April 25, 2009

Some photography

My mind has definately been elsewhere right now, which is my excuse for the lack of updates. I'm stressing about my photography portfolio right now.

My most recently taken photos for my portfolio:

And a peek at an older photo going in:

April 12, 2009

Easter Muffins, typically decorated with mini eggs!

Easter isn't really a big deal in my household but I used it as an excuse to make these simnel muffins. I've never made Simnel cake before because it just looks too rich and I only want to attempt to stuff myself with marizpan-y fruit fake at Christmas. These muffins are a great take on the traditional cake. They have a little bit of marzipan on the inside and make these a real treat.

Simnel Muffins


250g/9oz mixed dried fruit
Grated zest and juice of one medium orange
175g/6oz butter, softened
175g/6oz golden caster sugar (In the US, this would be golden superfine sugar or just ordinary fine sugar would do. The only difference this sugar makes is a slightly darker colour, I think.)
3 medium eggs, beaten
300g/10oz self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
5 tbsp milk
174g/6oz marzipan

For the icing
200g/8oz icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice for mixing
Mini eggs or sugar eggs


1. Tip the fruit into a bowl, add the zest and juice and microwave on medium for 2 minutes (or leave to soak for 1 hour). Line 12 deep muffin tins with paper muffin cases. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/150F.

2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the eggs, flour, spices and milk. Sir the fruit in well.

4. Half fill the muffin cases with the mixture. Divide the marzipan into 12 equal pieces, roll into balls, then flatten with your thumb. Put one into each muffin case and spoon the rest of the mixture over.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, until risen, golden and firm to the touch. Leave the muffins to cool.

6. Beat together the icing sugar and orange juice to make the icing thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You may need to use more orange juice than the recipe asks for, I certainly did. The trick is not to make it overly runny, it just wants to be able to drop from the spoon onto your muffin. Drizzle the icing over the cooled muffins and top with a cluster of eggs.

Also apologies for the lack of updates recently, I haven't been feeling too well!

April 05, 2009

Sunday Six - 5th April 09

1. Wonderfully charming old photos from superbomba on flickr. (via krisatomic.) There are some great gems here that will surely make you smile.

2. Days With My Father is an incredible tribute to one man's father in his last days. The words and the photos are beautiful and truly draw you in. It's touching and utterly heartbreaking and I was a little teary eyed at the end.

3. Black and white dreaminess from Lula.

4. Bruno trailer. (Sacha Baron Cohen's new film.)

5. I've just come across Gif Party. If you're a fan of ONTD comments, this tumblr will be your heaven.

6. Dirty Flaws is a cool, darker fashion blog.

Sorry if the 6 are slightly lame this week, but I feel number 2 more than makes up for it.

April 02, 2009

So cute!

Today I found The Daily Otter via Abjekt. Baby otters are the cutest thing ever, especially the first video on there and they are squeaking. Awww! Check it out.

April 01, 2009

Inspiration: Gonzalo Bènard

Interesting stuff.

Gonzalo Bènard Website. (via Kanye West blog.)

March 29, 2009

Sunday Six - 29th March 2009

as if you had a choice | Blast Beach

1. Outstanding photography by Tony Duran. NSFW at all, lots of nudity!

2. Marcus Ohlsson for Velvet Magazine (above). I really like the tones.

3. I like these MAC desktop wallpapers from Temptalia.

4. Camilla from childhood flames works the Swacket.

5. I love The Scribble Project. I enjoy seeing how different artists interpret the same piece of paper. It's moved to a tumblr now, so don't forget to check the archives.

6. Where's Cool is a new, budget travel community where people share cheap, interesting places in cities around the world that you might miss otherwise. Check it out and contribute!

March 27, 2009

Interesting animation

Slagsmålsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

This animation is an interesting interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood. I thought it was cute, so I thought I'd share.

March 25, 2009

My favourite brownie recipe

This is another baking post. I seem to be on a roll!

Anyone who has tasted my brownies has hailed me Brownie Queen. My secret is Nigel Slater's Very Good Brownie Recipe. It is by far the best brownie recipe I have ever made and tasted. The result is crumbly, fudgy, rich and ultra-moreish brownie. I don't bother trying other recipes since finding this, I just don't think it gets better than this.

