Biscuit butter AKA The Better Butter

Oh January is here, the snow is finally on its way this week and everyone is still wallowing in the shadows of Christmas past. Well my credit card certainly is, goodness me it’s so battered and bruised after December spending that when I went to use it to pay for a mere cappuccino, it actually let out a cry of despair. 

But fear not fellow internettees, just because it’s January, doesn’t mean we have to keep up this charade, I’m about to give you a gift. Not a Christmas gift but a gift in the wonderful form of a recipe that will blow those winter blues right out of your life.

I’m sure most of you are fed up of cooking for now, so what could be better than a no bake sweet treat? Perhaps maybe 4 or 5  no bake sweet treats, but anyway you get where I’m going with this. I’m going to make the most epic cookie butter known to man, and it uses up all that leftover shortbread your mum got given for Christmas. In my batch that I knocked up last night I used half shortbread and half lotus biscoff biscuits to create a rich, indulgent butter, with a few crunchy biscoff chunks thrown in for good measure. And this is the key  ingredient you can use to create fabulous  buttercream and cheesecakes, not to mention to garnish hundreds of other desserts. 

Oh and FYI, this biscuit butter recipe doesn’t have to be shortbread or biscoff, use whatever biscuits you fancy, although if they are sandwich biscuits, scrape out the creamy middle first.

The ingredient list below is just a guideline; add sweetness depending on your palate. If the consistency is too thin add more biscuit, too thick add a drop more evaporated milk. But my measurements made enough to fill one Kilner jar. 


  • 125g shortbread 
  • 125g biscoff
  • 100ml evaporated milk
  • 75g butter, melted
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 


  1. To make any biscuit butter you really need a food processor. So get that out and once it’s set up, throw in your biscuits and pulse them until they are a fine crumb.
  2. Then pour in the melted butter and evaporated milk and whazz it up for about a minute. If it’s too thin just add more crumbled biscuits, and if it’s too thick just add a small drop more of evaporated milk.
  3. Okay now taste it, if you don’t have a very sweet tooth this might be just the ticket. However in my case, I needed just a little touch of something else. So I added the sugar, salt and vanilla. My measurements are listed above however just adjust them to suit you.
  4. Now mix it all up again then spoon into a sterilised jar or container.
  5. Now to consume this wonderful butter you can spread it on a toasted hot cross bun, garnish your ice cream or desserts with it, or mix it up with cream cheese and whipped cream to make a smashing cheesecake. 

Remember with a recipe like this that doesn’t need baking you can afford to wing it. Adjust the measurements to suit you and what you have available. The possibilities are endless! And fabulous. Don’t forget to post your pictures on Instagram and tag me @soph__austin 

    Boxing Day pampering… Very late Boxing Day pampering

    Happy New Year one and all, I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and consumed double your body weight in chocolate, liquor and Brussels sprouts of course. I detest sprouts with a passion yet my mum could eat a mound of the creatures and still be loving life. Except she puts vinegar on hers for some bizarre reason. 

    Anyway after that epic fun fest that is Christmas Day, I have no doubts that the vast majority of us that are above the age of 14 will now have an abundance of toiletry sets, with no idea what to use first. My one rule for December is DONT BUY TOILETRIES. Even if you only have a tiny bit of shower gel left, make it last because come Christmas, you’ll be swimming in shower gel. And body lotion. BODY LOTION. Who needs this amount of scented body lotion? I’ve mentioned before that I have better things to do with my time than to use lotion, so at Christmas I’m always displaying the bottles, tubes and tubs in a neat little display on my dresser (force of habit coming from the day job, constantly tidying my beauty products) and there they shall stay. Unless they are an expensive fancypants moisturiser in which case I will make a bloody good effort to use those just for the feeling of sheer luxury. 

    So all these toiletry and perfume sets and no idea what to use first. The only thing on every girls mind right now is PAMPER SESH. At this point on Christmas Day I had already made the executive decision to stay comfortably in my sparkly PJ’s and to crack open a bottle of sparkling wine instead of one of my new toiletry sets. So my pamper sesh had to wait until Boxing Day (yes I know I’m a slob) 

    So Boxing Day morning arrives, I wake not so bright eyed and bushy tailed with a SLIGHT hangover to attempt my planned pamper sesh. The slight hangover and my lack of care to remove my makeup from the night before made my reflection in the mirror first thing in the morning turn into something quite scarily resembling that of Edward Scissorhands. Or someone as equally unkempt. This must be fixed before the guests arrive. 

