Baking Really IS a Science!!!

So you know how it goes, customer is due in a couple of hours to pick a dozen cupcakes up and you have a mountain of baking to do for the country show you are selling at tomorrow….busy…very busy…. You get up early to make a good start on everything, get the gluten free stuff out of the way first so no cross contamination occurs. So far so good…

You then go to make said cupcakes for customer (who don’t forget is due in a couple of hours) and weighing out your ingredients the scales say 450g when you put your sugar in…hmmm thinks I, I can’t have zeroed the scales….Can you guess what’s coming?!

The scales HAD been zeroed and I had just added DOUBLE the amount of sugar to the mix. I carried on making the batter and was somewhat surprised that my batter made 24 cupcakes…it always makes 18 without fail. The batter looked ok, tasted a bit sweet and was a little grainy but my tired brain decided they were fine…..

When baking, especially sponges, it is a delicate formula to create the correct chemical reactions in the ingredients that are combined. For example, the butter when whipped up with sugar creates teeny air pockets that are stabilised by combining the two ingredients, eggs further strengthens the mix, creating a nice structure that holds the air bubbles in place and the flour binds it all nicely together, the gluten adding further structure and stability (please forgive me for the simplistic description, I know there is much more to it than that!!)

So when you add TWICE the amount of sugar, THIS is what happens……

2014-07-26 10.06.45

GREAT!! Start again!!!

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RIP Colin Bean

It’s a sad day in Cloud Cupcake Land today. Colin Cat has toddled off to catty heaven to be with his sister Ishy. Colin and Ish came to live with me 16 years ago when they were 8 weeks old. They have made me laugh at times when I didn’t think I’d even smile again. They have wrecked my sofa, carpets, my previous sofa, smashed vases, thrown up everywhere and generally caused mayhem. They have also loved me unconditionally, cuddled me, purred at me and made me feel indispensable! I will miss them both forever and am very grateful to have had them in my life.

Colin never really got over the death of his sister, he still looked for her every day and had a habit of stopping half way downstairs to peer through the banisters to check out if she was there….this nearly caused me to break my neck on more than one occasion!!

Colin was a gentle soul, he loved to sleep, eat, purr, play and be cuddled. He was at his happiest sprawled out on a bed if I had forgotten to shut the bedroom door. I will miss him shouting at me to get up and feed him, I’ll miss him wandering round the house randomly meowing at things, I’ll miss him battering his toy mousey at 3am, I’ll miss his company.

Rest in peace little man, you’ve earned it xxx


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Baking and Depression

I have been reading on Facebook that Miss Cakehead is supporting a project about depression. I think a lot of grey cakes will be getting made, the idea is to help people and remove some of the taboos about mental health, more info can be found by following this link –

Suffering from depression myself, I am really pleased that such a project is being undertaken. Depression hits everyone that suffers from it in a number of different ways, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, too much or too little sleep, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are just a few of the horrors that can afflict you. I have never had a problem discussing depression with others as I can not comprehend why some people are so scared of the subject.

I am really dismayed to read of people criticising the project as I really think it’s a great idea. Since this current ‘attack’ of the black clouds, I must admit, I have not ventured near my mixer or cake tools. I have been thinking about it and I am going to give the whole caking against depression idea a bash, although my mojo has run away with my get up and go, I think I just need to have a go and create something. I’m hoping that removing myself voluntarily from the comfy spot on the sofa I seem to permanently inhabit might actually do a better job of perking me up than the antidepressants that seem to have stopped working! Maybe I’ll even have a go at expressing my feelings around depression in cake and send a picture to the fabulous Miss Cakehead x


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Cloud Fishcake Land?!

Cloud Fishcake Land?!

A picture of one of my Mum’s Koi Carp in the pond, it was only afterwards when we realised that the reflection of the clouds on the pond made it look like the fish was swimming in the clouds!

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I love this time of year, daffodils bring back happy childhood memories. Walks around York and looking at all the banks and banks of gorgeous cheery yellow flowers round the Bar Walls with my Gran ❤

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