Weekend Delights

This weekend I'm getting out of London for a mini break and to catch up with my friend Laura... and no.. not all my friends are called Laura - just a few it would seem. 

I'm very excited as I haven't seen enough of England besides sunny London in my time here and since my my 4 year anniversary is coming up in April I think I should make an effort to see the English countryside. Laura and her family live in Bishop Stortford (the nice part of Essex apparently) and she is taking me out to Cambridge for the day on Saturday and so very excited to see some proper English towns and go to a proper English Pub for dinner.

I couldn't show up empty handed, so I baked these little treats for her family hospitality. I tried out some of the skills I got from my cupcake class from the other week, however I've still not purchases my new favourite thing of plunger cutters, however my small star cookie cutter seemed to do the trick. The cupcakes are just simple vanilla, but I think they look super cute.

Happy Baking x

Wh-Wh-Whoopie Pies

I'm sure when or where I first heard about whoopie pies, however once I had heard about them, they seem to be everywhere. I think at some point it was probably the Hummingbird Bakery that made me aware of them these weirdly named baked goods. The name itself is a little bit silly for me, but definitely had me intrigued.

Before I even attempted these I had to go try them out for myself and so I met up with my friends and wandered down to the Portobello Road branch of the Hummingbird Bakery and got into the queue. I had never actually been to Hummingbird, but have made many of the recipes out of the cookbook and so I got a little excited when I got into the shop. I went straight for the pumpkin whoopie pie with cream cheese filling... so delightful...

And that smile stayed on face the whole time.. mmm whoopie pie bliss

Next it was my turn and I needed a special occasion and my house mate and best boy mate's birthday Tom was the perfect occasion and he also has a weakness... Marshmallow Fluff.

I found a two recipes for Marshmallow from the Fluff website and couldn't decide between the two so I opted for both - Pumpkin with Cream Cheese Filling and the other Chocolate with Marshmallow/Peanut Butter filling. Besides a few hiccups with too much milk - who knew 3/4 of a pint was a lot more that 3/4 cup, but we got there in the end. I think the birthday boy was happy with the outcome.

Pumpkin Whoppies straight from the oven
Pumpkin and Cream Cheese
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fluff

I enjoyed making these a lot, though anything that has peanut butter and or Marshmallow Fluff is going to get my attention.. next time maybe a tad smaller in serving size, but delish nevertheless!

Happy Baking x

Valentines Cookies

Valentines day.. every bakers favourite day to go absolutely crazy with the red and pink hearts and I was not going to miss the opportunity to do the same. 

I opted to bake a batch of butter cookies for my very stressed out work mates which will hope them get through one of the busiest weeks of my year. My friend Lady Lulu helped me decorate them and she did a wonderful job and I'm sure everyone will appreciate them. 

ready for the oven
Flowers and heart cookies.... my perfect valentine
Perfect little roses

Another lovely lady friend of my Lady Claire has spent Sunday evening texting me for icing tips as her icing wouldn't pipe, but then she posted these lovely little valentines day treats on Facebook.

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Baking x

The Make Lounge - Cupcake Class

Last week I attended my first ever baking class, well it wasn't so much baking, but decorating!! Which was perfect for me as my cupcake swirls and decorations are pretty limited to a swirl of icing and some sprinkles.

The Make Lounge workshop is up the road from me in Islington, yet walking through this part of Angel I could really see my own little bakery/tea house filled with baked goods in the lovely windows and pretty streets. Maybe one day I will own one of those amazing apartments and run the shop down the road.. oh to dream.

Anyway back to the decorating. The class was amazing and the two and a half hours went buy in a flash. By the end of it, we all walked proudly out the door with our seven cupcake creations. The teacher was a lovely lady called Chole Coker, who also has a cookie cook book due out this year - so keep an eye out. She taught us all some very simple but creative ways to decorate our cupcakes and was a very good source of information for my various questions about general baking and some good tips which I am already putting to use. I am also a little jealous of what she has made for herself, she was a lawyer and gave it all up and now runs her own cake business. At least I know it can be done one day!

First up we learnt how to ice a cupcake with a palette knife, one nice and smooth, the other more of a messy 'farmer's market' look which I prefer.

We then learnt how to make marzipan roses and then got out the piping bags. And finally we made some little decorations covered in edible glitter which I am now a little obsessed with.

My new favourite items in my baking cupboard.. edible glitter and gel colourings!!!

I would highly recommend heading down to the The Make Lounge if you are looking to learn some new skills. And what's so great about this place besides the relaxed learning atmosphere is they don't just do baking either. They have also just announced a new class "Figurines & Flowers" which teaches you how to make edible animals and other flowers for the tops of cakes... anyone want to come with?? Come on we all need to know how to make edible penguins!!

Happy Baking x