Monday, 28 April 2008

Nice cupcake, shame about the taste

I had that Monday morning feeling all day today so I left work ultra early with the idea of going to Shipp's Tearooms in Borough for a pot of tea and a cupcake from Primrose very civilised of me! However after I wandered over the river to Borough Market I discovered it was closed..boooooo hiss so instead I ventured to Patisserie Lila just across the market. I decided to get cupcakes to take away when I saw the sheer size of them - they were HUGE! I got one called a fairy cake and Manny a double chocolate (quelle surprise!). It was rather odd as the one I bought had frosting and was called a fairy cake, however they had strawberry cupcakes that had royal icing on, which makes them a fairy cake..very confusing. I basically choose what looked prettiest. BIG MISTAKE. The cake was rock hard - it tasted like it was leftover from last weeks baking - it was proper hard, like a really bad supermarket sponge that was baked weeks much for a "flair for bespoke cake." The "frosting" was oil based I think - and not very nice at all. I'm sure Manny will enjoy his - if it's chocolate cake he'll eat it!

Not really somewhere to go for a cupcake but some of their other cakes looked quite nice so might be worth a coffee stop for a cake and sit down :)

Be sure to wear cupcakes in your hair

Well that might be a bit messy but these cupcake hair bobbles (is that what we still call them? Its a very odd word!) are ultra cute. I bought them on Saturday in Artbox in the Thomas Neil Centre, Covent Garden. Its a great store, selling lots of little cute Cram Cream goodies, including bags and purses, and lots of panda, hello kitty, cupcakes and much more! They have some household goodies too - I got the cutest panda nailbrush a while back there :)
I can't wait till it's sunny again so I can put my hair in cupcake pigtails :)

Dennis is a menace!

After popping into my local Asda today to pick up a few groceries I was chuffed to see this cute little cupcake covered gift bag (£1.28) and the matching wrapping paper with tags (57p). I also got my chum Dennis a Dennis the Menace cupcake mix (a bargain at 93p) - I'm not sure how they'll taste but it'll encourage him to use his oven - which I'm not even sure he's aware he owns!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

No one can resist a cupcake

Even supermodels can't resist them according to the article in The Telegraph on cupcakes this weekend. You can read the online version here.

According to the article, Selfridges are going to have a Sex and the City themed collection to launch the much anticipated (well by me!!!!) movie which comes out in May but I can't find anything on their website so will have to find out more asap! Any excuse for more cupcakes! I wonder if I can persuade Manny to take me to the movie AND for cupcakes!

The article has a list of places to visit for cupcakes and who knew that Hummingbird sells about 20,000 cupcakes a week!!!! And I promise that its not me eating them all!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Cupcakes for lunch?

Ok for lunch every day cupcakes probably aren't they healthiest option BUT using my lovely new cupcake lunch box to put my nice quorn sandwich or a lovely salmon pasta salad is!!! I bought this from Tokyo Jazz Panda...along with a fab panda sponge and a cute pig shopping bag :)

Cupcake bag alert!!!!

I actually went to Floral Street today in Covent Garden to check out the Betsey Johnson cupcake bag mentioned previously in this blog, however I saw it and it was just a bit too gaudy for me - lots of silver and bits on it so I kept wandering and came to Radley's shop. And I was excited to see a lovely little tote bag smothered in CUPCAKES in the window!! I immediately went in and asked if it came in a different colour as I wasn't that keen on the yellow one on show and wuhu it came in PINK!!* So of course I bought it..and its FAB! It comes in a little pouch and when you take the bag out of it, it stays attached and becomes a purse - so its practical AND cute :) And its also very environmentally friendly as not only does it stop you from using plastic bags, it's made from recycled plastic bottles ...fabulous :)

* I probably would've bought it in yellow if they didn't have another's just too cute to resist!!

Sleeping with cupcakes

I will be now thanks to these lovely pyjamas from Primark - for the bargain price of £3!!!!! That's less than the price of 2 cupcakes and they don't make you
And that wasn't the end of my cupcake shopping today....

