28 November 2012

Shoe crush: Sophia Webster

I got an email a wee while ago from Net-a-Porter (I think it's important to dream) with this shoe on it:


Safe to say my eye was well and truly caught. It looks a bit like something a kid might make as part of a school project (and I should know cause at my work we have a school design project every year) but in a really good way! They're the work of designer Sophia Webster, a former assistant of shoe design king Nicholas Kirkwood. I can definitely see the odd hint of a Kirkwood aesthetic in some of her styles - the across the foot detailing and the slightly disjointed platforms - but, that aside, these are some of the most exciting shoes I've seen in ages!
That first email was a bit of a 'coming soon' job. Today I got the news that the collection had landed! I actually checked out Yayoi, the beaded bad boy, and Lana, with her perspex encased sequins, in Harvey Nichols last week. Sometimes I go in there just to have a right good perv over the expensive shoes. I'll have a wee look and a touch and, if they're super soft, I might even smell them too. What?! Don't even try telling me that's not normal. Anyway, regardless of what you make of my habits, the shoes were complete visual treats in real life too.
If I was given the opportunity to have a pair of her shoes (and I fear I may be waiting a while), I think I'd go for Yayoi - which was inspired by artist Yayoi Kusama's graphic dot paintings (see Louis Vuitton's recent collab too) - just for the childish joyousness of them. Otherwise, I reckon I'd go Karlie. The shape's dead practical (classic peep court) but the rest is anything but. I love the combo of the ice cream zig-zag upper with monochrome striped sole and colour block neon pop heel. They're just awesome. I love them. Can I have both?

Riko, for me, is defintiely the most Kirkwood of the lot. The cage effect upper with slim heel and tie details screams it but she's definitely added her own twist. I know we're not all likely to be rushing out to buy designer shoes but, if I'm gonna do it, ideally I want something that's really unique and exciting. And Sophoa Webster shoes sure as hell are that!

They're all on Net-a-Porter now.

18 November 2012

I baked again. It's a goodie.

I baked again. If you like the mystery of not knowing whether your goods will in fact ever bake and you enjoy poking at a goopy oven confection for hours, you're gonna love this. And more's the better if, once you finally give up on cooking, if you like continuing to poke at said goods, wondering if they'll ever be solid enough to cut up and if they'll taste any good. *SPOILER ALERT*!!!! The goods in this story do end up tasting not bad at all...

It all starts here:

Flour with mixed spices and a pinch of salt / lemon curd / sugar / eggs / white chocolate / meringue
I should probably have said - I was making lemon meringue blondies (I'm told white brownies are called blondies. I like to think of them as the MJ of the brownie world). There wasn't a recipe. It was just guess work. Hence the didn't-want-to-bake gloop.

Melt white chocolate / Stir in lemon curd / Stir in sugar
I used lemon curd in lieu of butter. What can I say? I'm an experimenter. I don't think it worked as such. Maybe if I used the lemon cheese (even the name of that gives me the boak) next time, it might work better. It just sounds more buttery and I don't think my lemon curd was buttery enough.

White wine. Nice New Zealand Sauv Blanc.
So, I'm guessing you're wondering: "where does white wine fit in?". Well, remember how I said that the lemon curd wasn't buttery enough. Well, it meant that the mixture was a wee bit lacking in lubrication. So, I decided to lubricate myself with a nice big cold glass of wine! WWKFD*? As if I'd waste good wine in baking! Who do you think I am?

Beat in the eggs /Add some vanilla essence. 
And the mixture is mooshy again. Lubed. Phew!

Pour half the mixture on a greased, lines pan / add broken up meringue
Yay! Hands up who LOVES it when the shit they're baking looks like a pan of SICK. Fill up the rest of the pan with the remaining mix. Watch as all the meringue floats to the top. You can almost hear the tiny pieces laughing out loud as if to say "We're not going to be restrained under this gloopy crap, bitch!". Bake for about a week** at about 170c. Poke occasionally. Poke it cause you need to keep drowning the damn meringue so it doesn't burn. Jaysus!

It looks totally fucking edible! Even under clingfilm.
So, there it is. This is mainly the edges of the, er, dish. The middle was still so squishy that I had to just stick it in a tub in the fridge. I came back to it later once it had gone hard and sticky and ate it with a fork. I'm a class act. Plus, how Cath Kidston is my dish? That's right, I can be a domestic goddess when it comes to presentation. Fnar.

*What Would Keith Floyd Do?
**obviously this is a wild exaggeration and if you bake for a week and burn your house down I shall a) not be held responsible and b) not worry about being held responsible as you'd clearly be far too stupid to do anything about pursuing me anyway.