Friday, 30 December 2011

I raise a Baileys cupcake to you all


2011 has been quite the year for me.

In February I got a Kitchenaid, and love it as much today as I did the day I brought it home squealing all the way from Chiswick to New Cross. I still often stand in the Kitchen stroking it in a way that isn't particularly normal for a girl and a stand mixer.

In March left a job that I for some time despised with a rousing chorus of so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu, adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu. And yes I did sing it LOUDLY as I was leaving. Lots of J├Ągermeister may have been involved.

Then in April I buggered off to Madrid on a whim to see Manowar, visit twin baby pandas and eat cupcakes.

Then I started working in baking - first in a cafe in Brixton where I covered the bakery for two days a week while the other girl had time off. It was great while it lasted but alas I couldn't survive on just 5 or so hours of work a week and thankfully one of my favourite bakers in London was hiring and I was lucky enough to get the job. This led to months of baking, and learning, with someone I really admired. It also led to me getting more work with another fab baker. I can honestly say the time with these two has been the best time I've had at work in many years. I've learned lots - including NOT to turn a Kenwood to pulse just after adding the red colouring to red velvet batter or to turn it to pulse while only cream cheese is in the bowl. You will not look pretty afterwards. Mainly, don't pulse anything ever. And check the baking powder, bicarb each and every time - then recheck. Oh and don't pick up cake tins straight out of the oven with bare hands. This hurts. Lots.

I'm hoping 2012 leads to lots more baking and lots more good cake! Oh and can we hope that it's the year when some crapcake purveyors stop peddling their old tasteless poor excuses for cake please?

That shall be I Heart Cupcakes call for 2012:

What do we want?
Fresh n tasty cake!
When do we want it? 
NOW! please *  

Happy New Year everyone - may all your cupcake wishes for 2012 come true. 

Cheers, and thanks to everyone who continues to visit my blog!

* remember manners cost nothing

Christmas Presence - Nutella for everyone

Sarah aka Maison Cupcake has announced that Christmas Presence will be the last Forever Nigella in its current format so I had to post an entry. Luckily I'd already made something suitable as a Christmas gift for my lovely friend Kirsty. 

The Nutella Cheesecake recipe comes from Stylist magazine which Nigella recently guest edited. The cover was the talk of the town and the magazine featured other exclusive recipes including bacon brownies which I also made - I didn't eat any but Manny said they were tasty. I just can't get my head around bacon and chocolate. 

As well as the giant cheesecake the recipe was big enough to make a couple of mini ones for myself and Manny (I knew all those Gu glass pots I insist on keeping would come in handy) so we could taste test it just incase.  I can report that it was delicious, so much so that I had to stop Manny from sneaking Nigella style into the fridge late at night in his silk* robe to steal a huge slice!

This was so good I'm hoping to make another for our New Years eve dinner- complete with edible glitter of course! 

Happy New Year everyone, and thanks for reading!

*Manny doesn't really own a silk robe although he wants a red one with dragons on after watching too many bad Kung Fu movies -I've threatened divorce should he ever buy one

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Penguin Snowball cupcakes

These cupcakes are perfect for the positively Arctic temperatures out there. Ok, not quite Arctic but blooming freezing nonetheless.

I was sent some lovely chilli penguins from Hotel Chocolat, part of their Christmas gift selection, and decided to use them as cupcake toppers.

I opted for a coconut cupcake topped with a coconut covered snowball of coconut frosting - what can I say I love coconut and thought it would go well with the slightly spicy chocolate.

The chocolate penguins went really well with the cakes, and would make a lovely stocking filler for a fan of chocolate with a little chilli kick. If they're not a fan of chilli chocolate the penguins also come in caramel! Yum

Finally, don't you just love my little penguin guarding the cupcake?