Nigel Slater's Very Good Brownies

300g/1 ⅓ cups golden caster sugar
250g/9oz unsalted butter
250g/9oz chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
3 large eggs plus 1 extra yolk
60g/⅓ cup cocoa powder
60g/⅓ cup plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/355F. Grease and line a 9 x 9" baking tray with baking parchment.

2. Chop 50g of the chocolate into small, gravel-sized chunks and set aside. Break the remaining 200g of chocolate into pieces and put rest in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. As soon as the chocolate as melted, remove it from the heat.

3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. It's best to use a food mixer/hand whisk for this.

4. In a small bowl or cup, lightly beat together the eggs then slowly add to the butter and sugar, with the food mixer still running.

5. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix in a pinch of salt. Remove the bowl from the mixer to the work surface, then mix in the melted and the chopped chocolate with a large metal spoon. Lastly, fold in the flour and cocoa, gently and firmly, without knocking any of the air out.

6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 30 minutes. The top will have risen slightly and the cake will appear slightly softer in the middle than around the edges. Pierce the centre of the cake with a toothpick - it should come out sticky, but not with lots of raw mixture attached to it. The middle should be soft but not uncooked and will solidify when cooled.

7. At this stage, take the tray out of the oven. Cool for 30 minutes in the tin before taking out to cool on a wire rack. When fully cooled, cut into 12, delicious brownies.

March 24, 2009

Inspiration - Chadwick Tyler

I'm a big fan of Chadwick Tyler's work. It's what I'd describe as haunting fashion photography. He does a lot of editorials and portraits, but the end result is something very striking in comparison to alot of editorials. His photos are creepy and really very interesting to look at.

This is only a small sample of his incredible work. To see more, visit www.chadwicktyler.com. (NSFW!!)

March 18, 2009


I made muffins yesterday from a recipe in BBC's Goodfood 101 Cakes & Bakes. I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the results. I think the base could be sweeter or more chocolatey or maybe it should have asked for more chocolate so you get more in a bite. If I try this recipe again, I will probably make adjustments to it. The original recipe is below.

Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Makes 11 muffins

250g/9oz plain flour
25g/1oz cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g/3oz each dark and white chocolate, broken into chunks
100g/4oz milk chocolate, broken into chunks
2 eggs, beaten
284ml carton soured cream - (In reality, soured cream comes in 300ml tubs. Take a tbsp of it out and you should have roughly 285ml left.)
85g/3oz butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan oven 190C. Butter 11 holes of a muffin tin. (Or make life easier for yourself and use muffin cases.)

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and chocolate, In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, soured cream, sugar and melted butter.

3. Add the soured cream mixture to the flour mixture and sitr until just combined and the mixture is fairly stiff, but don't overmix. Spoon the mixture into the holes to generously fill.

4. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen. Leave in the tins for about 15 minutes as the mixture is quite tender. Remove from the tins. Enjoy while warm or leave to cool on a wire rack.

If anyone has any good chocolate muffin recipes or tips to improve this one, do share.

March 15, 2009

Sunday Six - 15th March 2009

1. Balloons! A creative editorial from Vogue China via mixologies.

2. Blip.fm is the latest internet bandwagon I have fallen prey to. If you have a twitter account, you can connect the two and twitter your blips. Got to love internet phrases! My blip.fm name is macaroons.

3. Octopus Chandeliers! (via)

4. It Girls. Interpret how you like.

5. Insanely pretty dresses at this Etsy shop. This is a bit too advanced for my Grade E Textiles.

6. I honestly love this video way more than I should. Robert Webb has AMAZING legs.

March 12, 2009

Epic tack

Holy hell! There are no words (except for 'I NEED ONE' possibly)! Found via Fur Coat, No Knickers and from here at Q-Pot.

March 10, 2009

Excessive amounts of bananas in my house = baking time

I'm not really keen on bananas but there were a load of really ripe bananas in my house that weren't going to be eaten and a packet of walnut pieces that claimed to be going out of date this month, so it was only right I didn't let them go to waste. The recipe below is from BBC Goodfood's 101 Cakes & Bakes which is a great little recipe book that cost me just under £4. You can expect more recipes from this book in the future seeing as I want to make nearly everything in it. Anyway, they call this 'Banana Teabread,' but I'd go for Banana and Walnut Loaf, myself.

