World Baking Day: I bake without measuring my ingredients!

Though this blog post will go up after World Baking Day, when I’m typing it up it’ll be World Baking Day so I’ll type in present tense pretending like today is the day. To celebrate, I decided to take on this challenge and see how I get on.

Now I am not a very good baker, I don’t bake often and usually when I do, I tend to either put too much salt in or I end up ruining the mixture by adding too much sugar or flour. This was actually meant to go completely wrong but it didn’t actually go that bad (yes, I have convinced myself).

Anyway, I didn’t use any measuring cups or even a recipe; I just went with my common sense and off I went shopping for my ingredients. Cakes aren’t actually hard to make and if you’ve ever watched the Great British Bake Off then you’ll pretty much know hOW to make them.

For this recipe I used:
– Self raising flour
– Sugar
– Pinch of salt
– Asda’s baking butter
– 2 eggs
– Pinch of baking powder
– Icing/sprinkles

Once I started, it was actually quite easy. Add the sugar and butter, wait till it becomes light and fluffy. Then add the flour, eggs, baking powder and salt. Stir it all together and add vanilla essence or anything else that takes your fancy. You’ll now have a mixture and now you can put them in some cake cases and pop them in the oven; wait about 15-20 minutes and you’ll have them!

Below are a few photographs some of the steps I took to bake these cupcakes.


Basic ingredients: Eggs, flour, sugar and butter.


Mixture made, placed in cake cases.


In the oven, 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes.


Out of the oven, let it cool down.


Let it cool down, decorate with frosting and sprinkles.

Below is a short video of how I went about making the cupcakes –

Overall, I think the challenge was a success, I didn’t ruin the cupcakes and the amount of sugar and salt was actually okay. For someone who didn’t measure the ingredients or even follow a recipe, I did myself proud. I also enjoyed baking so I think I will definitely bake more. It is fun as well as a way to relax whilst ending up with some delicious teats with a cup of tea.

Northern Food Festival attracts visitors from all around the UK into Manchester.

The well known festival is running for the fifth year and has not only moved to a bigger location but also attracted all different people will all different diets.  

The festival previously held at the Sheridan Suite, moved to the Convention Complex in Manchester after being a success from the previous four years.

Attracting people from all over the U.K, it was described to be “the biggest one yet” by stall holders and visitors.

Josh Williams, 21, from Southport said: “I travelled here from Southport for my girlfriend Hannah, I’m not even a vegan but I think it’s brilliant because it’s awareness for animal rights.”

“It just shows that vegans can basically eat everything we eat but just in a none cruel way.”

Meat lover Sian Rose also attended the festival and said that she was open to the idea of veganism. “Before today I genuinely thought veganism would be so hard to take up.  Cutting meat and dairy out of your diet would be so hard but this event has just taught me that it’s not. You have so many other options.” she said.

This year, the festival was held at four different venues, the Convention Complex being the main. Other venue’s included The Friends Meeting House, Cross Street Chapel and  The Thirsty Scholar.

Vegan’s Samantha and Matt also attended the event. Both were surprised by the amount of people who showed up at the event.

“People who aren’t vegan might come along with their vegan friends and eat something vegan. They’ll realise it’s not just eating grass and seeds; it’s a good way to raise awareness.”

Stall holders “Mex it Up” said that the festival was ‘booming’ their business. The small business led by couple Marc and Sara serve 100% vegan food inspired by dishes from Mexico and USA. The stall holders said that the festival allows veganism is to expand.

“Last year it was smaller, this year it’s so much more bigger and better.”

“I couldn’t have cats and be like, I treat cats in one way and cows the other. I can’t do something massive but in my own space and life, that’s something I can make a big change in.”
Hannah.

The festival have now collaborated with other vegan festivals across the U.K and the world including ‘Halifax VegFest‘ and ‘Vegfest Guelph!’ in Canada.

Many visitors said that the festival should last for an entire weekend next time to not only generate more awareness about veganism but also because of the success of the festival.

My First Ask Italian.

So I have always gone on and on about going into Ask Italian but somehow I have never actually gone in (until now).  As someone who eats out very often, most of the time being the same places, it was nice to try something different but sort of the same food.

The Ask Italian menu has a wide range of food, though most is Italian (it is called Ask ITALIAN after all). It was actually really good with the Vegetarian options and even has a Vegan menu (so they cater for different diets). Though I stuck to my standard margherita pizza, it did actually taste different and I could definitely tell the difference between this one and the usual pizza places I go to.

The food prices weren’t too bad, though the dessert menu is a bit pricey. Course I can’t judge the entire menu because I have only really tried the most basic meals from the lot but from the taste of the pizza, I would definitely put it up in the top 10 Pizza’s I have ever had. You could easily tell that it was freshly made with the waiter coming up to you asking you what type of cheese you want and actually grating it in front of your eyes (this was something I really liked because who likes their pizza overly cheesy?).

Above you can see the dessert I had; I can’t tell you how delicious it was. Three scoops of ice-cream, biscuit and chocolate sauce cannot be beaten. Although it was pricey as I have mentioned already, I think the taste of it balanced it all out and I was very happy with it. (I am pretty sure Sam was also happy with her pear tart too!)

Overall, I thought that my first experience of Ask Italian was good. I would definitely go there again however order something different, not just the standard pizza. I would also ensure that I go in an empty stomach because I was full after three slices of that pizza. The place was also very clean, no doubt I can say that it was one of the cleanest places I have ever eaten. The staff cleaned up straight away, however we were in no rush to leave.

Laved it, another restaurant ticked off my list of places to try!

Shafia