Tuesday, 30 November 2010


this savoury-meals-as-cupcakes is getting out of hand now. inventive - i will admit but that block of 'butter' in 'gravy'. i would have to eat these with my eyes closed. what IS that on the bottom left??


hard as it may be to believe, i'm not actually the ambassador for the hummingbird bakery...

BUT when i heard about their new christmas flavours, i couldn't resist. these go on sale tomorrow so don't miss out! the first flavour is chestnut and other festive flavours include candy cane, eggnog, cinnamon & raisin, christmas pudding, raspberry trifle and gingerbread (complete with gingerbread men sprinkles. check out the post i ♥ sprinkles for more!)


the marsh mallow flower is one of the simplest decorative techniques i have come across. if you're looking for something easy without looking lazy (i'll take that almost every time!) then embrace the flower power with this little technique.

all it requires is a bag of regular sized marsh mallows and some scissors. cut one mallow into 3 to 4 equal parts. next, arrange them to mimic petals - these will hold together easily. i would definitely use sharp scissors and regular rinsing as you will find yourself in a sticky situation about 4 or 5 marshmallows in.


i love a good flashback. rocking the mellow mallow since 1990.


Friday, 26 November 2010



check out these minute heart shaped sprinkles mother bought!

if you're feeling festive (i know it's still only november but if selfridges can put up their tree in august...), check out these christmas sprinkles from cakes, cookies and craftshop 





the hummingbird bakery recently announced the upcoming release of their second book, cake days. today, they released the cover and confirmed that there would be 100 brand new recipes. eek! keep your eyes peeled for cake days released in march 2011.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010



i've been meaning to discuss the cupcake version of my signature sponge for some time now. i wanted to try and incorporate the two fillings, whipped cream and creme pattisiere, into a cupcake. i had two options: brave the double whammy frosting or dig out some of the centre of the sponge. i am yet to test out the latter but i'll let you know how that goes.

i chose to use the creme pattisiere as the base layer because the mixture is much thicker. the cream is light enough to sweep across the top with minimum effort (priority).

the main body of the cake is a vanilla mixture and the topping can be any berry variety. if you're feeling fancy, maybe drizzle on some melted white chocolate. if you're feeling ridiculously fancy, maybe make that green and blacks organic white chocolate. ;)



no matter how much i practice, i just can't seem to create that fancy frosting. naturally, i blame the palette knife every time - mostly for being on the small side.

the primrose bakery's book of tricks reveals how to ice the perfect cupcake...

1. To keep the consistency as smooth as possible, beat the icing with an electric hand beater before starting. Between icing each cupcake, use a knife to stir the icing.

  1. 2. Start by scooping up the most buttercream you can in one go with a palette knife and place it in the centre of the cupcake. 

  2. 3. Keeping the knife angled, so that its flat side remains in contact with the buttercream, work the icing to one edge of the cupcake by gently pushing it using small strokes with the knife.
  4. 4. Take another scoop of buttercream icing and repeat step 3, this time pushing the icing out to the opposite edge of the cupcake. 

  5. 5. Add one more scoop of icing to the cupcake to bring the edges together, while making a central peak with the remaining icing. 

  6. 6. Dip the end of the knife into the centre of the iced cupcake and, in an anti-clockwise direction, drag the knife in a circular motion to create a swirl effect. 

  7. 7. Decorate the cupcake. Make sure to put any sprinkles onto the cupcakes as quickly as possible, otherwise the icing will set a little, making it hard for any decoration to stick.





hmmm, maybe next time...

Read more from the founders of the primrose bakery, martha swift and lisa thomas.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


yesterday i ventured to covent garden, the home of some of london's finest bakeries. hidden on the corner of tavistock street, i visited the primrose bakery. it may not have been overflowing with custom like fellow bakery, ella's bakehouse, situated in the heart if covent garden, but with its humble prices [£1.85 for a regular cupcake, compared to ella's bakehouse's £2.50 pricing, and £1.25 for a mini cupcake] and array of colourful treats to choose from the modest cafe didn't disappoint.



i indulged in a vanilla cupcake whereas ross chose a mocha one. unfortunately, he reported a slight overkill of coffee dominating other flavours. so, if you're a devotee to tha coffee, this one's for you!

Saturday, 20 November 2010


remember the hamburger cupcakes? well, today i've discovered the meatball cupcake:


they probably taste deeelish but based upon aesthetics...i'm not so sure.

a break-down of these adventurous bakes: the "spaghetti" is drizzled frosting, the "sauce" is strawberry jam, the meatball is a Rocher chocolate, and the "parmesan cheese" is grated white chocolate.

Friday, 19 November 2010

FLASHBACK - 6 years, 3 wishes

my favourite EVER birthday cake was the genie from aladdin. i even asked mother how she managed to craft the shape but even she couldn't remember. i guess we'll never know...


Thursday, 18 November 2010


the hummingbird bakery have teamed up with the terrence higgins trust to create vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting decorated with a glittering handmade red ribbon to mark world AIDS day.

these will be on sale from 22nd november to 5th december 2010. 

