Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful time over the festive season with lots to eat and drink and lots and lots of presents. I for one had a great Christmas. It was the first year N and I had hosted and for some reason I thought hosting Christmas Day and Boxing Day would be a good idea! I enjoyed every minute of it and made some great food but by the end I told N that I didn’t want to cook anything again for another week! The look of horror on N’s face was priceless! I did assure him I was only joking but I’m not sure he was convinced as I have somehow managed to avoid cooking dinner since Boxing Day. I think N is very concerned about where his next meal is coming from!
Although I haven’t cooked anything for the last few days yesterday I did do some baking. One of my presents from a friend at work was The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book. It is definitely one of the most beautiful recipe books I own. Every single page is full of the most exquisite cakes. Unfortunately most of them require a little planning as they use ingredients I don’t really keep at home. But I did manage to find a recipe for some vanilla cupcakes that didn’t require me to head out to the shops. I vowed to myself that I would follow the recipe to the letter as I wanted to see what all the fuss was about but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it! Firstly, the recipe indicated the use of full fat milk, which I never keep at home and if I did buy it specially the rest would just go to waste. So I took the risk of substituting it for semi-skimmed. Secondly, was the huge amount of sugar the recipe required. As I started to pour it in to my mixing bowl I just couldn’t do it. I reduced it by about a qaurter in the end and it tasted just fine. For the frosting, I made only half the quantity suggested and it was plenty. The cupcakes were still covered well and the ratio of cake to frosting was perfect.
When I started out baking the cakes I wondered what all the fuss could be about. Why are Hummingbird cakes so famous. After tasting it I know why. These are probably the best cakes I have ever eaten and I felt so chuffed that I had made them myself. I distributed a few to friends and family and when you get a text back saying ‘Oh my god the cupcakes are absolute heaven! I have just eaten two!’ you know they must be pretty good!