Make Your Own | Christmas Cake

It’s no secret that everyone at Cox & Cox HQ absolutely loves Christmas, and now that it’s October we think we can get away with talking about it.

What better way to start than with the Christmas Cake; now is the time to start preparing if you want to make the nicest cake, and we’ve found the best* recipe.

Christmas Cake Decoration Set X-CAKETOP

What you need:

> 300g each of raisins and sultanas
> 100g each of dried apricots and dried figs, both chopped
> 150g sweet marsala wine
> 1 small orange, finely grated zest
> 125g unsalted butter
> 200g light brown soft sugar
> 2 large eggs, beaten
> 200g self-raising flour
> 75g runny honey
> 2 tsp mixed spice
> 1/4 tsp ground cloves
> 200g walnuts, roughly chopped

What to do:

> Add all fruit into a large bowl and stir in marsala wine and orange zest- cover with clingfilm and soak overnight
> Preheat oven to 150 degrees/ gas mark 2, grease a 8 inch round cake tin and double layer with parchment paper
> Beat together sugar and butter until fluffy before gradually beating in eggs until smooth
> Sift flour and spices over mixture and slowly fold, then add nuts and soaked fruit (including remaining liquid) and mix until smooth
> Smooth into tin and bake for 2hr 30mins – 2hr 45mins or until skewer in centre comes out clear
> Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes before taking out and cooling on wire rack, but still in parchment
> Wrap clingfilm around parchment and cake, followed by foil and store in a cool, dark place ready for feeding

Year: 2009 Month: 11 Page: 202

Don’t Forget > to soak in brandy every two weeks until Christmas!

Behind The Scenes | Ballerina Print Duvet Set

Ever wonder how our best-selling kid’s duvet sets are made? Our clever suppliers get creative with the designs, that are always inspired by real costumes, before transforming them into wonderful duvets for us all to enjoy. Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes at the process…

1_Dutch_National_Ballet_costume_dept 2_Ballerina_NancyBurer_posinsadasdg

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stunning tutu has been kindly lent to us by the costume workshop of The National Ballet and modeled by dutch ballet dancer Nancy Burer.

SONY DSC5_Legs_too_pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once they’ve got the perfect shot, its printed straight onto cotton to assess the colour and quality of the print.
4_shoes_more_ballet_pink_please6_First_production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all the colour changes have been made, production is then started on high-quality 100% cotton before being packaged and sent to Cox & Cox HQ!

Like what you see? Inspired by a real ballerina in an authentic tutu, we think this printed duvet set is the perfect Christmas present for any little dancer…

Ballerina Print Duvet C-BALLEDUV alt

Cox & Cox Bakes | Tiramisu Cupcakes

We were so inspired by the Great British Bake Off and all your tasty baking suggestions, we’ve decided to re-create our Twitter competition winner’s fabulous Tiramisu Cupcakes!

Bake-off

What you need:

80g Unsalted Butter
300g Caster Sugar
240g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Large Eggs
240ml Whole Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
250ml Strong Coffee
125ml Kahlua
400g Mascarpone
300ml Double Cream
Dusting of Coco Powder

What to Do:
> Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees and line muffin tin with cases
> Beat together all the butter, flour and 280g caster sugar into breadcrumbs before adding the baking powder
> Mix eggs, milk and vanilla essence before slowly pouring and mixing into flour mix until all is mixed into a smooth paste
>  Pour into muffin cases and bake in oven for 18-20 minutes, until risen and springy

> Pour coffee and 75ml Kahlua into saucepan with remaining sugar and bring to the boil until liquid is reduced by half
> Once cupcakes and liquid has cooled, cut a 2cm diameter piece out of each cupcake and add 1 tsp of liquid into each cake and another 1 tsp onto the cake piece

> Make the mascarpone frosting by beating the remaining Kahula and mascarpone together until smooth, folding the cream and icing sugar together in a separate bowl before mixing it all together until even and smooth

> Add the frosting to the space in each cupcake and then re-add the missing piece before layering with remaining frosting and sprinkling with coco powder

> Enjoy!

unnamed (6)Recipe from Red
Top image found on Pinterest
Bottom image and inspiration courtesy of Vanessa Cox

 

Cox & Cox October Musts

Must Eat

893d1014bd69afa186cf0e577475d889

 

The days & nights are getting colder and it’s time to trade in salads for soup. We’ve found the ideal comfort soup that’s perfect with Halloween around the corner; Spicy Pumpkin Soup. Easy to make, we love Gourmet Traveller’s recipe. And for those who like a challenge, why not try this tasty Pumpkin Pie recipe.

Must Read

e0898352055b6ea2150563b403c5a2ddOctobers must read is also a must watch; Gone Girl. A brilliant modern day mystery/thriller that is impossible to put down, easy to read and now a top-rated film staring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. We can’t wait to watch the film this weekend, but rumor has it there is a different ending, so we definitely recommend picking up the book first… available here.

