My Summer Highlights

Considering I am moving back to Edinburgh today (I am writing this a few days before because to be honest there is no way on earth I could write a blog post in the car without being sick). On top of this uni is about to start *sends shiver through my spine*, so to round off the 6 months at home, I thought I’d share my highlights.

I must say that considering the summer was tinged with good ol’ Covid, (tinged is probably too light of a word to use in these circumstances but we’ll roll with it). I have to preface this with the fact I am in no way waving a wand to pretend it didn’t exist. All memories were part of lockdown and a constant feeling of ‘this could be my last day on earth according to the news’. Hence why I am stating the sorry old fact that Covid is and was a thing. Despite that, you have to look at everything and remember you still managed to be happy and experience great things even when the world was basically doomed.

To add another disclaimer, I have a veryyyy bad memory, so most of this came from my camera roll. So don’t be sad if I missed you out.

Long walks with the dog

I can’t even tell you how many walks I went on with the dog in these 6 months. One that particularly stood out to me is when we ended up going on an *extremely* long walk. You may be wondering why this memory particularly stands out, well that walk was 4-5 hours long. I couldn’t move for days afterwards and I’ve never felt hunger like that before in my life. However, to make the walk even better my lovely dog Ruby (who actually belongs to my brother but we’ve had her during lockdown) decided it was an optimum opportunity to stick half her body in a dead whale and this whale was HUGE.

I have never smelt anything like it.

Ruby was happy.

I was not.

To end off the note about this glorious animal I couldn’t not mention the countless amounts of smiles she brought to my face. I know that is super cheesy but coming from someone who never owned a dog I never understood, until now. Honestly not sure what I am going to do without her.

Not that she can ever read this.

Early Lockdown Catch-ups

I love catching up with friends on a normal day but when you’ve been stuck inside for what feels like too long and you can’t see them, a zoom call goes a long way. I feel like I am going to look back on this thinking how bizarre it is that we had to video call people just for a little bit of human interaction. Quiz nights were a highlight of my week even if I was so so bad at them.

I don’t think I will ever take for granted seeing people in person or even giving hugs.

Appreciating Home

I feel like this is a mindset rather than a memory but it made summer all the better.

This is the first time since coming home that I have fully appreciated where I have grown up. Not that I didn’t before but I think getting made to explore and find new areas that maybe I hadn’t spent so much time in, made me look at my surroundings in a different way.

This photo is from a time when my sister, the dog and I sat at the top of the salmon river and just chilled. We actually also watched a salmon jump for the first time which was great.

So at least I can say I gained something from the awful situation that is coronavirus. Looking at the positives definitely makes the negatives seem a bit less extreme.

Watching the Sunset.

If you haven’t checked out my Instagram (@sophieseditblog) then you wouldn’t have seen the post about watching the stunning sunset at Dunnet beach. I in-fact had never watched the sunset and considering we have optimal views for such a thing is quite shameful.

There is something quite calming about watching the sun slowly disappear while it paints beautiful colours across the sky.

I will have that beautiful view engrained in my brain and I am very happy with that.

Dunnet Forrest

I had a lovely walk around Dunnet Forrest. It’s a well kept area full of little sculptures and hidden gems. You can easily spend hours in it (we did). It’s a great place to feel fully connected to nature and gives you the chance to forget everything else.

This moment is particularly important because we managed to see two Deer in the Forrest. One extremely up close. Now I have seen deer before but never as close as this. So, if you get the chance to go a visit then do it and see if you too can spot some deer.

Starting a Business

I didn’t really want this to come across as a self promo but I couldn’t not mention the fact that my summer was extremely filled up with writing two blog posts a week and releasing two drops of prints. Thank you all so much for the support. I have nearly 50 followers getting emails every time I post and a Facebook and Instagram audience that grows weekly. I am just so glad that people enjoy what I write and on a personal note it is great for me to expand my writing knowledge. So, thank you and if you want to subscribe then please do. It’s a great way to stay updated and read when and where you want.

Baking

This is a personal achievement for me. I have never been a baker, in fact the majority of the time my bakes ended up being a massive fail. However, after nearly baking every week, especially at the start of lockdown, I now feel more comfortable in the kitchen and actually enjoy it. Plus I have had some delicious bakes from it.

You can find some of the bakes I’ve made here.