Happy St George's Day

As promised I went to Selfridges today to get my Lola's St George's Day cupcake and it was rather scrummy! Don't worry they weren't all for me - one was for Manny to have after he's been to his St George's Day gig (Saxon), and the odd one out was their special Selfridges flavour of the month Choc Chai Latte - which I wasn't keen on at all - was full of cinnamon which I like but not that much!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Saving the earth one cupcake at a time

Sounds like a FANTASTIC plan to me, so its more the pity that I don't live near a Sprinkles as they are donating the proceeds from their vanilla cupcakes to local tree planting and environmental care groups in celebration of Earth Day! What better excuse for stuffing your face with cupcakes than saving the world!

If I was a superhero could I be Captain Cupcake??? Although having seeing Captain Cupcake's outfit (above) I'm not too sure! Wonder if Mrs Cupcakes outfits nicer?

Further information on locations offering this wonderful offer are available here. PLEEEASE hurry to London Sprinkles so I can help save the earth quicker!

Monday, 21 April 2008

English and proud!

Well I'm Scottish by birth but I choose to live in England when I was old enough to do so and have now lived here for longer than I lived back "home" so I happily call myself English (I support the football team so that's all that counts isn't it!)

Anyways 23rd April is St George's Day and what better way to reclaim England's national day than eating a CUPCAKE adorned with the St George's Cross!

The lovely people at Lola's know how to spoil us and are creating scrummy St George's day treats as I type (I imagine!). I checked with the bakery today and they will be selling these patriotic cupcakes in Selfridges tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday (St George's Day) only. They will also be having a taster session from 2pm-4pm on Weds so you can pop along to Selfridges for a free nibble of cupcake. The only thing better than a cupcake is a FREE cupcake surely!!!
The cupcake above is from Cupcake Recipes blog site - doesn't it look great! I'll have a pic of the Lola's ones on Wednesday (I hope!!!)

Friday, 18 April 2008

Eat cake, worship satan

sounds like a fine way to spend the day to me! The devil does after all have the best tunes so he's bound to have the best cakes \m/

From the Citydown store at Etsy.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

The Sweet Spot....drools!

I spend waaaaaay too much of my time looking at Etsy at work (Shhhh don't tell anyone!), mainly for cupcake stuff as you can imagine!

Lots of people seem to sell baked goods on their as well as the usual cute cupcake goodies and I couldn't resist posting some pics from the Sweet Stuff store - seriously dulce de leche cupcakes sound like HEAVEN to me! I adore that stuff - its just soooooo yummy! It sounds like the sickliest thing in the world but its like ambrosia on my tongue :)

Also their chocolate butter cream cupcakes look like Manny's idea of bliss!!

Wonder if they'd ship to the UK?? And would the cupcakes survive the journey?

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wuhu chubby is in :)

According to this t-shirt from the fantastic looking Cupcake Boutique - I'd love to visit but I think Kuwait is a bit of a trek for me. Think I'll wait till they open a location a little nearer to me! You can read more about the store, and see more pics at Kuwait Style.

For now I'll make do with the my new mantra of "chubby is in" where did I put that cupcake??? ;)

This cupcake is hiding a very bizarre ingredient

Frozen mashed potato!! That's correct - inside these rather tasty looking cupcake are discs (!!?) of frozen mash!!!

These have been causing a bit of a stir in the UK as part of Delia Smith's "How to Cheat at Cooking" series on the BBC (including, of course, the obligatory book tie-in). These were featured in Sainsbury's magazine (A favourite of mine!) in their April issue (where I have borrowed the pictures above from) and I can't say that I'm that keen to try the recipe which can be found here) - apart from the mash, there's also condensed milk in them - surely its simple enough to follow a basic cupcake recipe without resorting to adding mash and sugar laden fat?

The fact that Giles Coren, food critic describes his taste of these cakes (as made by Aldo Zilli) as follows:
These were beyond horrible. They had the sheen of a freshly laid dog turd - and the consistency, with that potato in them ... Ugh. No resistance, no bite, nothing. Just an injection of sugar. It's not hard to make a fairy cake, for Christ's sake. Five-year-olds do it with their mums. Dismal.
Appearance 0 stars Taste 0 stars

kind of puts me off - although he does loose some brownie points for calling them fairy cakes, but he's a man so we'll let him off! All in all not something I'm keen to taste! I think I'll leave my mash (homemade NOT frozen!) to go with sausages and gravy or such like and my cupcakes to remain potato free!

The recipe for happiness is ...

many cakes!