Must Watche258f5e7cc018042b7b47c4b7be45685

Downton Abbey. If you haven’t heard about just how good Downton Abbey is then you must be living under a rock. Now in it’s fifth season, with stars like George Clooney rumored to be making a guest appearance we will definitely be tuning in; Sunday, 9pm, ITV.

Must Make

Christmas Cake Decoration Set X-CAKETOP

 

It’s no secret that Christmas is our favourite time of year, and October marks the start of the preparation for the big day! Over the weekend we will be starting the preparation for our Christmas Cake to give it enough time to mature, so make sure you check our blog again soon for our step-by-step easy to follow guide.

Autumn Outdoors

It’s the beginning of September which means the nights are getting longer and the air is getting cooler; it’s time to embrace Autumn. A great time to be in the garden, we have everything you need to make the most of the outdoors in September.

Five Drawer Apple Rack G-RACK

Fruit and vegetables are ready to be eaten; apples and pears are falling from the trees and blackberries can be found almost everywhere. Use our handy Five Drawer Apple Rack to store any fallen fruit and stop it from rotting, and make a gorgeous Apple and Blackberry Crumble using this handy recipe.

1e8b83dc6bd875f11eb24971e9fa6b75

With sunshine on the cards for the weekend, we are making the most of the September sun and entertaining outdoors. Take a look at our fabulous outdoor lighting collection, including our new Battery Powered Lacy Lampshades, ideal for when you are entertaining outdoors as the evenings get darker. Our Braziers are the perfect centerpiece for any outdoor gathering, adding warmth and light to any occasion.

Rusty Brazier G-RUSTBRAZ

Head to our Pinterest Page to see what has been inspiring our Autumn outdoors, and visit our website for everything you need, whether you are entertaining, decorating or planting outdoors for Autumn.

Wooden Boot Cleaner H-WOODBOOTLace_Outdoor_LightRusty Deer X-RUSTDEER (2)

This Week at Cox & Cox

With less than one week until the launch of our first Autumn catalogue, make sure you have ordered your own copy here.

20140818_142218_20140818142636134

We know it’s early but we’ve also added a sneak-peek Christmas category where you can be the first to buy our best-selling Glass Christmas Tree Jars and all of our festive favourites ready for December.

Glass Christmas Tree Jar X-LRGTREE alt 3 (2)

Our brand-new and exclusive Florrie Velvet bedroom collection has also now arrived! Inspired by a flea-market find, we have developed our own patterned velvet that exudes vintage style. Perfect to snuggle under as the nights get cooler, we’ve created two stylish new quilts in a soft sage or bold plum colour, as well as updating our favourite soft velvet beauty bags.

B-FLBAGS_006 1


Florrie-Velvet-Kingsize-Quilt-Plum-B-FLQUILTPLMFlorrie Velvet Kingsize Quilt- Sage Grey B-FLQUILTSGMake sure you keep an eye on our website as we have a lot of new and exciting products arriving over the next few weeks, from new additions to our Outdoor Rust Collection to our fabulous Autumnal Rugs, we have hand selected products that transform your home as Summer ends and Autumn begins.

This Week at Cox & Cox HQ

With less than a month to go until the launch of our new Autumn catalogue we have been extremely busy getting everything ready for you. Take a sneak peek at the front page of our first Autumn catalogue below and request your very own here.

Request your catalogue now!

We have been welcoming back a warm glow to our kitchen and dining spaces with our collection of soft white & copper leaf accessories and burnished copper chairs, all now back in stock. Click here to take a look and shop the collection now!

White & Copper collection now back in stock!

This week we also expanded our collection of Mirrors. Whether simple, french style, or big and bold, we have something for everyone and included all of our old favourites just for you. Click the image of our new Tunis Wooden Mirror to take a look >

New mirrors now online!

We are also excited to announce that we have reached 33,000 likes on Facebook this week! Facebook is the best place to go to be the first to hear about Cox & Cox so don’t forget to like us and keep up to date!

33,000 Likes on Facebook!

Keep your eyes on our website, Facebook page and sign up to our emails to be the first to hear about our new and exclusive collection launching soon, as well as our new Autumn products as they arrive.

 

Joanna Thornhill

A firm favourite with everyone at Cox & Cox HQ, we love Joanna Thornhill’s brilliant new book ‘Home For Now‘. Released earlier this year, freelance stylist and writer Joanna has put together a collection of inspirational images, information and advice on how to make your rented space or first home beautiful.

Front Cover Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books

Having worked on photo shoots and features for magazines such as House Beautiful, Country Homes & Interior and companies such as Sainsbury’s, Joanna demonstrates clever, practical and reversible decorating and styling ideas that allow you to transform the look of your home with just a few key pieces and tips. Items such as Wicker Cone ChairRecycled Vases, Cushion Covers and Mirrors are just a few pieces that can add instant style and personality to your space.

