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Hey guys, so if you feel like you've plateaued with your workout recently and it just isn't as fun and fulfilling as you'd like it to be, then here's a fun and quirky little workout idea for you to try from the comfort of your own home. You don't need any special equipment for this, just yourself and some space to move around. So spell out your name, have fun, and get moving!


However, there are a few rules to this game...


1. You must use your full name - no cheating by just doing Sam instead of Samantha
2. You may only have a 10 second break between each workout

If your name is 2 charaters or less : repeat 10 times
If your name is 3-5 characters long: repeat 4-5 times
If your name is 6-8 characters long: repeat 3 times
If your name is 9+ characters long: repeat twice

If you really want to make it a challenge, you could always try doing your first, middle and surname!


If you're looking for a cheap and easy cake to make then I probably wouldn't suggest this recipe! It takes approximately 2 days to make and about £30 of ingredients! But if you fancy a challenge and a delicious treat at the end, then by all means - pick up your whisk and purse and get baking!



Ingredients:
Sponge cake layer (18 cm ring)
2 eggs
125g of unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
125g plain white flour 
1/2 tbsp. baking powder 
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Mango jelly layer (18 cm ring)
300g mango puree (3 mangoes makes approx 600g) 
50g of sugar
10g of gelatine
4 tbsp. of cold water 

Passion Fruit Mousse
200g strained passion fruit (approx 20 passion fruit)
120g caster sugar
3 sheets leaf gelatine
4 tbsp. water
2 egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
450ml (+250ml for mango mousse) double cream, lightly whipped
100g icing sugar

Mango Mousse layer
300g mango puree 
Juice of 2 limes 
250ml of the double cream mixture
3 leaves gelatine

Mirror Glaze
300g Granulated Sugar
200g Sweetened Condensed Milk
150 ml Water
19g Gelatine Powder
125 ml Water
350g White Chocolate Chips
Gel Food Colouring
(I actually ended up making 1.5x this recipe - full for orange, half for pink)

Method:

Step 1: Sponge cake
This can be done 1 day in advance. Line your 18cm baking pan with some greaseproof paper. In a bowl add your softened butter and sugar and mix for a few minutes. Next, add the eggs, whisk again, and then add the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix well and add yellow food colouring to get the colour you want (this step is optional!). Place your cake mixture into the prepared baking tin and cook for 20-25 min at 180 C / 350 F. Leave the cake to cool down completely and then cut in half and set aside.




Step 2: Mango jelly
To make the puree, peel and cut all your mangos and add to a pan with sugar. Cook on a low heat until the sugar dissolves then place everything into the blender and blend until smooth. Divide the mango puree evenly (300g each) into two bowls, one will be used for the jelly and the other for the mango mousse. Combine the gelatine and the water in a seperate bowl and mix well (if it begins to swell, put it in the microwave for a few second to get a pouring consistency). Then add the gelatine to your mango puree mixture that you set aside for the jelly and combine the two. Take a wooden board, and add cling film to the bottom of the 18cm baking ring, making sure that it’s very tight. Pour the mango jelly puree mixture into the ring. Transfer to the freezer to allow it to set completely. When it’s ready, run a hot knife around the inside of the ring and it should come out easily. 



Step 3: Passion fruit mousse
To begin, cut your passion fruit in half and strain the seeds and pulp using a sieve. Next, drop the gelatine leaves into a bowl of cold water. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes until they have softened. Heat the 200g of strained passion fruit pulp in a saucepan until hot but do not let it boil. Squeeze out the gelatine leaves to get rid of excess water and add to the pan. Stir briskly until thoroughly dissolved. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool. Next we have to make Italian meringue. Put the sugar and the 4 tablespoons of water into a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil to the soft ball stage (116°C on a sugar thermometer). While the sugar is boiling, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the lemon juice and continue to whisk to stiff peaks. Once the sugar syrup is at the soft ball stage, slowly pour it into the egg whites, whisking all the time. Continue to whisk until the meringue is glossy and stiff. Fold in the cooled passion fruit mixture. Whisk all 700 ml of your double cream or heavy cream in a bowl, add 100g of icing sugar and whisk until soft peaks. Divide the mixture into two bowls, adding 2/3 into one bowl for the passion fruit mousse and 1/3 for the mango mousse. Add the 2/3 of your whipped cream into the passion fruit mixture and mix it through.



Step 4: Mango mouse. 
Place the gelatine leaves into a bowl of cold water to soften. Heat the mango purée in a small pan. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine and add to the mango purée, stirring until dissolved. Add the lime juice and continue heating for another couple of minutes to firm up the puree and remove excess moisture. Allow the mango mixture to cool and then fold into the whipped cream mixture.


Step 5: Assembling the cake
Take a larger and deeper ring pan (20 cm), cling film it from the bottom and add parchment paper around the sides, so that the edges are smooth. If you don’t have it, you can use a cake straightener to make it smooth afterwards. Place the passion fruit mouse at the bottom (first layer). Next, add the first half of the sponge (pushing firmly down), then the mango mousse, followed by the mango jelly and more sponge cake. Finally add the rest of the mango mousse and smooth the surface of the cake making sure that it is flat and level. Place in the freezer overnight.



Step 6: Mirror glaze.
Add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and water to a medium sized saucepan and heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour the water into the powdered gelatine and mix with a spoon. Leave to swell for a few minutes. When the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and water begins to simmer remove from the heat and add the swelled gelatine. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Pour the hot liquid on top of the chocolate chips and leave to sit for 5 minutes to melt. Use a whisk to stir the glaze until the chocolate has completely melted (make sure that you don't get any air into the mixture). Add the gel food colouring and stir until well mixed. Leave the glaze to cool. 


