Recipe: The ultimate chocolate cake

Hobbycraft got in touch and told me they had a challenge for me to undertake. I'd seen these gravity defying cakes all over Instagram so was very excited to try and attempt one for myself. I used a Nigella recipe for the chocolate cake and decided to go for a mixture of white and milk chocolate for the decoration. It didn't come out as neat as I had wanted but I like to think it has a bit of rustic charm! The kit was quite fiddly and it takes a lot of patience to make it work - definitely set aside a few hours for the decorating. In hindsight, maybe white chocolate was not the best shout because I used milk chocolate to stick them to the pole and it showed up. But the end result looks so cool and it's such a showstopper so it's well worth the time and effort.

200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp of baking power
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
40g cocoa powder
175g baking margarine
2 large eggs
150ml sour cream

75g unsalted butter
175g at least 60% dark chocolate
300g icing sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
125ml sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 bags of white chocolate buttons
1 bag of chocolate buttons
1-2 pack of white chocolate fingers
1-2 pack of chocolate fingers

1. Line and grease two round cake tins with butter and baking parchment. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

2. Put all the cake ingredients into a food processor and pulse into a thick batter.

3. Divide the batter evenly into the two cake dishes. Pop in the oven and cook for around 10 minutes before covering with tin foil and cook for a further 15 minutes,

4. Once you have checked it is cooked, take it out and let it cool down.

5. Meanwhile, make the icing. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan on a low heat. Once melted, leave to one side to slightly cool down.

6. Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl.

7.  Add the golden syrup, vanilla extract and sour cream to the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture into the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.

8. Once the cake has cooled down, follow the instructions on the gravity defying packet. Once it has been put together, cover the entire cake with icing.

9. Using alternative fingers, cover the edging with chocolate fingers before topping it with the white chocolate buttons. Using both the different colours. Keep one of the empty packets.

10. Using the leftover icing, carefully dot some on the back of the button before sticking to the tube, making it look like they're falling down.

11. Using the icing, smear a line around the top of the empty sweet packet and secure to the top of the tube so it's slightly covering the line of chocolate buttons. Hold tight for a while so it sticks.

12. Stick in the fridge for a bit if you want to help harden the icing. Then tuck in!

I would love to know if you attempt this so please do tweet me. Happy baking!


Restaurant review: Palm Vaults, Hackney, east London

Palm Vaults has exploded over Instagram this summer. Hipsters have fell hard for the dusty pink and mint green interiors alongside the endless pots of green ferns, cacti and palm trees. I popped along to see if it lived up to the hype and embrace my inner hipster. Hidden away in the depths of Hackney on Mare Street, the cafe couldn't look more out of place if it tried but that's the charm of the area. It's a tiny place with only a handful of tables scattered around. So keep in mind you may have to wait for a table if there's more than four but they do offer a takeaway service.

Palm Vaults certainly isn't cheap. I paid £4 for a freshly squeezed orange juice and £8.50 for a small portion of crushed avocado on toast topped with halloumi. I begrudge spending that much in places because they are trendy. I don't agree with having to put up with prices because they are in London - it's possible to get food in the capital of insanely good quality for a reasonable price. If I'm happy with the food then I won't complain about splashing the cash. But the portion was pretty small and the toast was a little too crunchy. Overall it was a bit of a disappointment which is a shame as London has an abundance of incredible brunch options and I was so desperate to like it.

Would I go back to Palm Vaults? It's a really cool place with a quirky vibe. The staff are friendly and I fell in love with the interiors. I would definitely pop in if I was in the area for a leisurely drink and would like to try some of their sweet treats. But I wouldn't eat brunch there again. I like value for money and I just don't think this offers it.


OOTD: Red smock dress

Red smock cold shoulder dress: H&M (similar)
Poppy red Lily: Mulberry
Pony hair black chunky heeled sandals: New Look (similar)

This is quite possibly one of the most unflattering things that I own but also the most comfortable. Priced at under £15, I spotted this a good few months ago in my lunch break and purchased it immediately in preparation for my holiday. I wanted clothes that were light, loose, comfortable and easy to pack. This ticked all the right boxes. One of my favourite purchases this summer! I can tell it's going to be a style staple whenever sunshine decides to appear.

I wore it out for a lazy Saturday brunch in east London with my favourite gal pals. Elodie and Lauren were visiting London so it was a good excuse to try somewhere new and catch up.  It felt like they had never moved away! Don't you just love a Bank Holiday weekend?


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