Happy Halloween

Even since I got my Kitchen Aid which feels like forever ago now (26 days) I have been using every excuse possible to bake. Actually I haven't been baking as much as I would like, but you know life and work gets in the way, also its not always cheap to be baking cakes everyday. However a lady at my work and I get very excited when talking about baking projects and equipment and so when I told her I'd bought a Kitchen Aid she was the first person to put in an order. I had some time to prepare as it was for Halloween.
I have always said this about my baking that if you don't look at my baked goods and instantly want to eat them (or squash them in your face at the sight of them), then I don't want to bake them. I like to try do simple baking that is mouthwatering, edible and simply delicious. When I started to research ideas for cupcakes for Halloween a lot of the cupcakes looked absolutely amazing, however eating a cupcake covered in marzipan is not the most mouthwatering idea to me. I am saying this in a hypocritical way as I've used marzipan to make the spiders, however I had never actually used marzipan and wanted to give it a go. Also they are not over loaded with the stuff and even simply removing the marzipan spider you would still have a quite enjoyable cupcake which is the point, in my opinion anyway.

These are my Halloween Cupcake experiments. I went for a basic vanilla cupcake base and went crazy on top - I hope the kids enjoyed them.

Red colouring makes kids happy right? Or slightly crazy?
Ghosts Ghouls

Deadly Redback Spiders

The boxes ready to go on the train journey... we made it!

 Happy Baking x

One for the Girls, One for the Boys

I was asked this week to make two dozen cupcakes for a kids birthday party. The Birthday Girl was 7 years old and I was looking forward to doing some fun kids cupcakes.

Since I could do two batches I did half lemon and the other half chocolate and decorated them all with my 'nearly never fail' cream cheese icing. I say nearly never fail as soon as you label something never fail, its just bound too. It didn't this time and looked amazing in bright pink and blue.

They were delivered successfully to the lady who ordered them at work, however she had to bat off all the people in her department all day. Lets hope I get some more baking orders out of it!! (Come on Claims people I'm looking at you)

Hope the Birthday Girl enjoyed them and the rest of the kids too.

Happy Baking x

Little Blues

Just a quick post tonight. I've not really been in the mood for writing lately, however the baking still persists. I've recently injured my back and on some heavy painkillers which seem to killing my writing mood.

Anyway, last week I was invited around to my friends houses on consecutive nights and so what better way to say thanks for dinner than with chocolate cupcakes and butter cream icing.

Happy Baking x

Mad About Sprinkles

So I had a few left over fairy cakes from my order of 50 and I thought I'd just decorate them with all the pretty things in my baking cupboard. Also recently a care package full of Australian treats made its way here from my lovely friend Annette in Brisbane, which included some Jaffa's, Mint Slice, Sour Bears, Red Frogs, Jelly Beans and Aeroplane Jelly, oh and some brightly coloured Bonds underwear.

I use to love decorating the cupcakes I use to make when I was younger with jelly crystals, so I reverted back to my school days and did just that.

Our Aussie care package
Milo topped double up's
Nom MILO!!!!!!!!!
Lime Jelly Crystals
Port Wine Jelly Crystals
Happy Baking x

Fairy Cake Monday

My lovely friend, lets call her Ruru (to hide her true identity) had some of my fairy cakes at work last week and was kind enough to let one of her workmates sample one. He was apparently so impressed with my fairy cakes, despite the bright green sponge, that he paid me to make 50 for the following Monday. Of course I said yes.

Now baking 50 vanilla fairy cakes proved (excuse my French) a piece of piss. However, transporting 50 fairy cakes at peak hour on a Monday morning is the test. I thought of a few ways, some of which were to buy boxes, however trying to keep it on the cheap side I headed down to Tesco's in search of boxes. First thing I saw was the Krispy Kreme stand and thought the boxes would be perfect. I asked one of the shop assistants if I could take an empty box. He was about to say yes, but then didn't seem to sure. I asked him if I could buy it - he said no. Fine. So I went to the guy stacking shelves and managed to score some other boxes (for free) that would do the job.

