Monday, 27 April 2009
Sunday, 26 April 2009
The cases come in a pretty tin full of 100 colourful paper cupcake cases, and 20 little flags featuring phrases such as "this one's mine" and "hey cupcake!". Designed by Joanna Zhou (a cupcake connoisseur and Manga artist!), these will brighten up any tea party.
The mug features lots of cupcakes and inside reads "you're a cup-cake pixie from a magic land"
Cute overload :)
National Cupcake Week is a fantastic week-long extravaganza being organised by British Baker to celebrate this very special bakery product.
The aim of the week, held September 14-19 2009, is to draw customers’ attention to the many wonderful recipes and exotic toppings available for cupcakes and to tempt both new and existing customers to buy (at least) one during the week!
The event will be highlighted in bakery and café outlets via special merchandising materials and bright window stickers, urging customers to come in and treat themselves.
British Baker will be producing a creative recipe for each day of the week, including an especially indulgent cupcake for Saturday, September 18.
But that’s not all. A special window dressing competition will also run nationally to promote cupcakes during the week and put bakers’ artistic talents to the test.
And British Baker will be organising a PR campaign to drive awareness of the week in the national media.
More details will be posted soon.
Further info, contact details etc can be found here - be assured I shall be keeping an eye out for any news about this event! You can also join their Facebook group (I have!) to keep up to date.
There is also some very interesting data/info re cupcakes on the Bakery Info website, (did you know that in the last 12 months, sales of cupcakes in the UK grew by 13.6% to £33.5m...good grief, or that a total of 32.6% of the population buy cupcakes!..wow maybe I should start selling them) but I'm less keen to read about thaw and serve cupcakes - a range that bakeries can buy and then pass off as fresh - I'm sorry but aren't bakeries meant to bake...yuk not for me!
From the NY Daily News...
In a flurry of chocolate cream and crumby debris, the yoga teacher crammed her last cupcake - No. 17 - winning the contest, and defeating her closest competitor by just one of the sweet treats.
Ivy Bakery held its first cupcake-eating contest outside of the shop on 87th St. in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The five competitors were given five minutes to inhale as many chocolate cupcakes as possible. The winner took home $75 and dubious bragging rights.
Nancy Cummings, the first-place winner, said that her role as a yoga instructor gave her what it took to be the champion.
"I am disciplined and focused and I can digest them faster," said the slender 31-year-old brunette from Bay Ridge, who dipped each little chocolate cake into a glass of water before shoving it whole into her mouth.
Runner-up Dominick Ibelli, 35, gave Cummings a chocolate-smeared handshake and congratulated her on the victory. He then ate one more cupcake in a moment of second-place showmanship.
One failed competitor, though, wasn't eating any after-game cupcakes. After the contest, Jo Rose, 50, sat with his head bowed.
"I am feeling a little sick," the Bay Ridge writer said. "I gave it my best shot. But I am gonna hurl any moment."
Personally I think I'd rather just eat a couple and enjoy them rather than stuffing them in my mouth like that - cupcakes are all about enjoying them and shovelling them in (All wet and moist too..dunking cupcakes in water eugh) seems to be be the opposite of enjoyment to me!
Friday, 24 April 2009
I'm off to Brighton tomorrow so expect some Angel Food Bakery pics on Sunday :)
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Thanks to fellow cupcake lover Bellaphon's blog for alerting me to the existence of this place!
Btw in the background of the cupcakes you can just see the St George's biscuits by Artisan Biscuits I bought for Manny - I highly recommend them, utterly cute and gorgeous - if you like lemon curd (and who doesn't!!?) you'll love these! Also the bottom pic shows the window of River Island on Oxford Street, I kept meaning to take a pic to share but never had my camera when I passed by!
Friday, 17 April 2009
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
First up this rather cute cupcake monster tshirt - although if you really are a cupcake monster I'm not sure how you could fit into a size 8 - the only size its available in!
Far more practical for the cupcake lover is the cute mirror by Fluff - you can check if anyone's sneaking up behind you to nick your cupcake, or worse, lick your frosting...the ultimate horror surely!!
