I think it’s safe to say that Autumn has arrived, which means sunny Summer holidays are likely over. It also means that for myself and many other sleepy students, it’s our first week back at university, which means early mornings and heavy reading are back on the agenda. So here’s a list of five things I love this week to give you a few minutes of cheerful distraction!
Guys, this is my favourite cake ever. Ever. I came across this recipe in a much loved recipe book, The Hairy Bikers’ Big Book of Baking. Gianduja is a paste made of ground hazelnuts and chocolate that originated in Italy, more famously known worldwide now as Nutella, and it makes an incredible cake! Despite its dark, dense appearance, the 6 whipped egg whites that are folded into the cake batter make this mega-rich Nutella smothered chocolate cake surprisingly light and almost soufflé-like in texture. My mum and I bake this cake just twice a year, on both our birthdays, it’s a fairly complicated cake compared to most but the time and effort are always worth it for this special chocolate-hazelnut creation. You can find a link to the book here. [Photo credit to BBC website]
I came across this company on Instagram, and was absolutely delighted with all their sweet themed products. Everything from jewellery to mirrors to bags, they have biscuit and dessert themed products for all sorts of occasions! I bought myself three sets of mini Macaron earrings, a pocket mirror (emergency biscuit crumb checking device) and a Custard Cream printed tote bag as a post pay-day treat and I love them all. Their prices are very reasonable, and the careful packaging and little thank-you card inside was lovely to receive, I’d recommend Odds and Sorts for any gifts for you or others who love a treat! You can find their online store here.
It’s taken me far too long to finally try this little shop out but I’m so glad I did! The Bread Maker is a bakery in the Rosemount area of Aberdeen that bake Artisan bread and sell the loaves along with cakes, sandwiches, rowies and other baked goods every day at affordable prices. It’s become a new Monday lunchtime ritual to have a wander away from my desk to pick up a big sourdough loaf (best toast ever!) and a delicious rosemary foccaccia from the Bread Maker for soup-dunking, toasting and smothering with our favourite spreads. Many local cafes also use their bread! If you’re ever nearby and are growing tired of the usual supermarket sliced white, give this great little local business a go!
4. Nakd Bars
These are my staple portable sweet snack. Nakd are a UK based company producing delicious vegan, gluten free wholefood-based snacks to eat on the go. My favourites are their fruit and nut bars, which are just fruits, nuts and a few natural flavourings all smushed together into a tasty, filling snack. Highlights include the Rhubarb and Custard, Cocoa Orange, Gingerbread and Apple Pie flavours! I either buy these in packs of 4 in supermarkets or I do a big bulk buy from Amazon, this means I always have them when I need them, and they keep for ages! You’ve maybe seen these bars in shops or beside tills already, but here’s a link to their site if you’d like to know more.
Once you buy the Naked palette, you never go back. I’ve been using Urban Decay’s eyeshadow palettes for a few years now, and after having dabbled in other brands for a while, I can safely say Urban Decay is my favourite. Long-lasting, non-creasing eyeshadow in any daytime or evening shade you need, and even better, it’s completely cruelty-free so it’s never tested on animals! You can find these palettes in most good department stores, here’s a link to their site if you want to know more.
That’s all for this week, folks! Check back soon for more easy, foolproof and delicious recipes!