I was lucky that Monday was a nice day with only a slight windy breeze and every single fairy cake make it to Moorgate unharmed, but not without a few looks on a busy peak hour train. I think people were just jealous that they couldn't have one, well that's what I kept telling myself when I got dirty looks.

Apparently they were all gone by midday... next order please!

Big Red working her magic 
on 3 batches of mix all at once
ready for the oven
my card, for the moment - design by Marco
yellow on yellow on yellow - just for Ruru

Pretty in Pink
my cardboard box contraption...
 most are on the bottom, much safer from 
the elements under there
Happy Baking x

Games Night at the Villas

Last Friday night it was games night at the Villas. It was an excuse to stay at home, eat take out curry, drink and play games with pals and we did a little of each very well. Since we had dinner and it was Friday I thought it only right that we should have dessert (see an excuse - I'll find one). I decided to go with an Australian favourite - Pavlova. I went to Tesco's during my lunch break to get the ingredients and as its not the right time of year, though not that that has matter in the past in the UK they just seem to import anything from everywhere. I'm sorry but mango in the middle of winter is just weird, just saying. I was disappointed that I couldn't find any passion fruit or kiwi fruits that weren't sold in massive box, so I went for a simple mix of strawberries and raspberries they were also two for £4 - bargain!

I can't believe, actually I can, how easily Big Red (my Kitchen Aid) whipped up the eggs in to a nice soft peak. It was done in minutes and put in the oven for the gruelling 1hour 40mins. It was a lot of fun watching it grow in size, and then crack down the middle, which I was reassured could happen and it wasn't because of a lack of baking skill, phew!

Friday night = Baking + Cider
white mountain of sugary goodness
looks right so far...

When we were ready for dessert, my other kitchen aid and past student Tom whipped up some cream on Big Red. Before we even got the plates out to serve the pavlova up, the forks went straight in and was finished as quickly as the eggs were beaten in the first place. I must say a combination of eggs, sugar, cream, raspberries and strawberries is hardly going to fail to impress - but I was impressed at my first attempt at a Pavlova, even if it was slightly over cooked.

Strawberries & Raspberries.. can't really go wrong
Pav's good side.. though you can see the cracks and she' looks a little deflated
a modest slice I would say

The rest of games night went down a treat as well... though that could have been the ciders talking, or the Morgan Spiced Rums & Coke or the Gin Bloody Mary's.. or even the White Rum Mojitos. All I know is I suck at poker - but don't you think we all do great poker faces?

Poker Faces

Happy Baking x

Big, Red & Shiny... Introducing... Big Red

This has been a very exciting week and its only Wednesday. It didn't start out so well as I was sick on Monday, and still don't feel 100%, but hey baking makes everything better. And I was very excited when I got an email alert at work that my new toy had been delivered. I was out the door at 5.30pm, but not without a quick trip to the supermarket for supplies. Who knew 4 bags of flour, 2 bags of sugar, a dozen eggs, potatoes, yoghurt and a box of cereal would be so heavy... go figure.

After a quick pat down to make sure she was all there, I gave her a quick rinse and put her into action. I thought I would christen her with a simple batch of vanilla cupcakes and use this to test out my cake decorating skills ie. play around with my piping tube to see if I actually have any skills. I decided also to use some green food colouring for the cake and made pink coloured icing. I then went through every jar in my baking cupboard and decorated each cupcake with a different coloured sprinkle... and trust me there are a few.



I must say there is no turning back now, I think I'm in love. I have a bit of learning to do with her, but all in good time. First lesson I learnt is that when the whisk is in the upright position you are still able to turn it on. I found out the hard way and ended up with green mixture sprayed down my work shirt (yes I have 4 aprons and no I didn't think to put one on - actually that's two lessons now) and all throughout the kitchen.

More to come very soon from Big Red... much much more!

best picks of the bunch

Happy Baking x


I was send this by LK whilst at work. This is how I like to see my cakes being enjoyed :)