As a self professed lover of cupcakes (indulging from time to time and not on a daily basis!) I have to admit that I prefer buying them to cooking-unless I get them from my best friend, who makes the most delicious ones-you should have seen the Halloween ones she made for my son’s birthday! Anyway, I do like Lola’s cupcakes and when I have heard about their first book ‘Making cupcakes with Lola’, I thought it would be a good idea to have a look and disappointed I was not! The book has plenty of variations, so even the most demanding bakers among us will be pleasantly challenged. Another bonus is that each recipe is accompanied by a picture, which is great when you have a visual of what is it actually you are aiming to cook.
The book itself is divided into four parts:
1. Lighter side of decadence-my favourite in that section is ‘pear & olive oil’ cupcakes, with ‘manuka honey’ and ‘pumpkin cinnamon’ coming a close second.
2. Over the top-with cupcakes like ‘caramel apple muesli’ & ‘salted caramel’ as good examples. Those little wonders do require a little bit more of an effort but wow, whoever you will feed those, will adore you for a long time!
3. Let’s have a cuppa-tea, coffee & cocktail variations, like ‘expresso tiramisu’, ‘cosmo’ or ‘chocolate baileys’-great ones for a gloomy day, when you need a little bit of glamour and cheering up in your life.
4. Always Favourites-with recipes based on Lola’s most popular cupcakes, like carrot, banana, red velvet, chocolate milk or coconut & lime.
Now, let’s say you don’t want to slave in the kitchen or just don’t have the baking bone in your body, what to do? Well, I have an answer to that and it’s called ‘GDesserts‘.
A couple of weeks ago I was mulling what to indulge in as a dessert at Baity’s Kitchen, when a member of staff mentioned ….cupcakes in a jar. I raised an eyebrow and then I saw a perfect jar, with a golden lid and a pretty ribbon tied around it, which looked so inviting and so cute, I bought a couple of them on the spot and took them home.
GDesserts was started byGillian, a mother of three, who having seen the side-effects her kids had from mass produced cakes, decided to do something about the ready made cakes that kids are tempted with at supermarket counters or cake shops and ended up creating a genius dessert-cupcakes and cakes in jars ( they come in two sizes, a more indulgent large (two layers of cake and icing each) and a small one (with one layer of cake and icing, perfect for kids or stoic ones among us females), that are free from preservatives and additives and are made with locally sourced ingredients.
The fact that the cupcake comes in a jar, makes it perfect present or a lunch bag essential (just don’t forget to add the spoon too, as eating a cupcake with your finger doesn’t look so good). It can also be kept in the fridge or even frozen (but do make sure you eat it at room temperature for ultimate enjoyment) and it remains moist and fresh, plus the jar can be re-used in your kitchen later-for planting some herbs on your window seal or for kid’s school or arts projects….. Even the logo of ‘gDesserts’ is fun, representing our love/hate relationship with all things sweet-we love cakes, we crave sugar when we are tired or sad, yet when we eat the dessert, we know that we will need to work out, so the indulgence doesn’t end up as extra pounds on our waist line-well, those cupcakes, lovingly made, with well sourced ingredients give us a little indulgence and pleasure, without us feeling guilty and knowing exactly what is in the cupcake that you are eating-as good as being made at home by you.
The cupcakes come in several flavours: rich fruitcake, tipsy fruitcake (drenched in Drambuie), strwabubbly, simply vanilla, victoria sponge, carrot passion, red velvet (I adore this one), lemon passion and chocolate nutter (not too sweet and pleasing to the males in your life too).
So whether you want to bake perfect cupcakes yourself, give a great cookbook to a girlfriend or surprise you family members, friends or even you boss with a very inventive and tasty little gift, I think you know where to look now .)
GDesserts cupcakes can also be bought at Baity Kitchen on Walton street in Chelsea