I deal with the fact that I don’t have a dog of my own by spending time with the ones that belong to my friends. My friend Louisa has a dog called Lenny. I love him for a lot of reasons. One of them being because we have the same hair, but I also love how cheeky he is. I’ve been told he once stole a child’s birthday cake from a picnic. On a particularly adorable walk with Lenny I took a seriously cute picture of him looking up at me. I knew I wanted to use it for something for Louisa one day and when her birthday rolled around I knew exactly what. Ok sure, in the original photo of him he wasn’t wearing a party hat or have a party horn in his mouth, but that is the magic of Photoshop. His little face amused me so much on these cupcakes and Louisa loved them too. Happy belated birthday Louisa xx
We gave them America and in return they gave us burgers, ‘Friends’ and Channing Tatum. Totally fair and plenty of reasons to celebrate. The little part of me that is vaguely American loves 4th of July. Well, I love the idea of it. In my mind I’m having a BBQ by a pool in the sunshine, eating a hot dog and wearing some sort of stars and stripes outfit that borders on fancy dress. In reality, I’m in the UK, it’s a little grey out and I’m nowhere near a BBQ. It’s ok though, as I’m celebrating in my own way, with cupcakes. I obviously went for the red, white and blue and added a little sparkle. I made enough to share with our friends who are over from across the pond. I hope it makes them feel like they aren’t missing out on any festivities. Happy 4th of July!
There is something special about Wimbledon. Not only do I love watching incredible players gather at SW19 to play some unbelievable tennis, but I also love all the traditions that go along with it. The Pimms, the white clothing and the strawberries and cream. Last year we had a Wimbledon party and I have already made Pimms macarons this summer, but I couldn’t let these amazing two weeks go by without celebrating it in some way. My sister thought that tennis ball macarons would be perfect and I chose to combine them with a strawberries and cream filling to capture a small part of the Wimbledon experience. I began by making the shells which I coloured bright yellow using this yellow colouring paste, with a touch of this lime coloured paste. When they had completely cooled, I piped white icing on to each macaron half to look like the markings on a tennis ball. After that had set I sandwiched the halves together with the strawberries and cream filling and put them in the fridge. These might be my favourite macarons so far as they almost look like little round tennis balls. They taste light and fresh, and are the perfect treat for some summer-time tennis viewing whether you’re watching from Henman Hill or the sofa.
Strawberries and Cream Macaron Filling
(for approx 30 whole macarons)
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp double cream
1 huge strawberry or 2 smaller ones
In a mixer beat together the icing sugar, butter and double cream until just combined. Quarter the strawberry and beat in until the filling is smooth but there are still some strawberry pieces visible.
Do you have a favourite animal? I don’t think I ever have. I chose my favourite colour (orange) from a young age, but never committed to an animal. I’ve always loved dogs, found monkeys really funny and I fell in love with koalas in January, but have no permanent fave. My cousin Luisa however, has always loved pigs. Last time she visited I made her Percy Pig cakes, obviously her favourite UK sweets. I bought this cake mould ages ago and have been waiting until she came over from America again to use it. It has the cutest face and is the size of a small plate, perfect for tea time. She adores coconut so I made it a coconut cake but added some pink food colouring. I decided to make some Nutella frosting to serve with it, not only as coconut and chocolate is such a great combination but also as piggys like to hang around in mud.