There are definitely more things I could have written about. For example my two trips to Dornoch which I’ve written about here or my countless trips for ice cream to John O’Groats but I would have been here for ages and that’s not to say they won’t feature in other posts.

I’d love to hear one of your favourite moments of Summer 2020. I can’t believe it’s coming to an end already.

Hopefully summer 2021 won’t be dictated by a global pandemic.

Much love,

Sophie x


Print shop is available here.

My Most Loved Recipes: Savoury Meals and Sweet Treats to Boost Your Week.

Instead of trying to alter or come up with some new recipes for here, I thought I’d share some of my favourites from fellow bloggers, chefs and websites. To share the love and all that. This list includes sweet treats and savoury meals, all pretty easy and equally delicious.

I know that it is hard to come up with new ideas and a lot of the time we end up eating the same thing over and over again. Hopefully, this will change that and you’ll end up with new staples for your cookbook.

Savoury Meals

BBC Good Food’s Sesame Salmon, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Mash

Image courtesy of linked website on BBC Good Food

Recipe is available here.

This has been a huge hit in both my flat in Edinburgh and at home. Full of flavour and healthy benefits, this recipe is super simple but super tasty!

I must admit I’ve never actually served it with the sweet potato and I always end up throwing any leftover broccoli that’s in the fridge (doesn’t necessarily have to be purple sprouting broccoli) into the tray. A good tip to make sure the broccoli gets cooked is putting it in a bowl with a small amount of water, covered with clingfilm and then put in the microwave for 2-3 mins before putting it on the tray. This way it should be properly cooked when finished.

Jessica Gavin’s Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Image courtesy of Jessica Gavin’s website (available at the link for the recipe)

Recipe available Here.

Scroll to the bottom of the post on the recipe linked to get the full ingredient list and method.

When I say you NEED to try this, I mean you NEED to try it. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of cauliflower (like my sister) I promise this will convert you. The Cauliflower gets a nice lightly crispy texture with a soft inside bursting with flavours of garlic, paprika and salt. It says to serve with Coriander but I’ve never had it so never use it. It’s a recipe which you can alter depending on your preferences of flavour.

To serve with it I make Pea Purée. I boil a decent amount of peas, drain them and then put them in a blender (you will need quite a lot of peas to make a substantial amount of purée). Next add 2-3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt, salt and pepper and then some mixed herb seasoning or mint sauce (use whatever you have available) and blend. Make sure the mix is smooth and add any extras of the ingredients if needed; remember you can add ingredients but you can’t take away.

This recipe goes particularly well with couscous.

BBC Good Food’s Chicken, Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry

Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food

Recipe available here.

This two step curry is one of my favourites. If you aren’t a massive fan of overly spicy foods but still love flavour or are looking for a curry great for both adults and kids then this is one you need to try. It’s my sisters go to and I get very excited when she makes it. I once gave my old flatmate a try of the curry and it was a massive hit. Just like any curry it tastes great the next day too!

My sister recommends also adding Garam Masala to the curry and if you are confident enough adjust certain flavours to taste. She will often include cumin or turmeric to the recipe as well. I’d probably suggest that this can also be easily made vegetarian too!

Mary Berry’s Foolproof Yorkshire Puddings

The first batch I made with this recipe!

Recipe can be found Here.

My Yorkshire puddings have become a huge hit in my house since coming home due to lockdown. I must admit I tried them once before and they turned out extremely deflated so I tried this recipe instead and they worked great! I get requested to make them on a weekly basis. It’s extremely easy and once you get the hang of it you can’t go wrong.

Make sure the oil is very hot and watch your hands when pouring the mixture into the tin. It’s also important that you leave them in for the required time because if you don’t they will collapse.

Jamie Oliver’s Messy Meatball Buns

Image courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s website available in the link below.

Recipe is available Here.

Now this isn’t the most attractive thing to eat I must admit but boy is it tasty! Filled with mozzarella, pesto and a rich tomato sauce, what is not to love about this!? It’s a firm favourite in my flat in Edinburgh and one of Mara’s (my flatmates) favourite things to make.

If you have leftover sauce it’s perfect to add to pasta and can be put in the freezer for a rainy day. If you don’t want to have this in a roll you can also make meatball subs out of them. Thankfully the recipe is now available online!

Sweet Treats

American Style Pancakes

Photo courtesy of BBC Food, available below.

Recipe is available Here.