Finally these ULTRA cute key covers - now I already have Hello Kitty key covers but I have a feeling I just might HAVE to get these! They're adorable!
btw..the title of this thread is in reference to one of the most annoying songs I've ever liked..go on Manny (or anyone else) name that tune ;)
Finally sorry about the spacing on this post - Blogger seems to be having a brainf*rt at the moment and it's too late to faff!
So today was the launch of the Marks and Spencers cupcake. I went along to the hell on earth that is known as Covent Garden on a warm day hoping to get my hands on a box. They had a lot of promo material out in store for them and they seemed to have sold quite well -lots of boxes had been smooshed/turned upside down but I don't know if that was due to a stampede of cupcake lovers or just staff chucking them onto the shelves! But there were a good 20+ boxes left so I happily got my mitts on a box :)
So, what were they like?! I'll let the blurb on the box set the scene...
A marriage made in heaven...Moist cupcakes with rich strawberry compote centres and lashings of strawberry buttercream on top
it goes on...
I do find it rather amusing they employed a cupcake guru, spent loads of money sending him to NY etc, only for him to return and make a cake that you really would not find in any decent cupcakery in NY, or London for that matter!! If they'd offered me and Kara (and any of the other readers of this blog who love cupcakes..yes Manny you could've come too) a freebie trip to NY I reckon we'd have come up with a tastier, more authentic cupcake for them!
Finally, I know that M&S promo material is making a big thing about rape oil being the norm in NY bakeries, (which I disagree with ), but it occurs to me that perhaps this has a lot to do with the shelf life properties of the cakes rather than adding anything - these cakes have use by date a week away from today, any fresh cupcake would be rancid by then! I stand by my "no oil in cupcakes" mantra!
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
This is a Marks and Spencer cupcake.
After months of publicising the fact that they're going to launch a cupcake range, M&S are finally launching them in store tomorrow.
There was an article in today's Metro today about them which featured a bit of background about the research the M&S cupcake guru, Matt McAuliffe, did to come up with their new range, including eating at 40 different NY bakeries in a week (if he'd gotten in touch I could've emailed him my extensive list of NY cupcake places, reaching about 47 at last count!)
Not sure I agree with his assumption that the UK isn't ready for full on New York style cupcakes...
The problem is there is a big difference in taste over the pond, he reckons. 'Brits have a sweet tooth but not as sickly as Americans. This large amount of icing was the biggest challenge when making our cakes. In the end, we decided to balance the sweetness in the buttercream with fruit.'
I think cupcakeries/bakeries such as Hummingbird, Buttercup and Primrose (to name just 3) are doing very well selling American style cupcakes and whenever people ask me where to get cupcakes they tend to ask for "American style". I will give these a try - I'm hoping to get my hands on some tomorrow on the way into work so expect an update soon!
The whole article can be viewed here, and includes recipes for Hummingbird Bakeries banana chocolate cupcakes (from their FAB book) and a M&S 'all natural' strawberry cupcake recipe, although I personally wouldn't make it as it has oil in (the article says that in NY rapeseed oil is often used instead of butter but I know this isn't the case in the better bakeries we visited so I'll just stick to baking buttercream cupcakes - oil cupcakes when I've had the misfortune to try them just seem oily to me and I just can't imagine myself pouring oil into a cake mix!)
Will report back on these asap!
Monday, 13 April 2009
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum described the initiative as sending out "an absolutely ludicrous message".
"The idea that a cupcake will kill you is totally over the top, and for that reason the whole thing is totally counterproductive.
"Obviously cakes have to be an occasional treat, but the idea that a healthy child eating a cupcake at a party is dicing with death is absolutely crazy. Parents will switch off," he said.
Delia Smith said: "I think they have picked the wrong target by focusing on home cooking. I am pretty sure the advent of wall to wall advertising of junk food and confectionery has played a bigger part in the obesity crisis than mothers baking cakes."
She warned against "demonising home cooking", pointing out that mothers who made cakes were likely to cook the rest of their children's meals, and provide a more balanced diet than those who relied on junk food.
"There is nothing wrong with the occasional treat, I don't think unhealthy food exists, only unhealthy diets. I think it sends out entirely the wrong message" the chef said.
