lindt Christmas shop - Here