I have struggled to get a decent pancake all my life and I must admit these aren’t like my granny’s pancakes which were amazing. However, they are pretty good and a recipe I can trust to give me results every time.

Expect fluffy, thick pancakes that go great with either savoury or sweet toppings.

Bon Appétit’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Image courtesy of BA, website linked below.

Recipe is available Here.

Now I must put a disclaimer here before I even start telling you about these delicious cookies. I do not support the actions of the BA/Condé Nast team in terms of the treatment of their BIPOC staff and the lack of equality in their company. However, I support the staff who have worked tirelessly under these conditions as they are amazing chefs and provide excellent recipes. I just wish for better and hope the staff get what they deserve.

These cookies are probably the best ones I have ever made, deliciously soft on the inside with a slight bite on the outside. Gooey with a hint of sugary caramel to them. I highly recommend making them.

Jane’s Patisserie’s Chocolate Fudge Loaf Cake

Photo belongs to Sophie’s Edit.

Recipe is available Here.

If I am honest there are a lot of recipes I’d like to try from Jane’s website however I can very much recommend the one I have tried. It is great! A moist chocolate sponge, rich in flavour and soft in texture, it even got my mums approval.

Perfect to fill the stomach of any chocolate lover, this one is a must try. Plus the recipe makes a decent amount; the first time I tried it, we managed to get a whole loaf plus an additional 3 mini ones.

Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf

Photo courtesy of the website linked below

Recipe available Here.

Another tried and trusted recipe from the Queen of baking. This is perfect for any leftover banana’s that are starting to go off. Plus you can get inventive by adding in chocolate chips, cinnamon or pecans. Banana Bread is the perfect accompaniment to a good cup of tea on a rainy day.

Just like any baking the smell of it filling your house is irresistible.

Zoella’s Four Berry Pavlova

Photos courtesy of my sister

I am still trying to figure out whether attaching a Zoella recipe is going to get me hate or a lot of people cringing. I don’t understand why but sadly I see it too often (but that’s a whole other blog post in itself). Anyway, this pavlova recipe is very tasty. Perfect for eating on a nice day. My sister made this a month or so ago and it was demolished very quickly.

The good thing about a pavlova is that they are so light you can fit a lot more on your plate and thus, into your belly.

Recipe is available Here.

If you’re looking for any more recipes or want to check out the food section of my website, click here.


Well, that is basically all my culinary favourites divulged in one blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the array of foods that you can now try and impress your friends and family with.

It’s good to switch it up every now and again plus you never know what will sneak its way into becoming a staple in your home.

The variety of meats, fish and veggies available above plus the endless amounts of sweet treats to accompany them means you are really spoilt for choice.

Enjoy!

Much love,
Sophie x


Recipe: Kirsty’s Crunchie Tiffin

If there is anything I’ve eaten a lot of in the past 3 weeks it is this stuff. It tastes very good. Yes tiffin is not the healthiest (by a mile) but whoever said good tasting things were never healthy is on point when it comes to this.

Filled with delicious layers of biscuit, chocolate and crunchie, there is simply nothing you cannot love about it. Plus you can easily swap the crunchie out for other sweet treats like maltesers.

A recipe for both kids and adults to enjoy while being relatively easy to make, means it is a win win recipe. What’s not to love?

Also, I might add, Kirsty is my twin sister and has been fuelling me with this fabulous treat for the past few weeks.


Ingredients

The Base:

  • 200g Milk Chocolate
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp’s Golden Syrup
  • 125g Digestive Biscuits
  • 3 Crunchie Bars

The Topping:

  • 100g Milk Chocolate
  • 100g White Chocolate
  • 25g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp Golden Syrup
  • 2 Crunchie Bars

Step 1: Put a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water).

Step 2: Add the Unsalted Butter and Golden Syrup (for the base) into the bowl and wait until fully melted (stir occasionally).

Step 3: Meanwhile you will need to prepare the base and the chocolate. Start with adding the digestive biscuits and crunchie bars in an airtight bag. Smash until broken up.

Tip: The biscuits should be a crumb like texture however if the crunchies are not fully broken, do not worry! Also keep an eye on the bag and make sure it doesn’t break, using a ladle is the perfect instrument for breaking this up!

Biscuits and Crunchies for the base
Biscuit base complete

Step 4: Chop the chocolate for the base finely. Once the butter and golden syrup mixture is fully melted, take it off the heat and add the chocolate to it.

