Parmesan and Prosciutto Ciabatta

I’ve wanted to make bread for a while now but I’ve always been put off because of how long it takes and also because I don’t have a stand mixer so I would have to do it all by hand.

I received the Great British Bake Off – Perfect Cakes & Bakes To Make At Home book for my birthday last year and I’ve been wanting to try some of the recipes out for some time now. I came across the recipe for Parmesan and Prosciutto Ciabatta and I thought I’d give it a go seeing as it included two of my favourite things.

Making Ciabatta at home involves a lot of waiting around whilst it proves for hours and hours. I was so close to giving up and just going up to the local shop and buying one but I knew it would all be worth it. Honestly, it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever made. It felt amazing knowing that I had actually been able to make my first loaf of bread and it tasted great.

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Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a go:

Ingredients

For the ‘biga’

  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 50g plain white flour
  • 1 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast (from a 7g sachet)
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 200ml lukewarm water

To finish the dough

  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 100g plain white flour
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 8g fine sea salt
  • 85g prosciutto, in a thick slice
  • 60g parmesan cheese

Method

  1. First make the ‘biga’. Put both of the flours, the yeast and sugar into a very large mixing bowl. Mix well with your hand, then pour in the lukewarm water and mix it in to make a fairly sticky dough. Beat this dough with your hand, slapping it against the sides of the bowl for 2 minutes. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and leave to ferment at normal room temperature for 8-12 hours – the dough will rise and then collapse. I did this the night before so I could carry on with the process in the morning.
  2. Next day, to finish the dough, uncover the bowl and pour in the lukewarm water and olive oil. Work the liquids into the dough with your hand by squeezing it through your fingers and beating with your hand until you have a smooth batter.
  3. In another bowl, mix the bread flour with the plain flour, then tip half into a third bowl. Add the yeast to the flour in one bowl, and the salt to the flour in the other bowl.
  4. Add the flour with the yeast to the bowl containing the biga and mix with your hand to make a thick, sticky batter-like dough. Beat this dough in the bowl with your hand, slapping it up and down for about 5 minutes until it has been thoroughly stretched and becomes very elastic. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and leave in a warm spot to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours until the dough is about 2 1/2 times its original size. I put the bowl in my airing cupboard because that’s the warmest place I could think of.
  5. Meanwhile, cut away any rind from the prosciutto, then chop in a food processor to make small gravel-like chunks. Repeat with the cheese. Set the prosciutto and cheese aside on the worktop to come to room temperature. I hand cut the prosciutto because I bought thinner slices than recommended and if I had used a food processor, it would have gone to a paste.
  6. Uncover the dough and add the flour/salt mixture. Work in with your hand to make a soft, sticky dough. Work the dough in the bowl for a couple of minutes until you can turn it out on to the unfloured worktop.
  7. Knead the dough thoroughly by gathering it up and slapping or throwing it back down on to the worktop. Do this energetically for a good 10 minutes until the dough feels silky smooth and is extremely elastic. It will still be soft and sticky, though firmer than before.
  8. Scatter the chopped prosciutto and cheese over the dough and work in until evenly distributed. Shape into a ball. Return the dough to the bowl, cover again and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size. Towards the end of this time, gently warm the baking sheets and then line them with baking paper, dust generously with cornmeal or polenta – I just used plain flour.
  9. Using a dough scraper, carefully ease the risen dough out on to the lightly floured worktop – don’t punch down or deflate the dough but treat it very delicately. Using the well-floured dough scraper or a knife, divide the mass of dough into 3 roughly equal strips. With the help of the scraper, carefully transfer the strips of dough to the warmed lined baking sheets – 2 on one sheet, spaced well apart. Use your fingers to gently stretch, not press, each strip of dough into the characteristic slipper-like shape.
  10. Sprinkle lightly with flour; then slip the sheets into a large plastic bag, inflate it so the plastic won’t stick to the rising dough, and close the ends tightly. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until almost doubled in size.
  11. Towards the end of the rising time, heat the over to 230C/450F/Gas 8.
  12. Uncover the loaves and bake in the heated oven for about 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Eat warm or the same day.

Can you see what I mean now? It takes a lot of time and effort but so worth it at the end!

Let me know if you give it a go!

Love,
Emily xo

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Get To Know Me Q&A

Hello!