Never was a truer word spoken! I just HAD to buy this cute little card yesterday when I saw it in WH Smith's. Its utterly adorable and I am going to frame it and put it in my kitchen to remind me of the necessity of cake in ones life! :)

The card is by Hotchpotch Designs and is part of their Kookie range! Utterly adorable!

The other cards in the picture are little post cards I picked up (also in WH Smiths) and are by Art Group.

Cupcakes - stack 'em high

I bought these cute little tins yesterday in Robert Dyas for the bargain price of £4.99! They've got a whole range called "iced treats" (this used to be called Iced Fancies and I got a few bits from it - the cakes look different on them!) but its not available on-line, only in store. It includes trays, coasters, table mats and these cute tins.

The plan was to make some cupcakes tonight to put in them, however our washing machine decided to leak all over my kitchen so I have neither the space nor inclination anymore due to the fact there's a giant waste of money/parts (ie my washing machine) in the middle of my kitchen floor waiting for the repairman to come on Friday! Bloody Hotpoint!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Watch out for the evil cupcakes...

Last week my devilishly cute devil cupcake bag arrived from Ebay as made by MTCoffinz - they do a whole range of fab cupcake inspired goodies including a zombie one :)

Its a really cute bag, very well made and I recommend them if you want something cupcake that's a little different!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

A marathon week ends with ....

more cupcakes!!!

This week I've walked more than 54 miles according to my pedometer (and leg muscles!) so I thought after another huge walk today, round Greenwich and Blackheath (even though it was pouring with rain, thundering and freezing!) I deserved a little treat so on passing Daisy Cakes and noticing a cabinet stuffed with various cupcake flavours I popped in and bought myself a coconut cupcake and Manny a mocha one.

The last couple of times I've been to Daisy Cakes I was a bit perturbed that they seemed to have changed their frosting recipe..and not for the better, so I'm glad to report that they seem to be back on track! My coconut cupcake was incredibly tasty - the frosting is back to the great stuff I'd become used to from Daisy Cakes and was full of coconut flavour and bits! I'm chuffed that my local cupcake emporium is back to making fantastic cupcakes!!

Not cupcake related but I thought I'd post a pic of the squirrel who crawled up my leg and tugged on my trousers to demand another nut at the park as well - he was ultra cute and kept following me around the flower gardens so I'd give him more nuts!!

Primrose Bakery....the first, but not last, visit!

Saturday saw us venture up North to Primrose Hill/Camden to visit Primrose Bakery. I'd had one of their cupcakes some time ago in Selfridges but was keen to visit and check out their full range and I was certainly NOT disappointed!

After a bit of a detour (we got lost as I was navigating and was rather distracted by some gorgeous pink houses!) we found the bakery and from the outside it was utterly adorable with its little cute logo on the window. As you enter the shop there are about 4 small tables on one side (with those American deli style padded chairs that I like) and the other side of the shop has lots of little bits to buy - from reusable bags for your shopping to tattoo man dolls. The most important part of the shop however is at the end of this section - the lovely cabinets of CUPCAKES! They come in large and small and they had about 5 flavours to choose from - with more being baked downstairs in the kitchen - which is just as well as the shop was constantly busy with people buying boxes of cupcakes!

It was rather busy and we didn't think we'd get a seat but thankfully some people were just leaving so we grabbed a pew and ordered 2 coffees and 2 cupcakes - chocolate for Manny and vanilla for me! The cupcakes came served on cute little china plates with adorable little forks (not wooden as often happens and often taints the flavour!). They were totally GORGEOUS and Primrose immediately entered my top 5 cupcake places!! The frosting was to die for, thick and utterly tasty - with just the right amount of vanilla in it -and the batter base was just perfect. Manny was drooling over some cornflake mars bar cake and went and got a bit as soon as he'd finished his cupcake.

We got some cakes to take away - another vanilla for me and also a carrot one. Manny chose another chocolate and a mocha and also he couldn't resist their gorgeous afghan biscuit so we got one of those too! I also picked up a gorgeous set of 3 cupcake magnets and a little cute badge all by I could've spent a fortune in there and bought loads more but I figured that if I was a bit restrained I had an excuse to go back again to shop v.soon!