Banana and Walnut Loaf

175g/6oz plain wholemeal flour
50g/2oz medium oatmeal - Sainsbury's did not have this, I just used Scottish porridge oats instead. Works fine.
100g/4oz butter, softened
100g/4oz dark muscovado sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 ripe bananas, about 350g/12oz, peeled and mashed
100g/4oz walnuts, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan over 160C. Butter and line the base of a 1kg/2lb loaf tin with baking paper.

2. Put the wholemeal flour, oatmeal, butter, sugar, baking poweder, cinnamon and eggs into a large bowl and using an electric hand whisk, beat together until evenly mixed. Stir in the bananas and walnuts, taking care not to overmix.

3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean (cover the cake with foil halfway through cooking to prevent the top from overbrowning). Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out, peel off the lining paper and cool completely on a wire rack.

For 10 servings, each serving is (allegedly) 309 kcalories. (I got 11 slices out of this, so it depends how much you want I guess.) Enjoy!

Colourful cuteness

This may be best thing I have ever seen:

Minilogue - Animals from ljudbilden on Vimeo.

Click the link to watch it at Vimeo in HD. It needs to be seen in HD to really be appreciated.

March 08, 2009

When I was young I had to wear special shoes

1. Forrest Gump in one minute, in one take. Watch in HD.

2. Lula is my favourite magazine ever. See 'This Side of the Blue' here

3. NIN: Wish live with The Dillinger Escape Plan - Perth, 3.02.09 [HD] from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo

I'm a big Nine Inch Nails fan and their vimeo account is full of HD goodness filmed from onstage. The quality is incredible. The video above is just all kinds of epic.

4. These Super Mario Cookies are so cute.

5. This dress from Versace's RTW Fall collection is delightful:

6. I've just started reading Lolita by Valdimir Nabokov and I have to say the first paragraph totally blew me away.

'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.'

I'm not sure I shall continue ~Sunday Six~ because even with bookmarks and LJ memories and del.ici.ous, I am absolutely useless at keeping track of my internet discoveries. Instead, to keep me posting regularly I'll just post things as I come across them or remember them.

March 07, 2009

A quick post

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, I'm not feeling so good at the moment and seem to be getting a lot of headaches so haven't really been able to concentrate too well.

I will bring goodies soon, but a quick post for now of something I found via Gala Darling and thought was too cute to not share.

The Periodic Table of Cupcakes!

From Woman's Day. Each square has a recipe. Slightly geeky and cute all at once. Lovely.

Hopefully be back posting more soon.

March 01, 2009

Sunday Six - 1st March 2009

Laughter & Cake by tompalumbo.

1. Paris 1962 - A stunning set of candid photographs from Paris in 1962. The image above is from this set.

2. Remind Yourself is a fantastic tumblr with a wonderful purpose of reminding the reader of things people often seem to forget. The reminders are great and I love how they are presented.

3. Calligraphique via fakingfashion are some cool black and white portraits. The second photo is crazy/awesome.

Ms.Poppins & umbrellas

4. Well known movies re-enacted by animated bunnies in 30 seconds. What's not to like?

5. Classy, Marie Antoinette-ish photoshoot from French Playboy.

6. I can't believe I've never stumbled across Geek Sugar before!

P.S. Happy first of the month!

February 27, 2009

Daily inspiration

1. lonely, 2. black lace, 3. {snow drops}, 4. fish tank girl IV

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

February 26, 2009

A productive day spent making cupcakes and listening to metal

I made cupcakes today from a recipe that was in The Sunday Times Style magazine a couple of weeks ago. I've been meaning to do so for a while. The end result is a little piece of chocolate heaven! Recipe is below.

