Friday, 27 May 2011

Cupcake decorating and a gift from the Fairy Hobmother

I've been a bit lax at blogging lately, sorry, but as some of you may know I've been busy setting up a business to sell my own cupcakes. I've finally tired of buying bad cupcakes and have decided to give it a go myself. More details about it will follow soon..

As mentioned in a previous blog, my first stall is going to be at Going for a Song Vintage jumble at the Amersham Arms next Saturday, June 4th. I aim to have 5 or so flavours there so hope some of you can come along and taste them! There is an offer available for the event via my website so please check out the events section if you plan to come along. It's free entry and is in a pub, so you can enjoy a pint or a coffee/tea with your cake, and from the other vendors I've seen it will include some fabulous clothes and jewellery.

Anyhow, in anticipation of baking for others, including a wedding I've been asked to do, I thought I'd do a course at one of my favourite cupcake bakers, The Gourmet Cupcake Company. Originally I was just going to do the wedding and fondant masterclass course, however I thought I'd do the original course as well and I'm so glad I did. Eloise is a great teacher, the classes were really informal but very informative. We baked cakes, learning some insider secrets, and then got to decorating. Although this is perhaps more for a beginner, even as an experienced baker I learned some new techniques and I really recommend her courses for everyone. I can't wait for my wedding course next month - just looking at the lovely cupcakes Eloise has made for previous weddings has me all excited as to what I'm going to make!

As well as making exciting cupcakes, and business planning, I've also been lucky enough to be visited by the Appliances Online Fairy Hobmother. Appliances Online offer everything from cookers to my ultimate want for my kitchen, the pink Smeg fridge, and after I'd left a comment on Eat Like A Girl's blog post the Fairy Hobmother visited me with a prize. I didn't win an appliance (boo!) but I was chosen to carry on the gifting chain and was awarded some Amazon vouchers (yay!) - something I will always use.  Never mind shoes, I can never have too many cookbooks.

As I'm carrying on the chain, the Fairy Hobmother is offering a lucky commenter on this blog a prize so please leave a comment below to be in with a chance to win a lovely gift from him. Perhaps you could share with us your favourite item in your kitchen -  I'm going with my gorgeous pink Kitchenaid.

Leave a comment by Friday June 3rd to win. Good luck.


jessie said...

good luck with the new business! I'm glad someone is out there, ridding the world of nasty cake, one cupcake at a time!

Made With Pink said...

Wow, your cupcakes look fab! Love the little purple roses! Once again, I'm chasing this darn Fairy Hobmother around! I must catch her in a little butterfly net!! If she visited me I'd like to ask for a clear mixing bowl for my favourite appliance - my pink Kitchenaid! A bread maker or deep fryer are also near the top of my list, along with the highly sought after pink Smeg fridge to go with my pink kitchen!

KATE said...

What a wonderful blog, I found you via eloise's Facebook post, I love all things cupcake and love baking them as well but am no where near both of your standards, but my 2 favorite customers are happy (husband and son) so I'm pleased with that. My favorite kitchen piece is my new piping bag, its some much fun learning how to use all the different nozzles and making perfect swirled of lcing, look forward to more if your blogs. Kate Jones x

Sally H said...

Have you got the Hummingbird Cake days book? If not it is a must. I've only had it a short time but every recipe I've tried has been brilliant - very tasty and it makes exactly what it says (12 cupcakes, not 11 1/2) Good luck with your venture, but please don't stop blogging. I so enjoy reading about your own cakes and Maddy's opinions too. Thanks for the recommendation of Love Bakery book. The Rhubarb and custard were delicious!

olivia grace said...

Eloise's cupcakes look absolutely divine! Such a wonderful variety, and her decorating skills look second to none! Good luck with the launch of I Heart Cupcakes :) xxx

Kats said...

Wow, how exciting! Good luck with your business.

Bernice said...


Best wishes for the new venture. I just wish I was a little nearer to you so I could enjoy those delicious cakes. My favourite kitchen appliance is my electric hand whisk - couldn't live without it!
Best wishes
Bernice Mitchell

Abbie said...

Ooh how exciting!! :D

My favourite things in my kitchen are my polka dot and vintage tea cups, they're so cute!

Xx Abbie xX

sunnyday said...

love your cucpakes - it is my dres to set up my own business selling cupcakes - how easy have you found it?

Also what icing nozzle did you use as would live to make my icing look lie this?

My favourite kitchen appliance has to be my magimix! currently saving up for a kitchen aid mixer!

Kate@katescakesandbakes said...


I've just found your blog through Maison Cupcake and been really enjoying reading it. All the very, very best with the new business and the event next week! One of my favourite recipe books is 'British Baking' by Peyton and Byrne or the aforementioned briliantly inspiring 'Cake Days'.

I think my favourite item in my kitchen is my spatula- I know that sounds a bit rubbish, and it should be some fancy-pants piece of equipment but my trusty spatula was one of the first baking things I bought and has been through every successful and failed bake since!!

Hidden_Relic said...

Good luck with the business! Your cupcakes always look sooooo good! If I'm ever on your side of the puddle I'm definitely going to look you up. :)

My favorite kitchen piece is my knife set. I'm working on figuring out how to do the huge melon sculptures and such.

MissCakeBaker said...

Good luck with the business! I would be delighted to find these beautiful cakes in a shop near me.
My favourite kitchen appliance is my old yet reliable ken wood mixer.

Sarah @Scrumptious Sally said...

Good luck next Sunday and well done for getting out there. I don't need any more appliances so don't put me in the comp! But your cupcakes look amazeballs; it's nice to get another perspective on piping techniques and the like via a class.
I got the Scandilicious cookbook earlier this week and I love it. Haven't got onto the baking section yet but there are some really tasty looking new recipes in there.

msloz said...