We walked a lot of the way home so we ate the other cakes when we got in - the carrot one was full of flavour (and carrot bits!) and the frosting was really nice - sometimes carrot cupcake frosting can be a little too sweet but this was just perfect! Again the vanilla cupcake was beautiful - this time it was pink - the one I had in the cafe was bright green. (I should've taken a pic but I felt a bit self conscious whipping out the camera in the cafe..I need to get over that!).

While there I noticed that they sell their single cupcakes in ultra adorable Chinese take away style containers, complete with the Primrose Bakery logo- like the ones you see in Sex and the City..very cosmopolitan and cute! A perfect little gift for someone special! I will take a pic soon as I'm going to get one as a gift for someone this week :)

Finally - it wasn't a cupcake but good grief the Afghan biscuit was gorgeous!!! I'd never heard of them before but will definitely be having one again!

Friday, 11 April 2008

A romantic date...

Today Manny was bitten by the romance bug and decided to take me for an afternoon liaison at Bea's (perchance to shut me up whining that I wanted to go...or maybe he was just feeling romantic!!).

On my first visit I found the ambiance at Bea's a little overwhelming, verging on snotty but have since been back twice and I'm not ashamed to admit..I was wrong!!!! It is rather an upmarket place but there's nothing wrong with that at all - I'd rather eat my cupcake somewhere pretty and tastefully decorated, than something resembling a Morleys.

The staff are really friendly and the place is gorgeous in side - the cakes make you want to swoon and the decor is really swish. I love the giant sheep pic on the wall, it just makes it feel so homely somehow! It even has a piano on a raised area near the kitchen!

Anyways we went in today and it took Manny an eternity to decide what he wanted, but then I cannot blame him, there are a LOT of scrummy looking goodies to choose from in Bea's. He eventually settled on a German chocolate cake and I chose a praline chocolate cupcake. Now this date was quite unexpected so I didn't' have my camera with me (pshaw) however the pic above is of a chocolate cupcake I bought at Bea's a couple of weeks ago and the top pic is borrowed from Bea's website. They seem to have about 3 flavours of cupcakes available each day and I recommend a visit if you like a cupcake or any cake in fact! Their meringues look to die for, and come in a variety of flavours and I shall definitely be making an Eton Mess with some of them in the Summer!

Back to the cupcake..although I still stand by my opinion that the frosting is NOT frosting as we know it, I have come to like it and its rather moreish. I do still prefer the good old butter cream frosting I'm afraid, but Bea's comes a close second, and is deffo tastier than royal icing (ie the kind we have on fairy cakes here). My cupcake was really nice, with little chunks of nut on top and the batter base was soft and lovely. I had a nibble of Manny's cake and it was really chocolaty, the topping was like pure ganache so he was in chocolate heaven. So much so that he couldn't resist a Valrhona brownie when leaving for later!

Also Bea's has a fab philosophy, which the hippy in me (as Manny keeps insisting calling my love of recycling and being "green") adores ...

Bea's of Bloomsbury strives to make a difference in the world---we compost all of our food waste, recycle any possible paper, plastic and aluminum, and have designed our packaging to be as environmentally friendly as possible. In addition we run on 100% green energy, use energy efficient induction cooking methods and locally source as much of our food as possible, using only sea or road freight, never by air.
We also believe if we offer something, it's the best we can offer, which is why we provide the best organic fairtrade coffee you can find on the market and the best pastries and savouries our hands can make. Enjoy.

Oh and I think we met Bea - well I think it was her who came over as we were leaving and seemed v.happy when we said we really enjoyed the cakes and lovely coffee! I wish I'd asked her now so I could ask her the secret of her time!

Oh and the staff were ULTRA nice - they thought we'd left a notebook on the table and came running down the street to return it to us.

Definately a destination for the cake lover visiting London! Or for romantic husbands trying to sweet talk their wives ;)

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Its all true!

From the ever fabulous Lazy Oaf this set of badges tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but...I REALLY DO heart cake! Go visit their store in Kingly Court, just off Carnaby St, if you're in London - its fab and I got a fantastic gift for my chum there but I can't say what as she's not seen it yet! I must go there and buy these little badges asap!

