Sugar roses (with the easiest rose cutter)

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The first time I tried using this cutter I thought my roses looked a bit like a cabbage!

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A few things helped me to improve them.
– using a bigger foam pad this one is about 15cm square
– rolling the modelling paste really thin
– curling the edges over

What I used:

Modelling paste
A cutting board
A large foam pad
A mini rolling pin with rounded edges
Cornflour
Brush
Edible glue
Petal dusts
Knife
Cocktail or kebab stick

1. First, dust the board with cornflour and roll the modelling paste out so thin that you can see your hand through it.

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2. Next, cut out with the easiest rose cutter. I stored any I had cut in a plastic wallet while I waited to use them. Push down hard to get sharp edges.

3. Then, place on the foam pad and roll the edge of the rolling pin with it half on the modelling paste and half on the foam pad. Roll around the petal repeatedly to achieve nicely curling edges.

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4. After that, curl the edges with a cocktail or kebab stick, making sure you curl some forwards and some backwards.

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5. Paint a line if edible glue down the middle and fold over neatly.

6. Paint a line of glue on the fold and start curling tightly from one end time create the bud. Continue to wind around loosening and pulling out petals as you go to fluff out the rose.

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7. When you reach the end repeat with the next cut out as above and place under the loose petal, securing with a little glue. Then continue to wind, fluffing out as before.

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8. For a medium rose use 2 cut outs, large 3 and extra large 4. For a bud, use half a cut out and roll tightly.

9. Finally, paint the dust on dry. I used dusky pink on the inside of the petals and yellow on the tips.

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10. Last of all cut the bottom at an angle so it will sit well on a cake.

11. Leave to dry in a fruit tray or on kitchen paper so the petals don’t droop too much.

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I watched this video tutorial and found it really helpful too.

Cute Sock Whales

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These cute little whales are so easy that I made 10 in an evening in front of the telly. I bought the socks half price from Tesco too so they were cheap.

What you need:

A bag of stuffing
Baby socks (not too small)
Needle and thread
Googley eyes (I chose sew on ones to make sure they were secure) you could also use buttons.

1. First, stuff the sock fairly full so that you can just gather it at the end.

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2. Sew in and out gathering the fabric together. You can put the needle through a few times at once as that just helps it to gather. Keep going until the neck of the sock is tightly bunched together.

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3. Then sew from the bottom of the tail to the top in small stitches and once at the top go straight over and down the other side so that it gathers in the middle creating the fin shape.

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4. After that, sew up the ends by over stitching them. At the corners do a few stitches horizontally to help give them a point.

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5. Pinch a small section on the side of the whale and sew in a straight line. Don’t pinch too much or the fabric can end up pulled too tight across the body.

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6. Sew the eyes on just above the smile shaped seam.

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Enjoy your lovely whale.

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This lovely one was a gift for a friend who loved the idea so I added some extra decoration.

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Cute Sock Whales

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These cute little whales are so easy that I made 10 in an evening in front of the telly. I bought the socks half price from Tesco too do they were cheap.

What you need:

A bag of stuffing
Baby socks (not too small)
Needle and thread
Googley eyes (I chose sew on ones to make sure they were secure) you could also use buttons.

1. First, stuff the sock fairly full so that you can just gather it at the end.

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2. Sew in and out gathering the fabric together. You can put the needle through a few times at once as that just helps it to gather. Keep going until the neck of the sock is tightly bunched together.

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3. Then sew from the bottom of the tail to the top in small stitches and once at the top go straight over and down the other side so that it gathers in the middle creating the fin shape.

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4. After that, sew up the ends by over stitching them. At the corners do a few stitches horizontally to help give them a point.

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5. Pinch a small section on the side of the whale and sew in a straight line. Don’t pinch too much or the fabric can end up pulled too tight across the body.

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6. Sew the eyes on just above the smile shaped seam.

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Enjoy your lovely whale.

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Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

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Such an amazing idea. Delicious, soft scoop ice cream with only 2 ingredients. No dairy and no added sugar but sooo yummy.

The recipe is here:

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

But it’s so simple:

Chop up some bananas into small pieces (overripe ones are sweeter) and freeze. I left mine all day and made it in the evening but the original recipe suggests 2 hours.

I chopped mine and placed it in a bag after every few chops to stop the air getting to it and turning it brown. Once i’d chopped them all, (I had about 7 but used half to make the amount in the picture) I squeezed the air out and wrapped it up tight.

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When I took them out they were very hard so I gave them 10 seconds in the microwave and broke them up with a fork.

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Next using a hand held blender I blitzed them until they started to turn creamy.

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At this stage it has the consistency of ice cream but I wasn’t keen on the ripe banana flavour so I preferred the chocolate version. To turn it chocolatey you add 2 tablespoons of cocoa. Also if it’s not sweet enough you can add some fruit syrup (I use sweet freedom). Then blitz it again until it’s all mixed together.

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Served immediately it is just like soft scoop ice cream.

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After its been refrozen for a while it’s more like standard scoop.

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Of course a little chocolate sauce can’t hurt either! Mmmm (sweet freedom choc shot).

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I can’t wait to try this out with lots of different flavours I’m thinking raspberry, mini choc chip, banoffee. The possibilities are endless!

Fluffy, wholemeal, Greek yogurt pancakes

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I first found the idea of Greek yogurt pancakes here:
http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/12/greek-yogurt-pancakes.html but since then I’ve tweaked the recipe to achieve a healthier version which fluffs up really well during cooking.

Serves 2 (or 1 if feeling greedy!)

Dry ingredients:
60g wholemeal self raising flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:
1 egg
2 tsp rapeseed (canola) oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops almond extract (optional but adds a lovely flavour)
100g Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp vinegar (you can’t taste it but it helps the bicarb bubble)

2-3 tbs milk (I used skimmed)

Method:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

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2. Whisk together the wet ingredients, leaving out the milk.

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3. Add a third of the wet ingredients and whisk into the dry. Continue in this way until the wet ingredients are mixed in.

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4. Add 2-3 tbs milk to loosen the mixture until it will slowly drop from a spoon.

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5. Heat a frying pan with a little spray oil (I used coconut oil and the Tefal pan so I can see when it is fully heated). Drop large spoons of the mixture into the pan and press down slightly. I used an ice cream scoop.

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6. Once the edges begin to look dry and lots of bubbles are appearing, flip them over. Don’t be too keen at this stage – they need to look really bubbly.

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7. Leave for another minute or two
until the other side has browned well and serve immediately.

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These are delicious served with berries and maple syrup.

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Enjoy!