21 Oct 2014

BASIC CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA FROSTING

We moved!
And even though half of my baking pans are still in boxes and the other half are piled next to the fridge, I managed to make some carrot cake cupcakes for my co-worker's fifth year wedding anniversary.
Now I have to say that I absolutely love our new flat. It's awesome. But I don't lie, it's kind of difficult tripping over boxes to get to the bathroom and moving bags to find even the simplest of clothing. So while this recipe may not be ground breaking, it really was the bright spot in my week.

PlanetBakeLife Carrot Cake Cupcakes

There are extras that can be added to this like nuts and seeds and pineapple, but it's just as tasty without.

CARROT CAKE RECIPE

300g Soft Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 1/4C Sunflower Oil
300g Plain Flour
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
2tsp Ground Ginger
300g Carrots
50g Ground Coconut

PlanetBakeLife Carrot Cake Cupcakes Grated Carrot



1// Pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Put your soft brown sugar, eggs and oil into an electric stand mixer. Beat them together on medium until fully combined.
2// Add the bicarb, baking powder and spices to your mix. Make sure they are fully incorporated into your batter.
3// With the mixer still running, slowly add your flour. I like to add it half a cup at a time. If your mixture looks too wet, you can add a bit more flour but don't go too mad with this. You want a thick batter that's not too stiff.
4// Finally, add your coconut and carrots. I normally use my mixer to fold these in but you can do it by hand if you prefer.
5// Pop your mixture into cupcake liners in a cupcake tin (normal or Texas size) and pop into the over for 20 - 25 minutes. Check the middles using a knife or cake tester. When the metal comes out clean, your cupcakes are done. Let them cool completely before icing.

PlanetBakeLife Carrot Cake Cupcakes Raw
 
VANILLA FROSTING RECIPE

200g Soft Butter or Marg
Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract

PlanetBakeLife Carrot Cake Cupcakes Cooked

1// Pop the butter into an electric stand mixer and pop it onto medium.
2// Add your vanilla extract.
3// Slowly add the icing sugar to your butter mixture. I normally add it until the butter pulls away from the side of the bowl. Then I turn the mixer up to high and let it do it's thing for 6 minutes.

PlanetBakeLife Carrot Cake Cupcakes Iced

Then you're ready to ice those amazing little cupcakes.
I took these to work and had none left within about 10 minutes. Don't be surprised if you don't even get to try them before everyone else helps themselves. Seriously, make sure you keep a few for yourself.


9 Oct 2014

My Favourite Indoor Home Decor Pieces to Start Fresh

We moved into our new place yesterday.
It's a one bedroom flat. It has wooden framed windows that don't close properly. It has the pantry of my dreams. We get good light at the end of the day. Some of the shelves are warped.
And the most important thing of all, it's all ours.
I cannot wait for everything to be unpacked. To start decorating it the way I've always dreamed. And to start cooking.

So while I worry about the boxes and getting internet connected, you can have a peek at my wish list for the new house. I've always wanted to have a neutral palette for the walls and floors and then accessorize with pops of colour. I also really love yellow so that gets me every time!

These all come from Kmart because when you have a budget, it's really the best place to shop, but it was not in any way sponsored by Kmart.

Home-decor-Kmart

1// Flamingo Cushion $12

2// Roommate Paper Lantern Lights "spots" $12

3// Flowers Jug $12

4// Ceramic Bird in Yellow $12

5// House Lantern in Orange $9

6// Knitted Ottoman in Charcoal $35

7// Sleving Ladder Unit in Black $39

What theme would you pick for your new house? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet!

30 Sep 2014

The Colour of Food {GIVEAWAY}

There is not much that I love more than sitting in front of the TV watching cooking programmes all day. The only things that top that are my cat and popcorn covered doughnuts.


These programmes normally consistent of a pretty lady or a middle aged gentleman telling you about the history of their culture or family's food traditions. Some of these cultures include French, Italian, Mexican, Greek and Vietnamese. But it is very rare to hear about the smaller countries.
I come from South Africa, a place with rich food and diverse dishes, but we aren't talked about much on the Food Network. Now I live in New Zealand and once again, the food is never discussed on big TV networks.

When I was sent Anne Else's new book (originally in E-format and now in paperback) I was completely floored by the way Anne associates with food. It's a whole different world and it's quite exciting. Anne talks about how she grew up with food, what role it played in her life and how it's purpose changed as she did. 
The best part?
It's set in New Zealand, written by a New Zealander and about New Zealand food.
It was an eye opener (especially for a foreigner) to see how food evolved in New Zealand. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. Kiwis will associate with the book, they'll be able to relate to the products mentioned and think back to the times Anne describes in the books. Everyone else will be afforded a glimpse into the Kiwi culinary world.

The good thing is that if you really want a copy of The Colour of Food then I can help you out! I have two copies of Anne Else's The Colour of Food to give away to two lucky readers!
You can enter below now for a chance to win your own copy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

22 Sep 2014

Top 5 Stock Photo Resources For Your Blog

You know those days when you want to post about something random and you need a fantastically pretty image to go with it? But you're not made of money which means you don't have a Gucci scarf or a bunch of expensive lilies hanging around to be snapped at any moment so you have to resort to a stock photo.
Well that's always a problem because how do you give credit? Who do you give credit to? When will it be warm enough for you to justify wearing jandals because you're sick of tying your laces? ....Got a bit carried away there, sorry. But you get the picture (pun intended).

So today I'm bringing you a list of my Top 5 Stock Photo Resources for when you can't provide your own image. You can find a super comprehensive list here thanks to Lisa but these are just my top 5 that I use most often.


1. Gratisography is amazing for high quality photos. There's a good mix between plain and artsy photos so you could find almost anything you're looking for. There isn't a search function but it doesn't take too long to browse through and find something appropriate so you're pretty safe with this one.

2. I imagine Life of Pix to be like the Pinterest of the stock image world. It's beautiful and you want to recreate it so bad! There are some stunning images available here. And if you do have something that you think fits the bill and would look just as good, you can contribute to the site as well.

3. If you're not looking for anything in particular then Death to the Stock Photo has got you covered. You sign up and get a monthly update of stock photos to your inbox. I like to think of it as inspiration in my inbox whether I use the images they provide or not.

4. Who doesn't like a URL that gets to the point? I'm Free has all sorts of freebies from templates to images and you can browse their very well labelled categories for beautiful photos all the time.

5. If you're looking for a lot of choice then Foter is for you. They have a huge archive and you can find almost anything you're looking for with their search function. This is definitely the stock image resource to have when you're looking for something very specific.

Don't forget to check out Part I of the Blogging Best series on Photography Tips and Tricks for Your Blog.