As Mother’s Day was rapidly approaching, my sister and I decided the best way to spoil our darling mother and grandmother was to invite them over for a no-nonsense afternoon tea. We threw about some ideas as to what delights are considered the epitome of the traditional British excuse for tea and cake. Narrowing down our menu to finger sandwiches, miniature Victoria Sandwich cakes and scones we dashed to the local supermarket to pick up the ever important teapot and a whole host of ingredients.
Whilst the Victoria sandwiches looked pretty, they were quite mean little suckers to concoct. Due to lack of utensils I was left whipping the cream by hand…. with a fork, which displeased me and my ‘ceps greatly, cutting the rounds of cake out using a glass and slyly using a toothpick as reinforcement during the assembly process (studying Architecture for two and a half years finally paying off).
Hope all the mothers were spoilt like they truly deserve. Much love cupcakes x
Once you’re struck with a passion for something, it’s hard to turn it off when going about your mundane tasks. A chore I refuse to regard as mundane is grocery shopping. Being an avid baker, most of my inspiration stems from casually perusing those sweetly categorised shelves (yes, I’m blessed with a touch of OCD). This particular occurrence, I was hovering around the ‘free from’ section and I came across all kinds of organic produce. I had never really thought about going organic before but after seeing all the goodness it could offer I couldn’t really resist.
I would love to explore the benefits of going organic and fully intend to cook up some additional treats but for now enjoy these wholly organic granola bars that I found on this lovely blog.
Much love poppets x
Happy Valentine’s Day poppets! On this day of love I hope you all have some gorgeous individual lusting (appropriately and legally) after you, wanting to spoil you rotten like you surely deserve. Whether you’re currently spoken for or not, try not to be a romantic scrooge and at the very least, have something chocolatey. I’ve even gone through the trouble of stopping by just to treat you with some sweet inspiration.
Now run along and try some of these homemade chocolate peanut butter cups. Maybe whip some up with your other half, they’re super simple and may even encourage some behaviour generally frowned upon in a kitchen environment.
Either prepare them in some easy to eat cupcake liners or get a little more à la carte and serve them up in a ramekin. Get creative.
Have a good one!
I’ll be the first to admit that I am by no means (in any way!) a professional baker. Often, I’ll find a recipe that I am so eager to try, that I’ll glorify it to the point it becomes the best thing I will ever make. The kind of recipe that entails long hours in the kitchen and three rounds of my ‘baking playlist’. It’s commonly these delights that evade me and last night was no different. I laboured 9pm-2am over what I was desperately hoping would be a magnificent birthday cake for a dear friend, instead it was an absolute disaster. Regardless, I pursued and did all I could to savour the experience.
Upon deciding it was in no shape to be presented on a special day, I assembled it only to show my mother what had befallen our dainty kitchen. The orange and purple layers faded considerably and as such were of no use to me. I stacked the remaining four and began frantically icing, as one would at 1.30am.
I had come to terms with all the blunders of the rainbow cake but the minute I cut and removed a slice, I was taken aback. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I thought it was something quite glorious and for that reason, I wanted to share my first serious food failure.
Please forgive the slap-dash icing. I will most definitely give this another try and so the recipe will not be posted until I have better results.
PS. Notice the clever angles that refuse to expose the shameful valley in the centre of the cake.
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to Paris with Marzi of MushandMarzi. We stepped off the Eurostar early Sunday afternoon and stepped right into a race to squeeze in our packed itinerary. I witnessed my first fashion show and was priveledged enough to go backstage and then onwards to two fashion parties. Monday was spent seeking out Ladurée for some delicious macarons and the most Parisian spot for lunch we could find.
I’ve always wanted to bake macarons and standing in Ladurée before a pastel coloured sea of sweet little sandwiches gave me the kick up the backside I needed.
Considering I only had my first macaron last year it’s no surprise I’m still in my honeymoon period, I can’t control myself when I see them. Thus, it only made sense to get my hands deep into a David Lebovitz chocolate macaron recipe that I willed so desperately to work. I hear macarons are notorious. In the baking world, they’re the girl you can spend every last penny on and still not get her number. Naively, this didn’t phase me. I pressed play on my ‘baking playlist’ (yes, I have one- much to the dismay of my mother…) and began.
I’m actually over the moon with how they turned out for a first attempt. A few cracks here and there, all mismatched sizes and no ‘feet’ but I was like a proud mother when I ate one. My little babies did so much for my palette.
I could go on and on but alas, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I hope this motivates you to try your hand at some macarons x
PS. Use of the Ladurée name is only a laugh at myself and how my bashful macarons could never compare to their divine confectionaries.
I’m not big on making excuses when I have done something wrong. I know what an absolute bugger I have been putting my crusade on hold and for that I sincerely apologise. I can only hope January has been a similarly hectic month for you all and my absence hasn’t caused too much of a stir. Although, a stir would mean I have somewhat of a following. In that case, I demand a stir. Stir away poppets.
Whilst you’re stirring, I’ll continue. My return to the kitchen came in the form of a Cordon Bleu recipe for a pistachio and chocolate loaf. As I received a marvellous library of cookery books for Christmas, settling on a recipe proved most time consuming. Chocolate was a given and brownies, cupcakes and cookies were out. It came down to this: pistachios or walnuts. For reasons I’ll leave up to your imagination, I voted pistachio.
So here we are, the chocolate pistachio loaf. Swirls, sugar and nuts getting a rapid thumbs up. Just to add, whilst it tasted sensational, it wasn’t as pistachio-ey as I would have liked. I think, however that was more a fault of mine rather than the recipe and I’ll explain in my recipe write-up how to avoid the same issue.
Heed my warning, pistachio-ey or not, avoid being alone in a room with this delight at all costs.
Enjoy my little cupcakes x
P.S My title is an homage to a certain pair of Baker Boys, one of which tweeted this very phrase to me.
Whilst in Aberdeen one cold and rainy day, I had this incredible hankering for something soft, sweet and doughy. My resources were depleted and only a few ingredients lay in my kitchen. I scanned my cookery books and found the only recipe that I could make without having to journey from the safety of my apartment. That’s when I found it, in a James Martin book. The most amazing Buttermilk Scones recipe. They were so quick to whip up that I could barely contain myself when they came out of the oven. Regardless of the multiple burns I suffered I was just beside myself with how delicious these little babies were. I only took one photo because… well honestly I was just far too excited with my little doughy treasures.
This is definitely something to put on the to-bake list for the New Year. Speaking of which, I hope every single one of you have an absolutely brilliant one. 2011 has been a great year for me. I’ve learnt so much about myself and have made many exciting plans for the New Year that I can’t wait to see through. Hope you all have your resolution lists at the ready, I intend to start fulfilling mine come January 1st.
Here’s to Two Thousand and Twelve- “May you live to learn well, and learn to live well. May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.”