LEMON POUND CAKE WITH LEMON POPPY SEED BUTTERCREAM

January 2, 2015

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I baked this cake for the first time for last years Mother’s Day and have been wanting to share it on the blog since then. This cake is pure perfection!

I love simple cakes, cakes that don’t try too hard and that’s what’s so great about a single layer cake that’s only frosted on the top and not the sides. No fuss. Just a deliciously lemony pound cake with a thick layer of creamy frosting. Don’t hold back on the frosting!

Little warning, it’s called a pound cake for a reason. The base shouldn’t be light and fluffy but rather dense and moist. Careful not to over bake as it’ll dry out fast.

Afternoon tea anyone?

xxx
EJ

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FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • splash of milk or cream as needed for consistency
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

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DIRECTIONS: 

1.) Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Grease a 25cm non-stick pan. Make sure that the cake pan has high sides.  Set aside the greased pan.

2.) In the bowl beat the butter until pliable and soft, about 1 minute. Preferably for an electric beater. 

3.) In a small bowl toss together sugar and lemon zest using the back of a small spoon.  The sugar will become moist and super fragrant.

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4.) Add the sugar to the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mixture will be pale in colour.

5.) Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Beat in the vanilla extract once all of the eggs are mixed in.  The batter may look curdled.  That’s ok!

6.) Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Beat on low speed until almost incorporated.  Add the lemon juice and beat to combine.  Stop the mixer and finish combining the batter with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Scrape down the bottom of the bowl to make sure you’ve completely incorporated all of the ingredients.

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7.) Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth.  Allow to bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

8.) To make the frosting, cream together the butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Add a splash of milk or cream for a thinner consistency.  I prefer my buttercream not too thick as to not tear the cake when frosting.  Once you get your consistency where you’d like it, beat in the poppy seeds.  Add a touch of yellow food die if you’d like.

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9.) Spoon and spread the buttercream over the completely cooled cake.  Don’t worry about frosting the sides.  Leave them bare.  Allow the cake the rest in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.  

TIP: Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.  

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DIY: Gold Wins

December 8, 2014

– Guest post courtesy of Garland of Grace

Every now and then I love sharing great DIY ideas that I come across either on Pinterest or Bloglovin… and 99% of the time they involve the colour gold. Who else is obsessed with gold interior items?

This idea is great because not only is it quick and easy, but it’s pretty cheap too and a great way to spice up a boring white mug.

What you’ll need:

  • plain white mugs
  • masking tape or blue painters tape
  • matte-finish indoor fast-drying gold spray paint
  • clear sealer for ceramic

Follow the visual instructions:

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Tips:

When covering the mugs with tape make sure that the tape is pulled tight with NO ripples (unlike mine) to ensure the paint wont creep up underneath. I had to clean my line up afterwards.

Hold spray can about 13-18 inches away from mug and spray in short spurts to achieve even coverage and avoid dripping.

Spray the clear sealer in the same manner as above about 5 minutes after gold spray.

Dont let tape sit on the mug too long after spraying (no more than 8 minutes) or the paint may peel up with the tape.

Not dishwasher safe. Wash the inside by hand and lightly rinse the outside.

xxx
Enjoy EJ

DIY: Marbled Clay Ring Dish

November 18, 2014

– Post originally appeared on A Beautiful Mess

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Seriously! How adorable are these marbled clay dishes?! I actually could not resist not sharing this with you all.

I have a slight bowl obsession, especially pretty little bowls like these. They perfect for storing all my bits and bobs I keep around the house and not only are they easy to make but they also cheap to make.

So pretty! easy marbled ring dish (click through for tutorial)

Supplies:

  •  White, black, and coloured oven bake clay
  • X-Acto knife or plastic clay knife
  • Small bowl that is oven safe
  • Gold liquid gilding and small paintbrush
  • Rolling pin or large round jar
  • Large can or jar to trace around

So pretty! easy marbled ring dish (click through for tutorial)

1. Roll each color of clay that you want to use into a snake about 5″ long. I usually make two larger rolls of white, a medium roll of grey, a small roll of any color I am using, and then an extra small roll of black.

2. Combine the smaller rolls into one big roll and twist together.

3.  Roll the large twist into a snake about twice the original length to combine the colors. Twist the ends opposite ways after every few motions to give the colors more of a candy cane look. Once it’s twice the length, fold the snake in half and twist the two ends together, as pictured above. Repeat the rolling, folding, twisting, and rolling again process 2-3 times.

4. Smoosh all the clay into a ball. You want to see most of your colors on the surface of the ball, so pull the ball in half and re-smoosh together if you don’t.

5. Use a rolling pin or glass jar to roll out your marbled ball. I like to use a glass jar so I can see what is happening as I roll harder or softer over certain colors. The colors should blend together and create a marbled pattern as you roll over it. Try rolling different directions, from the edge, from the center, etc. to push the clay from different angles. Roll to 1/4″ thick.

6. Use a round item about 6″ wide as a template and cut out your dish circle with an X-Acto or clay knife.

7. Place your circle gently into a oven-safe bowl that is a little smaller than your circle so it will sag a little in the center and give you more of a dish shape. Bake the bowl according to the temperature on the clay package (mine was 15 minutes at 275°F). Remove the bowl from the oven and allow the clay to cool before turning the larger bowl upside down and tapping lightly until the clay dish falls out.

8. Use a small brush to paint the rim of the dish and allow the paint to dry.

So pretty! easy marbled ring dish (click through for tutorial)            So pretty! easy marbled ring dish (click through for tutorial)

While the color combinations are endless, my favorites were made with white, grey, black, and two bright colors that make a pretty third color when mixed. I would definitely suggest using a oven-bake clay like Sculpey that is already soft to start with. It will save you a lot of time and finger strength than if you use the clay that requires a lot of kneading to get it to that softness.

These bowls turned out even better than I hoped they would, and you can see I was able to make quite a few of them, so I’ll definitely be giving a few away as gifts. How cute would one of these be as a present with a piece of jewelry already in it?

xxx
EJ

DIY Colour Block Vases

November 3, 2014

– Repost from Song of Style. I saw this post and absolutely adored it and simply had to share it.

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As an interior designer, I am always looking for fun and easy ways to be creative and add a little something new to the house. These color block vases were not only really simple to make, but I was also able to recycle some of my @JuiceServedHere bottles from by juice detox!

Here is what you will need:

  • 6 empty glass bottles
  • 1 can chalkboard spray paint
  • 1 can metallic spray paint
  • Scissors
  • Painters tape
  • An empty cardboard box
  • A couple of plastic bags

Directions:

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1. Wash all of your bottles squeaky clean and then dry them with a paper towel.

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2. Use the tape to make various designs on each of your bottles. I am making three chalkboard black, 2 golds and one half & half. Steps 3-6 should be done outdoors.

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3. Cover any part of your bottle that you don’t want exposed to the paint with plastic bags, and feel free to secure them with tape if necessary.

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4. Place your bottle in the middle of the box and start spraying the bottle evenly in all directions. If you are spraying with your bottle standing up, be sure to stuff the top with some tissue paper or crumpled newspapers so the paint won’t get inside.

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5. Let the paint dry for about 15 mins and then add a second layer of paint so the color can really pop! Let each bottle dry for about 40 minutes with the plastic covers still on.

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6. After 40 minutes of drying, the plastic bags and tape are ready to come off!

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7. Viola! Your chalkboard & metallic gold vases are ready to use, add some pretty flowers and you are done! Wasn’t that too simple?

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