Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Silly chickens

I promise this photo is not faked for maximum country-living cuteness.  Our hens have found somewhere new to lay...the bale of straw by our front door.  Silly birds.

Darling little mice

Here is what I get up to when it is way past my bed-time and there are baby vanilla cupcakes to decorate.  Look at the fun you can have with food dye and a cocktail stick.

Squeak squeak

Monday, 21 December 2009

I am bump

I think this bump is starting to catch up on me! Baby is really active and kicking even more than Darling boy did. I’m starting to feel my size (and as I’m only a little person, the bump is all out front, and I mean ALL OUT FRONT)

People are asking me if it’s a Christmas baby, hahaha, I’ve got another three months to go. I can’t really reach my feet anymore and have to sit down to put my socks and shoes on. Doing all the baking and icing for the market is still fun, but I sure am glad I’m finishing my office job next week. I remember with Darling boy it felt like towards the end, my bump would enter a room a good 5 minutes before I would get there. I think I might be at this stage now. Eek!

Christmas special

This week I had an order for a giant chocolate cupcake, with chocolate butter-cream icing with ‘festive decorations’ requested. The client was someone I met at the Cruwys Morchard Village Christmas market. She is a totally charming woman and when she came to collect the cupcake on Thursday she seemed very pleased with it. It’s always lovely when things I make get a good reception.

As this was a giant cupcake, the holly leaves and berries also needed to be up-scaled from the ones I make for the regular sized cupcakes, so Wednesday saw me stamping out holly leaves and rolling red berries, and then coating them all in glitter. God I love the glitter! Once the cake was made and decorated, I carefully iced it, then went to with the gold glitter first, then topped it with the new berries and leaves and very festive it looked too.

I’ve got a similar order for Christmas eve, from the lovely people who asked me for Firework party cupcakes, only this giant cupcake is also going to feature purple stars- at the clients request. I have also recently bought in some purple glitter, so this might be making an appearance too.

Feeling festive

This week, my other special cupcake is a new flavour, ginger bread, with a ginger and golden syrup butter cream icing. Phwoar! It’s rather good.

Adventures in Cake goes Coeliac friendly and wheat free!

Last weekend I decided to launch Adventures in Cake’s first wheat free cupcake.

It has a festive feel based on the recipe I made for Sensible K a while back. It is tangerine and almond, with a tangerine and almond butter cream icing and sprinkled with almonds and gold glitter. There is also a crunchy layer of baked almonds hiding underneath the icing which adds a lovely texture. The sponge is light and moist- you would never know it wasn’t flour. It’s very yummy, I know- I have sampled one.

Over the weeks I have sadly turned away many a wheat intolerant person (though not as many as I have diabetes, for some strange reason I am a magnet for people with diabetes, like a siren calling to them) Now I’m hoping if I get enough interest to do a different wheat free cupcake each week- that would be fun. I think that just because you can’t have wheat, doesn’t mean you can’t have cake!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Classic christening

Here are the piccies from a reecnt order I had from a chum who lives nearby in Cruwys Morchard.  It was actually for my Cruwys Morchard chum's sister- their new, totally gorgeous baby daughter had her christening and they have very kindly asked me to make the cakes for it.

They wanted to go for a classic vanilla cupcake, with pink sparkly glitter on the vanilla butter cream icing.  They looked so pretty too, very understated.  They went down well too- the feedback was that the baby girl's daddy and uncle managed to polish away quite a few between the two of them- well, its important to keep your strength up.

New cupcakes for the market

Lsst weekend I had quite a few specials- and here is a selection.  They covered a wide spectrum from the totally unhealthy to the 'almost healthy for a cupcake'- if there is such a thing.

These are marshmallow cupcakes. with melted marshmallows inside and melted marshmallows whipped into the buttercream icing.  Oh the sugar.

These are the healthy ones. well, almost, they are still a cake.  They are apple and cinnamon, with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  It's fruit and dairy- which is surely one of your five a day, and a good dose of calcium to boot.

Baby cupcakes for the grown-ups

At last weekend's market I met a new customer, and picked up a special order for tonight, which I have just delivered.  A very nice lady from Halberton, a sweet village outside Tivvy, asked for brandy butter chocolate cupcakes and a pile of sticky date and cranberry slices for an event she is hosting tomorrow.

I made up the baby cupcakes and was struck by their total cuteness!  I have been making these in a large size for the market stall, and they have been going down really well, but hadn't made them in a baby size, and look at how adorable they are...and definitely one for the grown-ups as the amount of brandy in the icing is not child-friendly- but I wonder if any amount of hard spirits is?

Either way, they are scrumptious and cute as pie at the same time.

