Book Review- Cupcake Magic by Kate Shirazi

P1070689

£7.99- Pavilion

My rating: 8.5/10

Simple and different cakes that anyone could manage.

I buy most of my baking books on recommendation so I thought it might be useful to start posting some reviews on here. I didn’t want to start with anything negative so here is one of my favorites. It’s subtitled ‘little cakes with attitude’ and I wouldn’t argue with that.

Straight forward instructions and plenty of pictures.

Straight forward instructions and plenty of pictures.

The book is divided into low-faff, medium-faff and high-faff so you know what you’re getting but the really nice thing is even the high-faff recipes look acheivable an really not an extreme amount of effort. The pictures don’t all look like the finely decorated immaculate cupcakes you get in many books: they’re beautiful but not unrealistically perfect and that’s what I really like about this book- they look like they’ve been made by a real person and are something that you could realistically copy (maybe not quite as well but at least you’ll get something that’s reasonably like what you expect!). In terms of ingredients and equipment I’d say they’re all pretty low-faff. Lovely.

Things anyone can do…almost.

The flavorings are great and different without being too wacky (although I’ve not investigate the savory cupcakes section yet)- the ‘grown-up’ mocha cakes have become one of my standard bakes and always disappear even when I worked in a office full of weight watchers fiends.

The best thing is this feels like a book written by a real person. Not a company or team. Kate’s sense of humor comes through and her section about free-range eggs and gluten free cakes just makes you like her. I was recommended this by someone who had attended her cupcake classes and I’m sad that I no longer live in Devon and can’t go. Her website is here, I’d recommend a look, just avoid the wedding cakes, they look too good and will make you sad (unless you’re actually getting married in which case GO, GO NOW).

Tip: This book can be found online for just over a fiver but I picked it up in The Works for about £3- definitely a bargain at that price.

 

My attempt at the star cupcakes. Not the neatest but still not unhappy as was my first time piping with royal icing. My main niggle is the fact that they are stars. Who can even draw a star well let alone pipe one?? Even so, tip in the book of practicing before putting them on the cake was a very good idea.

My attempt at the star cupcakes. Not the neatest but still not unhappy as was my first time piping with royal icing. My main niggle is the fact that they are stars. Come on Kate, who can even draw a star well let alone pipe one?? Even so, the tip in the book of practicing before putting them on the cake was a very good idea.

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Rationing Recipes 2- Carrot cookies

DrCarrot-PotatoPete-tmb

Potato Pete’s best friend- although I hear it’s tuna that helps you see in the dark these days.

 

My second experiment with a WWII recipe was these carrot cookies. I found them a little bit unexciting but then I do like my sugar- they all got eaten so are probably a good shout as a healthier treat especially for those who don’t like overly sweet things.

Makes 12-15

Ingredients:

1 tbspn margarine

2 tbspns sugar (plus some extra to sprinkle on top)

4 tbspns raw carrot (grated)

6 tbspns self- raising flour (add half a tspn of baking powder if using plain flour)

a few drops of vanilla flavoring, orange or almond also works here.

 

*Tip* To get an exact tablespoon of margarine first dip the spoon into hot water so that it will cut out the exact amount. Useful for all recipes not just in war time!

 

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade.

2. Grease a cupcake or muffin tin. The recipe calls for a patty pan- not something I’ve ever seen around these days but in this case any tin with indentations will do.

3. Cream the margarine and sugar together until pale and light.

4. Stir in the carrot and flavoring.

5. Fold in the flour.

6. Add spoonfuls of mixture into each hollow and sprinkle with sugar.

7. Bake for 20 minutes.

 

 

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The final product- not the prettiest but you get a lot for the amount of ingredients you put it.