Banana Split Layer Cake

bananasplitWhen I was little (like 4ft?) my family and I would go to this seafood restaurant for special occasions… I LOVED going there; it meant I could go crazy on the chip butties (chips in buttered bread – try it) and in fact just crazy on bread. Gosh I love bread. But on super-duper special occasions I could also go crazy on my very own banana split. Banana and ice cream is up there in terms of perfection. Continue reading

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This Week

IMG_0974Happy New Year to everyone! I have so much coming up this month and I jet off on the 21st, follow me on instagram – Rachie_TLC to follow my travels, as well as 365 days of photos. My new years resolutions are simple and stuff I had started prior to the new year anyway – Take more pictures, walk more (I already walk about an hour most days, but I love it so much I want to do more – good walking trails in LA, San Fran, Chicago, Boston and New York would be so much appreciated) and make more dinner for friends. This is how the last week of 2012 looked. Much Love.

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1. Listened – Flume, 2. Drank – Moet to ring in the new year, complete with lively debate (read drunken) on the pronunciation of the word. Soft T?, 3. Surfed – Atlas Obscura, 4. Ate – Breakfast 5. Made – Chilli Gingerbread.

Carrot and Chilli Cupcakes

IMG_0899  Me and chilli have only just become friends.
Maybe friends is a stretch, acquaintances. I have an awfully low tolerance to chilli, and my boyfriends dad puts it on EVERYTHING. So I’m attempting to increase my chilli tolerance by adding it to lots of things; my favourite is super easy pasta in a lemon and chilli oil with rocket and this obviously.

IMG_0905Carrot cakes were one of the first cakes I ever learnt to make, I remember my mum making them when I was a child, my reaction to carrot in cake was only superseded by cream cheese in an icing. My first mouthful changed everything, it was love at first bite, carrot cake has so many perfect layers to it, the crunch of nuts, the spice and the moist cake from the juicy carrots. These cupcakes are super moist but with the wholemeal they are awesome as a standalone cupcake, it’s not as wet as your usual carrot cake.

Plus wholemeal equals healthy yeah?IMG_0879IMG_0887

Also, and I feel like this is the most important part of my blog post; please read this article on Cracked (not funny). The shooting in America is insane; like, I cannot wrap my head around it, I cannot wrap my head around America, or pro gun people, it hurts that such stupidity exists, nobody needs an assault rifle to protect themselves unless they are going into combat (whole other kettle of fish). This article sums up my feelings on this and this post by Pancakes and French Fries is also excellent further reading.

Carrot and Chilli Cupcakes – adapted from BraveTart
Carrot Cake

230 grams unsalted butter
195 grams sugar
100 grams brown sugar
½ tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground if you’ve got it
1 teaspoon ginger
½ chilli minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon cloves ground
3 eggs
227 grams whole wheat flour, sifted
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
450 grams carrots, peeled, trimmed, and shredded
Giant handful of pecan pieces or shelled pistachios, lightly toasted
Vanilla Buttercream with 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, cinnamon and ground ginger combined.

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180° and line 2 cupcake pans.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, it will start to bubble and spit, endure this. Once the butter has stopped spitting and bubbling, it’s ready. Add the minced chilli to the hot mixture.

3. Combine the sugars, baking powder and soda, salt, spices and eggs. Whip on a medium speed until full combined, light brown and fluffy.

4. Keeping the mixer running on a low-speed drizzle in the browned butter with chilli mixture, get all the browned bits in there. That’s deliciousness! Add the flour in parts; otherwise the flour will go evveerrrywhere.

5. Shut off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the nuts and shredded carrots.

6. Use an ice cream scoop to equally distribute the batter between the patty pans, bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, or until fully risen and springs back when touched.

Suddenly a knock on the door

ce53c00090955d36945dfdcdb15276d4-feedv2He is known as the voice of his generation, Etgar Keret is an Israeli writer who you should definitely know about. I recently read “Suddenly a Knock on the Door” and it blew. my. mind.

Short stories have always been among my favourite; Roald Dahl’s were particularly alluring, read during an eventful English class (my English teacher was sick so we had a substitute who raised llamas; you could not make this up) and quoted ever since. Continue reading

Five for Monday

Sometimes it definitely seems like I can bake only under pressure. Sunday I had all the time in the world and I set out to make a fairly simple creation “Exploding Strawberry Cheesecake”, the issue came with a non-bake cheesecake… Martha Stewart you failed me. It didn’t set at all, in any way, shape or form. It was barely a custard. I froze it and salvaged what I could but it was no way photogenic. Still delicious, but no.
I used the base from the exploding chocolate tart with the shortbread that I made a week or so ago (I froze the shortbread to keep it)

This is whats getting me through ’til friday: Continue reading

Scottish Shortbread

I really like books, I love books in fact. My uncle used to complain that I always had my head in books; it made me feel like Matilda. This recipe comes from one of my favourite books; my mums handwritten journal of recipes, it’s lost it’s covers but when I was younger I would flip through it. Mostly with disgust, as there were a lot of fish recipes in there and beyond tuna I did not care for fish at all as a child.

Continue reading

Monday Inspiration

Here’s what’s inspiring me/getting me through this week.

Clockwise:
Chicago in Winter – I can’t wait to be there in 3 months (from Pinterest), I know this is old but Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Album The Heist, Edgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock at the Door; short and sweet stories, this amazing scarf from Athena Procopiou

This Week

I’m currently suffering from appears to be a week long food hangover; my body aches and my thighs are a lot less gappy.

I assumed I’d learnt my lesson after I ate so much jelly and ice cream that I was sick as a seven-year old. Apparently not. Then there was that time I got drunk on cheese.
Have you ever had a food hangover? Continue reading

Strawberry and Champagne Financiers

Strawberries and champagne scream early British summer to me. Wimbledon, the early sun, 99’s, the softest grass you ever did lay your head upon and bright, long days filled with the scent of ripe strawberries are constantly in my dreams; not that I like Wimbledon. Things just always seemed a tad more civilised whilst it was on. The grunting annoys me. Continue reading