The Perfect Vanilla cupcake with Buttercream icing….

My love of cake runs deep and I’m not ashamed to say, I’m a sucker for a pretty looking cupcake…seriously I can’t resist once my eye is turned!  Too often I find many cupcakes actually have a really disappointing sponge to them, too dry, really dull and not worth the hype,  so its taken me a while to perfect this super light and  springy little cake but I can promise you this is the best recipe so far and is so fail safe!

Combine this with my seriously good buttercream and you are onto a winner!! Just try not to pipe buttercream straight into your mouth!

Vanilla Cupcake Sponge Ingredients – 12/14 cakes

  • 125g Self raising flour
  • 125g Caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted room temp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp Bicarb soda
  • 1 1/2 tbs Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla ext

Method

  • Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees and line your cupcake tin with cases
  • Sift the flour and the sugar into the mixing bowl – sifting will ensure no lumps and make it super smooth
  • Add the bicarb and just mix the dry ingredients together
  • Add the soft butter and the 2 eggs and then mix until well combined
  • Add the vanilla extract and then the milk
  • Mix really well until a lovely pale colour
  • Spoon into each case 2/3 full (leave room for rising)
  • Bake for 20-22 mins
  • Allow to cool fully before icing

Buttercream icing – Enough to cover 12 cakes

  • 340g Icing sugar
  • 150g Soft butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla ext
  • 3 1/2 tsp milk

Method

  • Prep your piping bag with your chosen nozzle beforehand
  • Pop your butter into the bowl and mix for a good 4ish minutes
  • Sift 1/2 the icing sugar and really carefully mix on a low speed (at first) in with the butter, careful it all flies everywhere!!
  • Sift the other half and mix again
  • Add the vanilla ext and the milk to soften the buttercream, mix well until whippy and pale
  • Put this delicious smooth mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto your cakes

 

Decorate as you wish! Writing this has made my drool!

Let me know if you make these or if you have any other recipes!!

Love Harriet x

 

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She’s getting Married….Bath Hen
  1. One of my besties is getting married and it was my special job to arrange the hen plans, cue spreadsheets and note pads galore, it was time to plan!
    After what felt like months of nailing a cottage big enough for these 13 chicks plus the need to be in a fab location, I finally confirmed a beauty! Set just outside of Bath and with its own heated pool and mini spa, it was all ours for a gloriously warm weekend in June.

Once the hefty admin bits were ticked off,  money exchanged, endless shopping lists written and millions of whats app messages exchanged, it was finally time for the fun frilly stuff to be arranged, the games, the décor, the pretty paper straws and marble napkins! Ebay became my best friend and I’m sure the postman now wonders what I do to warrant so many random delivery’s!

The week leading up was daunting and I was sure something had been missed, throw in the task of boxing up the food and storing it in the crazy heat wave along with baking and icing cupcakes and my first attempt at a gluten/ dairy free lemon cake, it was hard to  resist the temptation of opening the prosecco early! Friday rolled round and with my trust assistant Zoe we excitedly loaded the car ready to meet the other ladies and finally set off!

We made a pit stop at the Bear & Swan pub in Chew Magna which had a lovely quaint but boutique feel to it. Zo and I wanted to quickly slip away and leave the girls to finish their lunch whilst we opened the cottage and sprinkled some hen décor around before the ‘Bride to be’ arrived.

Once we had all excitedly looked around the house, gathering our bearings, running out for a quick trampoline (!) it was time for afternoon tea complete with pink prosecco and loads of sugar. The afternoon flew in a haze of bubbly fizz and before we knew it we were in our comfy clothes and ready for an evening of party food and plenty of games!

Many laughs later and plenty of shots consumed it was time for bed and ready for a Saturday full of spa treatments and inflatable unicorn loving!

 

A hen wouldn’t be complete without the chance to glam up, grab a cocktail and hit the dancefloor with the girls so we ventured into beautiful bath and enjoyed a more sophisticated Saturday night out with a chance to burn off the ever consumed calories on the dancefloor!

The weekend flew, the group of girls were amazing, everything was fun, full of giggles and perfect for our bride Bekie! After a million pictures shared, we all gave our goodbye hugs and excitedly planned another night out before the wedding obvs!!

 

We booked our cottage and pieced together a package with the help of  Acacia Cottages and I cannot recommend them enough, so efficient and helpful!

If you’re going on a hen, have an amazing time!