A huge thank you to Azra over on https://simpleserenity.wordpress.com/ for nominating me to complete a Get To Know Me Q&A!

So let’s get started:

  1. How old are you?
    I am 22 years old!
  2. Where are you from?
    United Kingdom.
  3. What do you like doing in your spare time?
    When I’m not updating my blog, I am spending time with either my friends, family or boyfriend and of course my dog. I love baking and cooking so whenever I get the chance, I like to try to make something that I’ve not made before. Last night I attempted to make spring rolls for the first time and they turned out great!
  4. How did you get into blogging?
    I’ve wanted to start-up my own blog for years but I’ve never had the courage to do so. I finally took the plunge and look where I am now! I’m obsessed with the likes of Zoella, Tanya Burr and Niomi Smart, I watch their Vlogs and read their blogs religiously. They inspire me every single day to carry on what I am doing so maybe one day, my blog could be as big as theirs (wishful thinking, I know).
  5. What is your favourite drink?
    I love Pepsi Max, that is my go to fizzy drink. This year I vowed to start drinking more water and less fizzy drinks and I’ve actually managed to stick to it for once!
  6. What is your favourite food?
    Greek food has got to be my favourite kind of food. It’s all so tasty, but my absolute favourite is Stifado which is basically a beef stew. I’m a huge lover of crisps, I could easily sit and eat a whole “sharing” bag to myself and have no regrets.
  7. What is your favourite holiday destination?
    It has to be North Devon. I have so many great memories there and it’s definitely somewhere I see myself visiting for the rest of my life. It is such an amazing and beautiful place, if I was a millionaire and didn’t have to work for a living, I’d 100% move down there in a heartbeat. We used to stay in the same place every single time we went and because we used to go there so much, we were picked by the owners to have our photos taken for the leaflet.
    My boyfriend and I have even booked to go down to North Devon for a week in June this year! I’m so excited to show him all of the places I love and hopefully he’ll fall in love with it too!
  8. What is your dream holiday destination?
    I’d love to rent out a camper van and travel around America. I’ve been to New York and I absolutely loved it, I’m desperate to go back.
  9. What is your favourite TV show?
    Anyone that knows me knows how obsessed I am with One Tree Hill. I’ve got the complete 9 seasons boxset and I watch it over and over again, it never gets old.
  10. What is your favourite film?
    I have so many favourite films but it has to be The Devil Wears Prada. The first time I watched it was when I realised I wanted to work in Fashion. Another favourite of mine would be Titanic, it is a timeless classic and I will never ever get bored of watching it.
  11. What is your favourite song at the moment?
    There are so many songs that I have been playing on repeat recently, including:
    Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
    Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix) by Starley
    You Don’t Know Me (feat. RAYE) by Jax Jones
    If you haven’t already, you NEED to check out the new album from Rag’n’Bone Man. It really is amazing! I’ve been listening to it non stop for the past week or so.
  12. What is your favourite book?
    Of course it has to be The Devil Wears Prada. I read this book after I had watched the film just because I loved it so much. It is the book that I always pick up when I fancy reading something.
  13. What is your dream job?
    My absolute dream job would be an Editorial Assistant (yes, just like Andrea’s job in The Devil Wears Prada). 
  14. What is your favourite animal?
    Apart from dogs, it has to be either Giraffes or Elephants. 
  15. If you could have dinner with 3 famous people, dead or alive, who would they be?
    I get asked this question a lot and I never know who to say because I always change my mind. Whitney Houston would definitely be one of them, I love her music. David Attenborough would have to be there, he’d have so many amazing stories to tell. Finally, it would be Sophia Bush from One Tree Hill, just because she’s amazing.

So there it is, you now know a little bit more about me! If there’s anything else you want to know, feel free to leave a comment!

Love,
Emily xo

Save the Date!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll remember a couple of months ago I wrote a post about my brother asking me to be his Groomsmaid at his wedding next year. If you haven’t read it, go and have a browse now: Surprise Announcement.

Look what turned up last weekend!!

save-the-date

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Thomas and Sean have hand-made all of their save the dates which I think makes it that little bit more personal. They both have a great eye for detail so we all knew it was going to be perfect.

I know it isn’t until late next year, but getting this through the post has made me that little bit more excited! I’m glad we’ve got plenty of time as there’s so much that I need to do and I’m pretty certain Thomas will find even more for me to do.

