It’s Competition Time! Cake International Show Ticket Giveaway

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In my That Was The Week That Was post on Sunday I mentioned that I had some exciting news coming up… And it’s time to share it with you!

Recently, Eat Sleep Bake Repeat has been getting a lot of interest from the media and press. I’m very lucky to have been invited to a number of radio stations to talk about the blog. My first appearance is going to be on Wednesday 5th March at 12pm on BCFM 93.2 (a local Bristol radio station). I’ll be baking something delicious to take along and chat about, and the recipe will be posted that day. I’m still open to ideas as for what to take in – feel free to give me any of your suggestions!

I’m also very pleased to announce that I’ll be attending the Cake International Show at the ExCel Centre in London, which is running from 10th April – 12th April 2014.

They’ve invited me along as a blogger to visit the event, and… drumroll… Have offered me 5 pairs of tickets to give away to my lovely readers!

Cake International is a Sugarcraft, cake decorating and baking show. There are exhibitions, demonstrations and tips from renowned experts such as Mich Turner, Claire Bowman and Annabelle Jane, to mention a few. You can learn lot of new and exciting skills and even enter your own creations into competitions! It’s perfect for both proessfionals and home bakers alike – there really is something for everyone whether you’re already an established baker or you’re just looking for more ideas.

For more information about the show you can click here.

All you need to do to win the tickets is be following this blog, follow me on Twitter at @KimberleyParr and comment on this post to tell me which day you’d like to attend. It’s THAT easy! Remember to include your email address in the comment post.

Winners will be chosen at random on Friday 28th March. Good luck!

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WI.RED February Meeting – We Love To Get Crafty!

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It doesn’t seem like two minutes ago I was sitting down to write the WI.RED January blog post, and here I am, onto Febrauary already! For those of you who have recently started reading this blog, I’m part of my local Women’s Institute. You can see our Facebook page here or email hellowired@yahoo.co.uk for more information. I write a post about our meetings every month.

So, onto February!

At our WI we have a cake rota where 3-4 people every meeting make or bring something for us to sell with the teas and coffees. This month was my turn, and after a bit of deliberating (Argh! What do you take to the WI?!) I made some chocolate cupcakes with Nutella buttercream icing (recipe coming soon). We also had some Lady Grey Tea Cookies, Gingernut Tiffin and Shortbread. Yuuummmmmm.

We had a full house with lots of our members attending, plus a few guests. Back in October, we ran a competition to use a paper plate to make the most creative item. One of our members, Tia, made the most amazing flower brooch. This month she very kindly agreed to show us all how to do it. I chose a baby pink paper plate and decorated it with a grey and white polka dot ribbon… I have to confess Tia did help me quite a bit as I’m not the most patient or creative person! The ladies all got crafty and we had some very impressive efforts – see the pictures below.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to make the brooches.

— Take your paper plate and cut the rim off – this is the bit you’ll be using. You want one end to be thicker than the other, so start about 3cm in and gradually reduce it to around 1cm. For smaller flowers, use half the paper plate only.

— Start to make incisions vertically along the rim. At the 3cm end, make these about 2cm apart and 2cm down. As the rim gets thinner, make more and more incisions, until near the end they are abut 1/2cm apart. Now for the fiddly bit. Using scissors or a craft knife, shape each part into rounded ends, to make the petals – see the pictures if you’re unsure. Do this to every part of the rim.

— Wrap the plate around your fingers a few times to loosen the paper and make it more malleable.

— Take each petal and roll it outwards (so if the colour is facing you, roll it away from you), to make them more petal-like. If you don’t do this, the petals will stick upright and it won’t look right. You’ll see what I mean once you start doing it. Keep playing with them until they’re all rolled nicely.

— Starting from the smallest end, roll inwards so that the colour is on the inside. Roll the whole thing in on itself until it looks like a flower. I found that it looked best when I rolled it really tightly, then let go slightly so it loosened a little. Using a glue gun, glue the end flap onto the flower to secure it.

