Nelly Elliott

Newcastle based blogger, mama, creative, coffee-only with my oxygen, vegan, plus-size fashion lover and feminist.

@nellyscupcakes

Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Filo Pie

After Christmas I had quite literally a bucket-load of turkey to play with thanks to Knorr.
I had so many recipe ideas swirling around in my head it was hard to decide which to chose. At the December Private Pie meeting I tasted an utterly divine Turkey and Cranberry pie and had been dreaming of …

A Very Merry Christmas 2012.

Isn't it funny how we spend months and months planning, shopping, preparing and before you know it, it's all over. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas and part of the excitement is the build up, but I just wish the day itself would be longer! I want more time to cook, more time to dri…

An alternative to Mince Pies at Christmas - Mulled Wine & Cranberry Frangipane Pies.

I love Christmas, when it comes to this time of year I am a huge kid and love pretty much all things Christmas related, with the exception of mince pies and Christmas cake, something about all that dried fruit just really doesn't appeal to me. I love the idea of sitting by a roaring fire (or i…

Meal Planning Monday - 10th December.

It slowly creeping closer to christmas, the closer it gets the more disorganised I seem to get! I mean I have all the meals for Christmas planned but nothing for the days leading up to or after! I seem to just be focusing on Christmas Eve and the day itself. This is all well and good, but we do need to eat everyday...

Gingerbread House Challenge 2012.

Last Sunday I took part in a fantastic charity event in Newcastle. It was a Gingerbread House Challenge organised by Lisa from Newcastle Clandestine Cake Club. This wonderful event was to raise money for the Sick Children's Trust, a really important charity which works to provide a home from home for families with children in hospital.

The event itself was amazing! So many people turned up, there was over 30 gingerbread houses entered and the venue was jam packed. There was also a raffle and various games like guess the weight of the cake etc...

Meal Planning Monday - 3rd December.

I have quite frankly been an atrocious meal planner of late. I just got myself in one of those vicious cycles of laziness and comfort eating. With christmas around the corner I really need to start planning my christmas food and making space in freezers etc...

So I am back on the planning-wagon and raring to go, no more late night chippy teas for this food blogger!...

Pie Pops - A Crazy Idea?

I have been a proud and slightly obsessive member of Newcastle's Clandestine Cake Club for nearly a year now, and just adore the concept of meeting likeminded baking-addicts in my local area, as well as eating copious amounts of cake.

Following the success of the CCC a few other baking related clubs have sprung up all over Newcastle (and the north-east). I have thouroughly enjoyed attending each and every one. My two particular favourites have been Private Pie Club and the Singing Hinnies & Fat Rascals Bake Club. I have met so many lovely people, had company to a plethora of local foodie events and feel like we are building quite a foodie network in the notorious NE.

For the most recent Singing Hinnies meeting I was stumped on what to bake! The theme was comfort food and all I could think about was pie. However, I knew a lot of the other Hinnies would be baking pastry wonders and wanted to try something completely new and different...

London in November - A Foodie Adventure.

Earlier this month I jetted off (Well, train-ed off) to our capital city for 3 days of fun! Even though I booked the tickets well in advance I wasn't particularly organised. My packing was done hurriedly in the morning and I had no actual firm plans of what I was going to do over the three days.
In hindsight I would probably have planned a few more things but it felt great to be flying by the seat of my pants and being spontaneous.

The main reason for my visit was to attend an AWOT event, for those who may not be aware AWOT stands of Awesome Women of Twitter. I have been following them on twitter for a while and really wanted to go down and meet everyone. The lovely Amy, who I have been chatting to on twitter forever offered me a bed for the two nights I was down there, which I will be forever grateful for!

I arrived in London at around 3pm, so met the gorgeous Roswen for a quick coffee and catch up, it is so funny meeting people who you have been online friends with for so long, it was like meeting an old friend and we just chatted and put the world to rights! So great to finally meet one of my favourite bloggers.

The only picture I took all night, must of been having too much fun!

After a quick and very delicious dinner at Amy's flat, we headed to The Liberty Lounge in Shoreditch....

Bread Baking & Me.

I love baking, this is no secret. I find the act of making something by hand, from scratch quite therapeutic and dare I say relaxing. One particular branch of the baking family however I struggle with; Bread.

I find my break baking so hit and miss that the idea of making bread tends to fill me with dread and anxiety. Mainly as the recipe tends to use a lot of flour I feel like it is such a waste if I end up with some brick-like loaf not fit to feed the ducks with!

So I don't often make bread, pizza dough and the occasional white loaf is as far as I go. After watching The Great British Bake Off I felt inspired to try and plaited loaf, it seemed like a fairly easy way to create quite a fancy looking finish. I wasn't quite up for the full 8 strand challenge but a 3 strand-er seemed the best place to start...

September - Where did you go?

Oh September, what a fickle month you have been!

It seems about 5 minutes ago I was pinching and punching people on the first of the month and now I am suddenly in October and wondering what on earth happened?!

I suppose the downside of working for a university is that September is busy busy busy, long days at work followed by shamefully early nights. Having said that when I look back over the month I actually managed to squeeze in a bit of a social life too! Unfortunately blogging took a bit of a back seat but que sera sera...

So here is what I got up to this month in handy instagram-style

Meal Planning Monday - 10th September

I am back on the meal plan bandwagon after a rather depressing month or so off. Everything went a bit pear shaped after my birthday week and I because a little lazy and disinterested in cooking. I was sick of having to be in charge of meals so went on strike. We ended up spending far too much on …

Malteasers - The lighter way to enjoy Cupcakes.

I baked these little beauties back in June, I fancied experimenting with flavours and as Malteasers are completely amazingly addictive and basically chocolate covered crack I thought I would try to make a Malteaser-type cupcake!