Tip: It is important this is done off the heat and not stirred frequently as you risk splitting the mixture. If you do split the mixture slowly add cream and whip vigorously once cooler in temperature to bring back to a normal consistency (which will be slightly thicker than normal melted chocolate if you do split it.)

Step 5: Add this chocolate to the biscuit mixture and combine.

Step 6: Line a 20-25cm tin which is deep with baking parchment and spread out the chocolate biscuit mixture.

Tip: Use the base of a glass to flatten the mixture. This gives an even base for your topping to sit on.

Step 7: Now repeat the melting process for the topping; place the butter and syrup over the simmering heat.

Step 8: Again, chop the milk and white chocolate finely. Repeat step 4 for this, keeping in mind the chance of the mix splitting.

Step 9: You now want to add your melted chocolate to the top of the biscuit mix in your tin.

Step 10: Chop up your crunchies for the topping. This does not need to be small but keep in mind it will be chopped into bite size square pieces.

Tip: if you cut the crunchie down the centre horizontally and then cut smaller pieces from this you should get pieces that stand up.

Step 11: You will also get excess crumbs from the crunchie, simply sprinkle this on the top for added texture and less waste.

Step 12: Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours.

This can last a while if kept in the fridge in an airtight container. It also tastes better when cold.


And that’s it. The perfect tiffin for everyone to enjoy! It also makes a great gift because you can easily cut it up and divide it into whatever size you like.

It has quickly become one of my favourites and because it doesn’t actually need baked its relatively simple and not much can go wrong.

If you try it let me know by tagging me on Facebook or Instagram! I love to see your bakes!

Much love,

Sophie x


Check out my print shop here.

Recipe: Gooey Chocolate Cake

If you haven’t read my last post then you won’t know that I went dairy-free for a week (for health reasons). So, when it came to eating or making anything sweet I was stuck for choice.

Then my mum came home with a reduced chocolate trifle from Tesco and all I could do was stare at it longingly. I knew then that the time had come for me to break out the baking tools and make myself my own sweet treat. Plus, the cake is vegan and can be changed to Gluten Free very easily.

Conversely to the photo above this was originally supposed to be a round cake so if you’d prefer that just change the choice of tin – be warned that the mixture is very runny so you need a springform or solid tin.

This recipe was based off of Nigella Lawson’s ‘Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake’ available here.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 225g of Plain Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (Original recipe suggests fine sea salt)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Ground Coffee (Nigella suggests Espresso Powder)
  • 75g Cocoa Powder
  • 300g Dark Brown sugar
  • 375ml of Hot water (kettle)
  • 75g of coconut oil (90ml soft)
  • 1/2 teaspoons of Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
  • Bunch of Raspberries to decorate

Icing

  • 226g of Dark Chocolate (around 70%)
  • Coconut Cream (1 box)
  • 2 cups of Icing Sugar (alter this on how thick you want the icing)
  • 2 teaspoons of Oat milk (or any other milk)

Method

1.Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180°C

2. Add all the dry ingredients besides the sugar into a bowl; Plain flour, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sea Salt, Coffee powder and Cocoa Powder.

3. Use a fork to mix the ingredients so they become fine, like below.

4. In another bowl you need to mix all the wet ingredients with the sugar; Dark Brown sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar. Don’t stir until the coconut oil has melted.

5. Next stir this into the dry ingredients., it should look like below.

Tip: The mixture won’t be smooth but make sure you give it a good mix because a lot of the dry ingredients will stick to the bottom of the bowl.

6. Line your tray, a 20cm/8inch either springform tin or a solid tin, with baking paper. The mixture is quite runny so if it is not in the correct tin it may leak.

7. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins. Nigella advises checking at 30mins incase. 

Tip: It is supposed to be a gooey cake so the stick should come out relatively clear but don’t worry if there are a few crumbs on it. Make sure to check right in the centre.

8. Once cooked leave it to cool for at least 30 mins. The cake will need to be properly rested before taking it out of the tin as it won’t be stable enough. 

9. Now make the icing. Pour the coconut milk into a pan and heat up. 

10. While it is heating up place your chocolate (roughly chopped up if yours is a bar) into a bowl. When the milk starts bubbling pour the milk over the chocolate. 

