Social icons

Those little things called Cupcakes // Trying Tanya Burr's recipe

Hello there,

I've never been good at baking cupcakes, I always mess up when it comes to the topping. So after a couple of failure while baking cupcakes quite a while ago I decided that cupcakes were not for me. But I'm not the kind of person that gives up that easily, I just give it some time and then try it again. 

So here I am, 3 years later, as motivated as I could be, and determined to succeed at baking cupcakes. 

I'm a huge fan of Tanya Burr, I follow her on her Youtube channel, her blog and every social media that exist. No I'm not a stalker! Anyway, in the beginning of the year I saw her Oreo Cupcakes video and that made me want to bake Oreo Cupcakes. I decided to give it a try a few weeks ago for a family dinner, and I must say, it wasn't amaziiiiing but it was good, the topping wasn't looking great, but it was good, and the cupcakes weren't pretty but they were tasty. Anyway, I thought I'll try it again yesterday while I was baking at my boyfriend's for another family dinner that happened tonight.

A little disclaimer, I'm posting this article but this isn't a copy and paste of Tanya Burr's recipe, it's a review. I didn't strictly follow her recipe, I adapted it, I like to do that sometimes (I'm so adventurous), and I actually changed the ingredients for the topping (I like to live dangerously). By the way, the recipe is for 10-11 cupcakes. You might notice in the pictures that I've made more than 10 cupcakes but we wanted to have a lot for dinner so we actually did two batches. 

So let's start! 

For the ingredients I used, just like Tanya or kind of: 
Cupcakes
* 180g of Butter 
* 170 of sugar 
* 3 eggs
* 40g of cocoa powder 
* 130g of flour
* 1 tea spoon of baking powder 
* 3 packs of 4 Oreos to put on the bottom of each cupcake tin 

Topping
* 250g of Mascarpone 
* 3-4 packs of 4 Oreos 
* 60g of icing sugar 

Let's get into the real deal now! 

First of all, I turned on my oven to 180°C. Then I microwaved the butter and then once it was melted I added the sugar. I mixed the butter and sugar all together until I got, as Tanya said, a creamy mixture.


Once I had my creamy mixture, I added the 3 eggs, mixed again and added the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Mixed again and tadaaa it was ready! 



While my oven was heating, I took my cupcake tins and put an Oreos on the bottom of each. I then took a ladle and two teaspoons. My mixture was quite "heavy" so it was hard to put the mixture in each of the tins since it would get stuck into the ladle. What I did was putting the whole amount of mixture that was in the ladle into my cupcake tins and then scrape the rest with the teaspoon. You must wonder what I used two, well my friends, once I got to the end of the bowl, there wasn't enough mixture to put in the ladle so I went ahead and took one of the teaspoon to put the mixture in, and I used the other one to scrape the rest out of the teaspoon. It was messy, really messy ...


I then put my lovely plate of 10 cupcakes, well my boyfriend did, into the oven for 14 minutes but the mixture was still liquid inside (I checked with the point of a knife), so I left them on for another 5 minutes, and then again for 3 other minutes. I guess it depends on the kind of oven you're using. 


While the cupcakes were baking in the oven I started making my topping. Unlike Tanya I didn't use butter because I didn't like the texture of the topping once everything was mixed together (icing sugar and Oreos) the first time I tried the recipe, instead I used Mascarpone! If you're not familiar with Mascarpone, let me just tell you it is a pain to use! You can't mixed it with other ingredients for too long because it starts melting... And once it's melted, of course, it doesn't stick on the cupcake... A PAIN! 


I started by crushing, yes crushing (it was so much fun) my 12 Oreos into crumbs by just walking all over the 4 packs. I swear it's the fun part of the whole baking process. Once I got my crumbs, I put first of all the Mascarpone into a bowl and then added the icing sugar and the crumbs. I mixed until I got a creamy mixture, but as I said, when you mixed the Mascarpone mixture for too long (in this case I was trying to crush the Oreo crumbs into smaller pieces) it gets creamy but it also starts to melt. So of course I couldn't put the topping on top of my cupcakes... It didn't stay on... 


