Tag Archives: wedding

Christmas is coming

Orange decorations Orange decorations II Christmas bunting

We are feeling festive!

Tonight we will be drinking some of this.

Presents have been wrapped (except for something handmade that is a little wonky and needs tweaking. Oops).

What I especially love at the moment is seeing our bunting hanging up all around the house.

Wedding bunting

It was made by my mother in law and reminds us daily about our wedding and the special weekend we shared with our families.

Hope you are starting to feel festive too :)




Macarons in the making

Coffee macarons – first attempt.

I was tempted not to write this post. I definitely didn’t want to include any photos, but here we are!

For our anniversary (first year is paper) Shake bought me a little french book on making macarons. He always manages to pick something I have been thinking about without having told him! 

Today whilst baby napped I decided to make my first batch. I was really strict about measuring the ingredients accurately (very unlike me…) and borrowed an electric whisk for the egg whites as I wanted to make them as best I could.

I actually had to whisk the whites in the spare room so it didn’t wake the boy up – that’s one disadvantage of his room being next to the kitchen!

People seem to be daunted about making macarons, and having tried now I can see why! So, the purpose of this post is to document what went wrong and what I will change for next time.

Macarons resting

I am happy with my measurements, but having carried out some research after I made my mix, it is suggested to use egg whites that have been left out for at least 24 hours! Oops. Well, next time I will plan in advance.

Another factor I can change is that I think I needed to mix the mixture?batter? a little more as when piped onto the tray the macarons had little peaks (you don’t want to know what Shake said they looked like…!). I used a damp finger to smooth them down before baking, but this is apparently a sign of under-mixing.

Cracked macarons

I’m not 100% sure what was wrong with the shells above, but it might again be due to the mixture not being mixed enough? Or I didn’t leave them out for long enough before baking? Or they were in the oven for slightly too long? Hmmm….who knows!

Interestingly, these shells came off of the paper very easily, whereas the shells from the shelf above stuck to the baking paper. I say “interestingly”, but actually this was annoying!

I used a tip I read here (from the Macaron Queen :) ) and put some water under the sheet for a few minutes and they did mostly come off.

I made a coffee buttercream to fill the shells and we did sample a few.

They tasted pretty great, but obviously not as good as these (yet!).

If you have made macarons before and have any suggestions/hints for me I’d love to hear them!





One year

Dome ring love :)

Today is a special day.

One year ago we were married and spent the best weekend with our closest family here. If you ever get the chance, GO THERE!

Wedding cake

I can’t believe how much has changed since then, but I do know I am the luckiest wife and mummy ever!

I wish we had been blogging this time last year. It was such an amazing and different wedding and I’m sure there are elements that I have forgotten already.

I do remember campfires, wellington boots, sunshine (even in October), cake galore, a lovely chef, chickens, children, simple pleasures…

We are off to have a special lunch (baby included) and spend the day together as a little family.

Chocolate, spiced apple and carrot layered wedding cake.

Sending you all much love



Chocolate Guinness cake

In a little under a month we will celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone, but then again it has been a busy one (wedding, baby, moving house, moving country!).

You may or may not be surprised to hear that I baked our wedding cake. I’m sure I’ll tell you about it another time, but since then this chocolate Guinness cake has been our go-to cake of choice.

Cat approved ! I promise she didn’t lick it…

Last weekend we went to a birthday party and took this cake with us. Not necessarily the most appropriate cake for a one year old girl, but it was certainly enjoyed by the adults.

There is a crazy (to me) amount of sugar in this cake, but it’s probably necessary to balance out the bitter Guinness, so I haven’t played around with the proportion of sugar from original recipe.

You should find this to be an extremely moist cake, in a good way, with a deep chocolate flavour. As cream cheese isn’t as readily available here as in the UK, I tend to leave it plain or simply add an icing sugar glaze. I’m sure the cream cheese frosting would make it feel even more decadent.


Chocolate Guinness cake
- serves 6-8 people
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Days (their recipe makes a far larger cake)


125ml Guinness (1/2 a bottle. Drink the rest whilst you make the cake ;))
125g unsalter butter
40g cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
70ml crème fraîche (or sour cream, or buttermilk)
140g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

Frosting (optional)
25g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
60g cream cheese

I have used both a square brownie tin and a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
It was difficult to take the cake out of the brownie tin…


Preheat oven to 175degC

Pour Guinness into saucepan and add the butter. Melt over a moderate heat, but don’t bring to the boil.

Once melted, remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder and the sugar. Stir until smooth.

Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and crème fraîche in a separate bowl/jug. Add to the chocolatey saucepan.

Sift the flour, bicarb and baking podwer into a large bowl.

Whisk (or stir) the liquid ingredients into the flour bowl. Try to remove lumps!


Once combined, pour into your greased/lined baking tin.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes – you don’t want to overcook it or it will be very crumbly.

If you are making the icing, combine the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add the cream cheese and mix until light and fluffy.

Ice the cake once it has cooled completely.