#JanuaryJoy – Make something Naughty [to Eat]

Today is your reward for all the amazing things you have done this January! Tomorrow we’ll be reflecting on that, but first of all today, I have a challenge for you to test your baking skills and make you feel like an accomplished domestic goddess in the kitchen. Every January I bake a cake of Pete’s choice from any of our recipe books for his birthday, so it’s kind of a tradition to attempt something new and impressive… I’m so glad he didn’t see this before making this year’s choice 😉

Thank you so much to Asma from Sugared Saffron for sending in this stunning creation – I think it would be a seriously impressive gift or centrepiece on a dessert table or for afternoon tea. Do let her know in the comments box if you have any questions!

Tips:

  • Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and all spice for an extra wintery flavour
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the caramel for a Salted Caramel layer
  • To save time, bake the cake the day before. The pear means it’s extra moist so just make sure you’ve wrapped it in cling film and leave it at room temperature.

Ingredients for the Pear and Vanilla bean cake: 
170g Unsalted butter (room temp)
170g Caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract or the seeds of half a vanilla bean
3 Large eggs
170g Self raising flour
6 firm pears, peeled, cored and chopped into cubes.
1/2 a firm pear.

For the caramel layer:
100g caster sugar
Water
100ml double cream
1 tablespoon of butter

Finishing touches:
75ml Chantilly cream. That’s just whipped cream, flavoured with vanilla and sweetened with a teaspoon of icing sugar.
Spun sugar

Cake Method

  • Prepare a 7″ baking tin by greasing and lining with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C
  • Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the eggs to the creamed mixture one at a time, make sure they are completely combined before adding the next. If the mixture is curdling, add a tablespoon of the measured flour to it.
  • Mix in the flour.
  • Fold in the chopped pears until they are evenly distributed in the mixture.
  • Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes. This part depends very much on your oven so check after 30 minutes but pressing the cake and testing with a toothpick. If it comes out clean and the cake springs back after being pressed, then it’s done.
 
Caramel sauce

  • In a heavy pan (not non-stick) place the sugar and pour over enough water to just cover the sugar. Heat on a medium-high heat and wait until the mixture dissolves and becomes amber at the edges.
  • Swirl the pan and keep on the heat until the amber colour is uniform, this will only take a few seconds so be quick.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the cream, mix until it’s combined nicely.
  • Return the pan to the heat for a couple more minutes until the caramel thickens and changes colour.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter. Let it cool down for a minute and pour over the top of the cake.
  • Whilst the caramel is setting, take your half pear and place in a hot non-stick frying pan to caramelise at the edges and surface.
  • Once the caramel is set and the pear is cooled, dollop on some of the Chantilly cream.
  • Add the spun sugar and pear at the very last minute before serving.


Recipe and Photography courtesy of Asma Hassan, (Baking Ninja) Sugared Saffron

Friday Frock O’Clock

Today’s Friday Frock is a bit of a wild card… Leather, I hear you say? Yes indeed.

I’m having a bit of a (not at all S&M) love affair with leather of late. I can’t get over the classic nature of it as a fabric and the way it can work with so many trends. There surely isn’t any blouse/knit/shirt that can’t be paired with a black leather pencil skirt. That said, it’s a fine line, a very fine line.

Oddly enough there’s a huge trend for leather this summer in the SS12 collections and even odder still, the high fashion favourite is white, featuring in all the sports luxe collections. Today’s Mint Velvet neutral shift however is a classic and more wearable take on the trend that encompasses sixties, luxe, sports luxe and neutrals all in one.

I can’t wait to hear how you feel about leather – do you own a classic staple piece in leather that you can share or have you always lusted after a particular item?

As always, share your stylish finds this week and have a great weekend 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

DIY MakeUp – 70’s Caramels

Afternoon!

Apologies for the lack of variation today! Not only did this turn into a mammoth post, but there has been some difficulty behind the scenes for the last 2 days and while I’m working with the hosting company to get things sorted, this was the easiest way of making sure you all got your twice daily fix 🙂

Ok, so we’re back to share the actual how-to for the gorgeous look Laura was sporting in this morning’s post. This tutorial is based around the caramel and bronze look made famous by Farrah Fawcett in the 1970’s. Let’s get going with Catherine’s step by step how-to…

1. To create a matte yet natural base begin by applying a natural semi matte foundation to the face. Start at the t-zone with the product and blend outwards towards the hair and jaw line. Use the foundation brush to then sweep over the eyelids to eye to even the colour of the lids and act as a primer for eye shadow.

2. Next, to brighten the under eye area, apply a light reflective concealer such as Yves Saint Lauren Touche Eclat using a fluffy brush to buff into the delicate skin. Using this form of application will prevent the product lying in any fine lines.

3 & 4. Use a natural bronzer and apply to the skin where the sun would hit you naturally, the top of the forehead, bridge of nose, top of cheeks and chin. Close your eyes and sweep the brush over the eye lids to enhance the sunkissed look. Daniel Sandler’s bronzer is one of my farourites as it is has a natural finish and is not orange in the slightest. It also has two shades which I find fantastic for contouring the skin. Apply the bronzer in light, sweeping motions with a large fluffy brush.

5. Next, apply a light shimmery eyeshadow such as ‘Naked Lunch’ by Mac to the whole lid. Patting the eyeshadow as opposed to sweeping will give it longer staying power.
6. Apply a metallic bronze colour, such as ‘Woodwinked’ by Mac, into the socket line and buff any harsh lines using a fluffy brush like the Mac 224.
7 & 8. Fill in the brows using a matte eyeshadow. I reccomend buying a light brown and dark brown shadow which you can then mix to create the perfect colour and intensity for you. Use a slanted brush and light upward strokes for a natural finish.

9 & 10. To add a healthy flush of colour to the face, lightly apply a peachy toned blusher onto the fleshy part of your cheeks. I used Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in ‘Lush Nectarine’. It helps to smile while you do this!
11. Next, apply coating of black mascara, but keep the look light and clump free. I love L’Oreal ‘Million Lashes’ mascara as the brush has fine teeth to create a totally clump free finish.
12. To finish the look apply a shimmery nude gloss to the lips which will keep the look natural while adding fullness. I particulary love Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in ‘Bare Peach’.

And here’s the finished result… Catherine very deftly added some ‘Farrah Flicks’ to complement the makeup and even if I do say so myself, I’m loving this look, particularly on Laura. Even Harry the Guinea Pig couldn’t help himself getting in on the act… his coat was too good a colour match to resist. 😉

With Thanks to:
Catherine, (Ivy Clara makeup) – go check out her work if you’re in need of a make-up artist for anything from make-up lesson parties to events or of course bridal – she’s a star.
Photography – Zoe Hodson
my friend Laura,
…and of course, Harry the Guinea Pig for guest starring!

Drop us all a comment in the box below if you’ll be trying the 70’s caramel look, or if you’re already a fan…

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

PS Look out for more make-up tutorials coming in future – and if there’s something you would like to recreate, then please drop me a line on hello@florencefinds.com and I’ll see what my superstar team can do!

PPS. No animals were harmed in the making of this tutorial. 😉

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