— That’s your flower done. You’re now free to use your imagination decorating it to make it look lovely!

I don’t think mine was great to be honest, but I’m not the best at things like this!

I can’t wait for next month’s meeting – a talk on Permaculture. For those of you who don’t know, Permaculture is a way of gardening with the minimum of effort – planting things which work well together and so on. I’m not at all green fingered, but am always interested in learning about new things so I I’m very much looking forward to it!

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Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes – A WI Special

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Everyone loves a good cupcake, don’t they? Yup. What do people love more than cupcakes?

Chocolate cupcakes.

Add Nutella to that, and, well, that’s probably my dream cupcake.

I made these cupcakes for the WI.RED February meeting (I wrote about our meeting on Thursday). Every month we serve hot drinks and cakes at our meetings, and I’m not ashamed to admit that this is one of my favourite parts of the evening – I love to see what people have made! And of course, I love to taste them! Yum.

This month, it was my turn to contribute. I wanted to make something delicious (well, you can’t take just any old cake along to the WI can you?!). But, as I’m sure is the case for most of you, I also have a day job, and so didn’t have that much time between getting home from work and going back out again to the meeting.

I needed something quick and easy but scrummy. No-one wants their cakes to be left on the table at the end of the night do they?! I wanted to make something people just couldn’t say “no” to.

This recipe is a bit of a fail-safe of mine. The cupcake recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery – you can visit their website here.

Literally EVERY recipe I’ve ever used from them has turned out amazingly well, and this one is no exception.

I made my own Nutella buttercream to go on top, and voila! Delicious, professional looking cupcakes (well I think so anyway!).

Put it this way, they all disappeared and there weren’t any complaints!

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

80g unsalted butter, softened

280g caster sugar

200g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

1 tbsp baking powder

240ml milk

2 large eggs

For the buttercream

200g unsalted butter, softened

300g icing sugar

3-4 heaped tbsp Nutella

A drop of milk

 

Method

— Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases. This recipe should make around 16 cupcakes.

— Measure out the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl and mix until it’s combined. It will look quite dry, like breadcrumbs. I used my KitchenAid which made the whole process easy peasy.

— Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk. Then add these to the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until everything is all mixed in nicely.

— Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.

— To make the buttercream, beat the butter until its creamy, then add the icing sugar and Nutella and stir until combined. Again, I like to do this in the KitchenAid (make sure you cover the bowl with a towel or you’ll get icing sugar EVERYWHERE – I’ve learnt this from experience! Test the consistency – add a drop of milk if it’s a bit dry, or more icing sugar if it’s a bit wet. I like it very Nutella-y so I may have snuck in a few more spoonfuls… But have a taste. Add more if you like.

— Then, apply the buttercream to the cupcakes however you like! I used a piping nozzle, but you could just put it on with a knife and smooth it around.

There we have it! Apologies for the lack of photos but I was a bit pushed for time and forgot!

 

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Brilliant Banana Bites – A Low Fat Treat!



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Firstly, what a great week it was for Eat Sleep Bake Repeat last week! We’ve been invited to visit not one, but TWO Bristol radio stations to talk about baking and the blog. I need to take some baked goods into each one – which are your favourite recipes?

We’ve also got some exciting competition news coming up soon which I will announce shortly, but needless to say, I’m struggling to keep it under wraps 😀

We’ve had a few naughty recipes of late, so I thought it was about time for a healthy one. These little bites of delight contain NO butter, NO flour, NO eggs and NO sugar. Totally saintly.

This came about because I’d been baking a lot of sickly sweet cakes and bakes, and I just fancied something a bit lighter to have with my after dinner cup of tea.

This is a great, throw together recipe which you can adapt to put in whatever you have in. You could add chocolate chips or peanut butter if you wanted them to be a bit sweeter. Either way, these will take you about 15 minutes from start to finish – pretty much instant gratification!