11. Don’t stir the mixture, instead leave it for 5 minutes and then whisk it into a thick consistency. 

Half Iced Cake

Tip: If you prefer this you can leave the icing sugar out. However I added the icing sugar so the mix wouldn’t be so rich.

12. If, like me, you want to add icing sugar then this is the time to do it. I added roughly 2 cups but the best way to do it is until you get the required consistency. Add the oat milk (or normal milk if you don’t mind dairy) to loosen the mix up. 

13. Cover the cake with icing using a palette knife if you have one, a piping bag, a spatula or even a knife dipped in hot water. 

14. If you have done a square cake you can cut it into little mini cakes and top them with some raspberries. 

Alternative toppings can also include white chocolate (if you wanted to add dairy), pistachios or any additional topping which might cut through the rich sponge.

This cake is honestly one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had and can be perfect for a celebration or just a treat. Plus for any family member who struggles to find puddings without dairy or are vegan this is perfect; it is tasty no matter your requirements.

On a side-note don’t be put off by the coffee or coconut, you don’t taste them at all once its finished. They purely just add to the consistency and richness of the cake/icing.

I hope you enjoy it and make sure to tag me/send any photos if you decide to make it!

Much love,

Sophie x


How to Keep Yourself Occupied in Lockdown

I know a lot of people are having nice weather and are probably lying out in the sunshine. However, the probability of that where I live (in the Scottish Highlands) is not a guarantee. On top of that even when there is nice weather there is a cold breeze. Which is what I am currently experiencing sitting out in my garden writing this – with a blanket wrapped around me.

I digress.

I know when stuck inside for over two months you become lost for ideas on how to keep yourself busy, both inside and out. Therefore, I thought I’d be super nice and share my tips (I say ‘tips’, I more mean that I will divulge what I have been doing and probably what everyone else has – I’m hoping though that I have included something semi original).

Be Creative

At the start of lockdown I bought myself a paint by numbers. Which my brother calls the idiot way of painting. I must admit I can paint to some degree however that was a long time ago. Therefore I don’t want to sit down and hope that the outcome is something I like. So, instead, I bought this and it has been keeping me busy ever since. Don’t get me wrong it is still not finished but I think that is the beauty of it – it will last you the whole of lockdown!

*The paint by numbers took 3 weeks or so to arrive so if you want to order one I would do it as soon as possible*

If you don’t like the sound of a paint by numbers you can always grab a colouring book. I find this really therapeutic and is great to do both inside and out. You don’t need to do a traditional mandala one. I recently gifted one that featured scenes of the sea – a perfect reminder of where you can visit after lockdown.

If like me, you don’t consider yourself very good at sketching but enjoy it all the same, this is the perfect chance to brush up on your skills. This way there is no pressure and you can just sketch when you want to. I quite enjoy doing my one walk a day and taking the odd photo. That way when I get back I can try to replicate it as best as I can. Don’t worry, its not like there is an art teacher screaming down your neck, do it at your own pace and just enjoy it!


Find a Course

Something which I have started (and not yet finished) is a google course. They offer a few free ones but if you are willing to pay then they also have an expanse of different ones. I’ve started a course on The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (free). It is a great thing to add to your CV plus engages your brain when uni is cancelled. They are all available here.

*It is worth looking at universities and other organisations to see if they also have courses available. Also check reviews and see what you get at the end of the course before signing up*


Get in the Kitchen

The above photo is a Yoghurt cake which I’m currently trying to improve. *Fingers crossed a recipe will be coming soon*

Meanwhile if you fancy some baking check out the Cinnamon Bun recipe or the Triple Chocolate Cookie recipe.

I know with the increase in banana breads being baked and people saying they will learn to cook that this is definitely a trend for lockdown. However, it is extremely useful. I used to hate baking but lockdown has managed to spark an enjoyment in it for me.

Baking for other people and trying different things has been calming, unless of course it goes terribly wrong.

If you are not a baker I highly recommend ordering a new cookbook, I bought this one by Jessica Elliot Dennison (who also owns a restaurant in Edinburgh).


Get Yourself a Book or an Audiobook

I know this is stating the obvious but I think a lot of people forget that reading is a really good way to relax and also improve your vocabulary/speech. Don’t put pressure on yourself to read a literary masterpiece (although I have a feeling all authors class their books as this). Just grab a book from your local supermarket and enjoy it. I recommend ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ which I just reviewed here.

