Posted on August 13, 2011
This loaf was thoroughly enjoyed and demolished one Saturday morning, fresh from the oven. Making brioche does take a while so I was so excited to actually be able to eat it, I forgot to take a photo of the whole loaf ha! Oops.
Anyway this is a nice recipe and I don’t think it’s too complicated, the only downside is you really need something with a dough hook to knead the mixture for you as it takes quite a long while and due to the amount of butter that goes in it’d be very, very sticky and messy to do by hand.
Brioche (original recipe from Rachel Allen’s Bake) printable version
25g caster sugar
30ml warm water
1 x 7g sachet fast acting yeast or 7g dried yeast or 13g fresh yeast
2 eggs, beaten
225g strong white flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
113g butter, softened & cubed
1 egg beaten for brushing
1 13x23cm/5x9in loaf tin. I used a slightly smaller loaf tin which will still work but you get a loaf that’s a little bigger at the top.
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar with the warm water and yeast and let stand for 5 mins until frothy. If using fast-acting yeast you don’t need to let the mixture stand.
- Add the 2 beaten eggs, flour and salt and mix to a stiff dough with a spoon and then your hands (or with a dough hook if using a mixer).
- This stage I’d say definitely requires some electrical assistance with a dough hook, but then I’m lazy. When the mixture is smooth, beat in the cubes of butter one at a time, making sure that each piece is completely absorbed before adding the next one. This kneading stage should take about 30 minutes and the finished doug should have a silky apperance, damp but not sticky tou the touch and coming away easily from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with cling film or a plastic bag and place in the fridge to rest for 8-24 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and knock back in the bowl by folding it in on itself. Work quickly at this stage so the dough doesn’t become too sticky to handle.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled loaf tin. Brush the top of the dough with some of the beaten egg.
- Allow the brioche to prove in a warm place for 45 mins-1 hr until it has doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Gently brush the brioche with the egg wash again and cook in the oven for around 40-50 minutes until risen and a rich golden brown. When fully cooked, the loaf should shold sound hollow when tapped on the base after being removed from the tins. Place on a wire rack to cool for a little then go wild.
Posted on August 2, 2011
A little bit of inspiration today comes from a great book called Hand Job: A Catalog of Type by Michael Perry. If you’re interested in typography, especially hand-drawn type or even if you just like collecting pretty coffee table type books, I’d definitely recommend giving it a look. When I first saw it in the room of a graphic designer friend, I knew I had to own it myself! It’s full of some wonderfully crafted work and I find it inspiring. I’m not an artist, but it definitely inspires me to work harder on the artier areas that I sometimes dabble in and wish I was better at! Below are some photos of a few of the pages I love in the book.
I had to cut this post down because I could easily get carried away, there is an abundance of lovely, creative and sometimes amusing work in this book! Hopefully at least some of you will find this as inspiring and as interesting as I do, or at least nice to look at anyway.
Posted on July 31, 2011
Skirt – A-Wear @ ASOS
Clutch – ASOS
Horses & leopards, oh my! Got my eye on lots of leopard print things lately, including these wedges which I currently love and loathe all at the same time. Thank you Mother bear for taking the first two photos. She doesn’t even read my blog, but she still wants credit!
Posted on July 29, 2011
- (above) Elizaveta Porodina takes some really magical photos
- Beautiful swear words features original typography and some of the greatest words in the English language…
- I love these painted antlers. Ebay & Homebase here I come!
- Some simple but effective photo improvement editing tips from Katie’s Pencil Box. Also, her whole blog is lovely so I recommend giving it a look!
- I can’t believe I only just found out about Studio Ghibli’s version of The Borrowers. I love Studio Ghibli and this looks great.
- Blogs to follow: T h i s / o r / T h a t / ? /, Le Portillon & The Cutting Class
Posted on July 25, 2011
I made macarons for the first time on Saturday and they were a success! I was so exciting when I saw that they were forming feet in the oven. Next step: making them look a little more attractive. They did taste amazing though, so that’s something.
Recipe and some tips can be found over at food blog Form V Artisan (hers are a lot prettier than mine!) and chocolate ganache. (100g dark choc + 100ml double cream, put in bowl, microwave/heat gently and mix. Let it cool & thicken up a bit before using.)