Hazelnut Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
Makes 12 standard cupcakes

- 110g unsalted butter
- 125g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), broken into small squares
- 135g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 heaped tbsp sour cream
- 25g chopped roasted hazelnuts
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 110g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- Chocolate butter icing or dark-chocolate glaze (ingredients and instructions below)

- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a muffin tin with foil paper cases.
- Put the butter in a small saucepan and heat gently until just melted. Remove from the hob and stand for 2 minutes, then throw in the chocolate and leave to stand for a further 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, then add the sugar and mix in well.
- Beat in the eggs a quarter at a time, making sure each lot is well mixed in before adding the next.
- Beat in the vanilla and sour cream, nuts and orange zest, then fold in the flour and cocoa, before beating for a couple of seconds to combine.
- Divide between the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes — you want them to be only just set on top. Remove and leave to cool.
- Pile with chocolate butter icing, or glaze with a flat pool of chocolate icing: slice the top from the cake so it is below the level of the case, then pour the icing on top.
- Decorate the centre with a whole roasted hazelnut, a gold star, an M&M or Minstrel, or a piece of candied orange, or sprinkle over chopped hazelnuts. Covering M&Ms with edible gold leaf will also look pretty.

For the chocolate butter icing (which I used):
Melt 75g dark chocolate and leave to cool to room temperature.
Beat 150g unsalted butter until creamy, then beat in 300g sifted icing sugar sugar.
Vigorously mix in the chocolate, then add 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp milk and beat until smooth. Spread onto cakes with a knife or pipe with a star nozzle.

For the chocolate glaze:
Melt 100g unsalted butter over a low heat until just melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes. Add 150g dark chocolate, broken into small squares or pieces. Leave to stand for another 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Beat in 1 tbsp golden syrup, then either pour while still molten or leave to cool and spread over the top.

My notes:
You could replace the hazelnuts for another of your choice (I imagine almonds would be nice) or you can take them out completely. I didn't use a muffin tin, I used a standard cupcake tray with standard baking cases. (I wanted to make CUPCAKES not muffins.) I also found the cooking time to be a bit too long.

These cupcakes don't rise much so don't be afraid to fill the cases. For reference, the chocolate I used for both the cupcakes and the icing was Green & Black's 72% cook's chocolate. I found 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract in the icing to be a bit overpowering, but that's definately subjective.

February 24, 2009

I think I'm in love

Today I came across a cover of Tiger Mountain Pleasant Song (Fleet Foxes) by two sisters from Sweden who collectively go by the name 'First Aid Kit.' I'm totally in love with their voices.

You can download this cover for free here. (You can also listen to the Fleet Foxes original here on youtube.)

If you want to hear some of their own stuff, check their myspace. You can buy their EP 'Drunken Trees' from Klicktrack (320kb, DRM free) or from Amazon.

Some favourites from London Fashion Week

So it's currently London Fashion Week and although it's not quite over yet, I thought I'd share some of my favourites so far, which all happen to be from yesterday's shows.

Marios Schwab may have had a show where all the pieces only really have one use, but the pieces were gorgeous. I want all of these dresses in my wardrobe, stat. (If only, eh?)

I'm a big fan of Luella and as usual she showed some pieces I would love to wear (and kill to have). Totally unimpressed by her having Pixie Geldof walk the runway for her though, it didn't look right at all.

A final favourite was Erdem's show. Lovely dresses with great shapes, really cool boots and opaque black tights. Perfect clothing for autumn. Great styling too.

A mention also has to go to noir / bllack noir. I really dig black and neutrals, so this does it for me.

I love imagining my dream wardrobe, I hope I'm not the only one!

February 22, 2009

Sunday Six - 22nd February 2009

Sunday is such a lazy day, so spend some time and have a look at a collection of six things I like this week.

1. Tim Walker for Vogue Italia, here. My all-time favourite photographer!

2. Broken Robot Girl #1 by Rob Sheridan and Tamar Levine. This is going to be a series of photos and I'm really looking forward for what's to come. I wish I was that capable in photoshop!

3. The Maccabees have a new song out, entitled "No Kind Words" and the accompanying video is strange, but cool.

(You can download the song for free at their website.

4. So colourful! Great fashion photography.

5. Bits & Pieces is my favourite discovery of the week. "We scour the web so you don't have to" is the tagline. It's a collection of some of the various strange things found on the internet.

6. So, this isn't a new find but it's my goal to get as many people as possible to see this. This is a short film by the name of 'Validation' and it should not fail in making you smile. It has a wonderful message.


February 20, 2009

Inspiration: Elizabeth Young

I love Elizabeth Young's photography, she takes the kind of photos I wish I could take. Simple, light and refreshing.

See more at her website.