25p from each cupcake will be donated to the terrence higgins trust, one of hummingbird's partner charities.

check them out here



another birthday in the office means another cake. today, colin the caterpillar made a special appearance! who wants the face?!


Wednesday, 17 November 2010


yep, boys can bake too. check out this delight with homemade butter icing. courtesy of ross maylor.



i'm still unsure as how to ice this year's christmas cake so i've been searching online for some inspiration...

michelin stylee -where rulers are essential

the shimmering contender

scattered snowflakes (severe lack of marzipan - minus points)

picturesque vibes with questionable snow

the miniature banquet - where the xmas pudding is bigger than the turkey

the simply classic

the rising star


i've always wanted to know how exactly how to craft a cake pop and as it turns out - the basic recipe is fairly simple.

all it takes is a cake, some frosting, lollypop sticks and a coating of your choice, say melted chocolate? you take the baked cake of choice, break it into a crumble, mix it with the frosting, roll small lumps into a ball, mount it to the lollypop stick and dip into the coating! you can view the full tutorial here on amazon with the founder of Bakerella, Angie Dudley.

if you don't fancy making them yourself, you can also go to UK based online bakery POP Bakery and order some of these cute pop cakes:

Monday, 15 November 2010

FLASHBACK - the hungry caterpillar

i think this was the year us potten enders dressed up as a caterpillar in the school play? fitting.

i vaguely remember this alice-in-wonderland-esque creation. butter cream icing is a firm favourite down at the winkwell so i'm wishing mother remembered how this was made as well!!



Sunday, 14 November 2010


following on from yesterday's news - i finally came to a decision to bake my own christmas cake thanks to delia's classic christmas cake package available exclusively to waitrose.


if you have chosen to buy and weigh out your own ingredients, you can find the recipe online here.

now, i may LOVE to bake but who isn't all for saving time? especially when it's staring at you [delia's stare to be exact] in the face the second you walk into waitrose! delia's classic christmas cake pack was not just easy to use; it was so simple that i felt like i was cheating. all your job is to open each packet and beat/mix/whisk all of the ingredients together. i will admit, yes, you have to grate the lemon and orange for their zest but let's face it, if that's the only work required, i'm not going to complain. i would reccommend having this ready before combining all the other components - you don't want to be on a roll, stating to everyone how you can't get over the simplicity of this recipe, nearly complete the mixing mission and realise you've forgotten to grate the zest.

once you've picked your tin, you'll need to grease it and then line it with parchment paper. not only is this so it'll be easier to remove from the tin once baked but also to keep it contained in the weeks of "feeding" leading up to christmas. you may want to employ a [boy]friend's artistic skills at this point...



as the mixture needs 4 hours in the oven, applying newspaper/parchment paper around the outside of the tin and fashioning a lid will prevent it from burning. unfortunately, i don't have the answer as to why, i've just been told this. maybe we'll come back to this reason later...



once the cake was removed from the oven, i let it cool in the tin for about an hour before the first "feed". i made evenly distributed incisions with a sharp knife and poured in drops of brandy. it helps to keep the knife in the cake while doing so to ensure the brandy can seep deeper.


in the run up to christmas, this needs to be carried out roughly every two weeks followed by icing. 10/10 to waitrose!


Saturday, 13 November 2010


i've been umming and ahhing whether or not to bake the family christmas cake this year. when most supermarkets are selling un-iced fruit cakes, ranging from £5.00 to £10.00, it's just far too tempting to back out of the science of baking and fast track straight to creativity.

round fruit cake - £5.99 - waitrose

square fruit cake - £9.99 - waitrose

if you are planning to bake the fruit cake from scratch, i was advised to do so roughly 1 1/2 to 2 months prior to christmas to allow feeding time. to achieve the all round flavour and moist texture, the cake will need to be fed brandy every two weeks. a few holes pierced into the surface followed by just a few drops will suffice. i felt i had probably run out of time and 80% of me had succumbed to purchasing.

this is until i discovered a clever idea from waitrose today. they're latest recipe card is delia's classic christmas cake which wouldn't have swayed my decision as i used this recipe for last year's cake. however, at the end of one of the isles was sitting...

delia's classic christmas cake - £9.99 - waitrose

all of the ingredients you need to bake your own christmas cake: all measured out. i couldn't resist a deal like that. however, there are 4 ingredients missing: 5 medium egg, zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon and butter


tomorrow, i'll be testing out delia's classic christmas cake ingredients and recipe card ready for the upcoming weeks of feeding.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010


i just looove anything colourful, with almonds and the compatibility with a creme pattisiere filling. i attempted making macaroons at the weekend and failed miserably. i plan to make some more soon and will post the trick to achieving the perfect consistency when whipping the egg whites with sugar.

Monday, 8 November 2010


the hummingbird bakery have launched their new soda collection where each day of the week is dedicated to a daringly scrumptious flavour.

today's flavour is cherry cola. You can order from the hummingbird bakery's website or if you're in london, get yourself down to soho!

other fizzy flavours include grape soda, lemon, orangeade, cola, cream soda, and root beer. check them out at http://hummingbirdbakery.com/cupcakes/special-of-the-day/


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