And check out their other store Superette - I might try and sneak out for a long lunch tomorrow (well its Friday!!) and have a squizz round it to see if I can pick up any cute stuff!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

I wish I lived in Canada

yes I know South Park told us all they do strange things to their uncles but they give out free cupcakes so I can forgive any odd shenanigans they've got going on with their family!
If this starts happening in London I'll have to borrow a friends child to take along!

On April 19, CVK, along with McKinnon Photography and the Sugar Heads gourmet cupcakes invite you to our first Today Party.

This FREE event is going to be great fun - where families jump in and decorate cupcakes (each kiddo gets two) together and then jump out into the community to share those cupcakes with someone special as a Today Present. We’ll have cupcakes available (at a nominal charge) for eating too.

The Today Party/Present theme is all about bringing us together as a community to share, encouraging a sense of giving with kiddos and, of course, having a great time!!!

Full story here. And if I were to go I could visit Sugar Heads who are helping arrange this - they look rather fancy!

Thanks to Cupcakes Take The Cake for the info - although now I'm a bit pouty as I want free cupcakes!

Cupcakes...something to write home about

I saw these in WH Smith and had to buy them, even though I rarely write letters anymore due to the wonder of email! If you know me, expect a letter sometime soon!

Her name was Lola....

And she wasn't a showgirl, BUT she did make exceedingly good cupcakes! I honestly didn't mean to eat these many cupcakes in a week BUT I had an impromptu days leave last week and decided to go to shopping up town. This led to me walking for MILES hrough crowds of irritating people and finally after the hell that is Primark at lunchtime I NEEDED to go somewhere lovely and peaceful, and that place was the food hall in Selfridges, where I stumbled upon Lolas. Okay, I knew it was there and it was my very reason for going there but like I said I needed something nice after Primark!

I got myself a vanilla (insisting on pink - the girl serving wasn't one of the usual nice staff and seemed perturbed I specified what frosting colour I wanted..pshaw she obviously did not fully comprehend the significance the colour can make!) and Manny a chocolate. I resisted the urge to get two each so we could try the lovely looking Pistachio Cupcake (current flavour of the month - check here for all available flavours). I also resisted the urge to eat them on the way home and instead waited patiently till I was in the house, before scoffing mine with a cup of tea. I was drooling while taking the pics - aren't they just stunning looking! It was worth the wait, all vanilly goodness with frosting you want to drown yourself in, and you very nearly could - look how thick that frosting is!!! I then had to further avoid temptation as Manny was at the forge blacksmithing and his cake was calling me from the kitchen..however I was a good girl and made do with my own one! Greed is a sin you know ;)

Peggys Cupcakes - I want Peggy to adopt me*!

Following on from the rather disappointing Daisy Cakes experience, when I went back to Greenwich last weekend I was over-joyed to see the lovely Peggy's Cupcakes were in situ in the foody bit of the Market and ready to sell me some of their lovely baked goods!

As usual the cupcakes were GORGEOUS to look at and to eat. The frosting just melts in your mouth, is really flavoursome and well, they really are just scrummy!

On the way back from Greenwich Market, I popped into my local Sainsburys and was chuffed to see they'd reduced their Donna Hay range and quickly snapped up her Chocolate Cupcake Mix box for the bargain price of £2.09!!! They're absolutely stunning and I cannot wait to make them - I'm holding out till nearer Manny's birthday but not sure I can wait another 2 months!

Sorry about the picture quality - I think my hands were still shaking from the cold when I was taking them!

*If Peggy did adopt me I reckon I'd spend all day eating her cupcakes/licking the frosting bowl clean till I finally just exploded! What a way to go though!!!! Death by cupcake - nothing better!

Chocolate overload at Daisy Cakes

After a couple of disappointing visits to Daisy Cakes in Greenwich recently, (where their frosting seems to have gone downhill in the taste department a bit), I met up with my chum Helen and went for a coffee at the Organic Cafe in Greenwich last Wednesday (the Coffee Cellar - my fave was closed) and we then popped into Daisy Cakes to get some cupcakes. There was only chocolate on offer so I got a couple and took them home (one was for Manny) and once again I have to say I wasn't that fussed about the frosting. The chocolate one was better than their recent vanilla that I've had (Which now seem to not really taste of vanilla) but it still wouldn't be in my top 5! Come on Daisy Cakes, your sliding down my faves and its just not on - I want the old lovely Daisy Cakes back!!!