Saying it with cake

Today was Darling Boy's last day at nursery.  I'm finishing work before christmas and will be off on holiday/maternity leave and then a career beak for three years, so am not due back at work (if I choose to go) for nearly 4 1/2 years.  How cool.

Anyway, Darling boy has been at a wonderful nursery in Exeter since I have bern back at work since March and he has loved it there.  He knows the names of all of the other little children in his room and often talks about this chums - which is really sweet.

Leaving your child in day care, whilst you go off to earn a crust isnt easy for anyone, but Darling boys nursery have made it easier, as we knew he was being looked after so well, and having such fun and doing all sorts of crafts.

So to say the big thank you that the lovely staff at Darling boys nursery truly deserve, and as a treat to the bambinos in Darling boys room, I baked up some cupcakes.  The grown-ups got a giant cupcake in chocolate, iced in vanilla buttercream and the bambinos had baby vanilla cupcakes (well, trying to go some way in avoiding too much sugar...)

Christmas snowflakes

Here are my christmas vanilla cupcakes.

The snowflakes are really tricky to make as they are so delicate, but its very fun to play with the colour pastes to make up pretty icy shades of baby blue.

These also sold out, hooray!

Happiness is a pot of edible glitter

This week I got all D.I.S.C.O and magpie happy with my different pots of glitter and a box of smarties for the chocolate cupcakes.

They went down a storm and sold out, hooray!

Sometimes its worth getting up early

Like most parents of small children, we are early risers since Darling boy came along...and some days the view across the hills really makes it worthwhile.

Who would want to be snoozing when the world can be so beautiful?

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Last week at the market there was a charity stall selling all things charity-like.  The stall was manned entirely by sweet gossiping grannies.  At pride of place at the front of the stall, and without a hint of kitsch irony were these beauties.  Not sure if they sold many, but they were certainly the belle of the market.

Sister in law, being a fan of the quirky and kitsch was within a cats whisker of finding one as her christmas present this year...I was this close I tell you.

Brown paper packages tied up with string

I'm not usually a fan of christmas cake, or indeed any fruit cake, but the recipe I found here I thought looked like something out of the ordinary and worth trying this year.

I am hosting christmas for the first time, and wanted to make sure all the bases were covered, lovely tree, family gathered around, presents, big turkey and cake, etc

The recipe is from another blog I enjoy reading.  Not being a fan of fondant icing, but loving marzipan this seemed like just the ticket- the marzipan is baked inside the cake- yum.  I'm looking forward to cutting it open (hoping to god its cooked properly) and finding little golden nuggets of marzipan hidden inside.

We will probably start eating the cake before the big day itself, I think a slab of cake, cuppa tea and a relax on the sofa admiring the twinkling lights of our christmas tree (as yet not bought!) sounds like a lovely christmas eve afternoon activity.

As handsome husband is allergic to almonds, I will be baking an alternative cake just for him too- a fine excuse to have more than one cake I think.

Christmas decorations

Each year for our christmas tree I bake these edible decorations.  They are a spiced cookie to hang on the tree- or string along a window frame or door knob- where ever needs adorning really.

I thought they might be fun to do for the stall, and here they are.  A truly eco tree decoration, as you can eat them all up.  With kids in the house, it's probably best to hang them up high, otherwise they will be all gone by the first day.

The angels chosen cupcakes

I love this photo.

Cupcakes for the grownups

I had been tinkering with the idea of a christmas cupcake...and here it is, the chocolate brandy butter cupcake.  It is a rich chocolate sponge with a chocolate brandy butter cream icing on the top.  I also made a vanilla version too- and very yummy they are, christmas in a cake- without being a fruit cake.

Being 6 months pregnant I'm off the booze (aside from the occasional glass of vino) but I did allow myself a taste of the butter cream icing as I was making it to check you could taste the brandy, but not have your socks blown off!

Definitely a cupcake for the grown-ups.

Truffles a go-go

In the spirit of feasting and all things excess I have been making dark chocolate truffles and dark chocolate truffles with toffee and hazelnut for the stall.  Much to Handsome husband's disgruntlement I have been denying him the cupcakes, rocky road and the other baked goodies I have been making each week saying they are for the stall.  However, I could hold him off no longer and he became chief taster for the dark chocolate truffles I made.  He insisted on trying more than a few 'just to make sure'.

Dusted with gold or red glitter and nestled in their little bags tied with a corresponding ribbon they looked very pretty and I'm pleased to say they have been selling well too- obviously appealing to the  indulgent side of my customer's natures.  Aside from being totally scrumptious, they also have the added benefit of being gluten free, hooray!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Christmas is a-coming!

It is my goal this Christmas to make Darling boy his very own stocking. I have seen some gorgeous fabric in Heathcoats and I am busy designing something lovely. This craft project was on the schedule for last year, but I just didn’t get round to it.