After a little bit of a meltdown/breakdown, my boyfriend and I came to the conclusion that we had to wait to use the topping mixture, so we put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so and it was good to go then but I had to go home, so we left the mixture in the refrigerator and then one day later, the mixture was creamy but perfect, and we added it on the top of each cupcakes with a spoon and a knife... Weird, I know but we had a little bit of a fight with the pipping bag and let's just say we are not friend with it anymore. 


The cupcakes were delicious, again not looking great but who cares... I loved Tanya's idea to put a little surprise into each cupcake. It's a perfect recipe for desert or even for Tea Time with friends of family. It made me like baking cupcakes again! 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post let me know if you have ever tried Tanya Burr's recipe or even if you try to do the topping as I did. 

See you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: I just joined Blog Lovin, here's the link if you want to give me a follow and be Internet buddies. 



Live, Love, Laugh, London (Day 2) // #LipstickRoadTravels

Hello there! 

Welcome for Day 2 and the last day of my weekend to lovely London. It was a very short trip unfortunately, but I would go to London even for an hour if I could.


The weather was really crappy on this second day, it was raining from the minute we woke up, till we left England at 6:30 pm, but it's okay I mean we got some breaks during the day. So we left our hotel and took the Underground to do some major tourist stuff. In fact, we headed to Big Ben, the House of Parlament, Westminster and Buckingham. I've seen those a couple of times, since it wasn't my first trip to London, but I don't get tired of the view. 


We first started with beautiful Big Ben, but we actually had to wait for 15 minutes at the exit of the underground station for the rain to calm down because it was really cray-cray. Anyway, we crossed the London Bridge to get some pretty rainy pictures of the London Eye and Big Ben. 


Once we were done and the rain finally stopped, we stopped for a minute at the House of Parlament, and it's crazy how this building is so pretty and amazing. I'm still in shock.  


We walked to Westminster Abbey and we actually wanted to go in for once, but the queue was so long, we quickly gave up. 


We then crossed Saint James Park to see Buckingham Palace under clouds and rain again. My feet and shoes were dying and so wet! I was freezing cold and already planning my trip to Topshop to change my outfit with things I would have bought of course. 


According to the Union Jack flag flying in the sky, the Queen was there. We didn't see her, sadly, but we got to see her incredibly beautiful and huge home. 


We planned to walk to Oxford Circus or Piccadilly but at this point my shoes were full of water and I could hear the "squeak" in my shoes every time I moved.  So we decided to take the underground again. The ticket for the day were so expensive that we thought "better use it". 


We took the tube to Piccadilly Circus to some Souvenir shopping. First stop was Fortnum and Mason. I mean you can't go to London and not buy tea. Can you? Whatever I was determined to get some tea, because their tea is just amazing. So we got Wedding Breakfast, which was created especially for the Royal Wedding, and I thought would go perfect with my Will and Kate royal wedding mug. We also got Royal Blend Classic Earl Grey and Afternoon Blend, which are my absolute favorite from Fortnum and Mason. We also got an Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows mixture. Then we went to Cool Britania for real souvenir gifts. 


After our little stop at Piccadilly we headed to Oxford Circus. I stopped at Topshop, and it was crazyyyyyyy! I've never seen a shop that big! I mean they have a hair/makeup space, and a cupcake stand! CUPCAKES IN A TOPSHOP! Am I the only one shocked?! There were so many things I didn't know where to look at, seriously I was blown away. I just bought a leather wallet from the brand It's Not Me It's You that I love. 

For lunch, we decided to go back to Shake Shack at Covent Garden where they installed new decoration with clouds balloon everywhere. Check my Instagram if you haven't and you'll see what I'm talking about. 



My Dad really wanted to go to the London Film Museum for the James Bond exhibition so we went to see the amazing cars from the movies. Once we were done with the exhibition the weather was getting crappy again so we stopped at Primrose Bakery, again... 


This time, my Dad had Cookies and Cream cupcake with an expresso and I had an Earl Grey cupcake with a hot chocolate. You can't be disappointed with Earl Grey, so good!!



