Blood Orange Loaf Cake

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As you will have seen from my last post I couldn’t help but pick up a few blood oranges while I was at Borough Market the other week and as they’re in prime season right now I thought I’d share with you all my version of the classic lemon loaf but with a blood orange twist.

It’s super simple and easy so let’s get started!

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You will need:

  • A standard loaf tin
  • 220g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 115g unsalted butter (preferably at room temperature)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 blood oranges
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 60ml (about 2/3 oranges worth) fresh blood orange juice

For the Icing:

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) fresh blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar
  • Extra sugar for caramelising the orange slices.

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C for fan ovens. Grease or line your loaf tin.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until everything’s mixed well.
  3. In a seperate bowl beat together the butter, sugar and blood orange zest until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time until well mixed.
  4. Add about a 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the buttermilk and blood orange juice and mix then fold in the remaining flour.
  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tray then bake for about 1 hour or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. I found an hour of cooking then covering the top with foil and cooking for another half hour was perfect. Once removed let the cake cool until chill to the touch.
  6. Remove it from the tin and stab with toothpick or skewer repeatedly all over the cake.
  7. While the cake is cooling, whisk together the blood orange juice and icing sugar until smooth. Pour over the holes in the cake until it has absorbed it all.
  8. Then heat the sugar in the pan, between 50g-100g depending on how many slices you want to caramelise and add an equal amount of water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved then don’t touch it until it turns golden. Slice an orange thinly then lay the slices in the pan, turning once thoroughly coated. Place them on a drying rack and leave for 10-15 minutes until completely cool then place on top of the cake.

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Then enjoy! Whether you serve it cold or still slightly warm it’s perfect with a cup of tea or whip up some cream with some leftover zest for an indulgent yet refreshing pudding. Not to mention you can swap it for what ever citrus fruit takes your fancy from lime to lemon to grapefruit!

DSC06265DSC06279I hope you give this recipe a go as it’s perfect for even the most novice of bakers and a certified big hit if my family’s anything to go by, as it didn’t even last the night! If you do make it I’d love to know your reaction or see any pictures, and as always please let me know what you’re baking this month as I’m always on the lookout for something new to try!DSC06281

 

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Victorian Gothic

DSC0538223DSC05387I know it’s become a bit of a blogger cliché but I really do love this time of year, from the colours, to the scenery, to Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Not to mention that with its lashings of lace and delicate style, the current Victorian Gothic trend is one of the prettiest, not to mention most fitting and versatile trends to have arrived in recent months. So I thought I’d take the chance to showcase the beautiful scenery and my interpretation of how I’ve turned this trend into a daily wearable look.
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Shirt: Marks and Spencer (similar here or here).Varsity Jacket:Vintage, Jeans :Topshop (here), Backpack: New Look (similar here and here)

With some help from my beautiful friend Hollie (who can take a pretty mean photo I’m sure you’ll agree), this has been one of the most enjoyable posts I’ve ever done. I really hope you enjoy it too and it has given you some inspiration, and please let me know if you’d like to see some more fashion posts on here.

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The perks of being a poor (soon to be) graduate

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As a result of finishing university and leaving my lovely well paying job to my tiny, sleepy home town means I’ve had to become extremely creative when it comes to keeping myself amused while I try to get a job. Seeing as many of my friends seem to be in the same boat I thought I’d share some of the ways that I’ve found are most effective when it comes to staving off madness, in the hope that it might help some of you guys too. Although I have to warn you it’s a wordy one so better grab a cup of tea and get comfy because you’re in it for the long haul…

Exercise                                                                                                                                    Now for any who knows me this point will show just how bored I have become, as I am one of the most unathletic people you will ever meet. But since my move to warmer climates I have been trying to make the most of it and have been taking my bike out for a spin. I’ve even been on the odd run! Now while I am extremely lucky to be living in an especially green and picturesque town making said exercise much easier and more enjoyable, the effect I’ve noticed to my peace of mind is so great that I would encourage everyone, no matter what your local settings to take it up. Plus if you’re lucky and tan, it’s an excellent way to up your vitamin D intake!

