Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tea and Cakes of London - Ms Cupcake...

My sister bought a book recently called 'Tea & Cake London' by Zena Alkayat, which gives details of some of the best places for sweet treats in London. Our plan is to go to as many as we can, to taste some of the goodies that are out there & see how the professionals do it!

Last week I was in Brixton, South London and I stumbled upon the vegan cupcake store, Ms Cupcake. I was really excited as I have heard so many good things about the place and couldn't wait to taste test! Plus it's been a while since I've featured vegan cakes on this blog!

Sure enough they didn't disappoint. The first thing you notice is just how much icing is on the cupcakes! There is literally a 50:50 cake to icing ratio, making them look so luxurious. I definitely felt some icing envy and am wondering now if I have been too miserly with my portions!

I had four flavours, Chocolate Chilli, Rose Petal, Red Velvet and Lime & Coconut. They have so many flavours on offer, it's a bit overwhelming for someone as indecisive as me (but obviously amazing!) Of these four, my personal favourites were the Lime & Coconut, followed by the Rose Petal cake and I think that is because they are vegan. There is definitely a difference in flavour with vegan cakes, but they are still very very tasty. This is where the choice of flavours comes in handy because you can push the boundaries of what you would normally choose.

If you have yet to sample vegan cupcakes, then I would definitely start here. I personally couldn't manage all of the icing, but I salute anyone that can!

Ms Cupcake can be found at 408 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LF, if you're in the area go check them out!

Peace & Love


ps do you have any recommendations for cake eateries in London??
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Monday, 18 June 2012

Walk A Mile in My Shoes....

I used to be a tomboy and never wear skirts much less heels. It just didn't seem to make any sense to me, that someone would torture themselves for the sake of fashion: surely comfort reigns supreme... Oh the foolish musings of the young!

Sugar Heels

I have since grown to appreciate the magnificence of heels. I don't go overboard and wear them all the time. It's trainers or flats to and from wherever I'm going, and heels when I get there... But how I love heels. They are flattering, elegant, feminine and can transform the way you feel about yourself.

How I'd like to roll
How I usually roll...
With my new found enthusiasm for all things pointy, it made sense for me to get down to the Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum in London. I was under time pressures so had to rush it a bit but I loved it all the same. I was blown away by his attention to detail and the passion that goes into each design. Most of his shoes actually looked wearable (except those in the fetish room), and I even spotted some flats in the mix... One day when I grow up, I too will own my own pair or three.

On that day, I will also know how to walk in them comfortably. There's nothing worse than someone in heels that they can't walk in. I can still only manage heels for short bursts but as my years increase so does my tolerance and long may it continue. By the time I'm 80 I'll be amazing! 

For now, I shall spend time making heels for cupcakes, who knows, if I make enough of them, maybe the shoe fairy will take pity on me and leave some Louboutin's under my pillow... A girl can wish :)

How have your tastes changed over the years?

Peace & Love

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Feliz Cumpleaños

Many things make me happy: music makes me happy, sunshine makes me happy and making other people happy makes me happy.

I used to paint & draw and make stuff, I was never good at art per say but I liked to mess around. My favourite thing was making personalised cards for friends and posting them as a 'just-because' surprise. I used to love writing letters and still do, there's something beautiful & special about a hand written letter. Emails are great and quick but getting something hand made can never be equalled. 

These days, I buy my cards but pour that creative energy into the cakes that I make. 

A few weeks back I made a joint birthday cake for a couple whose birthdays are days apart. The plan was to make it for a family BBQ but I got the dates mixed up & ended up making the cake a week early (in time for the actual birthday celebrations I might add!) 

I really wanted the cake to reflect the fun and energy of the couple and also to incorporate their beautiful little boy. I decided on a small 2-tier cake (chocolate and vanilla with strawberries), in bright colours with a funky stick man family! I mixed the colours from Mummy and Daddy to make baby and had fun making them cut some shapes on the dance-floor :)

I must say that I'm so glad to have a creative outlet, I thought that once I 'grew-up' I would have to put all of the things that I love (but don't make money) aside. I realise now that is not true and that enjoyment and passion is not only for the 'young'.