If having to use egg whites puts you off making macarons (it used to always put me off making any recipes that call for extra/only egg whites) then check out Two Chicks which are egg whites in a carton. You can find Two Chicks in Sainsburys amongst other places.
Posted on July 22, 2011
- Celine Dion orders a tumblr sharing ‘ridiculous’ photos of her to cease & desist. Have a laugh Celine!
- Photos of Marilyn Monroe as girl-next-door Norma Jeane
- The reality of blogging while working a full-time job
- Calling all fashion/beauty/lifestyle bloggers: add yourself to Hayley’s map (I don’t live in Mile End, I was just very vague)
- Don’t Fear the Internet is a site that aims to teach basic HTML & CSS to non-web designers. This could be good for all you bloggers out there who wish they knew more to tweak their own layouts.
- Speaking of HTML & CSS, I love this t-shirt so much!
- As if I need another food porn website to follow
- Honestly WTF provide such great DIY tutorials. I love this one for wrap bracelets
- Parma Violet Cupcakes!
Posted on July 20, 2011
I seem to be dreaming in yellow a lot lately…
Posted on July 19, 2011
Firstly, I am so sorry I did that whole catching up post and then disappeared! I promise it’s all been for a good reason though!
+ I’ve just completed a 6 week internship at Dazed Digital. The internship thing happened very fast, a few emails, a portfolio quickly plonked together, an interview and a week later I’m sitting at my desk making things like this! My time there really went by quickly and it has given me lots of food for thought for the next year and beyond.
The downside of it was as I had to take my laptop to work with me, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is come home and sit at the laptop I’d been staring at all day and concentrate on writing something.
+ The site I did for Tantrum Magazine went live and I also got to meet the girls behind it at their launch party in Brick Lane which was really cute. Little cakes were provided by Bea’s of Bloomsbury (aka one of my favourite places for cake & tea in London) so I was beyond happy. I’ve also done a little work for Immediate PR. Beauty bloggers, check them out as they are looking for blogs to feature some interesting products (if that’s your sort of thing)!
+ I’m ginger! Which really makes me realise what a bad choice my blog header was, haha. Have to change it now! Photo above is me at a Mad Men themed party at All Star Lanes in Brick Lane, which is such a nice place and I definitely would reccommend having a birthday there.
+ Those of you who follow me on twitter will know I did something I’ve always wanted to do. I went to the Wimbledon men’s semi-finals! It was amazing, super exciting and the smug feeling I got being surrounded by Andy Murray fans when Rafa Nadal won was just unbeatable. Such a shame he lost in the final. :(
+ Saw what is now one of my favourite concerts I’ve been to. Foo Fighters at the MK Bowl. Dave Grohl…what a hero.
+ I have over 2900 items in my feed reader to go through right now. :|
+ I am working on my branding and am available for work until mid-Sept. Drop me an email if you are interested. :)
Posted on May 10, 2011
Inspired by summery lists from Gala and Rachael, I thought I’d do my own list of summer must-dos. They have both pretty much covered it all but here are the 30 things I think should happen for the best summer ever. When it’s really hot I get a bit moany but I really do love summer, it’s amazing what a bit of sun can do for your mood! It’s definitely starting to get a bit horribly humid in London but I’m positive for a good summer.
1. Take lots of photos.
I’m going to admit something here. I LOVE summer photos on film. They look so nostalgic and happy even if you took them last week and developed them today. However, whether film or digital, get out there with your camera and capture some fabulous memories. At the end of summer, slap them in a scrapbook or on your wall for material to pine over in the cold winter months when it feels like summer never existed.
2. Find a new favourite cocktail.
Last summer I really loved anything with apple vodka in or homemade strawberry daiquiris.
3. Embrace colour! Invest in some bright wedges.
A lot of my shoes tend to be black so it’s definitely time to break the habit and get some colourful shoes. I can’t walk in heels so thank goodness wedges are in! At £295, these Kurt Geiger wedges are way out of my price range but definite lusting material.
4. Go to Wimbledon.
Every year I want to go and end up just sitting indoors with a jug of pimms, tweeting about the tennis like a maniac. On the plus side, I am avoiding heatstroke but I’d love to get tickets to the semis or finals this year or even just go and get a ground pass and sit on Henman Hill drinking pimms all day.
5. Drink lots of pimms.
I think Pimms is just synonymous with summer and it’d be wrong not to really. This goes so well with number 4 too. When Wimbledon is on, it’s always Pimms o’clock.
