Monday, 27 August 2012

Holiday in pictures

We have finally made our way home after four blissful weeks of travelling through Europe. Although we have been home for just over a week, I am not quite ready to accept the reality of “normal” life. Nevertheless, begrudgingly I have returned back to “normal” life by returning to work and even took on some bake jobs this past week! 

Although it was only a little over a week ago since I was in beautiful sunny Europe, it feels like a life time ago. And all I have to show for four weeks of travel is photographs of all the food I ate! Correction – all the DELICIOUS food I ate. Naturally, my body gravitated towards pastries and baked goods. Hey, the body wants what the body wants, and who am I to deny my body what it wants?!

The trip started off in London. Where we watched my superstar sister-in-law represent Australia in the Olympics. She and all the Hockeyroos did a stella job and the whole family was (and still is) very proud! But enough of about that, let’s talk about cupcakes! I had two cupcakes while in London – first cupcake was from Hummingbird bakery and the second cupcake was from a random cupcake stall in Bricklane Market. The verdict? Of course the Hummingbird cupcake was delicious, as if it would be anything less than that. But what caught me by surprise was how delicious the cupcake from the random cupcake stall in Bricklane Market was! I remember the icing was particularly divine – creamy, light and packed a lot of flavour. I am salivating at the thought of the cupcake – GET IN MY BELLY NOW!

Vanilla chocolate cupcake from Hummingbird bakery.

Get in my belly now cupcake!
Also referred to as, vanilla berry cupcake from a random stall at Bricklane Market.

After London, we made our way to Paris. The city of beautiful macarons, but sadly no cupcakes! I searched for cupcake stores high and low and was out of luck. I even googled “cupcakes in Paris” and the stores that I found online were sadly closed down. Perhaps this was because of the current economic conditions in Europe. For whatever reason the cupcake stores were closed down, I was nevertheless very sadden by not being able to eat cupcakes whilst in Paris. So, I ate plenty of macarons and desserts to make up for it.

Marcarons from Laduree.

Macarons from Pierre Herme.

Macaron a la framboise.

Macarons from Lenotre.

Nougatella (nougat nutella mousse) from a dessert bar in Paris.

After Paris, we made our way to sunny Barcelona! Barcelona was simply amazing – tapas, fresh fruit and friendly people. I even managed to source a cupcake from Florentine bakery. Although the cupcake was ‘nice’, I was just content with the opportunity to eat a cupcake after going cold turkey for 2 weeks straight without eating a cupcake! Let’s just say I was experiencing withdrawals and was a little more crabby than usual.

Vanilla marshmallow cupcake from Florentine bakery.

And here we are, four weeks later. As if it was all a dream and I have just woken from a coma … a food coma that is!  

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Best of both worlds!

I don't ever pretend to be anything but greedy! I want it all. After all, why can't I have my cupcake and eat it too?! If I can have the best of both worlds, why not?

Last year I wrote a blog post about my preferred method of icing cupcakes. Basically in the post, I categorised cupcakers as either spreaders or pipers. I personally categorised myself as a piper. In my humble cupcake opinion, there is nothing quite as pretty as a piped cupcake.

However, recently I have had a cupcake revelation. Why can't cupcakers be spreaders and pipers? Why am I so narrowed minded that I feel the need to categorise cupcakers by the way they choose to ice their cupcakes. I mean, that is cupcake discrimination and I am no bigot.

Nevertheless, I now identify myself as a cupcake spreader piper. So how does one become a cupcake spreader piper? Well it's easy! As Agent O-Zo (sorry, children's program reference) would say, just follow three simple steps:

Step 1: When you are filling your cupcake patty with the cupcake mixture, just fill half the patty. That way, the cupcake base will rise to the rim of the cupcake patty.

Step 2: Place a generous scope of icing on top of the cupcake base. Using a knife, spread the icing over the top of the cupcake base. Fill in any gaps between the cupcake base and the patty. By the end of this step, you should have a smooth surface of icing completely covering the cupcake base.

Step 3: Using your desired nozzle, pipe on your icing on top of the cupcake base.

And there you go. You get the best of both worlds! And the good news keeps on coming, by completely covering your cupcake base with icing, it keeps your cupcake base moist for longer! Ascetically pleasing and practical.