Initially I didn't just want to put Malteasers into a cupcake, I wanted to recreate the flavour of the malty honeycomb in the sponge. I scratched around my cupboards looking for inspiration and found a few sachets of Horlicks lurking right at the back of my spice shelf, who knows how or why it came to be there but it was perfect!

The addition of horlicks added a really lovely subtle malt flavour to the sponge but they weren't massively "horlicks-y" which was just what I was going for. The flavour was lovely but the best bit was the smell. The smell of horlicks is something I find quite comforting, and add that to the already comforting smell of freshly baked and cake and your onto a winner.

Peach Melba and Pistachio Mini Upside Down Cakes.

As expected I have been completely inspired by The Great British Bake Off. The same thing happened last year, as soon as the first episode hit my tellybox I head for the kitchen to recreate some of their best recipes in my own special way.

The first episode the contestants made an upside down cake, rum babas and a hidden design cake. I personally thought this episode was a toughie and huge round of applause to the lovely contestants for making some lovely cakes! Although non of their hidden designs were as cool as this Damien Hirst creation by Jules over at Butcher, Baker.

Being a bit rusty in the kitchen I decided to opt for the slightly easier upside down cake, although rum babas are now firmly on my to-bake list. Alongside my bake-off obsession I am also having a slight love affair with the gloriously juicy peaches around at the moment. I was recently introduced to the wonderful Doughnut Peach (sometimes know as a flat peach or a Saturn peach). These weird looking bad boys are simply amazing, so juicy and flavourful. Unlike your standard peach, these squished-looking cousins are a lot sweeter, the skin is a little thinner and less fuzzy, and the stone is teeny tiny and much easier to cut out. They also have a wonderful almondy/nutty flavour about them which is simply divine!...

Homemade Marshmallows

I got a lovely sugar thermometer for Christmas, I had such great plans of making jams and caramel and other delights which require boiling sugar to a specific temperature. So of course I popped it in my baking cupboard and promptly forgot I had it!

I would see recipes which required a thermometer and disregard them thinking I couldn't possibly make it without a thermometer! What a scatter-brain baker I am.

So the other day I was rummaging deep into my baking cupboard looking for Tupperware lids (I always end up with lots of boxes and no lids! How?) I came across this bizarre metal device... MY THERMOMETER!

This little find came at such a great time as I was just in the mood to do something new and exciting! I had seen Helen from Fuss Free Flavours talking about marshmallows on twitter and really wanted to give them a go, then I spied Niamh from Eat Like A Girl had blogged a really great recipe which explained exactly what each part did and how they worked (I love a bit of recipe science)...

We're all going on a summer holiday...

I have been a little absent from the world of blogging recently. I really feel that blogging is a cyclical thing for me, some months I am hugely inspired and type, type, type, type away to my hearts content and post 20+ posts. Then some months I just have nothing to say and spend the whole time r…

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you'd asked me about the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in April I would of enthused about all the wonderful baking I had planned and events I'd like to attend/organise, I would of gone on alarmingly about all the union jack themed bakes and regal inspired cakes I had planned. Now that it i…

One year.

A Year ago today. I lost my inspiration, my best friend, my Mum. This last year has been the hardest imaginable, but I wanted to say thank you. One of the things that has really made me happy this year has been baking, creating things from scratch, focusing on perfecting a recipe, and sharing …

Russian Roulette Revel Brownies

I am in the midst of a fairly passionate love affair with chocolate brownies. I had never had much success with them in the past, they never quite reached the perfect ideal I had in my mind; fudgy, cripsy topped chocolate haven - so very rarely bothered to bake them. Then I was introduced to Nigella's fabulous brownie recipe and BOOM! I make them at every opportunity.

Last week I was feeling particularly hormonal and NEEDED chocolate, the thought of the various things I could pick up from the corner shop just didn't thrill me, so I decided to whip up a catch of brownies to satiate my PMT monster.

Anticipating my chocolate craving the lovely boyfriend had brought home a couple of bags of revels, so I decided to chuck them in the batter, the mini eggs had worked so well, so why not eh?

For those not familiar with Revels, they are a bag of chocolates of different varieties, so you have a malteaser (honeycomb) one, a raisin one, a caramel one, a coffee one (bleugh), an orange one and a pure chocolate one. The perfect treat for the indecisive chocoholic...

Meal Planning Monday - 21/5/12

This weeks meal plan is pretty basic, you'll probably recognise most of the meals as I've made them a lot recently. I might be in a little bit of cooking rut but we like what we are eating so... Who cares! This weeks shopping came to £36 in total, including cat food, cleaning products, a…

Awesome Choc 'n' Raisin Oaty Biscuits

I don't know if I mentioned it but... I started a new job two weeks ago, it has been pretty exciting so far and I am SO much happier than I have been for the past few years. It is amazing how feeling valued and part of a team boosts your work performance, it is an absolute revalation to work in an office where someone isn't constantly questioning your work and micro-managing you into a blubbering wreck.

Although, as a result my kitchen has been neglected, my beautiful Kitchen Aid is sitting redundant on the bench, my baking cupboard remains firmly closed and I swear I saw a teeny spider web forming on the handle *sob*, I may be being slightly dramatic as it's only been two weeks...
There has been lots of celebratory nights out, social events and excitement, so I haven't found time to squeeze in much baking; when I do find the time, or get the uncontrolable urge to bake it is quick and simple bakes.

On Sunday night I got the urge to make biscuits, something easy to whip up and pop in packed lunch boxes through the week. I spent a good hour flicking through my favourite cookbooks searching for something I had the ingredients for...