6. Give your feet lots of TLC.
Cracked/dry feet ruin a nice pair of sandals. Start now with getting your feet as pretty as feet can be. Exfoliate, moisturise, GO FOR A FISH PEDICURE! Paint your toenails a nice summer colour and feel proud that your feet are acceptable. (If you can’t tell, I’m not a foot fan.)
7. Make a cracking summer playlist.
Every year I would make my friend Jasmin a summer mix CD or two for her car. She is car-less this year but this won’t stop me on putting some love and attention into creating a playlist of feel good tunes. Must-haves: Len – Steal My Sunshine, anything by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (a band MADE for the summer) & Will Smith – Summertime. You know it makes sense. CLASSICS.
8. Use every weekend as an excuse for a barbecue.
Invite friends and partake in a joyous meat and beerfest or keep it low-key and just have a lovely dinner with the family or close friends. I love a big BBQ as much as the next meateater, but the small ones we have at home with slightly more exciting food are just as nice. BBQ favourites: Tuna & asparagus (with some lovely buttery new potatoes and crusty bread), salmon, aubergine slices, homemade burgers (with cheese on the inside that oozes out).
9. Keep lots of tasty salads in the fridge.
I feel like it’s weird to say ‘hey, I LOVE SALAD’, especially as a chubber and because I always get this Simpson’s moment in my head. I find that I don’t like to eat as much in summer, especially not anything heavy and if it’s hot I will substitute lunch for one of those cheapo triangle ice lollies. To avoid this, I like to make a range of nomtastic salads to keep in the fridge in advance. Potato salad, waldorf salad. Nom nom. Or at least have some lettuce and peppers lying around to conjure one up quickly.
10. Take a day trip to the beach.
Every year me and my friends like to go to Brighton. Alright, it’s not a nice sandy beach but Brighton is a lovely little place to spend a warm, sunny day in and it’s always nice escaping London in Summer. I’d also love to go to St Ives, but I’d have to do that for #11.
11. Take a weekend excursion.
You know what’s better than a day trip? One that lasts the whole weekend. Or even a week! Whether you stay in the country or go for a city break abroad, use the sunny weather as an excuse to soak up some culture as well as the sun.
12. Go for evening walks.
If I had a lover, we would go for a romantic stroll on warm summer evenings. I don’t, so I will be taking my dog for evening walks instead. It’ll still be nice.
13. Get an incredible tan (and try to do it sensibly).
I’ll admit, I’m very irresponsible in the sun and will probably end up a wrinkly piece of leather when I’m 60. Since spotting some little moles on my arms I definitely never used to have, I have vowed to be a little more sensible in the sun and slap on suncream BEFORE I start burning, not after. Fingers crossed my legs tan this year. They always stay white and my top half goes very brown so I always look a bit silly.
14. Go to an outdoor concert/festival.
I reeeaaally wanted to go to Benicassim this year but unfortunately funds got in the way. This summer I will be going to see Kings of Leon in Hyde Park with my mum. I last saw them before they cut off their hair and bought out that shit ‘Sex on Fire’ so this time round will be…interesting. I’m also going to see Foo Fighters at the MK Bowl and I am SO SO SO EXCITED. Their new album is incredible. I’ve seen them live before and it was brilliant. I also LOVE Biffy & Tame Impala so all-in-all it’s set to be an amazing day.
15. Buy a crappy paddling pool, some water pistols from the pound shop and go wild.
Last year me and friend got this, maybe this year we will upgrade and get one it’s actually possible for a grown adult to sit inside. Hahaha. Honestly though, make like a child in summer. They know have to have fun! (Plus, we can have more fun by doing it pissed. Then stubbing our toe/cutting our leg open and realising it was possibly a bad idea.)
16. Do something different with your hair.
Get a haircut or dye it a new colour, just for summer. Last summer I went red, who knows what I’ll end up doing this summer. (yeah, I live life on the edge, bro.)
17. Wear fabulous sunglasses.
Not only do most people look quite cool in sunglasses, they also stop you getting retina burns/looking like a squinty twat. Unfortunately, I sat on and broke my (fake) Ray-Ban (Ray-Ben..I got them in China) aviators. I’m using some Topshop aviators at the moment but they aren’t full-rimmed or really reflective. I enjoy reflective sunglasses as they freak people out who are talking to you or even better, you get to see how vain people are and watch them posing in your glasses. Make sure to find a pair that suit you. I only really suit aviators!
