Friday, September 12, 2014

God Help the Girl | Eve's Style

The other night I saw God Help the Girl, which can best be described as an adorable coming of age musical. The leading lady Eve, played by the stunning Emily Browning, struggles with anorexia and depression, but she is able to alleviate the pain through music and friendships made with James (Olly Alexander) and Cassie (Hannah Murray) over one fateful summer. The trio end up forming a band, if only fleetingly. 

Asides from the catchy musical numbers, my eyes were glued to the screen the entire time, thanks mainly to the movie's incredible wardrobe. Lately I have been lacking in style inspiration. When I wake up, I essentially throw on the first thing I see in my wardrobe. God Help the Girl has been like a saving grace, as I now feel excited about the prospect of dressing up again. I think that one of the reasons why I found myself so smitten with Eve's style in particular is because all her outfits seem so achievable. Being a low budget movie, I wouldn't be surprised if the costume designer Denise Coombs picked out the majority of Eve's wardrobe pieces from charity shops and vintage sales bins. 

Another thing I like about Eve's ensembles is that they're not too girly and therefore something I would feel comfortable wearing on a day to day basis. For example, she wore her leopard print dress, paired with a delicate string of pearls and bowler hat, with some red creeper esque shoes (Unfortunately I couldn't get a proper screen shot of this outfit from head to toe). She also dressed down a red sailor dress with a denim jacket and brown brogues. 
Simple additions here and there really add an extra 'something' to her outfit, such as the assortment of bracelets on her wrists, frilly socks, headscarves and statement cat eyes. All her outfits are effortless and combine a mix of some of my favourite things; crochet collars, berets, stripes and leopard prints.

So if you're in need of a 'lil bit of inspiration, look no further than God Help the Girl; it really is a movable feast style wise. Otherwise, I found that this movie is the perfect pick me up if you're in the mood for something light hearted and uplifting. It's incredibly twee: but that's just the way I like it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Testing 1, 2, 3 | Orange and Cinnamon Cake with Buttercream Icing

Sometimes, things don't always turn out the way you imagined.

I'm always trying to replicate dishes I have eaten out at cafes. When I bite into some delicious cake of whatever variety, the taste of it will stay on my mind for ages, until I feel compelled to try and bake it myself.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited a cute cafe in town called The Little Bird Cafe. Their Orange and Cinnamon cake with butter cream icing had me fantasizing about it for days on end. I did a few searches around the web, but I just couldn't find a recipe that matched up to the one I had eaten, which was a very moist, yet still light and fluffy sponge cake. So after much searching with little results, I decided to experiment and tweak a standard recipe for orange cake. This cake is the result of my efforts. 

Don't get me wrong, the flavours are there, and it's tasty. But it is a lot denser than what I desired. I think if I ever decide to have a crack at the cake again, I wont put the orange juice in the batter, and will instead soak the sponge with juice after it has been baked, hopefully resulting in the perfect light and fluffy yet moist texture I desired. If anyone is interested, I posted the recipe below for the cake pictured above.

Ingredients
For the cake
2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
juice of 2 oranges
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon
150g butter

For the buttercream
75g butter
2 cups icing sugar
2-3 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a cake pan.
In a measuring cup, combine milk, oj, beaten eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Set aside
Sift flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until light and creamy, then gradually add sugar, beating between each addition.
Alternate between pouring in the milk mixture and the flour mixture. Beat until well combined.
Divide batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
Once fully cooled, I cut the cake in half to prepare for the icing.
To make Buttercream
Cream butter until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Beak in the milk and vanilla to bring to spreading consistency. Ice cake and enjoy!

While my baking endeavors don't always turn out as planned, I nonetheless always find it fun to play around in the kitchen!