Jumble & Pearls Vintage Fayre.. complete with Cupcakes!!!

I'm so excited!!! What Laura Made has been asked to do the cupcakes for the Jumble & Pearls vintage day!! The afternoon includes cupcakes, vintage shopping & roasts which is pretty much all my favourite things being held on lovely summer afternoon in East London!

I'm still working on my shortlist of flavours, but its Wimbledon weekend and so strawberry and cream is a must!!

Sunday 26th June -- come visit me!!!

Chocolate Baileys Cupcakes

These cupcakes I tried to do a little bit of an experiment by adding Baileys as we have had a large bottle of it in the cupboard and I though it might be a nice touch. I used a Hummingbird vanilla cupcake recipe and thought I would just add the Baileys to the icing instead of milk. However I ran out of milk for the actual recipe and made up about a third of the milk measurement with Baileys, so I thought there would be more than enough of the flavour coming through.

I think I might have to do a few more trials of these, not that I had any complaints, but apparently they didn't really taste at all of Baileys either in the cake or in the icing. I think they looked super tasty with some chocolate i had left over from some eclairs I made.. can you guess what my next blog is??

Any tips for making the cupcakes taste more like Baileys are welcome.... maybe a shot of Baileys tipped over each???

Happy Baking x

NB. I you would like to see a few more photos or get in contact etc, I've branched over to Facebook now.. find me here

Candy Cakes in Covent Garden

As of tomorrow I will have made it 7 days with no sugar!!! Well except of course for small taster of some of baking goods from my baking weekend. I'm already planning out carefully when my next sugar treat is and its going to be/better be well worth it!

Anyway my last day of sugar was the May Day holiday and so I went on a little cupcake adventure into Covent Garden. The plan was to go to Sweet Couture, however we had been walking around for a while and decided we needed to sit down for a bit and so I stumbled across Candy Cakes. Okay less of a stumble, and more of a use a computer with free internet at the Apple store and search for cupcake shops and this one said it was 4 second walk.. not close enough!

Pete looks happy surrounded by pink

I'd never heard of this before and so I wasn't sure what to expect. The whole store was very bright and had the potential to be cute, however it was definitely lacking something, but its in a high tourist spot (it was in the Covent Garden Piazza) and I never expect much from tourist areas.

We decide to have a milkshake each and then share a cupcake. Which was a great idea as I wouldn't have been able to eat a whole cupcake. I got a Mint Aero milkshake and Pete got a Reeses Peanut Buttercup milkshake. I had a little bit of milkshake envy, but the Mint Aero hit the spot... I'm a sucker for choc mint!

I was going to take the cupcake home but we just decided to eat it straight away. I went for Banoffee flavour and as I cut the cupcake in half, you could tell straight away it was dry. The icing however redeemed the cake (slightly) and also didn't fall off which is more than I can say for a lot of cupcakes I've bought. I went to eat the sweet on top which Pete then informed me was a licorice all sort which I apparently scrunched my nose up at.. I thought it would be caramel... why put licorice on a banoffee cake?

Anyway besides the cake, the icing was lovely, but it tasted more of coffee than toffee. Or maybe I have mistaken what Banoffee is.. maybe they should have renamed it Bancoffee!

Happy Baking x

Lemon Curd Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

This weekend I've been very keen to jump into the kitchen  and just bake all weekend. It's a bit weird as I have not eaten sugar all week (non-natural) and I thought by the weekend I would be craving it but no cravings so far, should I be worried as a baker? Nah! It hasn't stopped me baking and I am writing this blog post at 2am on a Saturday night / Sunday morning which is kind of appropriate for the girl baked these for, as she know how to dance and get any crowd going, including myself at any time of the night!!!

So these are another bath of lemon curd cupcakes with cream cheese icing. I delivered these to her door earlier in the day and I was quite surprised with the reaction i got on the tube, I swear I'm could have sold these 4 times over by the time in actually made it Swiss Cottage and back which has given me a great idea but more on that later!!!

Happy Baking x

Testing... Vanilla Cupcakes.. I think I passed!

