Sunday, 28 April 2013

Foodie fun in the London sun!


We (me and my gorgeous friends, Carmela and Rosie) were invited to Kettners in London for a Lindt/De'Longhi pairing experience, so we decided to make the most of the trip and spend the day around Soho and Covent Garden doing a bit of foodie shopping!

We didn't stop in but had noses pressed firmly against the window drooling over the beautiful pastries and desserts on offer.

I picked up a couple of cupcakes to try later, vanilla and their black bottom... Because we'd stuffed ourselves silly they didn't get eaten until the following day, I really enjoyed the black bottom, but the vanilla was a little lacking on vanilla to be honest. I've tweaked my vanilla cupcake to be just how I like it and I have to say, theirs just didn't match up!

A beautiful Italian deli that's been around since 1944, they 
 import a large range of Italian specialities and freshly prepare Italian food on site.
And on Carmela's "to visit" list for over a year apparently!

Our window shopping took a brief respite for a little Italian style 'tapas' and a cheeky glass of Prosecco...

Johnny Cupcakes
Okay, I was ridiculously excited when I peeked down Foubert's Place and saw the familiar Johnny Cupcakes sign outside their shop... I literally grabbed Carmela's arm and dragged her down the street!

Johnny Cupcakes UK

As you can see, the shop is kitted out to look like a bakery but he sells t-shirts, sweats, jewellery and other branded accessories.

What a gorgeous shop!

Apart from it's uber sexy red and black façade the interior was equally decadent! 

The cakes were just astonishing... 

A truly fabulous day shared with fabulous friends. :-)

Happy baking
Julie xx

Invitation to the ultimate coffee and chocolate pairing experience!!

!! I love chocolate !!
(Incase you're new to reading my posts and didn't already know this about me)

I also really like coffee!

Now I don't claim to be an expert in either but I know what I like.... 

With coffee, I've previously been a latte fan, moving onto Cappuccino and more recently a white Americano. Espresso has never really appealed to me.... until today that is!

One of De'Longhi's expert barista's Robert Henry, showed us how to taste coffee with a good slurp (like with wine) and together with Lindt's Master Chocolatier, Stefan Bruderer, both guided us through the pairing of the two.

(Stefan really enjoying this taste of Lindt's Dark Orange Intense) 

(Robert about to take a 'slurp') 

 One of the pairings... Espresso and Dark with a touch of sea salt

After sampling the pairings Stefan and Robert had chosen for us we were then given the task of matching (according to our tastes so no real right or wrong answer here) two more coffee samples (an Espresso and a latte) with Lindt's Extra Creamy and Dark 85%. I think the decision in the room was pretty unanimous, the Espresso was best paired with the Dark 85%. Although the Extra Creamy was extra yummy so we had to 'double check' with extra samples ;-)

What I found out today is that I really enjoyed the Espresso, more than any of the other coffee we tasted, so I shall definitely be ordering this in future.

Julie xx

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Much requested Madeleines!

Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, no special tools are required to make madeleines.

A génoise cake batter is used. The flavour is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest, for a pronounced lemony taste.

After much pressure from my 8 year old sons, I decided to make the lemon variety. 

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 5 tablespoons icing sugar for decoration

Preparation method
Prep: 1 hour 20 minsCook: 10 mins

  • In a large bowl blend eggs and sugar add butter and blend well. On low speed, blend in flour, baking powder, lemon and vanilla
  • Cover bowl with towel and let sit for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5 and butter and flour madeleine moulds. Whisk mixture then spoon into moulds till 3/4 full. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from moulds and cool. Dust with icing sugar.
Happy baking xx

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Cupcake decorating classes are finally here!!

Firstly, my apologies for lack of posts but I've been a busy mum entertaining two 8 year old boys over the Easter holidays....

During that time though I did manage to get a little more organised with the planned cupcake decorating workshops. Sooooo, without further ado *drum roll*....

So the classes will be;
This class focuses on the decorative side of cupcake making. The baking will be done for you so you can concentrate on mastering your frosting and decorating skills. Learn how to pipe various swirls, create smooth sugar paste cupcake tops and to make gorgeous cherry blossom, daffodils, lavender, roses, daisies and loads more in this pretty class.

Date: Tuesday 30th April 2013


Vintage cupcake class
Too pretty to eat!
Vintage influences fashion, make up, interior design and now... cupcakes! This class focuses on toppping cupcakes with fondant, royal icing piping and making dainty 'vintage' inspired decorations such as roses, pearls, cameos and buttons. Go home with a stunning box of cupcakes that are (almost) too pretty to eat!

Date: Thursday 9th May 2013


Princess/fairy themed cupcake class
For the fairy princess in all of us!
This class focuses on the decorative side of cupcake making. The baking will be done for you so you can concentrate on mastering your frosting and decorating skills. Learn how to pipe various swirls, create smooth sugar paste cupcake tops and to make gorgeous princess themed decorations such as tiara's and crowns, wands and pretty flowers

Date: Friday 24th May 2013


All classes are suitable for beginners and include tea, coffee, juice, water and of course some lovely home made cake!

If you would like to book, please visit my website
I ask that you confirm availability first before booking and making payment.

Happy baking xx