I hadn’t discovered Heathcoats and hadn’t had my haberdashery desire sparked by the offerings in Exeter. Also, as parents, Handsome Husband and I decided he was too tiny anyway and would be getting a mountain of toys from the rest of the family, so we would get a couple of good prezzies, and put money in his bank account instead of doing a stocking .

This year though I think Darling boy might be keen on the idea, especially if there is a train or car in the stocking. I just love the idea of Darling boy always having the same stocking each year, and for it to be home-made by his dear old mum. Christmas is all about tradition and doing the same things at the same time, it’s about comfort and familiarity, but mostly it’s about love. The great thing about starting your own family is that you get to make your own traditions and customs. You get to set ‘they way it’s always been’, to re-invent the cozy warm Christmas you had as a kid for your own bambinos.

The next project

I popped into Heathcoats the other day, quite innocently just intending to browse. I was just mooching when the most scrumptious chestnut brown silk with shades of green velvet stripes jumped out at me. Well, what was I to do, but buy 4 feather cushion pads and the fabric and rush off home with good intentions of sewing up envelop cushion covers as excellent craft inspired Christmas presents.


Is that a real cake???

The giant cupcake made it’s debut at the market this weekend.

As the recipe is a mocha cake, I iced it in vanilla butter cream to look like a mocha coffee. Decorated in tiny gold stars, with a flash of three bigger gold stars dashing across the top, with gold sparkles all over, it won much admiration.

It certainly is a substantial cup cake, and would easily feed around 20 people I have estimated. Several people asked me if it was a real cake, and one bright young chap claimed boldly that he could eat it in 5 seconds. Very impressive!

Also making a first appearance where chocolate cupcakes with toffee butter cream icing. These seemed to go down well too. Perhaps it was the cold weather, but Tiverton seemed to be in a chocolatey mood on Saturday as all things with a chocolate twist were very popular.

also appearing for the first time, new decorations on the lemon cupcakes...and baby lemon cupcakes.  Each featuring a handmade yellow butterfly with golden sprinkles. 

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The story so far...

Help...the timer has gone.  The top is cooked and the bottom isn't...

I think this will always happen as the top section is that much smaller than the bottom.  This might be a job for giant electric saw man.

The giant cupcake has landed!

The giant cupcake tin has arrived! so exciting.  It's two halves of a cupcake.  There is a tin with two shaped holes, one for the base and one which is very much Mr Whippy shaped, which is what would normally be the iced top.  Both bits are sponge- and then you ice around the shape of the top section.

I have made up the batter as per the recipe that came with the tin- it's such a funny shape I have no idea what quantity of a normal recipe would fit.  The recipe is an American one- so is in cups, argh! its always such a nightmare trying to measure in cups- how do you measure butter in cups??? and what is a stick of butter when it is at home?


The cake is in the oven now- its supposed to cook for 60-70 mins...its all very exciting!  I will report back with how it turned out (if indeed, it will turn out!)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Kissing a lot of frogs


I thought the prince was going to be my answer in salvation to having to use the beast for all my baking, but sadly it was a match not made in heaven.  A faulty thermostat has meant that actually it is almost as unreliable as the beast- it just can't achieve an even, or accurate temperature- and so it has to go.

A nice man from Comet- who had a striking resemblance to a young John Travolata, was unable to fix it and suggested a replacement.  So my new Prince is due today

The big one!

I'm very excited, I have just bought a giant cupcake tin from Amazon and it should be here by the end of the week.  It is made by Wilton- those American cake supremos.

The lovely family from Halberton who asked for the Firework party cupcakes has placed an order for Christmas time.  We were talking about giant cupcakes, and I had been toying with the idea of making them for a while, and she has spurred me on to buying the tin and trying it out.  

Hurry up postie- I wanna bake a big cupcake!

'Saturdays wouldn't be the same without you...'

...So one of my regular customers at Tiverton market told me.  Ahhhhhhhhh, what a lovely thing to say- and bearing in mind this was only my 6th market, it made it all that much more the lovelier.

The weather was awful, high winds, buckets of rain and really cold.  Us stall holders were all expecting a slow, quiet day, but actually, it wasn't too bad.  It was quieter than usual, but those who had braved the elements obviously felt in need of a little treat, or reward for being so daring... and cupcakes and cookies obviously hit the spot.

This week, I had made rocky road (a chocolatey bar filled with marshmallows and crushed biscuits, with added golden syrup) as a new treat on offer- they sold really well, in fact they sold out.  Its always a nice feeling to be able to display a little 'sold out' card each week.

Also on offer were the sticky toffee pudding cupcakes- this week decorated with gold stars.  They are a fiddly and time consumer cupcake to make- but oh so worth the effort.

Next on the horizon for me is a wedding fair at Bickleigh Castle and a christening order - its all very exciting!