    So naturally my first task is to wash that hangover right out of my hair, and for this I use my new Josh Wood shampoo that I received half way through Blogmas from the M&S advent calendar, combined with the SWELL hair masque which is also from the advent calendar. I have always deemed hair masques unnecessary for me however this one is just sublime and I will be rebuying it when this one runs out. I also used my new soap and glory ‘Rich and FOAMOUS’ shower cream which has a beautifully subtle perfumed scent. But of course this is a pamper session so I really went to town and used my new ‘Breakfast Scrub’ too, also a soap and glory product. This smells like maple syrup, which made me want to eat it. But luckily I didn’t. 

    Okie dokie so now I’ve gone full on spa experience and wrapped my hair in a white hair towel, ready to do the facial routine. What I didn’t show in the picture is my Soap and glory ‘Peaches and Clean’ cleansing milk which is my saviour. No Joke. This cleanser is the most fantastic facial product I think I have ever used. You don’t need much because it goes a long way, but boy is it mighty. It removes any trace of makeup and is so gentle on your skin you wouldn’t realise how tough it is. I just massaged this onto my dry face then rinsed off with warm water. I’m now into toning my face which is still a bit of a novelty, but I’m only doing it because the PIXI glow tonic that I got from the advent is unlike any other toner I’ve tried before. I use a few drops on a clean cotton pad and massage it onto my now super duper clean face using upward motions to make sure I’m not stretching my skin. A toner isn’t essential after washing your face or showering however after exposing your face to all that steam your pores will have opened up. You may have cleaned them but with them being open, they will get very dirty again, very quickly. You can close up those squeaky clean pores with a toner, or just splash cold water on your face a few times, and that’ll do the trick. Next up after stripping your skin of all its’ natural oils, you need to put some moisture back in there; so I moisturised with my new Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream. 

    FYI darling readers, all full reviews of advent calendar products are available in my previous posts for Blogmas.

    Since we’re going all out on this pamper sesh I thought I’d get my body butter groove on; But not before putting my new Bieber Album on. If we’re going to be pampered we need good music and since I’ve recently become a belieber, I thought this was a good option. Anyway, back to moisturising, I went with the Soap and Glory Butter Yourself that my darling mother bought me. Like most soap and glory products it’s a subtly scented, very well made little concoction, and I love it. Being in a pump bottle makes my life a hell of a lot easier too since I don’t have to worry about screwing a lid on afterwards with butter on my fingers. However more importantly it prevents any germs getting in the rest of the butter. 

    Now I’m clean, moisturised and loving life with my new album playing and my fabulous sparkly pjs on (we may have guests arriving but there’s no way I’m not putting these new pjs on) it’s time to sort out my wild Barnet. 

    Ever heard of a salon chain called RUSH? Thought so. This salon also did a collab with M&S to launch their own range of hair styling products and I have tried them all. Since I love getting as much volume in my hair as possible, I think that the Root Lift Gel is the best thing for the job. Massaging a small amount into my damp hair is enough to blow dry my locks with incidence that it’ll look beautifully bouncy once I’m done. 

    Now all thats left is to have a spritz of my new fave scent, which is the Jack Wills Hope Cove mist. It’s lovely and light but you don’t need much of it which is always a bonus. 

    I am sorry this post was very late but I’ve been working on other fabulous recipes and beauty ideas that will be coming your way soon! 

    I love you all. (Kiss emoji) 

    The last day of Christmas gave to me…

    Firstly allow me to offer my most sincere apologies (well that’s pushing it, not sincere) that this post is over a week late but I’m sure like everyone else I deserved a little break. This last week and a bit of my busy life was spent at home being extremely merry with my crazy family, not to mention working in retail over the Christmas period which I’m sure most of you are aware is similar to being thrown to the lions in the arena. So 3 days off over the Christmas weekend was greatly welcomed by me and my huge bottle of Moscato d’Asti, which along with the baileys Yule log, made my Christmas Breakfast pretty sexy. Yet again, a big fat win for me.