Love Harriet x

 

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It’s a Phase….just a phase

 

Recently I had a guest spot on one of my favourite Parenting blogs CheltenhamMaman  last week which was so exciting! I thought I would share the post here if you didn’t get a chance to see it…

As soon as I think we are in a routine and have got this parenting malarky all figured out, its like my toddler knows its time to throw a curve ball, time for another phase to hit, another challenge to divert you off course again!

Currently we are in the ‘I’m going to wake up at 5.30am everyday’ and I can tell you that no amount of ‘Baby Jake’ after breakfast will ever make the day start right. See, Cbeebies is the gauge in the Patchett household and you know its a good day when you turn on the tv and are greeted by ‘Bing’ or ‘Postman Pat’ – That’s a good amount of sleep!

I find this early rising a particulary hard phase for me, I really need/LOVE/need my sleep and anything before 6.30 is still night time in my eyes. I think the sting that makes it worse is that we’ve just got over the baby phase, the waking in the night, teething and midnight cries for dummy, now I’ve been spoilt with better nights sleep again!

Not to mention turning up to work feeling extra bleary-eyed or if its a day at home that early start just makes it feel super long!

We’ve just passed another delightful phase that rears its head far too often at the moment; The phase of not eating much for a couple weeks, refusing all the dishes Sonny couldn’t get enough of last week. This always panics me and sends me into full worry mode; worry that he’ll never eat nutritious proper meals again, worried he forever will be fussy, become an adult man who will only eat chips and fish fingers…my mind takes over and runs wild!

I really need to remind myself not to stress and remember ‘it’s just a phase’.  A week later Sonny is on a 3 course breakfast again and at dinner spooning that vegetable pie into his mouth! This phase happens quite regularly and I’ve read will continue to do so through childhood so I need to learn to ride it out!

There is no way to prepare myself for what’s next but I need to just keep reminding myself, its just a phase and as quickly as it arrives, it will leave and hopefully leave a stronger, slightly more tired looking mum (and dad) behind it!

Love Harriet x

 

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Baking S’mores Brownies….

Apart from the White chocolate blondies I made here I have never baked brownies, I think its because they’re one of those things that needs to be gooey and super chocolatey else it can easy resemble a dry chocolate cake.

I came across a recipe for S’more brownies from ‘In the Kitchen with Kate’ and had to test it for myself! The result, super delicious chocolate brownies with a twist so I had to share…

Ingredients

For the biscuit layer

  • 200g Digestive biscuits
  • 125g Unsalted melted butter

For the Brownie mix

  • 115g Unsalted butter
  • 150g Dark chocolate
  • 190g Brown sugar
  • 130g Caster sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 140g Plain flour

Topping

  • Large or mini marshmallows

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 and line/ greese a square tin
  • Crush your digestives and add the melted 125g butter, mix thoroughly and set aside
  • Melt the 115g butter along with the 150g dark chocolate together in a bowl over boiling water
  • Once melted take it off the heat and mix in your 2 sugars
  • Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk well until its a shiny consistency
  • Sift in flour and stir but be careful NOT to over mix
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and then add the biscuit butter crumbs
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Spread the marshmallows on top and bake for a further 5-10 minutes
  • Leave to cool and then slice!

 

Let me know or tag my Instagram or twitter if you bake these!!

Love Harriet x

 

 

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Fathers day….

I wrote back in March about my love for mothers day (here) so it only seems right that we give our fathers and also our husbands who are fathers a big pat on the back too and what better way than Fathers day…

As much as I love celebrating Mum, I’d love to celebrate and thank my Dad  and also thank Ian for being such an amazing dad to Sonny. Whilst thinking about this post it struck me how lucky I am to even feel inspired enough to write a post like this. So many people I know (or have met along the way) aren’t close to their dads, they didn’t have a strong presence in their life which makes me sad but also lucky that I feel close to the males in my life and value the importance of fathers just as much as mothers.

I have a lot of character traits similar to my dad, I have always admired his hard work and determination along with his passion for family time, making sure we catch up and socialise with each other, I really enjoy spending time with him and Sonny loves his granddad too!

I also need to say how lucky Sonny is to have a dad like Ian, not many dads seem as secure or confident with their baby/toddler and I have witnessed many dads panic at the thought of being left alone entertaining them, not Ian! Sonny and Ian have so much fun together on their own, some amazing bonding time and Ian is not afraid to parent just as much as me! I am obviously very thankful when they go off on a swimming date together and leave me with a little peace. Sonny has such a fantastic role model and I wouldn’t want to parent with anyone else!

Big love to the dads who are doing a good job, I still think unfortunately there are many who could take a lesson from you!

Love Harriet x

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