Wednesday, 16 October 2013

House of the Rising Bun - Vanilla Cupcakes

Now, I know my blog is named after the iconic cupcake, but it is a rare sight to actually see them on the blog. This is not a deliberate avoidance, I simply don't make them that often. *shrugs*

Back in August I was contacting by Laura from House of the Rising Bun (love a good pun based business name btw). HoTRB is a lovely little company which produces 100% natural cake mixes which use NO Additives or Preservatives just good quality ingredients.

Now I know a lot of people get a bit snippy over using cake mixes, I mean "baking from scratch is so easy", "why not just buy flour, sugar, eggs etc.." ... I totally get that, if like me you love baking and do it a lot, it is cheaper to buy bulk ingredients and get stuck in. However, there are lots of less obsessive bakers who just want to make a lovely cake without spending a packet on lots of ingredients.

Photo Courtesy of HoTRB

What I love about HoTRB cake mixes is the branding. The packaging is so cute, they come in paper bags with the sweetest design, amazing font and colours - they would make lovely gifts, I am dying for someone I know to move house so I can get one as a house-warming present.

I was sent three different flavours to try; Lemon & Poppyseed, Chocolate Orange (a special for halloween) and the original vanilla bean.

I tried the chocolate orange one first, it was a work colleagues birthday so they were ideal to whip up on a weeknight (in a hurry). The icing was spectacular! You get a tiny bag of white icing powder which you mix with water, as if by magic the icing turned a bright orange! It also tastes exactly like orange smarties which is a win in my book. Due to the rushed bake and slightly heavy handed addition of water to the icing I didn't get a decent picture of them, but believe me, totes delish!

The lemon and poppyseed mix, I made into a small loaf cake. Once again it was a late night weeknight job, the loaf disappeared within minutes at work, the flavours were perfectly balanced and again the icing was perfect!

I used the vanilla bean last, it sat in my cupboard for weeks waiting for the perfect opportunity to bake. I finally decided last weekend to just make them, it was like the baking equivalent of saving your nice clothes for "best" and then never wearing them! Life is too short.

I baked 12 wonderfully light vanilla cupcakes, and decided to use the packet of icing powder to make a buttercream. I needed to add a little more icing sugar but it worked well. The vanilla sponge was just perfect and I loved how there was visible flacks of vanilla bean running through it.

I would definitely buy these again, probably more as a present for someone who isn't as hardcore into baking (with a dedicated flour cupboard) as me. In fact with Christmas coming up, I might have to stock up! I see from their website that they have a wonderful Christmas cake mix, and a few Christmas themed sprinkles! *hides credit card*

What is your view on packet mixes? Yay or nay?


Monday, 7 October 2013

Meal Planning Monday - 7th October

Homemade zero pp soup, rice cakes and cottage cheese

Happy Monday! Apologies for lack of any sort of posts in the last two weeks. Work has been crazy busy and getting back into the Weight Watchers way of life has been a bit of a priority.

Speaking of which, my first week back on WW has been brilliant! I felt in control and still managed a few treat here and there. And at my Weigh-in the morning I had lost.... *drum roll* .... 3lb!

Really proud of myself for sticking with it, and raring to go this week, a loss is always a good motivator. I have some lovely meals planned this week and its funny but being on this whole healthy eating kick I find I am enjoying food more, when I do have treats they feel like treats! I savour them and enjoy them all the more!

Now onto this weeks meal plan;

Breakfast: Chocolate and strawberry overnight oats, 40g oats, 140ml milk, teaspoon cocoa powder, handful chopped strawberries. - 6pp
Lunch: Sainsbury's be good to yourself ham and mushroom tagliatelle - 9pp
Dinner: Leftover 0pp Carrot Laksa Soup with rice cakes and cottage cheese - 4pp
I have a lot of points leftover today, so might just treat myself to a couple of G&Ts or some ice cream

Breakfast: Lemon curd and kiwi overnight oats - 6pp
Lunch: Ham and egg salad with pitta bread pom bear crisps - 10pp
Dinner: Beef and vegetable stew (all hail the return of the slow cooker!) not pointed this yet but should be low, will serve with either bread or boiled potatoes.

Breakfast: Peanut butter and banana overnight oats - 7pp
Lunch: Sainsbury's be good to yourself cottage pie - 10pp
Dinner: Leftover stew

I am off work today and out shopping with a friend, so not sure if we are eating out.
Dinner: gammon with sweet potato mash and veggies - 11pp

Breakfast: overnight oats (one of the flavours above, not sure what I'll fancy) - 6pp
Lunch: Sainsbury's be good to yourself chilli - 9pp
Dinner: Chicken enchiladas with a rocket salad - 14pp

Looking forward to quite a few things on this weeks menu, I bought the Sainsbury's ready meals on special and find them a bit of a lifesaver for those busy week days when you don't have time to prepare anything.

I want to try and do a little exercise this week, maybe just wearing my pedometer more and upping my steps to start.

Normal service shall resume on the blog shortly, got some exciting posts in the pipeline from gadget reviews to recipes to cupcakes! Watch this space.

As always I have submitted this post into Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday linky.

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