Love,
Emily xo

Chocolate and Guinness Cake

It was my Dad’s birthday over the weekend and as a little extra treat, I decided to make him a birthday cake as a surprise.

As my Dad loves Guinness, I thought I’d find a recipe for a Chocolate and Guinness Cake. The recipe that I decided to use can be found on the Sainsbury’s Magazine website.

I’m so glad that I picked this recipe because it was so tasty and everyone enjoyed it. Unfortunately for my Dad, it didn’t taste much of Guinness. I think it just brings out the flavours in the chocolate.

Guinness and Chocolate Cake.JPG

If you’d like to give it a go, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 100ml Guinness
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • milk or dark chocolate bar to decorate

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 100g soft unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100g full-fat cream cheese
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c, fan 160c, gas mark 4. Lightly butter a loaf tin that measures about 20cm x 9cm x 8cm deep and line with a strip of baking paper. Ensure there is some excess that hangs over the sides of the tin – this will make removing the loaf out of the tin a lot easier.
  2. Put the butter into a pan and place over a medium heat until melted. Remove from the heat and add the Guinness and cocoa powder, whisking together until smooth. Whisk the sugar, milk and eggs in the Guinness mixture.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and 1/4 tsp of salt. Add the Guinness mixture and whisk briefly until smooth and combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the preheated over for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool down in the tin before lifting out.
  4. To make the frosting, put the butter into a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar in 3 stages, mixing until combined. Once all the icing sugar has been added, beat it on a high speed until it’s light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and beat until it’s fully combined. If you beat it for too long, the frosting will become too loose. If this happens, add more icing sugar until it’s the right consistency.
  5. To decorate, spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake and finish with chocolate shavings.

So there you go! Leave a comment and a photo if you choose to make this lovely cake!

Love,
Emily xo

February’s Glossy Box

At the beginning of the year, I subscribed to Glossy Box to see what all the fuss was about. To be honest, I haven’t been impressed so far. January’s box was average and February’s isn’t that much better. 3.PNG

I love that the theme of this months box is to do with Valentines Day and things that could prep you for the big day. But it’s just not as exciting as I had hoped.

One of the main issues I find is that you don’t get many ‘full size’ products. Most of the products you can only use once and it’s all gone so you don’t really get the opportunity to see the benefits. 4.JPG

Noir Eternae Youth Potion Face Scrub

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I actually used this as soon as I opened the box because I was in need for some new skin care to try out.

The instructions on the back weren’t very useful – it wasn’t until I read online about it that I figured out I was supposed to put more on and leave it on for longer but it still worked a treat. I’ve woken up with my skin feeling so much softer.

L’eau De Rose by 5Jeanne Arthes

The fragrance is perfect for Spring time, so I can’t wait to start using it!

If you like very sweet and flowery perfumes, then you’ll love this! You don’t need much because it’s quite strong, so it’ll definitely last a long time.

 

Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer Balm1.JPG

I’m so guilty of not looking after my hair. I know it is important, but I can never be bothered to sit and wait for conditioner to work it’s magic. I just throw some shampoo on and that’s it.

My hair always gets greasy so quickly, I’ll wash it in the evening and then by the end of the next day, it’ll be greasy so I’m always a bit hesitant to try new products out, just in case they make my hair worse.

I’m yet to try this product, but I’ll keep you all updated once I’ve braved it!

UTAN & Tone Nourishing Night Creme6

I’m always hesitant when it comes to anything with a little self tanning in it. I always worry that I’ll turn out like an orange.

I think I’ll be staying away from this product.

 

 

Ciate London Fade to Greige Paint Pot2

I’m happy with the colour of this nail varnish and I’ll definitely be using it. I always struggle to find colours that I like – I normally stick with beige and pale pinks as it goes with everything.

It’s definitely more of a winter colour, so I’ll have to wait until later in the year to try it out.

So overall, I’m happy with this months delivery but I do still think that it could be so much better. I know I’m only paying £10 a month for the subscription so I can’t expect anything too fancy but I just haven’t been really impressed so far.

Love,
Emily xo

No such thing as too much Vogue

I can’t believe it’s been nearly two weeks since I have written a post! Oh how I have missed it! From now on, I’m going to make it my aim to write at least twice a week, so stay tuned!

