Saturday, 10 May 2014

10 Bits of Advice to Think About During Revison

I'm smack right in the middle of revising for my final ever exams and it sucks. 
I (hopefully), will never have to take an nail biting, sleep depriving and nerve racking exam again. Or at least I don't plan too after these final university exams! I was doodling on my revision book I was studying extremely hard, when I got to a point when I thought: 

"Sod it. I can't take in anymore rubbish about critiquing a 'Blue Ocean Strategy'. 

That's where the inspiration for this post popped up. Revision sucks. We all know it. It bloody well sucks! It can cause the most calmest to freak out, but sadly, it has to be done. In fact this post is dedicated to all those people who are revising and studying hard (or at least pretending to) with my own tips to getting through this stupidly hard and annoying time. 

1. Don't waste your time with revision timetables. You'll waste time making them and you'll feel bad for not following it. Don't waste precious study time on what you should be studying on Monday between 11am-1pm. Just get studying!

2. Eat and stay hydrated! I can't tell you how many times I've been in the 'study zone' and haven't had a drink for about 4 hours. DONT LET THIS HAPPEN! You need to eat. You need to drink. Your brain can't work if its not fuelled. So fuel it when needed.

3. Distractions will find you. Oh I've got to clean my room before I can start revision... I can't work without my highlighters being a straight line. We all have an excuse not to revise but try to push past it.

4. Worrying will not get you anywhere. It won't get you high marks, so try and stay calm and focused. 

5. Have a support network. If you've got friends who are willing to do a study session or revise together then use this opportunity. Your weaknesses in a subject might be a friends strength and visa versa. 

6. Give yourself a break. If your brain has stop taking information in then you are allowed a break. Might I suggest baking these amazing Salted Caramel Brownies for ideal snack during revision?

7. Set a stop time. Whether its after you've finished a topic or at a certain time make an agreement with yourself to stop. 

8. Make a check-list for exam day and pack the night before. So that you don't forget anything- That means your stationary, student I.D etc. With details where you need to be on the day and at the right time. Nothing worse then turning up on the wrong day. This will also put your mind at rest the night before.  

9. Don't bother comparing with others. You can only do the best you can do. When you start comparing with friends and classmates, it will add to the pressure of the exam and who needs that when your trying to figure out the difference between Discourse Lens and Experience Lens in that first exam you've got?

10. Aim for that goal. Having something to look forward to after the exam period is done and over-with. Whether it's a holiday or a meal with friends. 

I hope that this has helped dealing with exams. If this hasn't helped then just think in a month this will all be over and done with!
and remember:

Good luck to everyone doing exams! (including myself yikes!)
Bake On! Penny x

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Dangerously Addictive Salted Caramel Brownies

Now watch your waistline. These brownies are addictive. I mean these are totally worth the extra effort and make a great snack when you're studying. 
I just about got a piece, before my boyfriend ate about 3/4's of the whole brownie on his own! I nearly lost a finger. Yes these brownies are dangerously addictive. Eat at own risk. 

Seriously though, these brownies are easy to make and earn you, dare I say it?, extra brownie points! The brownies I did wrestle out of Robs greedy salted caramel fingers were brought into work and people had an "Ahh this is good" moment. 

Also with a little cream these brownies make an excellent dessert. So take a break from revision, just like I did and bake these worth it squares of salted caramel heaven.

Recipe: Salted Caramel Brownie (Adapted from The Little Book of Lunch
For the Brownie Mix:
·       350g dark chocolate (I used leftover Easter Eggs so any chocolate will do!) 
·       200g unsalted butter, softened (plus a little extra for greasing)
·       450g golden caster sugar
·       4 eggs
·       100g plain flour, sifted

For the Salted Caramel:
·       75g unsalted butter
·       50g soft light brown sugar
·       50g caster sugar
·       50g golden syrup
·       125ml double cream
·       1 tsp Maldon sea salt

·       23cm square cake tin, greased and line with greaseproof paper
·       Electric mixer/hand-held electric whisk
·       Sieve
·       Heatproof Bowl
·       Saucepan x 2
·       Bowl
·       Knife
·       Tablespoon
·       Teaspoon

1.    Pre heat the oven to 170c/325c/ Gas mark 3. Grease and line the tin.
2.    In a heatproof bowl placed over a very small amount of boiling water in a saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter.
3.    While the chocolate is melting, make the salted caramel. To do this you need to put the butter, sugars and golden syrup in another saucepan and place on a low heat until it melts. Leave to bubble gently for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and stir in the cream, then return to the heat and cook for another 3 minutes. Take off the heat again and add the sea salt. Taste, but make sure it’s cool first, and add more salt if needed. Leave to one side. Caramel done.
4.    For the brownie, in a bowl beat the eggs and sugar until creamy and shiny. Gently mix in the melted chocolate and butter mixture and fold in the sifted flour.
5.    Drizzle 1/3 of the caramel mix into the brownie batter, mixing roughly so its not completely combined.  
6.    Spoon ½ of your remaining caramel into the cake tin then pour over the brownie mix. Top with the last of the caramel and smooth with a knife.
7.     Bake for 50 minutes until shiny and crispy on top. To make sure the brownies are cooked, stick a sharp knife in. If it comes out clean-ish then it’s ready. Leave to cool.
Rob ate more than 3/4 of the whole thing!

8.    Cut into small (but indulgent) squares. If your transporting in a cake tin line with greaseproof to prevent the squares from sticking. 

Put your feet up and relax with a cup of tea and a warm salted caramel brownie. Ahhh....

(P.S Don't forget to fill out the bigger, better blog survey before the end of the month here)
Bake On! Penny x
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