25 September 2010

My lovely visit to Fair Cake

 The other week I FINALLY took one of the lovely Shahkita's courses at Fair Cakes. I have been ooggling and googling over her website, wondering what those pretty little cupcakes taste like. Yes, you see, when my two rugrats are alseep, instead of doing house work, I look at cupcakes online.
Anyways, so everything you read online (that is nice) is absolutely true. She is funny and experienced, and quite frankly inspirational. Like me, she is not a chef or baker, she is someone who got sick of her 9-5 job and found something she loves. Despite all the trials and tribulations, she has kept going and going and going.
I left her course feeling very inspired to keep my dream alive, to keep working at being an entrepreneur and grow my own business. Her cake making and decorating skills are all self-taught which also inspires me. If you put your heart and soul into it, a bit of hard work still pays off. I don't see that ethos here much in the UK. Our whole Aussie world is built on the 'hard work' ideologies. So it was lovely to see her hard work and inspiartional dreams instead of another 5 min scam just trying to take your ££'s.

Here are some pics I took of her lovely cupcakes which are even more breathtaking in real life than they are on her website. Mine fell out and all around in thier box in my attempt to rush off and pick up my rugrats. But still deeelishussss!!

13 September 2010

coconut cookies

My 3 yr old son LOVES to cook but I am always on the hunt for recipes that are manageable for us both: so he can DO most of the cooking and I DON'T have to do lots of cleaning up.
I found this recipe and it is a great one for kids. All you have to do is melt the butter, which I did on the hob as we don't have a microwave. But I am sure you can even let the kids measure the butter and put it in the microwave to melt, just need supervision taking it out as it will be hot.

We added 1 tbs of food colouring to the melted butter for fun. Quarrian is obsessed with colour and paint and loves when I put food colouring in their water table, or even in the bath! God bless him.

The mixture comes together like play dough so it's easy for the kids to handle and shape into flat circles. If they make mistakes or it falls apart, just put it back in the bowl and try again.

Recipe:
1 cup of self-raising flour (or substitute for gluten free flour)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of desiccated coconut
1/3 cup melted butter (or non-dairy margarine to make vegan)
3-4 tbs water
optional: 1 tbs food colouring to make it freaky!

Directions:
1. melt butter
2. add all dry ingredients to bowl
3. add melted butter and water
4. mix together with a fork to start with and then your hands
5. shape about 1 tbs of dough into flat circles and put on tray, about 1-2 cm apart
6. bake in over for 12 mins at 150 degrees Celsius.

 yes, they really ARE that orange LOL

9 September 2010

The infamous Hummingbirds Bakery.

So, I finally got to go over to west London and pick-up some cupcakes from Hummingbirds Bakery. I was so excited because I find it difficult to get around central London by myself with the two babies. They don't last too long in the stroller before they want to get out and run havoc and I have to stop and feed them every 20 minutes or so!

So my friend Barbara called to say she was visiting London and can we catch up... and jackpot, she is staying in Kensington! Now I have an excuse to go all that way! AND DH is on holidays so he can keep the kids!!! Double jackpot.

So off I went and dragged Barb around until we found it. It looks simple on the map, but South Kensington is one of those tube stations that opens onto 5 different roads! Agh!

I had to get one of each so I bought a vanilla, chocolate, black bottom, carrot cake, cherry blossom and red velvet.

The carrot cupcake was divine, nice and moist texture with great cinnamon flavour, and gorgeous cream cheese frosting. Definitely a favourite. I would buy that one again.
The chocolate cupcake was ok, the icing tasted funny like it had too much cocoa powder in it, and the cake itself was a bit dry. The red velvet was better with gorgeous cream cheese frosting.

The waiter said the black bottom was the 'best one in the store'. For those of you who don't know (like me before I had a black bottom cupcake), black bottom is dark chocolate cake with a vanilla cheese cake top and cream cheese frosting. I found the chocolate cake too much and too dry. The top half of the cheese cake part was delicious, but I am partial to cheese cake, actually I LOVE cheese cake. More cheese cake on top would have been fabulous!

The vanilla cupcake was disappointing. I was expecting a 'real' fresh vanilla flavour when I bit into the cupcake but nothing, just plain butter cream. I wouldn't buy that one again.

The cherry blossom was delicious. That was also a favorite. Delicate frosting complimented by this delicate sponge, like a floral vanilla. So yum. I would definitely buy that one again.

I would say the trip was worth it! The kids ate them all when I got home and didn't seem too disappointed by the fact that there was a big bite taken out of each cupcake. :))))
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