On the other hand if reading isn’t your thing I recommend listening to an audiobook, especially before going to bed. I really enjoy Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter (although I’ve already read the books and watched the films numerous times, the story never gets old). Or you can access various actors *including Daniel Radcliffe* for free reading the first book here.

If reading books and Harry Potter aren’t your thing (I am disappointed) or you’ve already listened to it then I have a great alternative. Instead you can transport yourself to your childhood or listen to this audiobook with your kids. Taika Waititi has joined Road Dahl HQ to read James and The Giant Peach each Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a bunch of famous people joining him. You can find it here.

I recommend watching it in your own time rather than before bed as Taika brings a lot of fun to the video. He makes his own sound affects, and engages his famous guests who act brilliantly of course. Making it great for both adults and kids. It’s also for charity so I highly encourage you to donate if you can.

Start Writing

Writing is a great way to take whatever is bothering you out of your head. This way you can give your brain a rest and see what’s bothering you as actual words rather than information floating in your brain.

Conversely, creative writing is a great way to give you an escape. Planning your own world for your own characters can last a good while, giving you a much needed distraction. You can even just start by writing some prompts on your phone, no pressure. Make it fun, it doesn’t have to be the next Lord of The Rings.


Like I mentioned in my last post about lockdown, don’t feel bad if you don’t want to do any of these things. If this list puts you off, you’ve basically just read a pile of things I’ve started but not actually finished. So, don’t worry.

If you have any suggestions of what else I (or anyone else) can do to occupy themselves let me know below. Also, if you use any of my suggestions make sure to tag me on instagram (@Sophie_mcivor) and share it with your friends.

Much love,

Sophie x


Recipe: Cinnamon Iced Buns

When I say I’ve never been messaged so much about one thing, I mean it. The recipe for these iced cinnamon buns have been highly requested. Trust me, they are worth it!

I know a lot of people freak out when it comes to working with yeast or kneading dough. I was one of them. However, this is the perfect recipe to calm your woes. If I can do it, so can you.

This recipe has been tweaked from the lovely people at Steampunk Coffee, check out their instagram where the original recipe is available on their highlights. I’ve definitely learnt a lot when making them and can’t thank them enough for the easiest recipe I have found for my favourite thing!

Makes 8-13 Cinnamon Iced Buns

Time – Around 3 1/2 hours (first prove lasts 30mins, second lasts 2 hours). We start making them at around 10am so we can enjoy them after lunch at around 1.30/2pm.


What You Will Need:

The Dough:

  • 5 cups of plain flour (plus extra for dusting the surface)
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp of salt
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 3tsp yeast (or 1 sachet)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter (melted)

The Filling:

  • 3 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar – light or dark (I used light)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

The Frosting:

  • 3tbsp butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla (I found 2 too much so I changed it to 1tsp)
  • 2/3 tbsp milk

The Recipe:

When the mixture is whisked

Step 1: Prepare the yeast mixture. For this add 1/2 tsp of caster sugar to 1 cup of warm water. To this add 3tsp of yeast (or one sachet). Lightly whisk and leave for 5-10mins.

After the mixture has been sitting for 5-10 mins

Step 2: while the yeast mixture is sitting you can start to get the dry ingredients for the dough mixed. So in a separate bowl add 5 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of caster sugar, 1/2 tbsp salt and lightly whisk. It is just so the dry ingredients can be combined, you don’t need to mix it too well because you’ll be using your hands soon to combine the yeast.

The hand mixed dough

Step 3: So once the yeast mixture has been sitting long enough you’ll want to add it, 3tbsp of melted butter (I melt it in the microwave for around 20-30 seconds) and a second cup of warm water to the dry ingredients. Then mix with your hands until combined. TIP – I use one hand and grab the mixture from the bottom turning it, you do not want to press it or start kneading it. As you can see it will be lumpy and not completely incorporated. Don’t worry, the kneading will make it smooth.

Tip – If there is leftover flour in the bottom of the bowl add a very small amount of warm water to help bring it together.

Step 4: tip out the combined mixture onto a floured surface, don’t worry if it feels sticky. This is when the kneading starts, what you are aiming for is a smooth dough like the photo.

Push it away from you with the palms of your hands, fold it over (take the end furthest from you and fold towards you) then turn it around and repeat the process.

It should only take a few turns for it to go soft and bouncy.