What do you still do that makes you feel that little bit childish?

Peace & Love
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Sunday, 10 June 2012

I Love Love....

The wedding cake

Today was the wedding of my cousin Melissa and her husband Northy. At the best of times making a wedding cake is scary, but delivering a stacked cake over 160 miles across England, family in tow, takes anxiety to a whole other level! 

Setting up the cake (in my almost-wedding outfit!)
In fact I was so focussed on getting the cake there in one piece, that I forgot to bring my wedding outfit with me!!! Thank God for my sister who had some supplies; jeans, trainers and a dirty apron are not a good look at a wedding! Once I'd set up the cake & gotten changed, I was finally able to relax in the beauty of the day. 

The beautiful couple...
I would describe myself as a hopelessly romantic, wannabe cynic: I just love love. After my failed attempts at happily ever after, I often wonder why people put themselves through it & the cynic in me gains strength. Then I come to a day like this & see the love in their eyes and the hope in their hearts & I'm a blubbering mess!

So happy :)
To be fair, anyone who knows me, knows that I cry at everything. It's a running joke in my family & borderline ridiculous, but I make no apologies: I feel, therefore I cry!

So whilst I don't know what the future will bring for me on the love front, for now, I know that I am happy for this beautiful couple and I wish them all good things! 

Below are some of my favourite snaps of the day, I think you will agree that it was beautiful! 

Flower Girls

Me (far right) & some of the family :)

My niece and nephew playing in the beautiful grounds...
I pretty much stalked this baby, too cute :)
My mum and Uncle aka the Father of the Bride 
Cutting the cake.
 Peace & Love


ps for those interested, the tiers are; bottom - Red Velvet; middle - Lemon and top - Chocolate Truffle. There was also a rum cake for good measure :).
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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Frozen Yoghurt Lolly Sticks, (FroYos)

Where is the sun?! A couple of weeks ago I was dusting off my summer wardrobe, surviving on a diet of frozen yoghurt and buying suncream, & now I'm snuggled under two duvets wondering where it all went wrong! Things can change so quickly!

So these bad boys (aka lollipop sticks), are a tasty and low fat alternative to traditional ice-cream. They are made up of crushed strawberries, a summer berry yoghurt and more crushed berries at the top. Pop them into a lollipop maker, freeze for a few hours and you have a quick and easy breakfast or snack. The best thing is that you can make so many different combinations it's great!

If there's one thing the British summer teaches you, it's to 'make hay while the sun shines'; in other words 'make good use of the chance to do something while you can'. There's an acronym going around at the moment - YOLO meaning 'You Only Live Once', I decided to adapt it slightly and call my frozen yogurts lollies, FroYo's as it's easier to say :)

Oh & if anyone knows of a sun dance to bring back the sunshine, please let me know!

Peace & Love
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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Cakes

Our Queen has been on the throne now for 60 years!!! This weekend we have two bank holidays to celebrate and there will be many street parties across the country. I'm not a massive royalist but I do like things like this so will definitely be getting involved.

This Thursday I was asked to go onto BBC London radio to talk about baking for the Diamond Jubilee and to give some basic baking tips. Petrified, I dragged my sister along and we managed to whip up a feast of different cakes and sweet treats that went down really well!

Jubilee Cake Box
Buttermilk scones with clotted cream, jam and strawberries
Lemon drizzle loaf
Blueberry loaf
Fruit cake loaf
Red velvet bites
Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate fudge frosting
Vanilla cupcakes
Jam tarts

We had a lot of fun with Jumoke Fashola who was presenting the show and forbade me from posting any pictures of her eating cake!

Check out our radio debut on BBC London Radio 949 talking all things cakes! Click the link and go to 2:10:15 when we get introduced.

Peace & Love

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