Hi guys, we hope you are all doing ok. Is it just us or are you all finding it difficult to get hold of self-raising flour? As we’re in lockdown people are keeping busy baking and cooking etc. But wow! When shopping each week there is literally dust from the flour left on the shelves… with no flour. Anyway, we had a little flour left in the cupboards and thought we’ll make cupcakes but halfway through mixing we realised we had far too much mix and decided to have a go at making a vanilla sponge cake.
Making a sponge cake is harder than it looks! You have to make sure you get the correct consistency and if you mix for too long this will create air bubbles in the mixture that can cause the cake to collapse.
Step1: First thing’s first. Always preheat the oven before you start baking so your oven’s piping hot before placing your cake mixture in.
Step 2: Start by adding four ounces of butter to your bowl. Followed by four ounces of granulated sugar and begin to whisk for three to five minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then add four ounces of self-raising flour and a teaspoon of baking powder.
Step 3: Crack two eggs, then beat the eggs for about a minute and then put into the mixture. Next add the milk and pour bit by bit as you are whisking, we used a cup of milk.
Step 4: For flavour we added two teaspoons of vanilla essence and continued mixing for a few more seconds.
Step 5: Place your baking paper in your baking tin. Then grease with butter, this is always a good way to prevent your cake from sticking to the tin.
Step 6: Pour your mixture into the baking tin and place to the middle of your preheated oven for around thirty minutes. We set the temperature to 180 degrees.
Voila! Shelley and Michelle’s Vanilla Sponge Cake, which took twenty minutes to prep, thirty minutes to bake and in total it only took 50 minutes!
Hi everyone! We hope that you are all keeping safe and well. Since having all of this free time we are both actually trying to make the most it. As you know from our last post we have been keeping our mind and body healthy by exercising and going out for walks. We also wanted to share with you our new found love for baking.
In the past few weeks we have made more trips to the kitchen and fridge than ever before! We’ve decided to put our baking skills to the test and have to say we are pretty delighted with the results. We had so many apples in the fruit bowl a couple days ago and decided to put them to good use and make an apple tart.
An apple tart is so easy to make and the ingredients used is so simple. You only need five apples, 120 grams of sugar, two eggs, 175ml of milk, 180 grams flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, cinnamon and jam (we used strawberry jam). Use flour and butter to grease your baking tin so the mix doesn’t stick to it.
Step 1: Start by peeling and removing the core from the apples. Cut the apple in half and then into quarters. Leave the apples to one side in a bowl of water and squeeze a lemon into it so that the apples stay fresh and won’t turn an off colour.
Step 2: Add your eggs, milk, sugar, baking powder and flour to a mixing bowl. Mix for about two to three minutes until your mix is well blended. Then pour into your greased baking tin.
Step 3: Cut the remaining apples into thin slices. Lay the apple slices in overlapping circles over the mix – Ours didn’t look quite like a circle, but we tried!
Step 4: Add three tablespoons of jam to a small bowl and place in the microwave for a few seconds, then glaze the jam over the apples. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the tart and add to a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes.
And there you have it, our very first attempt at making an apple tart and it tasted so good.
It’s quite challenging having the mindset to stay fit and healthy during these uncertain times. The gyms are closed and like many we have found other ways to stay fit and healthy. Take a look at a few exercises we have put together for you all to enjoy.
Walking or running outdoors is a great way to keep fit and clear the mind. Always remember that when running in an open space keep more than two metres away from other people and cut down your run or walk to once a day. Brisk walking, running or jogging releases feel-good endorphins that can reduce depression and anxiety. Outdoor running strengthens muscles, increases leg strength and ankle flexibility. If you need a little push or want to monitor your progress, why not download fitness and running apps.
Online Yoga and fitness classes
There are so many fitness classes online that can keep you occupied during the lockdown. You are spoilt for choice as there is something for everyone to enjoy! Classes range from yoga, full body cardio, abs toning, pilates and dance workouts, if you prefer something more fun you can take part in short ten minute classes to thirty minutes and even hour long sessions depending on what you’re willing to endure that day. Always remember you can improvise for e.g. if you don’t have dumbbells, use two tins of beans or soups.
We have mentioned skipping in a previous post because we love it so much! Not only does skipping make you feel like a child again it’s a great way to improve your fitness and you can literally skip anywhere! Your home, the garden or the park. You can burn from 200 to 300 calories skipping rope for up to fifteen minutes. We see why boxers skip so much! Another skipping benefit is that it improves your posture, when skipping rope you generally pull your shoulders back with your back upright. Good posture improves digestion and blood flow to the brain.
Using your body
Find space in your home or garden and do simple exercise routines such as squats and lunges. To make sure you are working both sides of the body for the same amount of time, give each set a time limit. For e.g. thirty seconds of sit ups, rest for fifteen seconds then go straight into burpees for thirty seconds, then of course don’t forget your fifteen second rest. Exercises such as Sit ups are an effective way to target your abdominal muscles by strengthening, tightening and toning your core. A burpees exercise is a total body workout which works your arms, back, chest, core, glutes and legs.
What better way to spend a cold winter’s day than a cosy afternoon tea. We did just that at The Melody Restaurant in London’s Hammersmith. The historic venue takes its name from the 1971 comedy, romance film ‘Melody’ which is where the movie was filmed.
The Melody is a cute boutique restaurant, we really enjoyed the afternoon tea experience spent in their exquisite dining room, which had soft music playing. The chandeliers were dimly lit making a calm atmosphere.
To kick start our afternoon we were presented with a glass of champagne that was freely flowing throughout our dining experience. Then for the tea! Shelley chose the Jasmine Blossom tea and Michelle had the English Breakfast tea.
The staff were so friendly and accommodating. We were presented with an array of Melody’s finest sandwiches, homemade scones & pastries, clotted cream and preserves that tasted rich and delicious. We were absolutely stuffed! Lol. The food was so filling, which is always a good thing.
Like ourselves, if you enjoy an Afternoon Tea experience we recommend The Melody Restaurant. Kensington Palace is just a short walk away from the location and it’s only a ten minute walk from Barons Court and West Kensington tube stations.