I’ve had a rebellion about the whole cup cake thing. When I was child, we had fairy cakes, and butterfly buns and that was just what I made for birthday parties when my children were small. I think it was Nigella Lawson in her Domestic Goddess role who started the whole American cup cake thing in Britain. Now, I’ve nothing against having a cultural mix on the culinary front, in fact I think the national dish of Great Britain is actually Tikka Masala. But I don’t see the point in renaming an English teatime classic in order to making it appear, I don’t know, more fashionable? if I went to New York I would be so happy to seek out a cup cake (or two?) but I like the whole English Vicarage tea party idea of the fairy cake or the butterfly bun.
But I was happy to enter a cup cake competition which was in aid of Children in Need which was what my friend Emmeline at the Cherryleaf Coffee House in Norwich was running this Sunday. We paid to enter four cakes, one was tasted by the judges and then the rest were sold to raise money for this amazing good cause.
You know, I haven’t done the butter icing thing for ages. These days I tend towards a more grown-up icing sugar/lemony thing on my little cakes but I decided that I would fly the flag on the whole fairy/cup cake thing and make butterfly buns and you have to have butter icing for those. Now, Nigella appears to waft about the kitchen in her dressing gown whipping up tasty morsels. Me, in the kitchen with butter and icing sugar probably needed industrial protective clothing.
And it probably wasn’t a good idea to pop the icing sugar and butter (and it was chopped and softened, I’m not completely stupid) into a bowl and switch on the food mixer. Once I’d cleared the fog of icing sugar ( and removed the sneezing pets) I could see that the icing was actually blending together nicely, and was ready to be piped. I could only get the syringe type of icing equipment when I dashed to the local supermarket, just the same design as the one I threw out in disgust years ago. And it had all the same design faults. The collar which attached the nozzle didn’t quite fit and the thread kept crossing so it popped off. The syringe part didn’t quite screw in tightly so it fell off at crucial moments. By the time I had created four buns out of the twelve I had made which were worthy of public scrutiny I had butter icing over everything. The work top, the floor, Higgins, (Henry ran off at the icing sugar cloud stage) my clothes, hair….
Oh, and some buns…
…butterfly buns… They taste fine, I put lemon juice and zest in the cake mix and orange juice and zest in the icing.
We got the buns to the Cherryleaf this morning. There were lots of entries, and I know that to date £90 has been raised for Children in Need which is fantastic.
Back home, I can now reveal my sixth and final cushion. This time I went for zigzags, and I’m really happy I did. It took a little time to make the colour sequence flow, but I think this is my favourite of all. I like it even more than the fair isle ones, there is something really zingy about it. What do you think?
I’m feeling bad because I have been promising for ages to post a zigzag tutorial, but it is under way and will be here hopefully this week.
I have been overwhelmed by the lovely comments I have have had over the last months, thank you all so much. It’s wonderful to feel I have made so many new friends in Blogging Land, both in cyber space and in reality. I’m also SO excited to see something I have devised and written a pattern for being made by someone else. Do go over to Penelope by the Sea’s blog to see her version of the Christmas Bunting. I’d love to see other versions if you have made them.
I must away now, I have a date with some robins…
Come back again and find out!
In the meantime, there is also a little bit of butter icing to chip off the kitchen door!
P.S. I’ve just found out I won the prize for the best looking cupcake. Wow!! First time I’ve ever won a beauty contest!