Tag: colour

Santa cupcakes

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Put a smile one everyone’s face by making these cute Santa cupcakes. A simple cupcake topped with an easy-to-make fondant topper, these cakes are perfect for Christmas parties, buffets or as a special food gift

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You could add cranberries or cinnamon to the sponge to give them an extra Christmassy flavour


For the cakes:

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 150g butter/stork (room temperature)
  • 3 medium eggs (room temperature)
  • 150g sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 30ml milk (room temperature)

For the buttercream:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp milk (to loosen, if necessary)

For the Santa toppers:

  • 600g white fondant
  • Gum Tragacanth (optional – to make the fondant more pliable)
  • Black sugar pearls for the eyes
  • Tangerine food colour for the skin tone
  • Red food colour for the hat
  • Dusky pink petal dust for dusting the cheeks (optional)

You will also need:

  • Circle cookie cutters sized: doubled-sided 68mm for the face, 2cm and a 3cm oval cutter for the nose
  • Scissors
  • Palette knife
  • Small paint brush


  1. The night before you make these topper add ½ teaspoon of gum tragacanth (if using) to 150g of white fondant and knead for 5 minutes. Wrap in cling film and store in an air tight food bag or container.
  2. Preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
  3. Line the baking tray with cases
  4. Beat the sugar and butter/stork with the vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
  5. Add 1 egg, 1 third of the flour and a splash of milk and beat until just combined and repeat until all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the 12 cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and cool in the tins for 10 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack
  7. To make the buttercream, put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Do not beat too much or the buttercream will become runny.
  8. When the cakes are cool, spread the buttercream onto the tops, making sure you don’t ice up to the papers or the icing will squish out the sides of the fondant.
  9. To make the toppers colour 350g of white fondant skin tone with a touch of tangerine food colour. Colour 100g of white fondant red.
  10. Draw a Santa beard on a piece of paper and cut out with the scissors. Roll the white fondant out to 1/8 inch thick and place the template onto the fondant and cut around with a sharp knife. Place the beards on a piece of greaseproof paper to dry until you need them.
  11. Roll the skintone fondant out to 1/8 inch thick and cut 12x 68mm circles and place them on to the tops of the cupcakes, smoothing the edges with your fingers.
  12. With a brush of water stick the beards to the bottom of Santa’s face and, using the edge of the 68mm circle cutter, carve a smile onto the face.
  13. Using the leftover skintone fondant, cut 12x 3cm oval shapes for the nose and stick on with a brush of water.
  14. With a dot of water, push two black sugar pearls into the fondant for the eyes.
  15. Roll the red fondant out to 1/8inch thick and, using the 68mm circle cutter, cut a circle, then cut into the circle again so you have a quarter circle for the hat. Stick onto the head with a brush of water.
  16. To make the fur for the hat, roll the leftover white fondant out to 1/8inch thick and, using the scalloped side of the cutter, cut a scalloped circle and then use the plain side to cut a section off. Stick onto the hats with a brush of water.
  17. Using the leftover red fondant, cut 12x small thin triangles and stick with a brush of water onto the hat.
  18. Roll the leftover white fondant out and cut 12x 2cm circles for the bobbles and stick onto the hat with a brush of water.
  19. Dust the cheeks and nose with dusky pink petal dust to give a cold look.

By Victoria Threader
Victoria Threader on Google+

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Nutritional information

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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What’s your budget to spend on food and drink for Christmas this year?

  • £151+ 19%
  • £101-£150 15%
  • £71-£100 6%
  • £51-£70 13%
  • £31-£50 17%
  • Less than £30 13%
  • I don’t know yet 0%
  • I’m not setting a budget 17%

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Recipe Rifle goes shopping: FACE

In the last two months of my pregnancy I went quite bonkers about stuff. No wait, not just stuff, but the right stuff, quality stuff. I think this is what some people refer to as “nesting”, but my house was already totally nested-out, I didn’t need any more muslin squares and a new baby bouncer had been purchased. So my mad, rolling, panting, grasping eye turned to dresses, bags, sandals, jewellery, skincare…

The moment I had Sam, at 4.45am on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May. I ceased to crave any of it. I’m really, really pleased that I have it all – (I don’t think I bought a single new item of clothing after Kitty was born that wasn’t just hateful, draggy Mum-Wear) – but I no longer just sit about wanting things. No more this “fiesta” shirt from Anthropologie will change my life, this bright green box bag from Zara will change my life.

It’s nice. Peaceful. Like being unchained from a different lunatic.

It coincided, in some kind of cosmic dream, with a lot of companies wanting to send me things to write about.

I don’t know why people want to send me things in the post to write about. All I ever talk about is how shit I am, how ugly fat and useless – this is hardly an “aspirational” blog, but nevertheless I have started to be offered some stupendously wicked stuff that I can’t turn down.

Anyway it comes attached with a certain moral tricksiness – is it okay to accept things for free and then not write about them if they are no good? Or what about if you’re a bit ambivalent about them but you say you like them because, fuck it, why not?

What I have decided to do – and I’m sure you are fascinated – is take everything, with egregious thankings, but only put things on here that I like, that I would spend my own money on. I also feature here some things that I have, actually, spent my own (or my husband’s) money on, which I can recommend to you or warn you off accordingly.

We start today with the FACE – i.e. cosmetics and gadgets.

