Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Is it wrong to celebrate your blog's one year birthday when you've been MIA for the last four (and some) months? Perhaps this small private acknowledgement is enough of a nod to it's actual birthday, and then in four months time it can have an official birthday, when the weather will be nicer and we can be giddy and self congratulatory. Look, if it's good enough for Nana Betty it's good enough for this blog.

In keeping with the celebratory theme, I have been doing a spot of baking. Two of my dearest friends are to be married in July and we are all beside ourselves with excitement. It is to be a small affair but nonetheless very special, with close friends, family and the sunshine in attendance. At least we hope so. Edinburgh can be a touch unpredictable when it comes to matters of climate but if the last week or two is anything to go by we might just be lucky.

Ever since Gemma created such a fabulous cake for Sylvie's wedding I've had a hankering to have a go myself, and so it is that I find myself in charge of the patisserie for this affair. To her credit, Gemma went down the traditional route and put together a very impressive three tier wonder of fruit sponges complete with marzipan and royal icing, while I will be going down the less challenging route of lots of oversized cupcakes. But there is some challenge in creating in the region of 150 cupcakes, all of which must look just right, then icing them on the morning of the big day, transporting them to the venue and positioning them just-so on their towering stand.

I want these wee cakes to be delicate and summery, and so when I saw Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa - an absolute marvel and what's more, living my fantasy life) make this lemon yoghurt cake the cupcakes suddenly became a bit of a no-brainer. Topped with rose scented icing, these are going to be perfect (she says, modestly).

So, I had to make some at the weekend - just to make sure they'd work as cupcakes you understand - and work they did. They're delicious. Using yoghurt and oil instead of butter ensures that the cakes have a light spongey texture, and the lemon rind gives them an extraordinary citrus flavour. Of course the original recipe is for a whole cake, which will be just as lovely.

As for the rose scented icing, I absentmindedly picked up rose essence instead of extract and as a result it didn't taste remotely like rose. This, along with a distinct lack of piping bag, meant that it was pretty much doomed from the outset. The search is now on for a good concentrated extract - any recommendations are most welcome, although I've been told Star Kay White are a good place to start. As soon as this is procured it will of course necessitate another trial batch of cupcakes... Well you have to sure don't you?


Jennie Landels said...

Lovely to see you back! And I adore the cupcakes! Would I just find the recipe on the Barefoot Countessa's website?

It was lovely to catch up and let me know when you will be requiring the services of the cup cake stand.

I'll be keeping up to date your blog for more culinary marvels!

PS. Randomly Nathan was reading your peice on Kaye's bar last night!! Really enjoyed your writing! x

carine said...

Aw, thank you dear, it was lovely to see you yesterday too. Let's not leave it so long next time.

There's a link to the recipe in my post - where I've written 'THIS recipe' - click on THIS and it will take you to it. It's definitely worth a try, it's delicious and very very easy.

Wedding's on July 18th, so if I could acquire the stand a wee bit before then to determine how many cakes I'll get on it etc, that would be brilliant.

Thank you dear

Gemma said...

I was also going to offer you a potential cup cake stand as a friend's dad made her one for her wedding - just let me know and good luck!

Carrie said...

Happy blog birthday. I had no idea you'd made a return. About bloody time x

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