I really wanted to god to Camden and Primrose Hill but the weather got real bad and we ended up being stuck at the bakery for an hour. Once we left it was too late to take the tube to Camden since we only had an hour in the City before we had to head to the train station. Maybe some other time... So we just wandered around Covent Garden, stopped at Topshop again to buy some jeans and headed back to our hotel to change and leave for King Cross Saint Pancras. 


Again, even though it was a short trip, I couldn't be happier. It was such a good surprise, and it came just in time since I was thinking about how bad I wanted to go back to London. Plus, it's becoming a father/daughter holiday ritual since it was the second time we went to London just the two of us. 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post.

See you soon,

Love, 

Elsa.

PS: No OOTD for this second post of my trip to London unfortunately, because of the weather I actually looked like sh*t on that day, and my outfit was not great anyway. I was wearing boyfriend jeans from Cheap Monday, an open back black t-shirt from Asos, a plain black hoodie, the same vintage jacket from my previous post, the same boots from Dunnes and my bag from Red Herring. 

London Surprise Calling (Day 1) // #LipstickRoadTravels

Hello,

So my Dad totally surprised me this weekend with a short father/daughter trip to London. It was such a good surprise because I truly love London, it's one of my favorite city that I've been to (I almost cried when I found out at the train station that we were taking the train to London). I had no idea we were going there even though I knew we were going somewhere this weekend. In fact, my Dad gave me weird clues that just freaked me out about this weekend. 


Anyway, I had a blast, the weather was not great but who cares? It was very rainy on the second day, we eventually got some sun on the first day but I still had to buy an umbrella.



I feel like London is one of the prettiest city to visit, and it's even prettier to visit when it rains. I mean, that's just my opinion, does it make sense or just sounds like total crap? Whatever, I love London, rain or no rain.


We left really early on Sunday morning (Sunday morning rain is falling...) and arrived at Saint Pancras around 10:00 am. We got to our hotel 10 minutes later, left our luggages and took off for some London adventures. Our hotel was in the City neighborhood, quite near to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge so we walked there to take some photographs. 

We then walked to Saint Paul Cathedral, sat for a minute before we hit the road again to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. On the road there we stopped at Topshop and Superdrug. We don't have Superdrug stores in France, nor in Ireland, so I really wanted to stop and see what they were selling. I didn't get anything at Topshop nor Superdrug even though I really wanted to get Zoella's new products. 


After our little stop at Trafalgar Square under a sunny sky we headed to Covent Garden for lunch. Covent Garden is one of my favorite place in London. We had lunch at Shake Shack (love love love love love love love), enjoyed some cheese fries, wandered around Covent Garden and then went to Primrose Bakery for coffee and cupcakes. Yes I now drink coffee, I want to be that woman, who drinks wine on Friday evening with a good meal, and coffee in the morning before heading to work, even though I'm still a student... 


I love Primrose Bakery, it's so cute and the cupcakes are delicious! We had one Apple Crumble cupcake and one classic Red Velvet cupcake, with an Expresso and a Cappuccino . 



After this little break we walked to Piccadilly Circus and just enjoyed the view. Then, we headed to Regent Street aka the shopping neighborhood, in search for Victoria's Secret. Let me just tell you I was not leaving London if we didn't go to VS. Again we don't have VS in France, nor in Ireland, so I needed, okay maybe not needed, but I really wanted to go to their huge store in London. 

I had a little breakdown and bought some stuffs, like maybe one bra, one pyjama set, some yoga pants and two moisturizers. We then looked for the Underground to go back to our hotel for a little break after a lot of walking through the city. 

My Dad really wanted to go see the Arsenal Stadium so we went there, walked around, and took some OOTD pictures. 



We headed back to the city centre, and Piccadilly for dinner. We ended up walking to Oxford Circus and Carnaby Street where we found a little Italian restaurant for dinner. After dinner we were dying for ice cream even though it was getting cold, so we walked a lot and eventually got lost, looking for Amorino. 