These are healthy healthy healthy. If you’re on a diet you can totally have these as a little treat – they contain very little fat and few calories, but are packed full of taste and yumminess (Is that a word? It is now). They would also make a great pre or post workout enery bite to keep you going.

So, here we go.

Ingredients

1 ripe banana

75g rolled oats

25g dessicated coconut

50g sultanas

1 tsp cinnamon

Method

— Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Standard.

— Mash your nana. I used my beautiful KitchenAid to do this, but you can easily do it by hand in a bowl with a fork. I just like to get all the use I can out of it! Chuck in the rest of your ingredients and stir until completely combined.

— Form into balls, about the size of a ping pong ball, place on the baking sheet and flatten slightly.

— Bake for around 12 minutes until they are just starting to turn brown, then take out and leave to cool.

And it is THAT EASY! There now, there’s no excuse to be naughty all the time.

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That Was The Week That Was #12

Good evening all! A very warm welcome to all of my new readers this week – it’s been a busy week for Eatsleepbakerepeat so thank you to each and every one of you. If you’d like to, you can follow me on Twitter – @KimberleyParr, or Instagram, meow_2u.

I’ve had my most ever views in one day, been celebrating Mike’s birthday, been having some puppy loving and possibly found my wedding dress!

I’ve got some very exciting news coming up next week, but for now here are some snaps from the week that was.

Lola was in need of a bath after a roll in the mud

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This baby has had a lot of use this week

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My Jazzy Victoria Sponge – you all loved this

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Looking up to his big sis

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The things you can make out of a paper plate! My result of our February WI meeting – post coming up this week

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Vanilla scented tea at The Tea Birds

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Oooh! Lovely bridal things!

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Yay for my most ever views!

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This made me laugh SO MUCH. We didn’t pose them in this way either! So funny.

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Review – The Tea Birds, Bristol

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The Tea Birds is a vintage tea shop, located on Park Street, Bristol. I’ve wanted to visit it since I saw it had opened last year, but Park Street is somewhere I don’t tend to go to very often. I kept saying I would go, but didn’t act on it until I noticed an offer on Groupon for an afternoon tea for two for only £12!!
What better excuse could I need?! I roped in a friend and reserved my table.
The Tea Birds, for those of you who don’t know, is where the retro sweet shop used to be on Park Street. It’s run by two friends who went to Uni together in Bristol and teamed up to form The Tea Birds. It’s a kitsch little place where everything is served on vintage and retro crockery and there’s bunting galore.
My first impressions of the place were good – it has a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and is definitely the sort of place you can sit and watch the world go by – you don’t feel like you’re just another number and being rushed in and out.
The Tea Birds serve a variety of teas, coffees and soft drinks, sweet or savoury afternoon teas, sandwiches, and a selection of cakes and cupcakes. Along with being a cafe, they also had a small gift section, full of handmade and vintage style knick knacks – a fab touch which I loved browsing through.
Jodie, one of the owners, served us and was very friendly and attentive, without being overbearing. She checked with us that everything was ok but didn’t feel the need to keep coming over. I don’t know about you but I hate being constantly asked if everything’s ok! If it’s not, I’ll tell you!
I was going to opt for a standard breakfast tea, but Jodie suggested I try a Vanilla black scented tea, which I loved! It was a real treat – I need to find out where this is from so I can buy some. My friend had a latte and we both ordered the sweet afternoon tea. This comprised of sandwiches, a scone, a cake and a piece of rocky road each. The normal price is £12.
We had to wait a little while for our food to arrive, about 30 minutes. This might normally be a little too long for me, however the atmosphere was so chilled that I really didn’t mind. It was nice to relax and enjoy the tea. When our food did arrive, my tea had run out, so Jodie kindly offered to add more hot water to the pot.
So – onto the food. The Tea Birds try to locally source as much of their produce as possible and they get their bread from Hobbs House, a Bristol based bakery. Being a vegetarian, I had cheddar and chutney and goats cheese and red pepper sandwiches. My friend had smoked salmon with cream cheese and egg mayo. The bread was DELICIOUS. So good. Also, the chutney in the cheddar and chutney was really tasty. We each had 4 mini traingles – essentially one normal size sandwich.
We each had a scone with jam and clotted cream. I asked for butter with mine which was no problem. The scones were served warm – YUM – and were perfectly baked, light and golden.
When ordering we were told that we had the choice of 3 flavours of cupcakes, or a slice of blueberry cake. I opted for a raspberry and coconut cupcake and my friend went for the blueberry cake.
The cupcake was yummy and I loved the fact that it had a few pieces of toasted dessicated coconut on top – it was a nice finishing touch. A slight bugbear would be that there were only three flavours of cucpcake to choose from – I would have liked a little more variety. They were all fruity flavours too, so it would have been nice to have something chocolatey on the menu.
We also had a piece of rocky road each. Again – a criticism here. It was delicious, however we were served such a miniscule piece of it that it was hard to tell!!
As we paid only £6 each for the experience, I thought it was great value, however in comparison to other afternoon teas I’ve had, I felt the full price of £12 is maybe a little much. Saying that, you do get the speciality tea so maybe that’s being a little harsh… I just would have liked a slightly larger peice of rocky road. Maybe I’m just a piglet?!
On the whole, I had a great experience in The Tea Birds, and for such a new business, I think they’ve got it pretty much on the mark. I’ll definitely be returning for their friendly, attentive staff and relaxing atmosphere. See you soon, Tea Birds!
You can visit the Tea Birds website here for more information.