    So bouncing back from my little Christmas break I have 5 wonderful new gifts from the M&S beauty advent calendar to share with you and since I’ve let them build up, I’ll keep the reviews short, sweet and to the point.

    The excitement that coursed through my veins had me jumping for pure joy when I opened the 20th purple window of the advent and saw a L’Occitane product. Which to the readers that aren’t beauty geeks, may seem a little sad, but let me tell you, receiving a 100ml bottle of wonderful L’Occitane verbena shower gel from a mere advent calendar is like pulling out gold dust. Anyway being L’Occitane you are guaranteed the sublime natural scents of essential oils such as Geranium, lemon tree, orange and (of course) verbena. These scents mingle together to make your bathroom smell like an oasis of tranquility when you shower. Not to mention the natural ingredients making this suitable to cleanse even sensitive skin. Oh and it’s a unisex product so hide it from the blokes, ladies.

    The 21st day presented me with the Glow Tonic by PIXI. And boy, is this a good one girls (well and boys, if boys are into glow tonics). I’m not usually a huge fan of toners since I already use micellar water to cleanse my face, I suppose I deem it unnecessary in my skincare routine. However after trying this little miracle product I have discovered that toners are more than a fancypants translucent water to clean your face and close your pores up with. I used this water for 3 consecutive evenings during my nighttime skincare regime. And each morning I woke up with a face that felt fresh and glowy with minimal redness. Which for a fair skinned young maiden like myself, any tonic to minimalist redness is a winner. With natural Aloe Vera extracts, combined with the alcohol free formula which is tested as hypoallergenic, it’s ideal to cleanse sensitive skin, and even dry, spot prone skin too. So for a toner disbeliever, I have been converted.

    Next up in the countdown to Christmas I was shown the wonders and magic of REN and their fabulous 1 Minute Facial! I am already a huge lover of this product since my manager recommended it to me and it’s one of those little things that really makes you feel all dewy and pampered. Let’s go back to basics and talk about what it will do for you when all is said and done. After doing my research I have discovered why it makes my skin feel so wonderful, and apparently it’s down to the water activated Vitamin C formulation. Okay, once you’ve applied the flash facial to your dry face, you need to wet your fingertips and massage again, and it’s this touch of H2O that brings the vitamin C to life and gives it the wake up call to get to work on my skin tone. Other ingredients that really make this a beautiful party happening on your face is the boswellic acid to smooth fine lines and the glycogen magnesium to give you that radiant glow. You have to leave this on for a minute after massaging with your wet fingertips to allow all these brilliant components to do their jobs. Then rinse off. According to REN, if this facial is rotated with the Glycolactic radiance renewal mask, it will give you a facial routine that means serious business! However they have specified it’s potent ingredients will probably not suit sensitive skin types  which is the only downside for me. Otherwise, a truly magnificent product!

    As the big day is starting to loom the gifts are seriously upping their game from this advent, since on this day I managed to get my hands on the Stila lip Glaze. And with lipsticks and makeup you’d imagine that in a beauty advent they would put in a product that the company want to try and get rid of, a shade that isn’t that popular that they want to try and showcase to get it a bit more attention. But I have been pleasantly surprised with this product since it’s a beautiful everyday dusky pink colour that suits nearly every skin tone. With pink you can either wear it as a simple chic day look with a nude eye and peachy cheeks, then really give it a vamped up vibe for the evening by smoking up the eye with a charcoal grey colour and a good highlight/contour combination going on to really structure the rest of the face. The people of this world that wear a colour on their lips are a demographic that’s divided by one simple factor. Lipstick or Gloss. As a glaze, it’s inbetween a lipstick and a gloss. You get the intense pigmented colour and lasting power of a lipstick, with all the wearable shine and fun of a lip gloss. So it pleases both parties, everyone wins. I certainly do.