If you're not familiar with Amorino, it's an artisanal ice creams place where they make ice creams that look like flowers. You first choose the size of the cone and then choose the flavors you want on your ice cream, you can choose as many as you want, but we both had 3. I had Nutella, Dark Chocolate and Coconut. 



That was our last stop of the day since after Desert we went back to the hotel for a good night of sleep. 

Hope you enjoy this post, 

I'll see you soon for more pictures of my weekend to London.

Love,

Elsa. 

WHAT I'M WEARING:
JEANS: DR DENIM (ASOS)
HIGH NECK TOP: BRANDY MELVILLE
CARDIGAN: VINTAGE 
COAT: VINTAGE
SHOES: DUNNES 
NECKLACE: MOMUSE
SUNGLASSES: MARC BY MARC JACOBS
BELT: H&M 



S.O.S SpotBusters // Skin Care Routine for spots and blemishes

Hey there!

Today I thought I'd talk about my Skin Care routine, aka the routine that saves my face. Let me just say that I usually don't have a lot of spots or blemishes on my face.  Of course, I get spots from time to time, here and there, but nothing really that bad, at least nothing that drugstores products can't fix.

From the picture it seems that I use a loooot of products on my things, but don't worry I don't use all those products at the same time!


Anyway, my skin was doing great until 8 months ago when I was still living in Dublin... I began to have spots here and there but not from time to time. Nothing seemed to work, so during a little shopping session, my friend and I stopped at Lush and we immediately fell in love with Lush but I won't get into that here. Long story short, after a little bit of talking with one of the seller at Lush I ended up getting a cleanser called Dark Angels, and a mask named Cosmetic Warrior. If you're not familiar with Lush's products, they are all naturals and great for your skin, hair, body etc. I found that the combination of the cleanser and the mask was actually great for my skin, Dark Angels was taking care of my oily skin and Cosmetic Warrior was dealing with my spots and blemishes. I used Dark Angels once a day, three times a week, and the mask twice a week after cleaning my face with D.A. I also went to Boots and got the Neutrogena On-the-Spot Gel, which is great but I found it maybe too harsh because it really dries out the area the spot is, so you need a great moisturizer or even a repair cream after using it. At that time I was also taking Zinc pills for my skin. 

I used that combination for a while because it worked well, but then I decided I wanted a new foundation... Bad idea, because I went for an expensive one... A Mac liquid foundation. I should have seen it coming, because it took me forever to find the right match to my skin tone! It was a sign!!!!!!!! I found the foundation I wanted (medium coverage for oily skin) but it was not very great for my skin type, which was weird... In fact, the foundation was quite heavy and my skin didn't like it at all. My skin was looking terrible and nothing seemed to work to fix it, even my killer combination. By the way, at that time I didn't know that the foundation could be the reason behind my spots, so of course I kept using it... 

I ended up going back to Lush to add some new killer machines. I kept buying Dark Angels and Cosmetic Warrior but I added the Great Lightning Spot Treatment and the Tea Tree Toner Spray. The combination worked for a while but then it stopped working... I wonder why huh... THE FOUNDATION OF COURSE, WAKE UP ELSA!


When I moved back to France, I was so fed up with my skin, I didn't know what to do. I changed my foundation (finally!!!!), buying the Revlon Color Stay, and because they didn't sell the Dark Angels cleanser at Lush and I don't live near a Lush shop, I had to change my routine by shopping at a pharmacy, which means more expensive products. 

I bought a kit from Garancia, which was supposed to be a killer kit for spots and blemishes. The kit came with a cleansing, purifying and makeup removing paste called the Sulfurous Marabou Paste, the Marabou Elixir anti-blemish and anti-ageing serum and the Thistle and the Marabou repairing BB cream. I also bought a moisturizing cream from Caudalie and a mask, and my sister got me a repair cream from Avene. I saw the results after 10 days, and my skin was doing great, but as soon as I stopped using it even for a day, the spots came back... I decided to see which product was helping and which wasn't. After a week of testing, I came to the conclusion that for the sake of my skin, I could only keep my Garancia serum and BB cream and the Avene repair cream. But I still needed a killer cleanser. I found out that Caudalie moisturizer was not a good fit for my type of skin, since I have oily skin and the moisturizer was for dry skin, it didn't help much. Totally my fault, I probably didn't pay attention when I bought it, the woman at the pharmacy just handed it to me but I didn't told her that I had oily skin... My bad. However, the Caudalie mask was great, smells good