18. Bake up a storm.
I see fruity tarts and cheesecakes ahead. Yummy.
I’m not going to lie, half of this list IS to do with food or booze. Bring little triangle sandwiches, cakes, salads, strawberries, lots of water and pimms. I do love picnics, despite constantly being on edge ready to run at the presense of wasps. I’ve been stung twice. It’s not fun.
20. Go to museums.
In particular, I want to see The Cult of Beauty exhibition at the V&A (and have a general walk around, I love the V&A) and visit the ones I haven’t been to in ages like the Natural History Museum.
21. Hula hoop.
It’s fun, it’s outdoorsy and if you use a weighted hoop you can tone your waist while you’re at it.
22. Go on a bike ride.
I fully intend to get lots of use out of my bike this summer and feel the ~breeze~ in my hair.
23. Take up a craft/DIY project.
Put on your summer playlist, open the doors/windows and do a little DIY project. I want to change a number of things with my room this summer and I’m going to start by taking apart my bed frame, taking it outside and spray-painting it white.
24. Have a ~summer romance.~
I feel like the phrase ‘summer romance’ conjures up mental images of trashy magazine stories of women who fall in love with Turkish bartenders, get married and then their life is ruined. You can go for that if you really want but I’d suggest finding someone more charming who will be fun for a few months.
25. Paint your nails bright weekly.
Or go one up and visit WAH! nails and get some awesome acrylics. Either way, if you are going to be handling lots of fabulous cocktails, flash some bright nails.
26. Invest in some shorts.
The fact that shorts are in lengths longer than arse this season pleases me greatly. This summer, shorts are the new skirt. (At least if your legs chafe. Which mine do. :() Plus they also spare you some dignity if a gust of wind happens to come along.
27. Watch the sunrise.
Stay up all night with people you love, snuggle up in blankets/sleeping bags/in a tent and feel completely peaceful as the summer sun rises.
28. Watch the sunset.
This one is easier to do and just as nice.
29. Be creative with your up-dos.
Ladies with long hair, don’t just tie it up! Plait it, braid it, create triple buns, top knots, side chignons. Makes me wish I had longer hair!
30. Blow bubbles.
You can get 9 bottles of bubbles from poundland. Bubbles are fun and look pretty floating away in the sunshine.
…31. Get a job.
Well, I’ve got to pay for all this shit somehow. Maybe this should be number 1.
Fingers crossed for good weather this summer so I can get some of this stuff done!
Posted on May 9, 2011
I am alive! Many apologies for the blogging silence but I’ve been very busy. I finished uni on Friday and moved all of my stuff home on Saturday so normal blogging service will now resume. When I’ve not been working, here’s a little of what I’ve been up to:
I took a break from work and did have afternoon tea on Royal Wedding day! My mum got so on board with the idea and made nearly everything. I also rather enjoyed the Royal Wedding considering my initial apathy towards it. Kate Middleton look absolutely gorgeous, that dress was just perfection.
Another day at home and two birds got into my house. I was home alone and I did a little scream when I was sitting in the living room doing some uni work and a bird flies in over my head. I don’t have a fear of birds or anything, it was just a wtf moment. After a small panic, I then had to spend 15 minutes trying to catch these birds that wouldn’t stop flying into windows. Eventful.
Most of my time was spent teaching myself how to make iPhone apps and when I got back to uni this then developed into panic as nothing complicated worked and I had to make a magic 8 ball app for my assignment. Boo.
Work and exams done, I had a small get-together on the Friday to celebrate my birthday with uni friends. The Cocktail Factory in Preston is amazing. So many nice cocktails! I had a lovely time and got rather drunk, if you couldn’t tell from the lack of visible eyeball in the above photo! After going to bed at 3, I then woke up at 6 absolutely hanging but having to pack for the arrival of my dad at half 10. He was bang on time as well. Panic packing is amazing for working off a hangover though!
I now have over 1000 things to catch up on in my feed reader, a slightly daunting task! I am 21 in two days which is a little depressing but it’s a good excuse for more cocktails at least. Again, sorry for my absense and big love if you’ve stuck around to read this!