Cake must be pre-frozen or frozen, otherwise the glaze won't be perfect. The glaze can be stored in a fridge for a long time. After coating, put the cake in the fridge (NOT the freezer)

To glaze the cake, place the frozen cake on an elevated surface that is in a pan to catch the excess. Smooth the edges of the cake with a knife and apply the glaze from the middle outwards making sure that the sides are fully covered. It is important that the glaze is not to hot or cold when pouring. To gauge the temperature feel the outsides of the pouring jug - if it feels as if it's about body temperature then it is ready.
Finish the cake by decorating it however you like! 

Be careful if you're eating the cake on a hot day outside - it might start to melt! 
If you want a more visual aid, then you can watch the video where I got the recipe from :) 







A man in your life has a Birthday coming up and you've got that very familiar feeling of dread. The last thing you want right now is to wander aimlessly and hopelessly through shops for days trying to decide what to get him despite his numerous dismissals whenever the topic is raised, "I don't want anything", "I don't need anything", "your company is enough". Well fear not because I'm here to help (and by that I mean I'll make a note of some gifts that I have bought people and hopefully it inspires you!) 

First things first, it's important to make a note of the persons hobbies and interests so that you have somewhere to start. I personally write down whenever someone mentions something that they want so that I have a long list of possible gift ideas whenever their Birthday/Christmas comes along. The list idea will also help you to get inspiration for other similar gifts that they may like .

Boys in particular are difficult to buy for - boyfriends, brothers, dads, uncles, friends, whoever it is, you're lucky if they are easy and tell you exactly what they would like (I'm not excusing girls because I know that we can be just as difficult, if not worse!). Knowing full well how difficult Tom is to buy for, I stupidly tasked myself with the challenge of buying 23 different presents for his 23rd Birthday - a nice gesture, I know, but my god was it difficult!! And yes, you have my full permission to use this idea, although it does get more difficult the older they get...

Below are a few gifts that I have previously bought the men in my life. Depending on your budget and the age of the person you're buying for, hopefully they can give you a bit of inspiration or a push in the right direction!
(Two websites that I personally love and draw a lot of inspiration from are Menkind and Aspinal of London. They range from novelty gifts to high quality and luxury items for your loved ones!)


Greater than £45 
Mini Fridge £72.99
Hugo Boss belt £55.00
Approx £20 or less
Socks £7.99
Scratch map £20.00
Scribble clock £11.99


DIY
Coupon book
Money box
Paint a picture
Photo in a frame
A box of all of his favourite sweets and goodies



INGREDIENTS

4 egg whites
Caster sugar (double the weight of the egg whites)
A pinch of salt
Vanilla extract
Colour paste (it's important that it's paste and not food colouring as food colouring doesn't give the right colour and makes the mixture too liquidy)
Mini marshmallows


METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius 

2. Clean all instruments with vinegar or lemon juice to get rid of any grease that may prevent you from making the perfect little meringues

3. Crack the eggs and place the egg whites in a bowl. It's important to do the eggs one by one over a separate bowl and then adding them to the main mixing bowl. This is in case any yolk gets into the mixture which will them make the 4 egg whites unusable.  


4. Weigh your egg whites and measure out double the weight in caster sugar in a separate bowl (for example, egg whites = 150g, then you will need 300g of caster sugar)

5. Using a mixed/hand held whisk, whisk the egg whites on a slow setting until tight air bubbles start to form - this will give the meringues a stronger structure. Once you reach this consistency, turn up your mixture to a higher speed and whisk until the egg whites are white and holding their peaks (you should be able to hold the bowl upside down over your head without anything falling out!) 


6. Slowly begin to add your caster sugar and salt to the mixture 1 tablespoon at a time whilst still mixing

7. Once all the sugar has been added, keep whisking for another 5 mins (to test if you mixture is ready, take a bit on your index finger and rub it between your finger and thumb. If the mixture feels gritty then it is not ready and needs more mixing as the sugar hasn't fully combined)

8. Next, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture and whisk again until fully combined


9. Place a sheet of grease proof paper on a baking tray and add a few rows of mini marshmallows 


10. Depending on how you want your meringues to look, there are two different piping techniques that I use. 

11. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 - 35 minutes or until they come away from the baking parchment with ease


PIPING TECHNIQUE ONE

1. Divide the mixture evenly between 3 separate bowls and add a different colour paste to each. 


2. Lay out a piece of clingfilm and spoon the different colour mixtures into 3 rows in the centre.


3. Roll up the clingfilm to make a sort of cylinder which can be placed in a piping bag


4. Pipe the mixture onto the marshmallows 


PIPING TECHNIQUE TWO

1. Get your different colour pastes and paint a straight lines down the sides of the piping bags (make sure that none of the sides touch each other and contaminate the other colours)


2. Carefully spoon the meringue mixture into the piping bag 


3. Before you start piping the meringue onto the marshmallows, be sure to squeeze the mixture out of the piping bag until the colours start appearing (the first part will be white)

4. Pipe the mixture onto the marshmallows

BEWARE - THIS METHOD COULD LEAVE YOUR MERINGUES LOOKING LIKE TOOTHPASTE!! (be careful what colours you choose!) 


Happy eating!