After hearing a lot about Clinique Anti Blemishes Kit, I thought I'd give it a try and I did. Instead of buying the kit I saw online, I bought the individual products at a store nearby, so I got: the Anti Blemishes Solution cleansing foam, the Clarifying Lotion, the cleaning moisturizer and the mask. It is just perfection! It is quite expensive and the smell of the products is very weird, but my skin has never been so great and spotless for that long! 


What I do is that I clean my skin with the cleaning foam, then apply the clarifying lotion with a cotton pad, then I put four or five drops of the Marabou Elixir from Garancia in my hand before applying them all over my face but insisting in the area with blemishes. Then I take my moisturizer from Clinique and apply it all over my face. I also take my Thistle and Marabou repairing BB cream from Garancia and apply it all over my face too. The BB cream is tinted and mattifying so it's great for those days you don't feel like wearing makeup but also great for the days you want to wear makeup because it makes your foundation stay on all day. I also keep my Neutrogena On-the-Spot Gel in case of emergencies for those hurtful spots that really won't leave and my Avene repair cream as a night treatment for the area where the spots are on the process of disappearing. I stopped taking Zinc even though it works well because I tend to be a little bit lazy when I have to take medicine. I usually forgot to take it. But at the moment, I'm trying to keep taking my Magnesium pills because they are great against stress and I found them very helpful for spots and blemishes as well! I also use the mask from Clinique twice a week after cleaning my face with the cleaning foam, I leave it on for 5-10 minutes and then just rince my face off and then continue my routine with lotion, serum, moisturizer etc.


Also, if you read my post about how I packed my skin care products for my trip to Florence, you'll know that I bought the Dramatically Different small kit from Clinique before I left. I used it for 4 days straight and the timing was actually perfect before I got 4 spots that popped out on the day I was leaving for Florence! *Great, just great!*.  I didn't notice any big differences maybe because I just used it for 4 days and then went back using the Anti Blemish Solution because it was getting really bad. I'll try to use it again when my face is better 'cause for now it's a complete mess. I also think that maybe the Pore Professional didn't help much so I stopped using it for now, I'll see if it makes a difference. It's too bad since it's a great products to use before putting your foundation on, but my cousin also told me that she got spots as well when she was using it, so I guess it's not a great fit for our skin type. OR maybe it's either because of the sun, and the stress of taking the plane, or because I didn't drink enough water... Stay hydrated people, drink water! (I write this as a memo for myself too.)



I highly recommend the Clinique products if you are really determined to get rid of your blemishes and spots. However, the products are quite expensive, so start with the kits to get to know the products and see if they are the right fit for you. If you don't want to spend too much on skin care products or if you don't have spots everywhere on your face that won't go away, I suggest you look at cheaper option. Visibly Clear from Neutrogena products are great! They work very well, and I can tell because I used and still use some of their products. Lush products are amazing as well, they are all natural, you just need to find the best fit for you and your skin type, the only negative point I would say is the expiration date. Lush products are not the kind of products you use once and then leave it in your bathroom drawers, they expire, and the expiration date comes faster than you think!

Anyway, hope you found this post useful.

See you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 


Siena melts my heart: Three days in Florence (Day 3) // #LipstickRoadTravels

Hey there,

For our last "real" day in Italy, we decided to take the train and go to Siena, which seemed like a good idea at first but quickly turned into "Was that a good idea" when we got to the train station. Let me explain. When we got to the train station, we had 10 minutes to take 3 train tickets before heading to the right platform. Sounds normal, right? Well, it is normal until you realized that those 10 minutes turned into 3 minutes after the 10 persons in front of you took their tickets. Then, add to that stressful situation the fact that you have no idea where you have to take the train because the platform number wasn't communicated on the screens yet. We quickly found out that the reason why we didn't know where we had to take the train, was because our train was delayed... 15 minutes delayed that turned into 20 minutes, which finally turned into 30 minutes. The moment you decide to go get water bottles for the trip to Siena, is precisely the moment they decide to tell you on what platform you have to get your train. From that particular moment, you realized you have 3 minutes, yep 3 minutes, to run to not only catch your train, but also to find that platform, which wasn't even on the same area we were at... 



