Sugar Free Baby Groot Cupcakes

In the Kitchen, Sugar Free Sunday

Sugar Free Guardians of the Galaxy Baby Groot Cupcakes.

It’s #SugarfreeSunday and this week I decided to make something inspired by the newest Guardians of the Galaxy for two reasons. The first being, how damn cute is baby Groot, and the second being that my mum, dad, sister and I quite often sit down and watch the first film together and we went to see the film last weekend, so its kind of got a special place in my little heart!


Marjolaine – More Like MarjoLAME

In the Kitchen

Marjolaine –

More Like MarjoLAME

This week I tried to make a Marjolaine, using Mary Berry’s recipe from GBBO.

I use the word tried, because it was not my finest bake. In fact, I really don’t want to show you this one.

I Freaking Did It!

In the Kitchen

I baked bread!

I took on the GBBO Botanical Week Technical challenge of Fougasse. And boy did I nail this one!

When I say ‘nail’ I mean it tasted nice and looked 60% like the ones on GBBO and 40% informal.

I followed this recipe.

Bakewell tart, Baked Well…

In the Kitchen

Oh my Gosh, I love a good Bakewell Tart.

I was super excited to get my bake on and give this technical my very best shot.

Using this recipe, last weekend I set out to come first in the technical challenge, albeit I was the only one competing, so no matter how I performed I would have come first, and last for that matter. Small details.

Lace Pancakes

In the Kitchen

50/50 success/fail

Batter Week on GBBO, easy right? Wrong.

I am not an artist and this just proves it.

I used this recipe, the same one as the bakers had in the tent, and gave it my best shot.

I used an old empty fairy bottle to ‘guide’ the batter into a beautiful lace heart.


If you’re going to try this, make sure you fully clean your fairy bottle. I washed it twice and rinsed it with hot water a further 3 times.

Then the fun began.

Fortunately this was my trial run… as it definitely was not my best.


It is not easy to draw with batter, who knew.

The next was the best attempt

Not great, but not terrible. Ok, verging on terrible.


Yeah, I legit do not know what happened to this one. Whoops.

Then I gave up with hearts, apparently they’re too delicate for me. I thought I’d try a more robust shape. A letter N, for Nicole. Because I am original.



Still a pretty poor attempt.

I’m not even sorry.

Bakewell Tart next week! I’m super excited!


Nicole x


Dampfnudel fail…

In the Kitchen

Bread Week

Week three of GBBO, my biggest fear.

I was right to be afraid, Dapfnudel seemed to be something that stumped all of the bakers in the tent, so me being a complete amateur, had absolutely no chance.

I used this recipe and prayed to the bread gods (AKA Paul Hollywood) that I make something at least edible. I really didn’t set my sights too high for this one. I literally wanted to be able to take a bite and not throw up. #BreadGoals.

Things started off positively (?) with my dough resembling dough. Which far exceeded my expectations.


Don’t try and tell me that doesn’t look like dough!


Things didn’t stay so positive though.

I proved the dough for an hour and 10 minutes in total, expecting it to quadruple in size, when in fact it just looked a little bloated, like I do after a Chinese takeaway…








Determined not to be deterred, I knocked the little air out of it (I wish I could do that to myself after a Chinese Takeaway…) and separated it into 12 dough balls.


Albeit misshapen balls…


I followed the recipe to a tea, until the prosecco started flowing, whoops.


I tried to be exact in my measurements for the poaching liquid, but in hind sight perhaps my saucepan-come-poaching pan was a little smaller than the one the recipe required?


Either way, fuelled by some seriously misplaced confidence, I placed my balls into the saucepan and let them sit until it was time to put them back on the heat to steam.

Long story short, 20 minutes into the cooking process this happened:


Because I’m a genius, and was a little merry, I thought I could solve the immediate issue by transferring the saucepan onto another ring… burned that one too.

When I finally decided to stop burning things, I took the Dampfnudel off the heat and turned them out on to a plate.

