1. London Pride, Trafalgar Square, 28th June 2014.


  2. Recipe: White Peach & Marzipan Hand Pies

    I have a lot of feelings about peaches. I wish I was exaggerating. Jamie Oliver did this thing about a billion years ago where he made bellinis out of fresh pureed white peaches - you know, the flat kind? - with prosecco, and it was all I could think about for weeks. Three billion years after that I went to Venice while travelling in Italy and actually found flat white peaches for the first time. I did not get to puree them into bellinis, which sucks because everyone knows how much I love to food-process things (a day of solid food is a day wasted, my friend).

    So the awesome thing about living in London is that you can get basically any ingredient you can think of pretty much anywhere. This bag full of peaches was £1, and I made five-and-a-half sweet sticky crisp pies, and then tried to puree the last peaches into bellinis (with no success, sadly. Thanks for nothing, Jamie). The less great thing is the fact that I have literally zero kitchen counter space and prepared these by balancing a bread board on top of my oven hobs for a makeshift flat surface. Like, in case you were wondering where all my baking posts had gone.

    So these pretty much come from two places! The filling sticks pretty closely to this recipe by Yeh, but I knew I’d want a vegan pastry and adapted one from a few years back to use the hodgepodge of weird flours I have in my cupboard, with the warm flavour of brown sugar underneath. I hoard vegan marzipan whenever I find it for these scones, but given that tis very much not the season at present, this seemed like a good use for it - there’s a recipe for super-quick vegan marzipan in the link to my OGP article on that page.

    For the record: this was a fuckin’ awesome idea and so much easier than like, actual pie filling. It’s just peaches! and marzipan! and it melts together into gooey sticky fruit with little pockets of softness and sweetness and joy! I ate hand pies for breakfast but it’s totally okay because I used spelt flour in the pastry! (SHUT UP. IT’S TOTALLY OKAY). I glazed them while they were still warm to get a lovely shine rather than a matte icing, and it was amazing, and I am gonna write as many run-on sentences as I like, because LITTLE PIES, GUYS. LITTLE PIES.

    for the pastry:

    175g (6oz) flour - I used a combination of spelt flour and quinoa flour, because I am literally that kind of person. You could use regular wholewheat or plain/all-purpose.
    1/4 tsp salt
    120g (1 stick) vegan margarine -
    I used Stork for pastry
    60g (2oz) light brown sugar
    a squeeze of lemon juice
    60ml (1/4c.) ice water

    Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add the margarine and pulse for a few moments into coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut in the marg with a pastry cutter or by crumbling it between your fingers, old school. Add a squeeze of lemon and then a tiny bit of ice water, just a spoonful at a time, pulsing/mixing in between additions until it forms a dough and is not too crumbly.

    Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into two equal halves. Wrap in cling film and let chill in the freezer while you make the filling.

    for the filling:

    200g (1 1/4c.) peeled and chopped peaches - tiny pieces please, 1/4-1/2 of an inch.
    125g (4.5oz) vegan marzipan, cut into cubes
    1/2 tsp vanilla paste
    optional: 1 tsp bourbon/whiskey. Uh, I just happened to have some in my hand.

    Cube the shit out of everything and then put it all in a bowl. You’re done. Don’t eat it all right now. Unless you want to make me feel better about my life choices in which case, go ahead.

    Roll out half the pie dough on a well floured surface and cut out 6 circles - about 4-4.5 inches each. Spoon a couple of tbsp of filling into the middle of each one. Roll and cut out your other 6 circles for the tops, then brush a little soy milk around the edges of your pies and stick them together. Use a fork to crimp the edges and make them hold on. Cut a little cross or slash in the top for steam, and if you want to, you can brush with a little more soy milk to make ‘em pretty.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C.

    for the glaze:

    120g (1/2c.) icing sugar
    2 tsp water
    1/4 tsp. vanilla paste

    Stir together until smooth. Drizzle over warm pies for a shiny glaze, or wait until cool for a sheer icing.


  3. 京都公園 (Kyoto Garden), Holland Park, London.

    I know, I know, it’s like I never left Japan. This is just a tiny area hidden away in the centre of Holland Park, but guess who got predictably, dorkily emotional watching the blossom land on the surface of the water.


  4. McBusted, Phones 4 U Arena, Manchester 09/05/14.

    Two things: I got told off the other day for being a lazy blogger. I’ve totally been a lazy blogger. In my defense I started film school and moved to London and have been in classes all day and shooting every weekend. A PITIFUL DEFENSE. Where have the cakes been, I was asked. Where HAVE the cakes been. I will attempt to remedy this.

    Thing 2: The tragedy of my teenage life was the split of Busted (19th February 2005, a date carved into my soul). I am going to be facetious about this, as I am about everything, but rest assured that my heart was Legitimately Shattered and I wrote diary entry after diary entry. The diary entries are TOO EARNEST TO EVEN BE FUNNY, so I will not cite my sources here. Like, you know when something is so impossibly embarrassing, but at the same time you just wanna take your nerdy 14 year old self in your arms and stroke her hair because she cares so so much about this band and these boys and they make her feel like a real person for the first time in her life.

