Heavenly Bakes

Whilst whipping up a few batches of brownies (for a Christmas cake sale) today it struck me that I always come back to this tried and tested recipe. I first came across it in the first issue of ‘The Simple Things‘ magazine and after a tweaking it a little it is foolproof:

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125g Butter (I like salted but unsalted works too)

200g of the best dark chocolate you can afford (I love Lindt 70% cocoa)

Melt together in a bowl ( over a pan of boiling water)

Meanwhile sieve the following ingredients in to a bowl and mix well:

125g Plain Flour

200g Caster Sugar

1 tsp baking powder

40g of the best cocoa you can get

….. add the choc/butter mix in until it is a nice paste, then add 3 eggs and 1 tsp of vanilla extract and whisk until the mixture is a lovely glossy, gloopy texture.

smash up 150-200g white chocolate into chunks and mix in.

You’re ready to bake!

180 degrees for 20 min gives you a super chewy/soft brownie – especially good if you are not eating them straightaway, go for 25 min is you prefer a bit more of a cakey texture.

Try not to eat them all at once x

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London Bound

I’m currently planning a research trip to London in December and am trying to decide what I can cram in to a long weekend.

Already booked is Isabella blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset house, celebrating the extraordinary life of the late Fashion patron;

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I have toyed with the idea of taking a little skate at Somerset House while I’m there but decided that I’m maybe a little out of practice.

Other must see’s include ‘Hello my name is Paul Smith‘ at the Design museum;

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Pop Art Design’ at the Barbican, and a Gincognito at the new Gin joint.

‘Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr’, at the Science Museum looks like a really quirky exhibition of photography from the late 1960’s and 70’s capturing eccentricities of the english way of life.

Just take a look at these Ladies:

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Of course it would be silly not to take the chance to do a little shopping while I am there so I will be popping in to Present and Correct for some lovely stationery – I will be hunting down this 2014 wall planner by Crispin Finn;

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and of course Liberty of London to top up my sewing supplies.

Sewing with stripes and checks

My most recent commission is 3 Christmas dresses for cousins to wear on Christmas day. Cute, great.

Not quite, as they were to be made in the family tartan.

Firstly, the Scots are very protective of their ‘proper’ tartan fabric – its expensive.

Second, matching checks, gathers etc etc – you get the idea.

I decided a pinafore dress would be perfect, here is matching attempt 1:

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not that great, here is attempt 2:

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much better (not perfect).

How about some fabulous examples to drool over:

Karl Lagerfeld:

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A great use of darts at Emilia Wickstead:

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and check out the seam on this skirt:

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If you are planning on tackling a patterned project yourself, here is a great tutorial from the Coletterie

And another great one from The Selfish Seamstress

ASSEMBIL

I have been following ASSEMBIL for a little while on twitter and love their posts –  on everything from 4D printing, Pattern cutting at Givenchy, and even a lovely link to a Tilda Swinton and Olivier Saillard performance at Beaux-Arts, Paris.

What a perfect mix.

NB. They also have a great pattern cutting book, ‘How Patterns Work‘ which is lovely and simple, great for beginner and experienced pattern cutters;

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