This is all about one of my great loves-baking! Cupcakes are what I really love making,
however I enjoy all baking, anything from a simple Victoria Sponge, puddings, bread, biscuits
to Game Pies and a good old Sunday Roast!! I will share some of my baking experiences
with you; recipes that I think everyone should know about and some of my funny
and distastrous moments. This will not be restricted just to the kitchen!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A day of contrasts

Yesterday was the Duke of Essex polo, an annual event held in the beautiful grounds of Gaynes Park, Epping, Essex. The ground was perfect, well, when I say perfect, it was spot on for the horses thundering up and down the polo field, not so perfect for the hoards of spiked heel wearing ladies that had come to watch this fabulous sport. Wedges were definitely order of the day!! They arrived on foot, by limo, taxi and helicopter, adorned in some of Essex's finest fashions. Every style, colour and length of dress was spotted, from billowing maxi dresses with kaleidoscopic effects to the most minuscule of dresses, more suited to a night club, than a warm and somewhat blustery polo field!!

The long and short of it

It was a day full of fabulous contrasts donkey rides and polo; falconry and aeroplanes, both whizzing overhead in tight configuration, performing amazing aerial acrobatics; candy floss and champagne, fine dining and picnics. It sounds a cliche, in fact it is, but there was something for everyone!!

England v South America
There appears to be a new sport evolving locally, or perhaps it evolved a long time ago and I have just never noticed-celeb spotting in Epping!! Flash mobs of mostly excitable teenage girls and their Mums, rose from the crowds as stars of TV and stage arrived or came into the public areas, away from the sanctity of the VIP marquees. Amongst the many VIP's, were the recently propagated stars of The Only Way is Essex, which has a huge following, not just in Essex but all over the UK. The stars of the show were out in force yesterday, happily mixing with the excited crowds, signing autographs, posing for photographs and generally lapping up the attention!

"Arg" from TOWIE

As we had had a somewhat action packed day, time was of the essence when we got home!  I had promised to make some cakes for the daughter of a friend of mine, as she had a birthday party for all her class.  Making cakes that are not too girly, but also appeal to the boys can be a bit of a mission.  I therefore made these little beauties that appeal to everyone!

Vanilla sweet shop cupcakes

Simply mix together 11b of caster sugar, unsalted butter and supreme sponge flour with 8 eggs and vanilla extract (2 tsp)

I suggest that you cream the sugar and butter together first, then beat the eggs, one at a time, before beating into the butter and sugar.  Once all the eggs are mixed in, stir in the vanilla extract sieve the flour and fold in, until you have a lovely creamy mixture with no lumps!!  Divide into muffin case or wraps, cook for approx 15 mins on 150 or until they are golden brown in colour and spring back when gently pushed.   Let them cool and decorate with piped, butter cream swirls.  Simply mix by hand or with a mixer 1 lb icing sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, a little warm water, 4 oz unsalted butter or stork margarine and a little full fat milk. 
(If you are not very adept with the icing bag, they look just as nice if you smooth the icing on with a palette knife)!!

 This will make at least 30, perfect for a school class, with a few spares for any hungry for Mums and Dads!!

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