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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Chocolate Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Last week I made these amazing cupcakes (if I say so myself) for my mum and they were so good that I had to share the recipe with you! They're a chocolatey sponge, topped with a lot (!) of chocolate buttercream icing, and a chunk of a Kinder Bueno I found the recipe on Jane's Patisserie; if you've been a reader for a while you'll know that I've used her recipes in the past and they've always been amazing - these did not disappoint! This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

Items needed:
12 cupcakes cases and cupcake tray
Large bowl
Mixer/electric beater
Bowl/saucepan to melt chocolate

Ingredients:
Cupcakes
175g Butter
175g Light Brown Sugar
3 Large or 4 Medium eggs
140g Self-Raising Flour
35g Cocoa Powder
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2 - 3 tbsp Milk

Buttercream Icing
150g Butter
300g Icing Sugar
100g Chocolate (I couldn't find any Kinder chocolate so I used Dairy Milk)
Kinder Bueno Bars to top

Method:
- Line your cupcake case tray with cupcake cases, and preheat your oven to 170C (I had mine on the equivalent of 200C because I knew my cooker would need to be higher but amend this to what suits your oven type!)
- Cream together the butter and sugar, and then add the eggs, flour, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Beat together until combined, and add a splash of milk if the mixture seems a bit stiff.
- Spoon the mixture into your cupcake cases - I used some larger Bake Off cases and the petal like detail on the sides ended up helping the icing stay on top of the cake! Bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes or until cooked through (after 22 minutes mine were ready but again this is completely dependent on your oven and how it likes to cook!) Leave to cool.
- Once the cupcakes are cool it's time to make the icing! Melt the chocolate via your preferred method and leave to one side. Cream the butter in your bowl, and add 1/3 of the icing sugar and beat again until combined. Repeat this until all the icing sugar has been incorporated.
- Add in the melted chocolate and continue to beat until you have a beautifully mixed icing ready to go on the cupcakes!
- Top the cupcakes with your icing (I have no idea how to pipe icing so I just plop it on with a spoon) and a chunk of Kinder Bueno to each cupcake - I used one chunk but if you feel like sticking two chunks in you go for it.
- EAT ALL THE CAKE

I can vouch that these went down a treat with my mum, my dad, myself and Tom. I think a testament to a good cake is how long they hang around for - these did not last long! I will definitely make these again, but for now I'll scroll through choosing what I want to make next. What are some of your favourite sweet treat recipes? I'm always open to making more cake!

Jess x 

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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Staycation in Suffolk

 A few weeks ago myself and Tom took a trip down to Suffolk to stay at his dad's for a weeks holiday. We decided to have a staycation this year and it was during the UK heatwave so we were really lucky with the weather! I've now been back at work for a few weeks and it seems like a long time since I had my holiday, and so I thought it was about time to look through my snaps and share them with you! If you're new around here, you may not know that both myself and Tom are from Suffolk (now living in Sheffield) and so we knew some of the places we visited but hadn't been to them for a very long time and we had not been to them together before.

  After travelling down the A1and A14 for a few hours accompanied by our updated Sat Nav voice (we went with the Australian man) we reached Tom's dad's house which is located a few miles outside of Ipswich. Our afternoon and evening was spent sitting outside on their comfy sofas and having a BBQ (I was so excited when Steve rang up Tom the night before asking if we wanted one).


 On the Sunday we completed a mass tour of Tom's family living further north and a part of this included going to see the house that I grew up in (my parents moved late last year and this was the first time I had gone back to Suffolk when they no longer lived there) and going for a short walk up the lane. It might not look like anything special, but this lane is filled with so many memories from my childhood; of my nanna and grandad taking me to pick blackberries, taking both our family and grandparent's dogs for walks, Tilly shimmying out of her harness and Tom having to run after her, and the time that it rained so hard on a walk that my trainers gained a helpful hole in the bottom. After a trip down memory lane (quite literally) we stopped for an ice cream before carrying on the family tour. Always carry a big bottle of water with you, drink it, and have rests on hot days, because I found out the hard way what happens when you don't. It equals being ill, needing a massive nap with a fan on when you get back to where you are staying, and missing out on a roast dinner. #idonotrecommend


On the Monday we took a trip to Colchester Zoo which neither of us had been to since we were children. Fun fact for you, one of the first days out that Tom and I spent together before we were a couple was at Kessingland Zoo when we were 14. This time we opted for Colchester because it was a lot nearer, and it's absolutely massive (we ended up spending about 6 hours there walking round). We were happy to see that the animals had a lot of space and that the Zoo had a lot of information about how endangered each species was and what they were doing for conservation. Our day included seeing the Sea Lions be fed, going on a little train to a Lemur walk, and even feeding an Elephant. Of course the day was rounded up by having a Mr Whippy!



The sea. Oh how I miss the sea. If you've been a reader for a long time, or follow me on Instagram, you should know how much I love the sea and how much I miss living a short drive away (I think the nearest beach to Sheffield is about an hour and a half away?). So when I stay somewhere that is in the vicinity of the sea I of course have to go for a visit! We took a trip to Aldeburgh (it's a fancy sea side town) to meet up with Tom's Grandad for some Fish and Chips. It was actually really windy in Aldeburgh and I ended up putting a cardigan on (!) but I still went for a paddle, before walking along the sea front from the car park into the town. After visiting Aldeburgh we stopped off at Snape Maltings where I picked up a new blanket, before heading over to my grandparents and then my Aunt's house. 




We decided to have more of a chilled day on the Wednesday and so we spent most of the day at Steve's in the garden, but in the afternoon we went to Flatford Mill before going to visit my Aunty where we had Dominos for tea (winning). Flatford Mill is beautiful. We actually have a painting of the mill hung up in our lounge that my granddad painted and so I thought it would be lovely to visit the actual site. (Turns out my parents did take me before many moons ago but I just don't remember). This was such a serene and calm place; we went on one of the mapped out walks (where we saw all the sheep) and took a walk alongside the river. I loved it so much here that the photo of Willy Lott's House is now my screensaver at work; no wonder Constable decided to paint it (this is one of the reasons why the mill and surrounding area is well known).
 




On our final day we didn't want to go very far because of the long car journey we had ahead of us the following day, and so we went to Felixstowe where we again saw the sea (yay!) and I even managed to get Tom to have a paddle this time. We went to the arcade and played on the 2p machines, before eating our lunch along the seafront and getting some freshly made doughnuts. I then spent most of the afternoon having a nap outside on the comfy sofa whilst Tom read his book, and to finish off our trip we took Steve and Sharon out for tea as a thank you for having us to stay.

 I won't lie to you, I did really want to go abroad on holiday but it just wasn't feasible for us this year which was why we decided to have staycation, and actually, I loved our holiday. It was really lovely to go back to Suffolk again because although I'm glad that I now live in Sheffield, it's a comforting place to go back to and explore places both of us hadn't been to for a long time. As these were places that we had not really been to together because they were a lot further south than where we used to live, it was lovely to hear Tom's stories and be able to share mine with him, whilst making our own memories in these places together. Having hot weather also helped the enjoyment levels! I'm hoping that we'll be able to have a Sheffield-based staycation at the end of the month, and I'm looking forward to exploring the places around where we live more.
 
Jess x 

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