Plant-filled living room portrait, as seen in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill Flowers in bottles as seen in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

 

 

 

 

 

 

20140806_090911 (1)

 

 

We sat down with Joanna earlier this month to find out a little bit about what she loves;

What do you love most about Cox & Cox?

I look at interiors websites far more than the average person – mainly down to my job, as I’m constantly looking for products and trend ideas to feature in photoshoots and features, but also as it’s my passion! I really appreciate sites who put in the effort to create a strong identity for themselves and offer a whole lifestyle package, rather than just a collection of ‘stuff’. With Cox & Cox, I know I’m going to see stunning, original product photography, as well as products to back them up.

What was the last book you read? 

I’ve been so preoccupied with work of late that the last time I sat down to read a whole novel was when I was on holiday to Crete. We stayed in a beautiful resort in Plaka, opposite the tiny uninhabited island of Spinalonga. So I couldn’t not read Victoria Hislop’s historical novel, The Island, which is based there. Being able to actually take a boat to the island having just finished reading it was pretty special.

What one item can you not live without?

I’d love to say something more interesting than my iPhone but really, it’s the one thing I’d be lost without. I’m very much a digital rather than paper person and prefer to either send emails to myself, bookmark web pages or use an online to-do list to manage my workload and life in general, plus my calendar, contacts and work folders are all ‘up in the cloud’. The iPhone gives me the freedom to access everything I need when I’m out and about, as well as keep my social media networks updated on the go.

What is your favourite Cox & Cox product and why?

There are too many beautiful things on the website to choose, but one Cox & Cox piece I have in my own home (well, outside it in the garden, actually) is the Rattan Planter. They are so simple and make such a difference to the look of the garden. My outdoor space is completely concrete so we’ve hidden it with fake grass and gravel borders, but this means all our plants have to grow in pots rather than the ground. I think plastic planters just look really scruffy but they’re the best way for us to grow anything, so the rattan planter mean I can stylishly disguise it. Hurrah!

What is your favourite place?

There’s still so many on the Bucket List, but I think a recent trip to India for a friend’s wedding will always rank way up there. After the wedding, in the north of India, my partner and I went down to Kerala for several days. I can still clearly picture all the vibrant colours and patterns that were on every building and surface. I’m not exactly a minimalist so for me, it was visual heaven!

What would your last breakfast on earth be? 

It’d have to be a really good Full English, with all the trimmings, and a soft yolk.

What makes you happiest?

I’m very lucky that my job is also one of my main passions in life, but it does mean that sometimes it’s hard to switch off, especially when things are busy. So I really appreciate time out with my boyfriend outside of London altogether, even if it’s just a daytrip, to help get out of that work mindset and just switch off, far enough removed from home to prevent me nipping back to catch up on any deadlines! Particularly if it’s by the sea – having always lived inland, that first glimpse of it on any trip still feels me with that childhood excitement. Fish and chips on the beach is possibly my favourite thing ever.

What are your plans for 2014?

I’m hoping to build on the momentum of launching my book, Home for Now, and seeing what other doors that might open for me, as well as various styling jobs I have in the pipeline along with my regular pages for several titles and websites. And at home, I’m desperate to make headway with my house renovations – we bought our first place just over two years ago and have been painstakingly stripping it back and restoring it to its former glory, all on a shoestring budget. We’re midway through finishing the bedroom and study, which have pretty much just been cosmetic, but I’m hoping once that’s sorted we can do the biggie – a total refit of the kitchen and dining room. And I think once all that’s done, a holiday might be in order!

Who or What is your biggest inspiration?

I think when you’re a visual person, inspiration is all around you – as cheesy as it might sound, but anything from a beautiful sunset to a charmingly derelict old building can spark off ideas for colour or decorating schemes. Although design shows and magazines can really help get the creative juices flowing, sometimes the best inspiration comes when you’re not even really looking for it.

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

I sort of always wanted to do what I’m doing now really, I just never knew it existed! I’ve always loved writing, art and design, but was never quite sure what the best outlet for that would be. I wanted to be a fashion designer for a long time and studied Fashion Design at university, before realising it wasn’t quite right for me and switching to a degree in Fashion Promotion, but was always interested in interiors and eventually decided that should be my vocation rather than just an interest. I think blogs and social media have really opened up the industry and people are far more familiar with what interior stylists do nowadays, but back when I was first starting out, for an outsider like me it almost felt like stepping into a secret world – I’m glad I eventually found my way into it though!

Joanna Thornhill Profile Square Architecture

Joanna’s book is available to buy here.

Back in Stock | White & Copper

Our stunning collection of White & Copper pieces for your kitchen/dining space are back in stock!

From little tea light holders to add a copper accent to your home, to stand out furniture that transforms a room, the collection is available to buy now > http://ow.ly/zQfeC

H-COPPER-AND-WHITE-STORY

H-COPBOWL

White & Copper Bowl

 

H-COPSHADE

White & Copper Lightshade

H-3COPTEAWHT

White & Copper Tea Light Holders

K-2CHAIRCOP_011

Two Copper Cafe Chairs