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Recipe – My Jazzy Victoria Sponge

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When is a Victoria sponge not a Victoria sponge? When it’s multicoloured!
That’s right people. Whilst this may be a pretty standard Vicky sponge recipe, the end product looks anything but.
It was Mike’s birthday recently and I invited his family around for tea and cake. I have been known to go a little overboard when inviting people around for cake (you can never have too much variety!), so I was pretty restrained and just made a Victoria sponge, and some Red Velvet Cupcakes, with two different types of icing (white chocolate and Nutella, if you were wondering).
I chose a Victoria sponge as it’s Mike’s niece’s favourite cake. But let’s be honest, it’s not very special, is it? Yes, it’s a classic, but it doesn’t wow you.
And then it came to me. Make it multi coloured! It looked SO effective – my only regret is that with having lots of people over, I didn’t get much chance to take very good pictures. But let me assure you, this cake looked awesome.
It’s a Mary Berry recipe (if anyone knows how to make sponge cake it’s her), taken from my Baking Bible Cookbook. Regular readers will know how much I love this book and that I’m slowly but surely working my way through it. Once the batter was made, I threw in some mutlicoloured sprinkles. I got mine for 99p from my local B&M (a bargain store a little bit like Wilkinsons). I was a little concerned that they would stay crunchy, but they just melted inside the batter leaving bright spots of colour!

Ingredients
For the cake
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g sprinkles

Strawberry jam

For the buttercream
100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
A drop of milk

Method

— Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
— Measure out the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder into a bowl and mix on a medium speed (or by hand) until thick, creamy and lump free. Add in the sprinkles and stir to combine. Don’t stir too much, as depending on which sprinkles you use, their colours may bleed.
— Divide the mixture between two tins equally and bake for around 25 minutes, until they are golden and springy to the touch.
— Leave to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Using a KitchenAid or electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, then sift in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla essence and beat for 2-3 minutes. If the buttercream is too stiff, add a drop of milk at a time until the correct consistency is achieved.
— Once the cakes are completely cool, spread a layer of jam onto the top of one cake, then a layer of buttercream on top again. Sandwich the other cake on top and sift over some icing sugar to finish off. I used some gummy heart sweets to create a heart pattern on the cake.

And there you have it! Any easy but effective way a liven up a normal Victoria sponge. Try it with the kids – they’ll love it!

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