    And the thing is that 14 year old me never got to see them play live, and while my melodrama eventually abated, I never forgot that bit. So I had to go and see McBusted. I made a promise to a lady.

    This was the MOST INCREDIBLE NIGHT. I’ve seen McFly live a few times, and they always put on a staggering show, but I wasn’t prepared for what watching James Bourne sing did to my heart. You know when you can see how much people love each other? And like, the joy in this arena, I swear to god. It was hilarious and joyful and amazing, and I knew every word; and I remembered why younger-me identified so hard with James, who knew about being the loser kid. Like, not the loser kid in a teen movie who’s still good-lucking and funny or whatever; the kid who doesn’t make proper eye contact and likes sci-fi too much; the kid that someone on the school bus literally sits on top of, and when challenged, says ‘it’s okay, she’s not hot’ (hilariously, I grew up to be super hot, but whatever). And I’m twelve years old, trying to teach myself guitar in order to learn Busted songs, and I think that was the first time I’d had someone who moved like me, but who was talented and famous and hadn’t forgotten, and who sang, ‘Just because you’re nerdy…’ doesn’t mean you’re not gonna make it.


    It meant a lot, is what I’m saying. I said I’d do it, and I did.


  5. #StreetsofSpain Spanish Market, Southbank, London.

    I’d heard there’d be a Spanish market here at the weekend, but wasn’t expecting to have the chance to head over - as it happened, we were at Southbank shooting our short film exercises over the weekend and I got to have a look round after all. Guess which sucker didn’t have cash on her. Guess how long the queue for the ATM was. Guess how incredible everything here smelled. Daaamn, son, damn.


  6. Look at the baby!!!!! London squirrels are the boldest little things, I swear to god. I took these pictures in Holland Park, but I also had  grey squirrels come right up to me in Hyde Park without batting an eyelid. Babies.


  7. Today in ‘Cool Things I’ve Eaten Recently’!

    • Marshmallow Smoke Ketchup, by Todd’s Concoctions. Look at these! Look at these! ‘Ink Cayenne’ hot sauce! ‘Tobacco-Moonshine’ BBQ! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this ketchup, but sure enough it has a big old kick of flavour; I tend to drench food in tomato sauce but this needs to be used sparingly. It’s smoky, kind of startling. But hella good with sweet potato fries.
    • Bircher Muesli with grated pear, blueberries, hazelnut and a shot of chia seeds. I am now obsessed with turning this flavour combination into muffins. Or, you know, at least more muesli.
    • Co-yo coconut yoghurt with mango puree. I’m p sure I got this from Wholefoods last time I did an overexcited vegan-food post. BUT I AM SO OVEREXCITED. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO? This is like eating coconut cream, oh my god. I wanna put my whole face in it.
    • Pulsin’ Vanilla Choc Chip Protein Snack. It was too long ago; I don’t remember the nutritional values for this. But I remember they were awesome and that this was like a cookie dough bar and that I am gonna hunt this little powerhouse out again for sure.
    • Air-dried Pear Chips from Perry Court Farm. Okay, I just thought the packaging design was really smart. I really like good design. And then, basically it was dried fruit, and I’m not against that, but I should probably have just bought a pear and eaten it. BUT THE PACKAGING.

  8. Spring in Holland Park, London.


  9. So, heads up!

    I know I promised you the recipe to my most recent cupcakes, but - I have also moved to London and started film school during this last week! Regular blogging may take a back seat until I have my own internet connection sorted and am less crazy-busy. I am so so excited to show you literally everything I have bought from Whole Foods, and to get up to date on all my photos. I don’t even care if I’m the only person remotely concerned with this.

    Back soon!


  10. The rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose, which would bloom until his 21st year. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken.

    [Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, 1991]

    Number two in my line of Disney-inspired cupcakes (see Mulan here); Belle has always been my favourite princess so I was super excited for this one! I wanted to use flavours that drew on French patisserie - pricey vanilla paste for a rich flavour, hella salted caramel, and this light-as-air whipped frosting with a homemade hazelnut praline paste folded in.

    The idea for the frosting comes from a Filbert Gateau in Great Cakes by Carol Walter; that one uses a Swiss buttercream (the sort that uses egg whites and comes out super silky; for the record, while I love how they look, Swiss buttercreams always taste kind of like bath foam to me). Instead I used a cooked flour frosting and used full fat coconut milk to boost the richness and make it vegan; you don’t taste the coconut at all in the finished cake. Hooboy I could eat this frosting by the spoonful.

    I have very strong feelings about the stained glass window sequence at the start of Beauty and the Beast, so the sheet of hazelnut praline was a little nod to that - it didn’t really come out as a sheet so much as a clump, but whatevs). The rose petals are, of course, a reference to the enchanted rose in the story, so I had to paint them with edible gold. These flavours were killer together, so I was super happy that they also came out looking just as I’d imagined.

    Recipe to come!