And it is beautiful.
It’s only the second camera I’ve owned so I was pretty picky (going back and forth between cameras that were a little cheaper); trying to decide between spending less and being satisfied or blowing my budget and being utterly ecstatic. I ended up doing what I always do when I’m going to buy something big and pretty important. I researched.
Just imagine me hunched over a keyboard as the sun disappears from the sky, the only light emanating from the room beaming from the computer screen. My eyes glazed over as I scroll and continue scrolling through the internet, trawling through different review sites like a chef automatically dicing vegetables.
To be totally honest, thinking back on it now, it’s just a blur of words I didn’t really understand.
However, out of all that fuzzy memory I did come to a conclusion. I needed to invest in a camera that would challenge me and inspire me to be more creative. But more than anything, I wanted to be excited about photography again. I wanted my new camera to tempt me toward it just because I wanted to experiment with it. I was so sick of making something and it not being represented well enough through my photos. And I definitely didn’t want to resent my choice to purchase a cheaper model just to save some money.
So I blew my budget but I couldn’t be happier.
Just looking at these photos; the difference in colour, sharpness and depth is incredible! Don’t even get me started on how excited I am by the prospect of buying new lenses!
For my birthday last October, I was given some Tea by one of my friends. It was called ‘Beautiful Tea’ by Mariage Frères. Mariage Frères is a Parisian brand which specialise in different kinds of Tea as well as Chocolates and Jams. I’m yet to find something from their range that I don’t love. The first thing I have to say about this Tea is that the packaging is divine! I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging, so I was bound to love this.
The fragrance of this Black Tea really reminds me of Earl Grey. It’s very floral with hints of Pomegranate and Cornflour. There was something about it that was really familiar to me but I couldn’t figure out what it was; even after my mother and I spent about 10 minutes sniffing it like two addicts.
If you love Tea, this is definitely a cake you should try. The flavour really bursts through the sponge and has a truly unique flavour. I decided to pair it with some Bramble Jam and Lemon Buttercream to match the floral notes in the Tea.
The flowers adorning this treat are actually made out of flower paste and wire. I went on a Sugarcraft course a few months ago and made this while on the course. Without any fresh flowers in the house, I thought these were a great, simple but still charming option.
Ingredients – Makes one 6 inch cake – adapted from Lady and Pups
- 12g black tea leaves
- 200ml whole milk
- 170g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 50g honey
- 270g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- splash of milk
- bramble jam to sandwich
Note: I made this recipe in one 6 inch cake tin however, it took quite a long time to bake. If you have the option of splitting the cake batter in half and baking it in two separate tins, do this as it will reduce the baking time (about 30 minutes) and will probably result in a lighter sponge. Alternatively you can bake this cake in a loaf tin, baking it for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
For the cake:
- Place the tea leaves into a spice/coffee grinder and grind until the tea leaves are the size of ground coffee. Pour the milk into a saucepan and place over medium heat. Add in the ground tea leaves. Once the milk has come to the boil, take off the heat and leave aside until cool (or refrigerate if your tight on time.)
- Pre-heat your oven to 175C. Grease and line a 6 inch cake tin (see notes.)
- Cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs, one egg at a time until the mixture is smooth. Add the honey and combine. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the milk (with the ground tea leaves) and dry ingredients alternatively, starting and ending with the flour.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If your cake is browning too quickly, cover the top with aluminium foil for the rest of the baking time.
- Once baked, leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the tin and leave to cool completely.
For the Buttercream:
- Place the lemon zest, vanilla, salt and butter into a medium-sized bowl. Cream these together until light and fluffy. Start adding in your icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time and continue to beat until all the sugar is added. Add a splash of milk to let the buttercream down slightly. Beat the buttercream for a few more minutes until smooth, pale and fluffy.
- Trim the top off of the cake so that it is flat and then cut the cake in half horizontally. Turn the top half of the cake upside down (so that the trimmed top is now the bottom) onto your serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the jam on top of the sponge followed by a thin layer of buttercream. Lay the other half of the cake on top with the base of the cake facing up. Cover the cake with the remaining buttercream. Start with a thin layer to contain the cake crumbs, refrigerate and then finish with a second layer.
- Best served the day its made.