Long story short, we caught the train. But, a journey that was supposed to take an 1 hour and 15 minutes, turned into a 2 hours journey... Yep, we got stuck for 45 minutes in the middle of nowhere, in a train with no air conditioning, no lights, no nothing... 



Anyway, 2 hours later we finally arrived in Siena. What you need to know about Siena is that the city is at the very top of a "mountain", so get to the top you have to take at least 10 electric stairs, but when you get to the top you have another breath-taking view of Toscana. We walked for 10 minutes to Siena historical centre, and let me just tell you, Florence is very very very very very very pretty but Siena is amazing. It's a gathering of small streets with no vehicles, small boutiques and stores, and you feel like you're so far from the real world; if that makes sense. You just feel like you're in a different world, completely cut off times. 



We wandered around Siena for a good 2 hours before we finally sat down at a small restaurant to again have the so delicious bruschettas. After this small lunch, we really wanted to have a little treat, meaning ice creams. We do love our ice creams, don't you? However, we didn't quite chose the right day to visit Siena since the city was organizing horses courses with horses representing the different neighborhood of Siena. So the city was crowded and the main "plaza" was actually closing at 4:10 pm to set up everything. We got to this famous plaza, that kind of looked like an arena with small boutiques and restaurant all around it, and a cathedral and a castle, at 4:00 pm... We just had time to take pictures, and selfies with our brand new selfie stick *yeaah tourist goal reached*, before we got kicked out.


Still searching for an ice cream place, we ended up in another plaza with the most amazing cathedral. I mean, the details!!!!!!!!!!! It feels like you're looking at a piece of art. But at the end of the day, it is art. We sat there in front of it, just dazzled. I mean, look at it! 

When we finally got up, we headed to the busy streets, still searching for ice creams. We didn't get our ice creams... Disappointment...  We had to head back to the train station to get back to Florence because it got too late.


We were so tired... exhausted, our legs were falling out, we were dying for cold water, and fresh air. We walked down the electric stairs to the train station before founding out that the train was due an hour later...  Since we didn't want to wait for an hour at the train station, we asked details to take the bus to Florence, which was cheaper, and was taking the same amount of time. However, we found out that the bus stop was at Siena's city centre. Meaning... we had to take the 10 escalators for the 3rd time of the day. We got to the top, missed our bus, waited for 20 minutes, got into another bus, and really enjoyed the ride home because you got a view of Toscana we wouldn't have had while taking the train. 


We arrived at Florence, quite late, so we quickly headed to our hotel, took a shower, changed and went out for dinner for our last night in Florence.


We found a very cute restaurant with pretty little lights, street musicians in front of it, good food and wine etc. I actually had Tagliatelle pasta with pesto. So we had a very cool evening. And how do you end a cool evening to make it even more perfect? 


With ice creams of course! We had ice creams in front of the prettiest cathedral of Florence, and headed back to our hotel for a good night of sleep. 

That was a truly great day in Sienna and an amazing evening in Florence. I truly think that there's nothing like discovering a city by night. It's so much different, it's a different vibe, different atmosphere etc. 


Hope you enjoy this last post for my #LipstickRoadTravelsToItaly series, I won't be posting anything for our last and fourth day because I didn't take any pictures since this last day was mainly focused on packing and souvenirs... I'm sorry... 

Stay tuned for my next post, 

Love,

Elsa.

WHAT I WORE : 
ROMPER : ASOS 
BRALETTE : PACSUN, KENDAL&KYLIE COLLECTION
HAT: YANKEE BASEBALL HAT 
SHOES: STAN SMITH 
SUNGLASSES: ZARA

Ads