Month: April 2014

Lemon Drizzle Traybake

Since my Jammy Coconut Traybake was a massive hit, I decided to bake another family favourite this weekend. This delicious recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible (which I highly recommend you buy) makes a whopping 30 slices so is perfect to bring into work or uni to share with your friends!

Lemon Drizzle Traybake

Lemon Drizzle Traybake

To make this zesty treat you will need:

  • 225g softened butter
  • 225g caster-sugar
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • finely grated rind of 2 lemons

For the crunchy topping:

  • 175g granulated sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons

The method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a 30 x 23 cm tin, then line with baking parchment.
  • Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat until well blended. Turn the mixture into the tin and level the top with the back of a spatula.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes then leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes. Turn out the cake and peel off the parchment paper to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • To make the crunchy topping, mix the granulated sugar and the lemon juice in a small bowl to give a runny consistency. Spoon the mixture evenly over the traybake while it is still a little warm.

Serve and enjoy!

A Guide to the Perfect Cover Letter

The pressure to start looking for placements getting to you? No need to worry, I’ve put together the ultimate guide for the perfect cover letter! Things will have never been easier for you to get the placement of your dreams.

Writing a Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter has never been easier

Know the company
It sounds silly but this is really important! Make sure you know the ins and outs of the company you are applying to – a little bit of research can go a long way. Find out what the company is all about and more importantly, what the company will gain from taking you on. Pay attention to the skills required in the job description and write the cover letter according to that position in particular. Why would you make the perfect candidate?

Make a good first impression
Make that extra effort to find out who will be reading your letter. As easy as it is to write ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ this can look a little lazy. Ring the company and find out who is in charge of recruitment and direct the letter to them. Not only is this polite, it shows you are keen and proactive! It’s a win/win situation.

Don’t waffle
Don’t write your life story in your cover letter, get straight to the point! I would say about three or four paragraphs is enough. Tell them why they will benefit from employing you, and if you are applying for a magazine, why not give them a few ideas of articles they could feature in the magazine. This will show that you really know your stuff and that you are passionate.

Check for spelling mistakes… and check again
Don’t rely on spell check to correct all your spelling mistakes. Get your friends and family to read it through so that it is perfect! There would be nothing worse than a typo in the first line… you want to make a good first impression so this is really crucial.

These tips helped me get the placement of my dreams at heat magazine, you can read all about it here.

I hope this helps, good luck!

Jammy Coconut Traybake

First of all, Happy Easter to all my lovely followers!

As expected, it’s pouring down with rain here in Surrey so the idea of a nice Easter walk was definitely off the cards today. But there’s nothing I enjoy more than baking a cake when it’s raining outside, so I decided to make this jammy coconut cake I found on Jamie Oliver’s website. The cake can be eaten warm with custard as a pudding or cold with a nice cup of tea and I can assure you it will be a hit with all your friends and family.

Delicious Jammy Coconut Traybake

Delicious Jammy Coconut Traybake

To make the cake, you will need:

  • 225 g Butter (unsalted)
  • 225 g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs (large)
  • 225 g Self-raising flour
  • ½ a level teaspoon baking powder
  • A splash of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 75 g Desiccated coconut

I used half a jar of jam for the top of the cake, but if you want to make your own jam you will need:

  • 250 g Blackberries
  • 125 g Caster sugar
  • ½ a Lemon

The method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a 30 x 20cm cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Add a splash of milk and a level teaspoon of vanilla extract then pour into the lined tin and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes (until it is golden brown). 
  3. If you are making your own jam, you can do this while the cake is cooking. Mash the blackberries and sugar together in a small pan, using a fork or a potato masher, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and bring everything to the boil. Turn down to a medium heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lovely and thick. Skim away any foam that rises as the jam cooks, then take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  4. When the cake has cooked, remove it from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for about 5/10 minutes then turn out onto a board.
  5. Pour the jam all over the sponge and use a palette knife to move it all around the sponge and the sides. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut and serve.
Perfect with a nice cup of tea

Perfect with a nice cup of tea

 

Sit back and enjoy! 

 

Behind The Scenes at Heat Towers

I was on my way to heat towers in the heart of London for two weeks work experience with Leicester Square and Convent Garden on its doorstep. As you can imagine, I was extremely nervous as I stepped on the tube surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the London rush hour, but this nervousness soon disappeared when I arrived and was greeted by the most welcoming fashion team.

Heat magazine

 

Junior Style Writer, Hannah Brimson was my supervisor for the week and sat at the desk next to mine with her friendly attitude making me feel part of the  team. I was shown around the office and told what I would be up to for the next two weeks and it didn’t include making the tea and coffee (hooray). My first task involved sending back clothes to PR companies after a shoot with Ferne McCann from TOWIE – to do this, I used a site called Fashion Monitor to look up contacts and ensure that all items were sent back to the right places.

Throughout the two weeks, my other duties consisted of researching current fashion trends using celebrity pap photos for inspiration, calling PR companies to request items for shoots (it was pretty cool answering the phone with ‘hello heat…’) and I even got to write some ‘who wore it better’ stories for heatworld.com which you can view here.

 

I even got my own pass

I even got my own pass

The Brit Awards were held during my work experience and a group of the heat team were invited to report on the red carpet and even got to attend the after parties! The next day I couldn’t believe how lucky they had been as they casually dropped in conversation that they were chatting to the likes of Kylie Minogue and Harry Styles to name a few. At that point I knew this was definitely the job for me!

When the two weeks were up I couldn’t believe how quickly it had gone – I really didn’t want to leave. It has made me realise how much I want to work for a company like heat as there genuinely wasn’t a task that I didn’t enjoy doing! They even gave me a goody bag full of lots of lovely hair and beauty products to say thank you which was completely unexpected as the work experience was a treat in itself!

Look at my lovely goody bag!

Look at my lovely goody bag!

I now hope to further my knowledge and skills I learnt from heat and gain more work experience in the media. If you have any questions about my time at heat I’d be happy to answer them and would also love to hear about any of your experiences!