    Ah my lovely readers that followed my Blogmas posts, this is it. The final little gift from the magic that is M&S. And they’ve really outdone themselves with this one. It is the highly anticipated Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Lacquer in the down right sexy shade of ‘From Paris with Love’. I’m a huge fan of deep red wine coloured nails so I did a little dance of joy when I discovered this little gem. Well what can I say; it’s a professional company that’s used worldwide, the colour is fantastically rich and on trend, and as you know from my previous posts, I am a sucker for a full sized product and this is a whopping 15ml. And for a nail varnish that is a pretty mighty size. Although I must stress do use a good base coat before applying this lacquer, since without it, your nail will get stained. And don’t forget a decent top coat afterwards too, to prevent the wear and tear of daily life getting to your beautiful nails.

    Now beautiful people I must say how much I have enjoyed starting my blog journey with Blogmas 2015. Thank you so much for reading my whacky reviews and recipes; I can promise you there are plenty more to come. I hope you all had a wonderfully Merry Christmas and I wish you all the best for this new year. Stand by for more fabulous beauty posts and lots of delicious recipes.

    Sophie x

    The Life Changer 

      Firstly yes that wonderful creature alongside me in the picture is my pug, her name is Nessa and she’s just epic. 

    Let me just say I’m sorry that I’m still yet to post the reviews for the last couple of advent calendar gifts; I still need to use and review the last exciting little product but this post can’t wait so bare with me peoples.

    You sure do know when it gets close to new year due to all the posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other form of social media you can think of claiming people have had the best year of their lives, they’re ready for 2016 to be ‘their year’ but the classic and most cliched status has to be ‘NEW YEAR, NEW ME’.

    And that’s okay, some others get themselves wound up about these posts but I don’t, I think it’s fantastic that so many people are grabbing the sparkling New year and using it as a reason to better themselves and be positive about what’s to come. And those who are sharing how wonderful their past year has been is awesome, because it’s good I know that it’s not all doom and gloom.

    Not everyone has had the most fantastic year, in my case I would class it as the biggest roller coaster of a year I’ve ever experienced. I wouldn’t say it’s my ‘Best’ year now I’ve thought about it, because that would mean the other years of my life haven’t been as great; When they have, but they’ve been great in different ways. 

    Half of this years’ occurrences have been so heartbreaking, However the other half have made me fly so high I didn’t know whether to start a flash mob to uptown funk or cry happy tears.

    My year started off with a newly single Sophie, reading a lot and just happily ambling along, then when reading one of my new books I had a sudden spark of inspiration – a light bulb moment- which is when I realised my passion. After my discovery, I got a new job doing something else I adore and so the dream of combining my two careers of beauty and baking began.

    This discovery lead me to follow all sorts of online communities and getting involved in lots of fantastic projects. The next thing I knew I was being picked up in a swanky new Mercedes at Fenchurch street station, being whisked off to have a meeting with the fantastic team of people behind the online SORTEDfood community. And that day with such down to earth guys gave me advice I will cherish and remember forever. 

    Since that day I have started this blog combining both the Beauty and Baking sides of my career which has had more interest in the past month than I could’ve anticipated and I have all you wonderful readers to thank for that. 

    My original dream that captured the attention of the guys at HSBC and SORTED was to run my own wedding favour baking business; and I have to say this dream is still very much alive but my blog is my focus for now, because writing these posts is so much fun and I’ve found another passion in writing.

    I felt like giving you a little more of an insight into my whirlwind year, and Also take this opportunity to wish all of you the happiest, healthiest and most wonderful New year you could ever dream of. Thank you for supporting me in my new venture and reading my scribbles. 

    All my love, Sophie X


    I know it’s a bit late for a Christmas dessert, but if you’re like me and have another roast dinner tomorrow and you’ve been a wally and forgotten the dessert, and the thought of even attempting to enter a shop on Boxing Day fills you with utter dread; or you’ve decided to be Nigella this year and make an epic centrepiece from scratch then look no further fellow chocolate lovers because I have just the ticket, it’s my most rich and decadent ULTIMATE Yuletide Log!! But with a twist (naturally I wouldn’t be boring)

    This Yule log is inspired by a recipe I’ve seen on Cupcake Jemma’s YouTube channel, which I’ve tweaked and pimped up to make it even more epic. Which should give all you lovely people a bit of luxury and decadence amongst all the increasing stress of Christmas.

    This fantastic Swiss roll sponge recipe will be great for your big Yule log, or alternatively you can follow my steps up to spreading the cream, then cut the sponge into equal oblong shapes and roll them into minis.