I have only two weeks until I have to bang out 100 cupcakes for a friends wedding and whilst I've done many cupcakes before, I'm still slightly nervous.. actually a lot nervous. Also I started a no-sugar diet yesterday, well its not a diet, just no sugar unless natural etc, but strangely what actually helps my sugar cravings is baking and now Day Two of my no sugar few weeks is nearly over!

So tonight whilst Pete sits on his computer doing his best to tell the world of Reading about a Cloud Control gig next week and  LK is in her room practicing her songs as she is now supporting them I get my bake on with some simple vanilla cupcakes which hopefully my workmates will enjoy tomorrow.

This is Tom and it seems he likes my cake.. so that's good enough for me...

Happy Baking x

A Proper Ladies Afternoon - Mojito Genoise Cake & Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a ladies afternoon at the Villas with about 12 lovely ladies, which also worked out well as our friend Dee was visiting from Australia. If you can remember she was a fantastic host when I went home in December and hosted a whole afternoon in her amazing 50's decor home.

I had recently bought a copy of Lorraine Pascale's - Baking Made Easy and eagerly flipped through straight to the cake section. The recipe for this cake caught my eye very quickly as my favourite cocktail is a mojito, so I was instantly wanting to give this one a go. When I've hosted an afternoon before, I've generally made a plethora of sweets, but thankfully I asked LK and Dee to help out and prepare other sweets which enabled me to focus my mojito... which actually took most of my day.

The cake turned out even better than I could have imagined, however I really need to learn to read through recipes as it was like I had gone in blind folded. There were a few things I'd never done before for example the sugar syrup which was infused with the mint leaves which was then pasted onto each half of the sponge. I then made the cake, and wow if only i had read through would I have been slightly more prepared, but my arm got a good work out, I basically ended up hand whisking for 20 minutes non-stop! No joke... I'm an idiot.. I have a very expensive Kitchen Aid which would have done it perfectly, but I have some great arms now because of it, no bingo wings for me! After the cake was done which I did had a bit of a disaster with as it didn't quite cook through the middle which was my laziness of not checking the oven temperature with my thermometer, another lesson learnt. The icing was done no problems and then last but not least the topping which itself alone was to die for. It was pecan nuts covered in sugar syrup which was then left to go hard and then blitzed in the food processor. It made about 4 times as much as we needed for the cake, but the leftovers didn't go astray making a great topping for vanilla ice cream. Miss Pascale had only covered the sides of the cake, but I'm not very neat so I just covered the whole cake, but the the pecan nut toffee topping was was worth covering the cake in. I would love to know how the get it so perfectly around the cake, maybe they roll it? Maybe not, but if anyone has tips let me know.

On the other side of the afternoon tea table was LK and Dee's Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies (from the new Hummingbird Cookbook) and these did not last long. They were filled with cream cheese icing and were to die for. After the last attempt at Whoppie Pies they decided to use the Yorkshire pudding trays which made them all uniform and look super cute.

Ladywives baking together...
what more could you need in life...
good palette knife skills LK!

For some savoury food, I used Miss Pascale's sausage roll recipe. I have made sausage rolls before, however I can only remember the basics from a distant memory of helping my Nana Peg. I always get asked for more and there are never leftovers when I make them, but this recipe helped me make this recipe just that extra bit special... no secret, just a bit of thyme!

Miss Meg being strapped by her Ladywife Kate... we didn't ask!
LK at her happiest... surrounded by instruments
I think she is going to play next time
serving up cake... I think I was the keenest to get into it!
It just looks at you...
I had a such a great afternoon entertaining all my lady friends and I think they got a kick out of the whole afternoon ;)

Also thank you to Helena for the lovely photographs...
Miss Helena on the left and Miss Dee on the right.. or was it Nicola???

Happy Baking x

The Ten Minute Chocolate Cake

I recently received my shipment of all my old things from Australia. Most of these things were in storage for many years, including all my beloved old cookbooks which I am very happy to be reunited with.

I totally forgot the I had promised to make this cake for a work colleague who has just left our company after 32 years... insane!!! This cake was made from a Women's Weekly cookbook called Fast Cakes... and it was just what I needed as I had limited time after work as I also had a 3 level birthday cake, but more on that later.

Happy Baking x