Step 5: pop it into a clean bowl and cover for 30 mins (we cover this with a tea-towel and leave it out on the counter). The perfect time to get dressed, shower or grab a cup of tea.

Step 6: Once the dough has proved, sprinkle the counter with a good amount of flour. Next use your hands to shape it into a large rectangle. Make sure the middle is not too thin, aim for about 2cm in thickness.

Once the dough has been shaped you’ll need to rub on 3tbsp of softened butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 3 tsp of cinnamon.

Step 7: Roll the dough towards you, keeping it as tight as you can.

TIP – I recommend just taking your bag of sugar, breaking it up with the end of a teaspoon and then dust the dough with as much sugar as you’d like – ideally so it covers the rectangle, likewise with the cinnamon. Make sure to go right to the edge.

Step 8: using a serrated knife, divide the dough into a minimum of 8 rolls. Every time I have made it, I have made around 13. Of course the less you do, the thicker the iced buns will be. *keep in mind these will expand on their second prove as seen below*

Before Prove

Step 11: once they have been proved for 2 hours they should look like the picture on the right. Now they are ready to go in the oven.

Bake them for 25 mins at 180 degrees fan or Gas 6.

Step 9: place them into either a circular or square tin, lined with greaseproof paper, making sure there is enough room between each bun for them to expand.

Step 10: tightly cover with tinfoil and leave out in room temperature for 2 hours.

After 2 Hour Prove

Step 12: While they are baking you can now make the icing. Melt 3tbsps of butter, 2 cups of icing sugar and either 1-2tsp of vanilla (I use 1). Next add 1-2tbsps of milk and whisk until you get a thick consistency. If it is still not coming together add another tablespoon of milk.

It should cling to the whisk and look like the aside picture.

Before

Step 13: Once cooked let the buns cool for 5mins and then put thick layers of the icing on top.

Coming from someone who doesn’t like icing I promise it tastes great!

After

Now they should be perfect for eating! I highly recommend eating one as soon as they are ready. The fresher the better! If you are eating them a day later I’d advise heating them in the microwave for 30 seconds (watch because the bottom can get very hot). I’d say they can last 2-3 days but 3 days is probably a push.


I hope you enjoy them as much as my family do! They are perfect for sharing and definitely don’t last long in our household.

Make sure to tag me in any photos if you make them and let me know what you think.

Again, a huge thank you to Steampunk Coffee for this fabulous recipe, if you’re in the Edinburgh area make sure to check them out and try the originals out for yourself.

Much love,

Sophie x


Recipe: Triple Chocolate Cookies

There was a time where I did not enjoy baking, I was never like my mum where the random need to bake would take over me and I definitely did not find baking relaxing.

Yet during lockdown I’ve been finding myself in the kitchen more often trying to bake the things I either eat on a regular basis or wanted to conquer in the baking world. Now cookies might not be overly difficult to you but it is a first for me.

These ones are relatively easy and should make around 12. They take 35 minutes plus an hour for chilling and time for cooling.

*I have tweaked the recipe from Lucy Blackwell’s biscuit recipe*

What you will need:

  • 125g unsalted softened butter
  • 110g of brown sugar (I mixed 55g of light brown sugar and 55g of dark brown sugar)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 170g plain flour
  • 2tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 bicarbonate of soba
  • 45g milk chocolate chips
  • 45g dark chocolate chips
  • 45g white chocolate chips

RECIPE:

  1. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together in a mixing bowl using an electric whisk until combined.
  2. Next beat in the egg until combined
  3. Then sift together the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and the cocoa powder. Stir into the mixture.

4. After you should fold in the milk, white and dark chocolate chips.

5. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

6. Make sure to pre set the oven to 180 degrees (fan 160 degrees, gas 4). While the mixture is chilling line two large baking trays with a sheet of baking paper.

7. After they have been chilled for an hour, take tablespoonfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls, slightly flattened (as seen in the photo). Place them 5cm apart on the baking sheet.

*TOP TIP – slightly wet your hands – this will help rolling them*

8. Once they have all been rolled, bake for 18 minutes or until ready. (Bake on two trays, once at a time) Cool on the trays.

It is important to remember that they will come out the oven soft to the touch, they will crisp up when cooling.

Make sure to tag me in the photos of your wonderful cookies @Sophieeditblog

Enjoy!

Sophie x