Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Oreo cupcakes....

Yes you heard right! We love an Oreo in this house and if they are double stuff than even better!

This weekend is our school fair so I'm doing a trial run for that and potentially Webbo's birthday next weekend.

The recipe is hideously easy to follow and comes from the uber cool bakery Crumbs and Doilies in Soho - their unicorn cake is famous!

If they go to plan then I would like to try to make a cake version of it.

Ok, so here's the recipe....


85g Self Raising Flour
25g Malt Powder (I used a 25g sachet of Ovaltine)
15g Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt
125g Caster Sugar
135g Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
2 Large Free Range Eggs
1 & 1/2 tbsp of Whole Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Packets of Oreo Cookies

200g Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
450g Icing Sugar
3 tbsp Whole Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Packet of Oreo Cookies (crumbed)

How to make it...

Line a cupcake / muffin tin with cupcake liners (recipe makes 12 cupcakes) and preheat the oven to 170C.

Sieve together your flour, malt powder (Ovaltine), cocoa powder, bicarb, salt and sugar in your mixing bowl. Add your butter and eggs and mix on a medium speed. Once well combined add your milk and vanilla extract and mix for a further minute. 

Place one whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each cupcake (YUP!!) case then fill the cupcake case 3/4 way full with your mixture (about a heaped tablespoon). Place in the oven to bake for about 22mins or until a cocktail stick stuck in the middle comes out clean, mine took about 25 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack while you make your frosting. 

Start by placing your butter in your mixer and beat for about 6 mins on a medium speed until the butter is pale and fluffy. Add in half of your icing sugar and mix until combined. Repeat with the second half of the icing sugar and mix for a couple of minutes. Turn down the mixer to a slow speed and add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Turn off your mixer and add in your Oreo crumbs, give a good mix again. I made my crumbs by placing in a sandwich bag and bashing the life out of them with a rolling pin, but you could use a food processor. 

Put your icing into a piping bag and pipe onto your cupcakes or simply spread the delicious frosting all over the top of the cupcake. I then decorated the cupcakes with half an Oreo cookie, ideally I would have used one of the mini ones on top but could not find any when I nipped to the supermarket earlier. 

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Nathalie x

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

So, yeah, I just quit my job...

So you may have seen from my recent blog post that my life has been on a bit of a roller coaster these last few weeks and now I can break my silence and tell you why.

I have today left my job.

I loved my job. I loved the freedom, the ambition, the general public (yes even the weird one from no. 46 who came in and told me about his scabby toes) and the job satisfaction that I got from my job and whilst I understand that in all businesses when times are challenging that cutbacks must be made it is still an emotional and upsetting time for all involved.

There is something that I will miss more than ever. I will miss my colleagues terribly. When you start any job it's pot luck whether you can bare to even stomach the colleagues that HR have thrown you together with but my goodness when you get a good bunch it makes you realise how bloody lucky you are. No one knows more than my colleagues how I like my tea, how to pop a piece of chocolate on my desk at just the right time, who put up with my really bad afternoon singing and who have also comforted me in times of joy and sadness, hey on a weekly average I spend more time with these guys than I do my own family and I will cherish the time we had and look back fondly on our times together.

Luckily for me things were more on my say. Alternatives were offered to me but they simply would not suit where I wanted to be at the age of nearly 32 on November 9th 2016. My family must now come first and that is my priority.

If one thing that being made redundant has taught me is that I now have a shot to try and find a job/career that fits around my life and my family rather than finding a job which means that I miss bath and bedtimes, I miss those precious won't get those moments back despite a pay cheque compensating for it moments and above all from now on things will be on my terms.

I have to remember that being made redundant is nothing personal and it's by no ways a reflection of me as a person and when the times can be uncertain and it feels like there is a big fat looming cloud I know that there is one hell of a silver lining coming and it will all be for the better.

Onwards and upwards.

Nathalie x


Thursday, 3 November 2016

When life gives you lemons....

I am currently sat in our gorgeous woodland lodge in the heart of Elveden Forest sipping on a shandy (I know how 80's) with many a thought buzzing around my head.

The last couple of weeks in my personal life have been somewhat up and down, nothing major mind you but enough to put the axis of my own world slightly off kilter.

"If it's meant to be it's meant to be" is what my mum and grandmother preach - it's their motto for everything in life. I suppose being the ever life half full girl this is a motto that I resonate with but do you ever get thrown into those life situations where you simply do not know what to do for the better.

I am being quite cryptic here and I will in time tell you why but as I sit here typing I am looking for advice from the wider world, my online friends and family I suppose.

What would you do? In life's crossroads would you jump and deal with the consequences or settle for something that may not be forever and could leave you questioning why the hell you didn't jump when you had the chance - almost follow your heart and screw your head?

When I was single and younger life was so much easier, I only had to think of me, whatever my decisions and choices were only ever impacted me but now at nearly 32 years of age every single thing I do has consequences for the small people and indeed my family around me. Crikey when did s**t get so real?

I am very lucky to have the most amazing husband, parents, siblings, family and friends around me who will support me and who actually encouraging me to jump but what if what my hearts telling me to do is the wrong thing?

Life is a funny old thing, just when you think it's all plain sailing there's a bump in the ocean. I'd like to say it's all character building but to be quite honest it's just a sheer inconvenience and pain in the ass.

So, when life gives you lemon, do you squeeze the s***t out of them and make a lemonade that would make R. Whites quake in his boots or just pop that lemon back in the bowl and settle for that sadder more pathetic looking lemon in the hope that you rejected the right one?


Nathalie x

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