I don’t think they were meant to look like this…


I broke them apart, and because I didn’t make either of the sauces because I knew they’d go to waste (NEVER WASTE FOOD) I smothered it in chocolate spread and took a bite…


My aim was to have a Dampfnudel that was cooked the whole way through – not raw like some of the ones in the tent.

My dampfnudel was cooked completely – so that as a win, but tasted of cardboard, so that was a fail.

Overall not my finest hour in the kitchen!


Oh well, lacey pancakes next time… I wonder how much I can muck  those up!



Nicole x

17 Viennese Whirls?!

In the Kitchen

Biscuit Week

Week two of GBBO is one of my favourites, biscuit week. I love a good biscuit, I really do, and as promised I did attempt the technical challenge.

I used the same recipe, linked here and crossed my fingers, toes and everything else I could cross to be honest.

I didn’t go into this one with high confidence. I half expected them to look like pancaked dog poops to be frank. My only saving grace would be to smother them in buttercream and hope that made them half tasty.

To begin with, I made one hell of a mess creaming the icing sugar and butter together. In fact, I’m sitting here right now typing this when I should be clearing away the utter devastation in my kitchen, but cest la vie.


Mixing the flour into the butter and icing sugar mixture.


This isn’t even half of the damage. but aren’t these mixing bowls so damn cute? £12 in Asda for the set of 3, bargain!

Once I’d baked all the batches of Viennese whirls, after popping them in the fridge for 10 minutes of course, I began matching them up with similar looking whirls. Who needs to draw guide lines on baking paper anyway? Me that’s who, and because I didn’t, I have Viennese whirls of varying sizes, ranging from dolls tea party to giants mid morning snack. But who cares, the fact that they’re all different shapes makes them look more homemade. Also aren’t we taught not to discriminate against colour and size? Just saying.


I’m just super happy they retained their swirls after their 14 minute stint in the oven!

I then piped the buttercream and sandwiched them together, tasting the buttercream before each one, to y’know, make sure it hadn’t gone off or something like that. (Side note, feeling a little sick from all that sugar right now.)



I then repeated this 17 times until I ended up with this:



Ngl, I a little bit want to lick the screen right now. They are delicious!

Once again, I’ll be sharing these round the office because if they stay here with me I may have to eat them all. Totes not compliant with the Clean and Lean lifestyle I’m trying to lead.

By the time this post goes live, these little beauties would have made their journey from my house to the office and hopefully made some accountants very happy!

Not quite looking forward to bread week… but I might get to tick something off of my 30 before 30 list!


Nicole x

Jaffa Cakes Plus

In the Kitchen

GBBO style Jaffa Cakes with a Twist


I’ve been truly inspired by GBBO, baking life back into my TV screen. So I decided that I wanted to emulate each Technical Challenge.


I’m an amateur baker, and an average one at that, so this is really going to be pushing me out of my comfort zone.


The first week’s Technical was actually one of my all-time favourite treats… the humble Jaffa Cake! *Mouth watering just thinking about their orangey goodness!* I jumped online this weekend to get the full recipe that the contestants were given and set off to the shops to buy all my ingredients.


I will link the recipe here.


Here is my progress as I began assembling my Jaffa Cakes:





For a twist on some of them, I added a thin layer of chocolate orange butter cream, because I like to live dangerously, and I could. I have to admit, I quite liked them! Let me know if you try that too.


Now, I live on my own, my parents don’t eat sugar and my sister hates chocolate orange. Being the responsible adult that I am, I’ve taken the remaining Jaffa cakes into the office to share, but not before creating what I know to be the greatest damn milkshake in the history of the world (*Slight exaggeration, but it is pretty tasty!)


I added:

A cup of vanilla ice cream

A cup of Chocolate Soya Milk

2 homemade jaffa cakes

A table spoon of Marmalade


To a blender and pulsed until mostly smooth.


I then transferred into a mason Jar I’d decorated with melted chocolate, added whipped cream chocolate shavings and half a Jaffa Cake for decoration.



Can you say sickly? But so so worth it! I got that idea from following Jaffa Cake on Facebook. You know I’ve got my priorities right!


Next week I’m tackling Viennese Whirls… wish me luck!




Nicole x