Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas Blog No.1

I love Christmas! I think when you're a baker, you can't not love Christmas. It gives you so many opportunities to make delicious treats as well as amazing designs and is one of the most inspiring holidays you can get. Whether you celebrate or not; you can't deny that Christmas is good for the baking soul!

So with Christmas just around the corner I thought it would be a good idea to post some of my latest cupcake and cake creations. I'm sure more will follow!

Novelty Christmas Cupcakes

Winter Wonderland Cupcakes

Red Velvet Christmas Cupcakes

12 Days of Cupcake Christmas - at the St Albans Arts & Crafts Market

Me with All my lovely Christmas treats!

Happy Christmas Cupcaking!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Cupcake Shop Review - 27th November 2011

Again, a month has slipped by without any blog posts. I've been so busy this last year I barely find the time to sit down and relax let alone update my blog. One of my new year's resolutions will be to write blog posts more regularly.

Anyway, last month it was my birthday and I'd been wanting to visit some cupcake shops in London for a while so this was the perfect opportunity. It's only 20 minutes from St Albans to London so it's not far!

My sister and I visited Lola's Cupcakes in Selfridges and Cox, Cookies and Cake. There are so many cupcake shops on my 'to visit' list but my little feet can only take so much walking around so we just did the 2 this time!

First up, 'Cox, Cookies and Cake' in Soho. I'd heard lots about CCC so was eager to go and see what it was like. CCC was set up by Patrick Cox, fashion designer and Eric Lanlard, reknowned pastry chef so I had high hopes. Unfortunately these high hopes were short lived as when I sampled them at home I was less than impressed.

But before I go into details, first let's see the shop and see what they had to offer. Now, the shop looks fab. It's really stylish and very 'Soho' - you can tell it was started up by a fashion designer.

The cupcakes look reasonably good and again look 'fashionable.' However, they are extremely overpriced. These ones below are £4.00 each. Now, I can understand maybe paying that for the 'boobs' and as someone who knows how much work goes into cupcakes, I don't usually complain about price. But the price HAS to reflect the quality. The decorations were all ready made and none of them had any ingredients that were that expensive to buy. So the main reason you pay £4.00 for these is the name and unfortunately, it doesn't reflect the quality you would expect.

When I got the cakes home, unfortunately they had been squished on the tubes (won't be going to London near Christmas time any time soon!!) but that shouldn't affect the taste too much! There was hardly any cake in the cupcakes. The red velvet cupcakes were half pinkish half vanilla. And the cupcakes were dry. If there's two things that bug me about cupcakes being done wrong it's a) dry and b) no cake. Literally the cases weren't even full of cake.

Luckily, Lola's made up for these. I didn't get any photos in Selfridges as it was absolutely heaving, but it's a cute little counter with a few tables in the food court and it's right next to Ella's Bakehouse which has cupcakes, pastries and cookies for sale (they looked amazing. I regret not buying anything from them!) I went with a selection of minis but in hindsight I should've gone with my own choice as most of them were just vanilla with different coloured icing. They were nice but my favourite was the one I bought separately which was a banana cupcake. It had a divine cream cheese frosting and a really light, moist cake. I would definitely go back to Lola's but I think next time I would go for the ones in the counter instead of the ready boxed ones as I think they would've been fresher. Here's me with my box of Lola's cupcakes looking rather tired at St Pancras Station.

Until next time...Happy Cupcaking!