    The yield of this recipe makes one centrepiece Yule log or 8 minis.



    • 3 large free range eggs, separated
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 25g cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • Pinch of cloves


    • 100g unsalted butter
    • 160g icing sugar
    • 25g cocoa powder
    • 70g chocolate, melted
    • 1 tsp Christmas Cake Curd
    • Up to 75ml Baileys


    • 100g dark chocolate (the best quality you can afford)
    • 115ml double cream

    I have listed ingredients for ganache because the big Yule log is best with cream in the middle and buttercream on the outside in my opinion, however if you opt to make this recipe into the 8 minis, I’d use the buttercream recipe for the middle and ganache on the outside. But feel free to mix it up a bit and be creative (well as creative as you can be with a Yule log)


    1. Start by separating your eggs into whites in one bowl, yolks in another. Whip up the egg whites using a hand whisk until they have soft peaks. Then add 25g of the sugar and whip up again until they have stiff peaks. Now set this bowl aside.
    2. Now using your hand whisk again whip up your egg yolks and the remaining 50g of sugar for a few minutes until it’s doubled in volume and turned a buttery light yellow colour. Then sift in the cocoa and spices and fold them in gently until combined. This mixture will be very thick and sticky so bare with it, it will look more like a sponge mixture in a minute.
    3. Now in four stages fold in the egg whites to the yolk and cocoa mixture. The first spoonful can be folded a bit more vigorously just to loosen it up a bit. Then gently with the other additions to keep as much of that precious air in the mixture as possible.
    4. Prepare a Swiss roll tin or a shallow baking tin by greasing and lining with baking parchment and pour your mixture in. Use a cranked palette knife to guide it to the edges and level it out gently. Now bake it in the centre of your oven for 10-12 minutes, or when it’s just springy to the touch at 180c or gas mark 4.
    5. Once it’s baked turn it out onto a clean chopping board and cover it with a clean tea towel as it cools. After about 10 minutes of cooling you’ll need to roll the sponge up with the to make sure it won’t crack, but in the meantime you can whip up your cream.
    6. Whip the cream until it’s at soft peaks, go too far and you’ll have made your own butter. Then whisk in the baileys.
    7. Now unroll the sponge and spread the cream on gently, but not too thickly otherwise it won’t roll up tightly.
    8. Be careful with this bit and roll it up again, but obviously without the paper inside.
    9. Now if you’re making the buttercream whip up the butter until it’s paler in colour, then whisk in the sugar, melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a Bain Marie then mix that in with the cocoa powder, baileys and Christmas cake curd until it’s all smooth. Fill up a piping bag with a star nozzle in it with your buttercream and pipe onto your log until it looks sufficiently loggy. Don’t forget to pipe the spiral on both ends.
    10. Alternatively if you’re opting for ganache, heat the cream over a low heat until it’s nearly at a boil but don’t actually let it boil, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Leave it to stand for about a minute or two then stir it until it’s a glossy, smooth mixture. Give it 5 minutes to thicken then spoon onto your log and with a palette knife, spread it all out evenly, again not neglecting the ends. After about 5-10 minutes to let them set slightly, use a cocktail stick or a fork to make log effect wiggly lines down each log, and use a single cocktail stick to create a spiral on either end.
    11. Now make it snow on top with icing sugar in a sieve, and top each one with little fondant holly decs you can easily buy from most supermarkets, but I made mine with fondant I dyed green and red.
    12. Don’t give it to your guests, just eat it all yourself. I did.

    Oh and I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas, I must say with all this liquor, mine has been very merry indeed. And a very healthy (well after this it won’t be) and happy new year X

    Santa Baby… 

    4 more sleeps to go and I am still yet to wrap the vast majority of my presents. You know those people who can’t switch off from work, they take their work home with them… Well I’m going to be doing the opposite. I’m almost 100% positive that I will be taking the gifts I’m supposed to be giving to my family, to work with me on Christmas Eve so during my break I can wrap them all up. Goodness, being a grown up is HARD.

