Monday, 27 December 2010

The Cult of the Cupcake

I freely admit I don't get the cupcake thing at the moment. Cooking sections of bookshops full of surprisingly thick books on baking pastel-iced confections. Not to mention cupcake themed curtains and bedding (because that'll tackle childhood obesity so well..). How many variations of a cupcake can there actually be anyway? To me cupcakes (or fairy cakes actually, I've never called them cupcakes in my life, even though fairy cakes should be the ones with the wings on top) are something I make with the kids when I'm feeling like an uber-mummy. It passes some time, we have fun with adding lurid food-colouring to the icing and scattering on sprinkles of various types. The results are just about edible. But it's not a wildly enriching lifestyle thingy. I'm probably missing the point.

I like to bake though. Oh yes. On the whole I'm not madly keen on cake, it has to be said - a decent chocolate cake, yes; intensely darkly fruity and alcoholic Christmas cake, yes. But I like the process of baking a cake and I have favourite recipes.

Last week I was in my local supermarket trying to get various bits and pieces for the Christmas cake - glycerine and blue food colouring for the royal icing (a tiny drop of it in the icing prevents it looking yellowy) and one of those shiny cake board things available in various festive colours for putting the cake on. Normal enough baking requirements I'd have thought. But I couldn't get them - no food colouring at all that I could see, only pre-coloured icing-tubes. No glycerine. And no cake-boards (or whatever the correct name is). There were however umpty-squillion pots of gloopy 'frosting' (ideal for cupcakes!) and cardboard 2-tiered slot-together cake stands in pastel colours though. Oh goody.

Fortunately one of Mr Borg's colleagues suggested a local shop I always forget about - one that sells fancy-dress stuff, craft things and, it turns out, 'cake stuff'. So I went to have a look and came back with a silver cake-board and some splendidly retro Christmas cake decorations:

Remember the Babycham ads from a million years ago?

And, it being a bit of a Tardis-like Aladdin's cave of cool stuff, there were some other bits and pieces I couldn't resist for the wreath that actually I haven't got round to making but never mind that.

So, despite the best attempts of the Cupcake Cultists in charge of stock at my local supermarket, I has a Christmas cake. And mmm, it's rich..



scarletti said...

Love the decorations. Reminds me of the jar we have at me mum's, stashed full of my grandma's christmas cake decorations, my mum's own, my sisters' and mine... you can tell the age by the strata of icing underneath!! Each year we try to pile them all on, as you say, not a lifestyle thing, but becoming one of those weird family traditions.

Peeriemoot said...

That sounds lovely scarletti! We moved to the other side of the world when I was a teenager so got rid of loads of things, including Christmas stuff, so I'm rather chuffed to have these 70s-style bits to remind me of what we had before then!