I have to agree. Yes I know that cupcakes are not the healthiest snack in the world, but demonising them isn't really going to help the obesity crisis is it? Are cupcakes really the unhealthiest food out there? What about fried chicken, burgers, crisps? Why cupcakes?!
I agree with the experts who say this kind of scaremongering is more likely to trigger eating disorders and problems with food rather than help! The government should perhaps stop targeting items that are an occasional treat and maybe put their money where there mouth (Which ALWAYS seems to be telling us what not to do!) and lower the price of fruit and veg in this country, bring back cooking classes and mainly stop scaring small children. We're all tired of it now.
You can read the full article here.
The recipe for butter, sugar and wheat free carrot cupcakes can be found here. I'm very interested in using Agave nectar in cupcakes, something I know Babycakes have been publicising for some time, not sure how it'd work in my normal recipe though- next time I go to NY I shall definitely have to try some of Babycakes cupcakes as we didn't make it this time!
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
So I ventured away from the pink cupcakes this time..well kinda! I still made some pink ones (I can't help it I love pink!) and some yellow and some blue. I was hoping the blue would be kinda pastel blue but it first went kinda concrete grey/blue, then I added some more and it was still kinda blah blue...taste nice though! The yellow isn't too great either - I added quite a bit, and it does look better, in the pic I think my blue walls/black worktops are reflecting a bit and making it appear darker - its quite a vibrant yellow honest! Hope the people at work appreciate my effort!
I also made some brownies, again from the Hummingbird cookbook - they fell apart a bit when I tried to remove them from my stupid new silicone brownie tray but they are perfectly brownie-ish - ie still moist in the middle - however they are way too chocolatey for me - hope Manny is hungry when he gets home! The pic above shows it pre-baking in its full ooey gooey Green and Blacks glory!
Eat cupcakes at Easter instead!
I'm going to be decorating my Easter cupcakes for work colleagues with some peeps I bought in NY. The cupcakes have just come out of the oven and smell FAB! Expect pics soon :)
And just incase you don't have any peeps to chuck on top of your cupcakes, here are some decorating ideas for Easter from Wilton. I love the little chick one :)
Friday, 3 April 2009
Today's Daily Candy alerted me to a new cupcake store in London...wu hu
Being in love feels like walking into a world of candy-coloured cupcakes.
No, really it does.
Take a trip to Love Bakery — Chelsea’s newest cupcake shop — and see for yourself. This adorable little store is owned by fashion PR-turned-mother Samantha Parkes, whose home-baked cakes regularly resulted in a mob scene at her children’s school fairs.
She now offers a selection of red velvet, chocolate, vanilla, lemon or rose-flavoured cupcakes in her very own hot pink and green shop, where each treat gets a finishing touch like a chocolate-dipped strawberry, icing rose, butterfly or sprinkles.
Everything is made by Parkes and a small team of helpers on site in domestic ovens and using the same ingredients you’d find in your own kitchen.
Just one will leave you wanting amour.
Love Bakery, 319 Kings Road, SW3 5EP (020 7352 3191)
I would've gone to check it out tonight after work but we popped along to the chocolate fest instead (lots of choc, no cupcakes). I'd go tomorrow but of course its cupcake day at Outsider Tart so I shall have to go next week instead! I shall blog about it asap!
Thursday, 2 April 2009
Also by Philosophy, the red velvet bubble bath (not sure why I didn't buy it when I was there - I may have to try and get it over here now!) and a creamy frosting one too...so you can have your cake and frosting too :)
I've mentioned this collection from MAC before but their mailout today was this fab picture so thought I'd mention it again!
This spring, M·A·C is all temptation...Frostings, finishes, fillings. Each of them whipped, creamy, deliciously stylish, as inspired by the world's most popular sugar-sweet desserts. Never has a season looked so eat-me-up gorgeous!
The collection includes an eyeshadow called Dear Cupcake (in rather a disappointing coral shade..have you ever seen a coral cupcakes?!) and some items called red velvet and such but nothing quite as cute as the Hello Kitty range they did - bit disappointing for cupcake themed items really! You'd at least have thought they'd have some things named after some other cupcake fabulousness!