I say gadgetS, I really mean gadGET – the Clarisonic face thing, that my husband bought me for my birthday. I love it: get it. Like a massaging, rotating brush for your face. You only need to use it once a day, keep it in the shower, run it over your visage once you’ve massaged a bit of cleanser in. It’s about 1m% less hassle than cleaning your teeth and it improves skin tone, clarity, colour, all that bullshit. DO IT. If my husband hadn’t bought one for me, I would have spent my own money on it. Get the most basic model if money IS an object – you don’t need anything more snazzy.


Next, please turn your attention to Benefit. They very kindly sent me all sorts of stuff, the best of which was this very pleasing crease-free eyeshadow in Bikini-Tini and, below, a lipgloss in Fauxmance.

The eyeshadow is the sort of thing that you can smear on with a finger in 2 seconds that helps you look less dead, without making you look a bit inappropriate and drag-queeny for a day of gooning around with a two year-old or lying prone under a 3 day-old. On my favourite TV series ever, Friday Night Lights, they coat the lids of their lady stars with something very similar and it looks terrific. It looks a bit orange in the picture below but it’s not really, it’s a sort of pale gold.


I don’t, generally, like lipgloss because it’s a it drying and your hair gets stuck in it. Plus my mouth is massive and I don’t need to draw attention to it. This is moisturising with a nice sheen rather than sticky shine and my hair doesn’t get stuck in it. The colour really suits ME, but I have got red hair and sort of weird bluey-yellow skin and purplish lips (think Eddie Redmayne) so maybe visit a counter before buying. Unless you are Eddie Redmayne, in which case, this is the colour for you.


I bought this Garnier BB cream in total despair when still pregnant and my face was simply some eyes and a nose painted on a balloon. Since having Sam, my face has changed beyond belief – I no longer face the morning with weird bloating and blotching, an oil-slicky sheen and terrifying blue-black circles under my eyes.

But when I DID have all that going on, this BB cream helped smooth things out and made me less suicidal. I never really understood BB “beauty balm” or CC “colour correcting” creams before, but they just sort of make you look better, in a way that foundation doesn’t and can’t. So, I like this as an entry-level BB cream, (I picked slightly the wrong colour, a bit too pale, but this is a constant hazard when you have red hair because your colouring is inconsistent to put it mildly), but I can see myself spending quite a lot on something highly recommended – the one I keep hearing good things about is by YSL – called something like All-In-One BB cream or something.


I hope you enjoyed that. I did. Next: Recipe Rifle goes shopping for CLOTHES.

How to cook red cabbage

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  • 1 small red cabbage
  • 2 small cooking apples such as Bramley’s
  • I small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 25g butter
  • 2tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 2tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2tbsp raisins
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1tbsp oil (to fry the onion)

Most types of cabbage are best cooked quickly but red cabbage, a winter vegetable, comes into it’s own when slow cooked with apples, spices, dried fruit and a little wine or cider vinegar to bring out its natural sweetness and give a mild sweet and sour dish which is delicious served with roast pork, baked gammon, venison or duck. It is one of the traditional accompaniments to the Christmas turkey or Boxing Day ham and is a great recipe to make ahead and either keep in the fridge for a couple of days or to freeze for up to a month. Sometimes when cooking red cabbage the colour turns blue, if this happens simply add a little lemon juice or vinegar to restore the red colour.

Red cabbage is also delicious eaten raw, cut into thin shreds and mix with celery, apple and walnuts for a winter slaw with crunch which is perfect with burgers, ribs and jacket potatoes.
It’s also a traditional vegetable for pickling, thinly sliced and steeped in pickling vinegar, the colour and flavour really helps to pep up cold meats and cheese.
When buying red cabbage choose one that is firm with bright leaves. It should keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. To prepare red cabbage, remove the outer leaves and cut it in half from top to stalk, not round the middle. Cut in half again, remove the centre white stalk and then slice the cabbage or shred in a food processor.


Red cabbage and Stilton slaw

Thinly shred ½ a raw red cabbage and mix with 2 sliced eating apples, 2 coarsely grated carrots and 2 chopped spring onions. Crumble over some Stilton and drizzle with French dressing.

Red cabbage, date and orange salad

Thinly shred ½ a raw red cabbage. Place in a salad bowl with 4 sliced oranges which have had the peel and pith removed, 200g stoned, chopped dates and 50g chopped walnuts. Drizzle with a mustard and honey salad dressing.

Red cabbage with bacon

Followiing the basic recipe for slow cooked cabbage above, add I chopped onion and 100g bacon lardoons, fried until golden. Replace the vinegar with red wine and use 2tsp Dijon instead of the spices.

Pickled red cabbage

Slice 1 raw red cabbage and layer in a non metallic bowl with 100g salt. Cover with a plate and leave overnight. Place in a colander and rinse with cold water to remove the salt. Drain well and pat dry. Pack into clean sterilised jars and cover with spiced pickling vinegar (available in bottles). Seal with vinegar-proof lids and store for 2 weeks before serving. Best eaten within 3 months before the cabbage looses it’s crunch and colour.

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Today’s poll

What’s your budget to spend on food and drink for Christmas this year?

  • £151+ 26%
  • £101-£150 16%
  • £71-£100 12%
  • £51-£70 9%
  • £31-£50 10%
  • Less than £30 10%
  • I don’t know yet 5%
  • I’m not setting a budget 12%

Thanks, your vote has been counted!

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