    Anyway fellow Internetees I have a corking couple of products to talk about today. The 18th window sprung open to reveal a fantastic little bar of joyous Crabtree and Evelyn La Source soap. I love La Source but mum loves it more so that’s going in her stocking (Christmas stocking, not leg stocking, Just to clarify. Mums not THAT odd.) 

    Then much to the excitement of me, the 19th purple window in the M&S beauty box gave to me a beautiful Autograph twist up lip shine in Nude. I have been rocking this everyday at work and absolutely love it!

    Okie dokie I have used products from the La source range of Crabtree and Evelyn before, and the scent is just sublime. It’s so fresh and delicate it just makes you want to run through a summer meadow in a white dress with some classical track playing in the background. No? Just me? Okay. Well, the formula of this soap has conditioning Shea butter in the mix which moisturises deep into the skin. The triple milling of this soap combined with the primrose and wheat germ oils, make it a brilliant aid to soothe dry skin, especially during these bitterly cold winter months. People tend to forget about the extra moisturising their skin needs during the winter so by starting with a simple soap to nourish and protect your face from further dryness, you’ve already got a head start ready for when you moisturise.

    Onto the autograph lip shine. This product was featured previously by Mary Greenwell in her ‘Get the Look’ campaign for M&S as the key lip colour on the flawless face look. Not as boring and beige as you’d imagine, this nude lip colour has a slight glitter running through it which just looks stunning. It really vamps up a nude lip rather than just having a really flat colour. I’m a huge fan of a nude lip, but I’m also a fan of lip balm; and seeing as this product combines the two, I was seriously loving life that I got this in the advent for free. Totally winning at life.

    When I use this lip shine I prefer to use a lip balm first, then line my lips with a nude liner, and colour my lips in with said liner, and finally finish it with the autograph lip shine. This is how you can get a bit creative with your makeup since there are so many different things you can do to create a new look, depending on how you like your makeup to come across.

    I’ve got a feeling the products still to come from the gorgeous purple advent calendar are set to be real joys. So sit tight lovelies, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

    Sweet, Swell, Seventeen.

    Happy day 17! And this morning my little M&S advent window sung the hallelujah chorus and opened to reveal the Swell Ultimate Volume Hair Masque!

    Swell. I’ve never heard of this brand. So if you’re after a real unbiased first impression review, congratulations! You have conquered the Internet and found one.

    So what is this product supposed to do? As any other hair mask, this should really be a ‘every so often’ product rather than a ‘every wash’ product because it is so concentrated, you just don’t need to use it more than that if your hair isn’t in such a bad way. I would probably suggest no more than once a fortnight, unless your hair is in a bad condition and you have been recommended otherwise. 

    The first thing I noticed when I read the label for this product was that it varies the instructions for use. Which is really handy since one size definitely does NOT fit all (yes other generic hair product brands, I’m talking to you). This is usually where people go wrong, they say a product doesn’t work for them, they spent a small fortune on a fancy product that was recommended to them, they use it according to the instructions and it literally makes no difference to the condition of their hair. Now, this is where I say, what is wrong with your hair? What are you trying to combat? If your hair is dry and you’re using a mask to deeply nourish your locks, use a bit more or the product to ensure all your hair gets some, leave it in a bit longer if the recommended time didn’t work for you. Use it a little more than ‘every so often’. You need to tailor it to YOU. 

    As you can see this mask tells you how long to leave the product in for, depending on hair length, if it’s coloured and if you have dry or normal hair. Because of this little feature, I’m already a fan. 

    Now down to the actual product. I find the scent really fresh and not artificial like some fruity scents which just make the product in question seem less likely to do the job. I put it on my hair for the specified amount of time for my hair type and let it work its magic. And seeing as I’ve only ever used a hair mask once before in my life and that was when I was training at college, I’m not too clued up on the expertise of how my hair should feel after using one. If the answer is ‘so soft your hair could literally be velvet’ then I think it’s worked. 

    My hair is in a pretty good condition at the worst of times but after using this mask it’s so silky soft I can’t stop running my fingers through it. The shine is really amplified and as I’ve said before I’m a sucker for a bit of volume, and volume is what I’ve got! Really really pleased with this product. My hair smells beautiful, it looks like I’ve just been to the salon and remortgaged my house to pay for the treatment. I would highly suggest giving it a go. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.