First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has followed me on this journey, there’s nearly 700 of you and I wish I could thank you all personally.

For this post, I thought I’d share with you a couple of books that I am loving at the moment. I’m not a huge book reader, but since I got lots of books for Christmas, I’ve had a lot to get through!

Inside Vogue: A Diary Of My 100th Year

inside-vogue

Back in September last year, BBC 2 released a programme called Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue. In the programme, a film crew followed Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman to find out what Vogue is really all about and how much hard work goes into producing the issue every single month. It gives wannabes like me an insight on what really goes on behind the magazine cover and what it would be like to work in the industry.

A month later, Alexandra Shulman released the book, Inside Vogue: A Diary of My 100th Year. So of course, I had to have it. It’s a great read and I would 100% recommend it to any Vogue lovers like me. It is basically a hard copy of Alexandra’s diary from the year of Vogue’s 100th year, so it’s a lot more personal than the TV programme which is great because you get her personal opinion and thoughts on what’s going on in Vogue.

It was announced a couple of weeks ago that Alexandra would step down as Editor-in-Chief after 25 years. She has made a huge impact on Vogue over the years and if it wasn’t for her, Vogue wouldn’t be what it is now. She will be greatly missed, not just by colleagues but also fans of the magazine.

Vogue 100

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I cannot recommend this book enough, it really is an absolute treat. Throughout this book, you get to see some of the greatest moments in the history of fashion, beauty and photography. It includes hundreds of pictures taken over the years for Vogue, some that are well-known and some that have only just been discovered.

As I looked through the book, I was mesmerised by some of the pictures and articles that I had never seen before. My favourite page of the book includes an image of Vogue’s first magazine cover, I couldn’t help but stare at it and notice how far Vogue has come over the 100 years and how it has been shaped by many influential individuals.

The Devil Wears Prada

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Anyone that knows me, knows how obsessed I am with The Devil Wears Prada. I love the film and I love the book even more.

I first watched the film when it came out in 2006 and I remember telling myself that one day I will have Andrea’s job – I’m now 22 and I’m still waiting for the call, hint hint. I bought the book straight after watching the film and I fell in love with it even more. I know this copy looks like it has rarely been touched, that’s because I lost my first copy so I had to buy another one because I just couldn’t live without it. It is honestly one of the best books I have ever read and ever will read.

As you can tell, I’m obsessed with Vogue and anything fashion. I’d happily sit down with a cuppa and read all of these books on repeat.

Love,
Emily xo

Creme Egg Rocky Road

I know it’s a little early to start talking about Easter but as soon as I saw that Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs were already in the supermarkets, I had to come up with an excuse to buy them and that’s where I thought of making a Creme Egg Rocky Road.

I’m always looking at The Taming Twins to see if there are any new bakes I could try and thankfully I found a recipe for a Creme Egg Rocky Road.

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You can never go wrong with a rocky road, it’s so simple to make and tastes amazing.

Here’s the recipe so you can have a go yourself!

Ingredients

  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 250g Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 150g Milk Chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Golden Syrup
  • 180g Mini Creme Eggs, unwrapped
  • 180g Mini Marshmallows
  • 150g Digestive Biscuits, crushed into chunks
  • 150g White Chocolate, chopped
  • Yellow gel food colouring
  • 8 full size Creme Eggs, unwrapped

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat.
  2. When the butter is about half melted, add the chopped dark chocolate, milk chocolate and the golden syrup. Continue to melt it all over a low heat and stir until it’s thick and well combined.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes until it’s cooled slightly. I normally leave it for a bit longer to make sure it’s completely cooled down.
  4. Add the mini Creme Eggs, the marshmallows and the digestive biscuits. Stir until everything is coated.
  5. Line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper and firmly press the mixture in.
  6. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water. When melting white chocolate, always make sure you keep the heat low as the chocolate can seize easily.
  7. Take half of the melted chocolate and put in another bowl. Using the gel food colouring, colour until a very deep yellow.
  8. Drizzle the white chocolate and the coloured white chocolate over the rocky road.
  9. Cut the full size Creme Eggs in half and sit on the top, pressing in firmly.
  10. Allow to set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

So there it is, a simple recipe for a beautiful creation.

Love,
Emily xo