Saturday, 22 February 2014

Creme Egg Cake Pop Bites

It's my favourite season of the year - Creme Egg season !!

I wanted to create something really yummy and decadent with these little beauties - because they're not quite sweet enough on their own are they !! ha ha.

So here are my Creme Egg Cake Pop Bites...

It took a while trying to decide on the name for these - we went from Gooey eggy cakey balls to surprise inside cake pop bites, so if you have any better suggestions please let me know.

I would call them 'melt in the mouth, heaven in a bite, omg how delicious cake pop bites" But that's a bit silly.

SO firstly I have to admit that the idea for these was to make Cake Pops BUT they were too top heavy that only about 3 worked in the end, but I actually, really love them as a bite too and they taste just as good !

So if you want to make these beauties (which I highly recommend you do!!) Here's how:

What you'll need:

Chocolate Cake:
125g self raising flour
125g slightly or unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder

Cake Balls:
The chocolate Cake
70g full fat cream cheese
140g icing sugar
Dark Cocoa Candy Melts
White Chocolate Candle Melts
Yellow Sprinkles (or whatever you'd like to decorate them with)
Cake Pop Sticks (or not if just doing bites)
Vegetable Oil
Mini Creme Eggs

(optional extra but very handy - flower oasis to stand cake pops in or cake cases for bites).

So start by making the cake. (I use the fabulous Pop Bakery recipe).  Cream the butter & sugar. Slowly add the eggs and sift the flour over and mix in with the cocoa powder. Pop in your greased cake tin and pop in the oven at 180oc for about 25 minutes or until risen and a knife comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely. 

Using your hands or a blender - whiz the cake to form crumbs. In a bowl, mix the icing sugar and cream cheese together to form a smooth mixture. In the blender or by hand mix the cake crumbs and icing sugar mixture together to form a mixture like below:

Then separate the mixture in to equal amounts, I weighed them each at 30g.

Then squeeze the mixture together in your hands and separate in two and put a mini creme egg in the middle.

Then using your hands 'mould' the cake mixture around the creme egg and roll in to a ball.

Once you have all your creme egg cake pop balls, pop them in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Now to prepare your candy melt coating. Following the instructions on the bag, but I use Wilton candy melts and you melt them in 30 second increments, stirring them in between until they are all melted. A fab tip from the Pop Bakery is to add some vegetable oil (a little at a time) to thin it out a bit. Don't add too much as it will be too runny, so try a teaspoon at a time.

Grab your bites from the freezer and if you are attempting the pops, dip the end of your stick in the candy melts and push in to the cake ball. There isn't as much space to put these in because of the creme egg, so next time I might try making a hole in the egg and popping the stick in first, then adding the cake mixture around it.

Pop them back in the freezer for 5 minutes then dip the cake pop carefully in your candy melts and pop in your oasis to set.

If you are doing bites - dip them in the mixture, spoon out and pop them on a tray to dry.

Once the chocolate coating is dry, take your melted white candy melts and using a teaspoon, drizzle over the cake pop bites and top with the sprinkles.

You will make a mess but that's fine - you can clean up after !

Here are two of the ones that made it...

OOh and one that didn't last too long ! YUMMY.

Seriously, how good do these look. 

Let them dry and then keep them in the fridge. If you don't eat the all in one go ! I should have put warning on these - DON'T MAKE if you are on a diet or don't want to make a whole load of mess !!

That said, life is too short and creme egg season doesn't last all year - so I really hope you give these a go this Easter time and do let me know and please share your pictures with me on instagram spotted_rose so I can see your fabulous creations !

ENJOY, devour slowly and share with caution! xx

Friday, 21 February 2014

Photography - Playing with Aperture

Some of you may have seen on my Instagram account that I am learning how to use my new SLR camera. I am SO excited about this as I have always loved photography and the idea of taking better controlled pictures would be awesome.

So I am learning a couple of different ways. Firstly my Dad and I had a photography day out in the New Forest and it was awesome, we learnt quite a lot in a short space of time. I am also doing an evening course at a local college and am finding the Teacher a little boring so it's a bit tricky to be motivated BUT I wanted to share a few things I am learning so you can try them too, if like me, you normally keep your camera on auto.

So, firstly playing with the aperture..

You know those cool pictures you see where part of the image is crisp and then you have a blurred background ? They just look more professional don't they and this is what I was most excited about learning so, if you have a Canon, set the dial to AV (Aperture mode). If you have a Nikon I think its A.

Oh and I guess you'd like to know what Aperture actually is first.. let me try and explain.