Good luck with the new business! I've long thought about doing the same, but my icing skills are not great, I'd need to brush up on that majorly. Oh, and I'd also need to somehow warp the space-time continuum as to somehow extend the day to give me enough time for 'the day job', 'the cupcake job' and sleep!

My favourite kitchen gadget has a whole post in my blog: . The Kenwood Chef has genuinely changed my life. Its not as pretty as a Kitchen Aid, which would have been my first choice, but ultimately I went for substance over style and I've never looked back. It helps me make amazing cakes and frostings, it helps me whizz up onions for my favourite french onion soup in, oh, seconds. It helps me liquidise other soups. It does it all and it has an amazingly small footprint for such a kitchen wondergadget. Next up for me will be the ice cream maker attachment I think. I love my Kenwood. I truly would rescue it from my house, were my house to ever burn down!

Manny said...

Your decorations look so wonderful, I'm proud of you hun! I know the business will be a success, your combination of talent for baking and love for it can't fail :)

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Wow Anne that is SO exciting, good luck with it all! Your purple roses are amazing, I went on a cupcake course and we learnt how to make those but mine were rubbish! and your cupcakes are frosted to perfection!

Star Bakery said...

Wow, this Fairy Hobmother sounds amazing - I recommend the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book if you haven't already got it. Full of fun recipes and cool decorating tips to use in your business :)
My fave kitchen appliance is my red kitchen aid (isn't it everyone's??) my digital scales just broke so I'm hoping the fairy takes pity on me!!

Gill Bland said...

Hiya, I'll second the request that you don't stop blogging when your new business takes off. I enjoy the rants and raves too much!
My favourite kitchen implement is my gingerbread-man shaped spatula. It's completely impractical but it makes me smile!

Minty Magic said...

Love the purple cupcakes and the best of luck with your new venture. I would love to do baking for a living!
My favourite kitchen appliance has to be my Kenwood mixer.
If I was lucky enough to be visited by the Fairy Hobmother then I would ask for bread maker. I have just been diagnosed with Coeliacs Disease and bread will be one of the things that I will miss the most. Shop brought gluten free bread is notoriously bad so it would be great to be able to make my own!

Archies Mum said...

Wow good luck with your business venture, hope it goes really well for you. Your cupcakes always amazing, I'd be very surprised if your cakes didn't sell like hot cakes (sorry excuse the pun lol!)

I heart cupcakes said...

Thank you all for your comments!

@Jessie - I just got tired of paying lots of money for cakes that taste of nothing!

@Andrea - I'd love a clear mixing bowl for mine too, or a clear jug. Also I've dreamed of a Smeg fridge for years, but I'm told they're not very good for the money they cost which is disappointing! They are gorgeous though

@Kate - thanks for visiting and commenting! Your two customers are the most important (mine is Manny my husband!) so if they're happy and you're happy baking all is good :) It takes practice to pipe - sometimes mine is lovely, other times like a dogs dinner!

@SallyH - I have both Hummingbird books. I have to say I've not had much luck with Cake Days - I find some of the recipes too muffin like but it's great for flavour inspiration. I love the Love Bakery book - glad you liked it!

@Oliva - Eloise is an amazing cupcake decorator! Thank you :)

@Kats - thanks :)

@Bernice - thank you. A whisk is one of the most important things in the kitchen I agree

@Abbie - I coud've guessed your favourite would be something with polka dots on :)

@Sunnyday - I've not found it that easy if I'm honest - but then I've been rather slow doing it. Really just getting into the swing of stuff now! The nozzle is the Wilton 1M - you can get it in any cake shop

I heart cupcakes said...

@Kate - thank you! I love the British Baking book. I just got it a couple of weeks ago and want to bake everything! I have a favourite spatula too so I find it perfectly normal!

@Hidden Relic - thank you :) Melon sculptures sounds fun!

@Miss Cake Baker - thank you so much :)

@Sarah - too many appliances? Really? I can't promise the prize will be an appliance but may be something else.

@Msloz - thanks :) I did think about getting a Kenwood but I'd lusted over a Kitchenaid for so long I just couldn't cheat on it!
Btw - just make 12 cakes and some buttercream and practice, then wipe it off the cake, practice some more -your piping will be fab :)

@Manny - thank you sweetie xx

@Gem - thank you :) I went on another course which wasn't as good. This one was really good and I recommend it!

@Starbakery - thank you! I have the Martha book -isn't it one of the prettiest books ever? I need to practice some of her decorating techniques and also make the brown butter cupcakes in there - been meaning to for ages! Thanks for reminding me!

I heart cupcakes said...

@Gill -thank you! I think the rants and raves will be stopping but I'll still be blogging. Working out how much I've spent on bad cupcakes has made me realise it's not worth it. Also the hate mail was getting too much!!
Love the sound of that spatula - I kept meaning to the finger one but forgot - you've reminded me!!

@Minty Magic - thank you :) sorry to hear about your Coeliacs Disease. My friend has it and she seconds what you've said about store bought gluten free. Fingers crossed for you :)

@Archies Mum -thank you ever so much - you're always so lovely about my cakes :)

corduroy cat said...

ooh can't wait til your business is up so i can try some cakes!
alas, i have no fancy kitchen appliances but i'm getting a tortilla press soon :)

Baking Addict said...

Good luck with the new business venture. My favourite kitchen appliance would also be my beloved KitchenAid. I think you already own the books that I have and would recommend. Hope to see you on 4th June but I've just been asked to help a friend move house so not sure if I'll make it.