Archive | March, 2012

Making cupcakes with the talented Tracy from Cotton and Crumbs

22 Mar

I have swooned and oohed and awed at the amazing sugarcrafting talents of Tracy for the past two years, printing images of her cupcakes and studying those roses and rose buds and even attempting to have other sugarcraft teachers teach me how to make that rose.

So when I heard that Cotton and Crumbs was running a class, I jumped at the chance to find out how to make those perfectly swooping and utterly perfect sugar roses.

A picture of one of Tracy's designs, taken at her workshop, showing off her beautiful work.

Flying to Birmingham, back to my old stomping grounds, I was glad to be back and see that while so much has changed so much had also stayed the same since my university days.

The class itself was wonderful and I would highly recommend it. We spent 6 hours creating beautiful cupcakes and Tracy kindly and generously shared all the wisdom she has gathered through the years. Everything from the content of the contract she put together for her customers to curving the petals at just the right angle to achieve those drool worthy roses.

A divine lunch was served complete with classic crustless sandwich combos, I had so dearly missed like cheddar and onion and egg salad. To round out the perfect lunch we enjoyed scones covered generously with clotted cream and jam and I ate no less than 5!!! Let’s just say that fifth put me over the edge and I felt a little nausea after my over-eating!! Oops!

Here is Tracy showing us different techniques.

How to achieve the perfect dome:

Perfect Sugar roses:

Two-toned fondant ribbons:

Lots of pearls of wisdom, dutifully noted:

So with my last Lucazade in hand, I boarded the flight, with a box of cupcakes balanced in the other. Here are the babies, from the class which travelled all the way back to Frankfurt via a stopover in Amsterdam!

Awesome Discovery Alert!

19 Mar

For those of you like me, avid bakers who love all things baking and all things vintage chic, check out what I discovered!*

There was nothing worse than seeing all the cupcake trends, oceans away but nothing close to my new home here in Germany, but at last I have found the answer! Lecker Bakery!

What an absolutely well done publication, featuring all the amazing desserts we know and love dearly. Flicking through the lightly textured pages full of beautiful photography, you will quickly find that, yes it is all in German, but hey! what an awesome way to impress your German husband/boyfriend, by saying: “Hey, look at me, I’m practicing my German tonight! (without you having to nag me!..hehe)” while at the same time getting an eyeful of your favourite desserts! From the cleverly organized table of contents using the recipe’s pictures to the wide range of recipes with all the ingredients readily available at your local grocery store, this one is a real page turner!

Plus the magazine provides you with all kinds of website links for places where you can get vintage items for your kitchen. Yes, SHOPPING, ladies! There are many links for European companies from which you can buy from even if you live in Germany! That means no more astronomical shipping costs for that cute apron you want and it also means you can splurge a little more because you are saving on the shipping, right!?

And if I still haven’t convinced you of the cupcake wave hitting Germany (it’s about time!!), then this publication brings yet more proof! Look at this! Tchibo is selling cupcake boxes!

So to sum it up, you’ve got sassy aprons, vintage doilies and kitchen accessories, cupcake boxes, plus cupcake and muffin recipes galore even from the German muffin Queen herself, Cynthia Barcomi, all of which are just the tip of the iceberg inside Lecker Bakery.

What a discovery, I tell ya! I feel like such a Christopher Columbus!

And don’t worry, you haven’t missed much, this is only their first issue! If you want to find out more about this quarterly publication brought to us by the original Lecker food magazine, check out this link.

*Footnote: Mr. Cupcake’s mom should be credited with the initial sighting and diligent reporting back!