Reading                                                                                                                                      As much as I have enjoyed my degree it has meant that the amount of what I call ‘fun’ reading has steadily declined over the years as I’ve tried to keep up with my workload. I came back home with over 30 unread books which were added to the many more I was unable to take to university in the first place, so I decided to make the most of my literary freedom and try to tackle the mountain. I’ve barely even started but already it’s made me realise just how much I love reading and has meant I’m finally getting round to reading those books people always tell you “you have to read”. So don’t be too surprised if there’s a Summer book guide appearing soon.

Home Projects                                                                                                                           An inevitable result when you come back home with eight huge boxes of belongings and nowhere to put them, I decided to tackle my room and update it from the Twilight posters (yep I admit I loved it) of my youth to something I little less mortifying. Although I am the least crafty person ever I’ve enjoyed being able to plan and decorate my room and uncovering some hidden gems that I’ve kept from childhood. Although there has been a throw out worthy of an episode of Hoarders, I’ve also found some items worthy of a home which has led me to attempt scrapbooking, but more on that later. Not to mention how nice it is to have a new, adult feeling room that is not only a lovely place to work, but a space of my own to relax and unwind in.

Reconnecting                                                                                                                            One of the hardest parts of moving to a university in a different country is that travelling home became a pretty expensive procedure. Although I was extremely lucky to have some best friends who made the journey over, there were some equally good friends that I never got to see. So now with all of us heading home for the foreseeable future at least, I’ve really enjoyed catching up with them all and whether we’re going out for a coffee or having a cosy night in, it’s become one of my favourite ways to spend my days.

Get Outdoors                                                                                                                                 I am a sucker for sunny days especially as they’re so rare in the UK, so when the sun pokes its head out I try to get out as much as I can. As well as my bike and my (very rare) runs getting me outside, I’ve been on the lookout for events in my area like the local town festival which is free to attend with free concerts and cheap rides and attractions.Having a look in your local paper is the best way to see what’s going on in your area and you never know, you might be surprised by what you find!

Write!                                                                                                                                         As a graduate intent on finding my place in the ever-changing, highly competitive world of publishing and journalism this is the most important item on my list, and one I’m actually really looking forward to doing. I’m planning my posts on here properly this time to attempt to ensure regularity as well as trying to make the most of the weather to up my photography game to hopefully make this blog better for you guys as well as for me.

This is only an initial list as I know I will most definitely lax on at least one of these (let’s face it it’ll probably be the exercising) but for the mean time I feel lucky enough to have this time to relax and refocus on what I want. I do hope this list helps give some of you some ideas of ways to enjoy the Summer without breaking the bank, and if any of you are in the same boat please do share any of your tips and we can try to keep our sanity together!

A Christmas Gift With A Difference

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I think pretty much everyone in the world by now has heard about monthly boxes in one way or another, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably a bit bored with them by now as well. It’s not that I don’t think they’re a great idea, I’m just not really a big fan of the fact that you have no control over what you get, and always have at least one item that you don’t really like. But that all changed when I opened this birthday present from one of my friends from this adorable little company called Bookishly. They’re an independent company that can be found on their website as well as etsy or Not on the High Street, (which by the way are two of my favourite places to shop for thoughtful, cute Christmas presents) that specialize in book based products. They do everything from prints to noteboooks to necklaces, but their absolute best is this little monthly box, which from the get go differs from the usual run of the mill boxes as it’s the same themes every month! It comprises of a selection of teabags (the flavour of which changes every month), a stationery item, a book and a handmade bookmark so you can write what you thought of it!

Already I was sold as tea and books and stationery are pretty much the top three things that I will continuously and regularly buy, and oh my goodness these offerings are just the cutest.  As I was lucky enough to receive two months worth of boxes for my birthday I have had one delivered just in time for Christmas, which has provided a great relief in the middle of essay writing season. I just think it’s quite literally the best gift ever for any like minded book lovers and at £13 it’s perfect for a Secret Santa or some slightly bigger bits to add to a stocking. Or if you need a little treat yourself to get you through the cold winter months, there is nothing nicer than curling up with your cup of tea, a good book and writing down some reflections at the end of your day.

Needless to say I’m pretty enamored with this gift, so much so that I’m carrying on the subscription myself. I couldn’t recommend it enough that you guys give it a try and I just hope you enjoy it as much as I do!