Aperture is the size of the opening of the lens. So therefore it controls the amount of light that is let in. Now for the confusing bit though - the lower the aperture number - the bigger the hole and the higher the number, the smaller the hole. As an example – you may see 5.6 on your settings this is a large aperture, therefore letting in more light, whereas 13 is smaller and lets in less. I hope that makes sense.

So a cool exercise to try this out is to go outside and find a gate or a fence, something like that where you can see far in to the distance. Set your camera to 5.6 and focus on the gate, you will notice the gate is in focus and the background is blurry. Try changing the aperture value and see what difference it makes.

This is depth of field !! Cool hey ! So you can control the depth of field with the Aperture value ( I think) ha.

The smaller the aperture number (bigger hole/more light) the shorter the depth of field (more blurry/less in focus) as you up the aperture number (smaller hole/less light) you getting a deeper depth of field – showing much more in focus, if you imagine this a bit light a tunnel, it’s focusing in on more.

Here are a few I have taken playing with the aperture value. I haven't done any editing / cropping to these - that will be in another post !

Let me know what you think and ooh if you have any tips for me please ! Thank you x

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wish List

I don't know about you but I see SO many awesome and pretty things every day so I have a wish list as long as my arm and I don't think it will ever end. I like that though. It's not that I don't appreciate what I have, I do, it's just always nice to have that feeling of looking forward to something new isn't it?!

So I thought I would share a few of the things on mine at the moment and where you can get them yourselves if you love them too !

1. Pudology Puddings.
Pudology. I first came across these beauties at a food show a couple of years ago and they are truly scrumptious ! I haven't actually seem them to buy although I have just read they are in a LOCAL store to me so I am sooo excited to try some! They are dairy and gluten free !

2. Heart engraved bracelet.
Anna lou of London. I just love this. I don't know what I would have engraved, maybe I should hint at Si for it for a Birthday or something, or how lovely would this be with a special date or your children's names on or a loved one. I have followed Anna since she started out selling her awesome acrylic jewellery so it's been amazing to see her company grow.

3. Life is Lovely Cushion cover.
Bramble & Bracken. Ailie is the founder of online shop 'Bramble & Bracken' and sells such GORGEOUS pieces. If you haven't already had a look, go check it out now. She has a great eye for wonderful pieces and I LOVE these new cushion covers from America. How lovely is this cushion!!

4. Floral iPad Mini cover.
Amazon. OK so sometimes you just have to buy a Cath Kidson look alike. I don't like doing it, but I am not made of money. I am lucky enough to be trading in my old iPad for a new mini one and I am SO excited as I think I will use the mini more being that bit smaller ! SO of course I will need a cover for it when it arrives and why not a gorgeous pretty one hey !

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Easy Handmade Bookmark

I made this cute little foxy bookmark a little while ago now for a fellow blogger as part of a swap and I think he's so cute !

I wanted to share with you how easy it was and you could do this with any felt design you like!

What a cute idea for valentines too - you could find a cute little felt heart, add their initials - the opportunities are endless.

So all you'll need is your little felt character or shape, some ribbon, a wooden lolly stick and some glue ! I used super glue - but be super careful with it - I recently ended up with it ALL over my hand, not fun !! (I have some tips on removing it if anyone needs it!)

So all you need to do it cut the first piece of ribbon to about 30cm (depending on the size of your book) and glue the felt foxy to the bottom of the ribbon on the front (if the design is only on the front).

Then on the other end - glue the lolly stick in place and with another piece of ribbon - cover the other side if you wish, round off the edges :)

The lolly stick acts as a weight to keep it within the pages but you could just use cardboard or any small piece of wood or plastic !

And voila, there you have it - a super easy and cute individual bookmark !! Enjoy x

P.S I got the cute little foxys on ebay x

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Homemade Chips

OK, so this is a bit of a random one today but SO many people commented on how awesome these look and we NEVER buy frozen chips anymore because these are just the bomb !! (and SO much better for you).

They are SO easy and you can make them as healthy as you like with the type / amount of oil you choose to use !

Slice up your potatoes, its up to you if you keep the skin on or not and par boil them for about 7 minutes.

Pre heat a baking tray with some hot oil and when they are par boiled, add them to the tray. We use olive oil but you can use a spray if you'd like.

Make sure they are evenly coated and sprinkle with your choice of seasoning. We always add pink Himalayan salt and sometimes pepper. Oooh a fabulous combination to try is to throw some rosemary in there and a few bulbs of garlic - scrummy !

Pop them in the oven at 200oc for about 40 minutes (keep an eye on them as it depends how crispy you like them!)

Make sure you 'shuffle' them about and 'baste' them a little in the oil a couple of times throughout cooking.

And ENJOY !!! They really are the best thing ever !!

I hope you take the time to try making your own chips - you will never look back !