Thursday, 30 August 2012


A classic cake turned into a LOAF. Oh how I love to make loaves.

They are kind to me because:
(a) They ALWAYS work and...
(b) It feels less naughty eating a loaf than a cake!



90g Walnut Halves/Pieces
125g Butter
210g Caster Sugar
2tbsp Milk
1tsp Vanilla Essence
3tsp Instant Coffee
2tsp Cinnamon
300g Self-Raising Flour
2 Eggs

2tsp Instant Coffee
2tbs Boiled Water
80g Icing Sugar


1.  Preheat your oven to 160°C and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.

2.  Put the walnuts onto a baking tray and place them in the oven for 10 minutes. Give them a good shake after 5 minutes to make sure that all are nice and toasted. Once removed from the oven, split the walnuts into two halves and set aside.

3.  In a saucepan, place the butter, sugar, milk and instant coffee and simmer on a low heat, stirring until the butter has completely melted and you have a smooth mixture.

4.  Sieve the flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl and in the middle make a well.

5.  Add the butter/coffee/sugar/milk mixture to the flour.Whisk the eggs with the vanilla essence and add them to the mixture, followed by half of the chopped walnuts. Stir the mixture until it is evenly combined.

6.  Pour (or slop!) the mixture into the loaf tin and then sprinkle the remaining half of the walnuts on top. Place the tin in the oven for 40-45 minutes (depending on your oven).

7.  Once removed, leave the cake in the tin to cool.

8.  Once it is cool enough to remove, take the cake out of the tin and place onto a wire cooling rack.

9.  To make the icing: Combine the hot water and coffee in a mug and then gradually add it to the icing sugar, stirring until it forms a nice gloopy consistency. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


 Highlights of my 
M  U  N  D  A  N  E 
life as of late...

# 1  I bought a JULIENNE PEELER!

Off eBay. £1 (Okay...£1.70 with p&p if you want to get specific).
Inspiration came from THIS post over at Oh She Glow's (a lovely vegan blog).
You can make veggie spaghetti, noodles, etc...the possibilities are endless!

(Photo: Ohsheglows)

# 2  I made yet ANOTHER courgette cake.

A mixture of the first and second cakes I previously posted as this was a lime and coconut loaf.
No frosting though but we shall not divulge into that right now...
*Note to self: Fat-free cream cheese does NOT make good frosting.


And this is probably COMPLETELY pointless as I still havn't really thought of a solid title, been assigned a tutor or even been contacted about my department regarding anything dissertation-related. Nice one. Ah well.
Oh, and I also made labels for my dissertation/module folders for this term...

# 4  I've been making DIY POLAROIDS!

Using my snazzy new Kodak Printer, some freebie photo paper and this swanky little free programme called Poladroid which you can download HERE.

# 5  ...and I've entered a whole new level with my love for ORGANISING.

I had a little clean up and sorted out my main diary (which in case you wanted to know is THIS trusty personal sized chameleon Filofax).

Things-to-do list from A Pair of Pears blog (you can download it HERE) and a very unprofessional homemade calendar courtesty of Microsoft Publisher.

...and last but not least.
Recycling egg boxes into jewellery holders.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Well hey there, would you look at that...another baking delight incorporating that funny green vegetable.

This one LOOKS and TASTES incredible and is also ridiculously easy to make.



175g Self-Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
150g Brown Sugar
150g Butter
3 Eggs
2tbsp Milk
1tsp Vanilla Essence
200g Grated Courgette
Zest of 2 Oranges

Sticky glaze:
3tbsp of your favourite Marmalade.
40g Caster Sugar.
Juice + Zest of 1 Orange.


1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.

3. Add the eggs individually until they are mixed in well.

4. Add the flour and baking powder to the mixture, followed by the grated courgette, orange zest and milk.

5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and place on the middle shelf of your oven for 50-55 minutes.

6. To make the syrup: Heat the juice and zest of the orange in a pan and add the marmalade and sugar. Cook on a very low heat until a nice gloopy syrup forms.

7. Whilst the cake is still hot, take a skewer and jab the cake until your heart is content (this makes the cake extra moist as you are making nice little holes for the syrup to delve into).

8. Pour the sticky glaze over the loaf whilst it is still in the tin. Leave until cool and then remove it from the tin.

Even Paddington Bear would be proud.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


This is my recipe for a birthday cake I made for my sister last week.
It's a mixture of several recipes I found on the internet and then adapted to make one that suits my families tastes.

Very easy to make...and also very handy for using up the abundance of courgettes we have produced from our allotment this month!



350g Self-Raising Flour
250g Caster Sugar
250g Butter
1tsp Vanilla Essence
4 Eggs
350g Grated Courgette
60g Dessicated Coconut
Zest + Juice of 1 Lime

200g Cream Cheese
60g Butter
250g Icing Sugar
Generous portion of Dessicated Coconut for sprinkling.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 25cm cake tins.

2. Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
* A tip from Mama Wood is to use an electric whisk and wait for the mixture to become lighter in colour.

3. Add the eggs individually, beating them into the mixture.

4. Add the flour, vanilla essence, grated courgette, lime zest, lime juice and dessicated coconut.

5. Pour the mixture into the two cake tins and place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes.

6. When the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the tins and allow them to cool for a further hour on wire cooling racks.

7. To make the frosting: Mix the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Spoon the mixture over the top of one of the cakes.
Place the other cake on top (like a sandwich!). Then use the rest of the frosting to cover the whole cake. Once the cake is covered, sprinkle generously with dessicated coconut.

The Result:

A lovely, moist and flavoursome sponge cake with a generous layering of cream cheese frosting.
And trust me, you won't even taste the courgette! 

Friday, 3 August 2012


Another week has passed me by. I have now been back from Krakow for just over six weeks and my mind has turned into a complete jelly. My memory is terrible and I have nothing...literally NOTHING to keep me busy since my job fell through. BOO.

If my life was a recipe it would look something a little like this...

'Alice's Current Life' (AKA a summer spent in Berkhamsted)


500g of hermit life.
250g of cabin fever.
300g of getting way too excited over DIY and baking.
100ml of life laundry.
75g of ebay addiction.
250g of dissertation pro-activity taken to the next level.
2 tbsp of “Why am I in The Crown again?”
*Optional garnish of being chatted up by the council guy who cuts the grass on the canal.

So to make myself feel like I do actually have a life... I intend to take on many DIY projects this Summer!
My first project is an easy one. A nice gentle break-in if you will. The idea spurred from my obsession with lists and being organised.
On top of my TWO diaries, I will usually always have at least THREE notebooks going at one in a draw, one in my bag and one by my bedside table.

Combining notes/memos/to-do-lists from all of these can get a little bit confusing so I created this:

To make TO-DO-LIST BUNTING, you will need the following items:

String  /  Scissors  /  Drawing Pins  /  Pegs  /  Paper  /  Pen

#1   Cut the string to your required length and then tie a small loop knot at each end of the string.

#2   Secure the string to the wall with the drawing pins.

#3   Get pegging!