Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Day 14: Food glorious food

I absolutely love pottering in the kitchen, the radio playing as I chop, fry, stir and bake.  One of my favourite things to do with The Boy is to cook together; we have perfected our vegan fajitas and do a mean curry, too. 

Left to my own devices, I tend to cook from scratch three or four nights a week, relying on frozen portions of home-cooked meals for the evenings when I'm too knackered to get creative.  One thing I always have the time and energy for, however, is baking.  I have such a sweet tooth and am somehow convinced that homemade treats are better than shop-bought ones.  Here are some of my favourite recipes...
Mouthwatering Macaroons, which are surprisingly easy as long as you obey the recipe to the letter.

Rocky Road Bars adapted from a Nigella recipe.

The most incredibly fudgey, gooey, clog-your-arteries Chocolate Brownies.

And my favourite, easy-peasy Lemon Cupcakes. 


- 4oz caster sugar
- 4oz self-raising flour
- 4oz butter
- Grated rind of one lemon plus a squeeze of juice
- 2 medium free-range eggs


1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 170 degrees C.

2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs a little at a time and beat well.

3. Stir in the flour and the lemon rind.  Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the mixture and stir.

4. Put into cupcake cases and bake for 12-16 minutes, until very pale brown and firm to the touch.

5. Mix the rest of the lemon juice with a tablespoon of softened butter and 6oz icing sugar. Beat to form a smooth icing (adding a splash of water if required).

6. When the cakes are cool, ice them, and try not to eat them all in one go.

Not long ago I read a (hopefully tongue-in-cheek) socialist critique of cupcakes that suggested they represent the ultimate triumph of the individual over the collective, a sort of cake version of Thatcher's "There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women...".  It went on to say that the departure from traditional British confections (such as the more restrained scone and rock cake), and the growing popularity of cupcakes (with their extravagant decoration and gaudy colours) somehow represented the increasing influence of a capitalist and consumerist society.

Now I like I good socialist critique as much as the next person, but as far as I am concerned any foodstuff in which the cake to icing ratio is often approaching 50/50 is ok with me, and politics be damned.


  1. I really don't think that cupcakes represent the triumph of the individual because, let's face it, their size means I'm more likely to eat the collective. I'd be interested to read that article though, sounds hilarious!

    1. "Their size means I'm more likely to eat the collective" - brilliant! And oh-so-true. I can't find the link to the article ANYWHERE, so annoying.

  2. The icing is the best bit for sure. I have read somewhere about how cupcakes represent all that is wrong with society etc too. Its just cake FFS! I would love to read more about your vegan cooking after BEDM x

    1. Ooh, good idea. I will try to remember to put something together once May is over.

  3. Politics and ...fairy cakes?! Oh for gods sake a cakes a cake, shurrup and just eat it! Some people take things too far I think! Xo

    1. I know, surely there are FAR more important issues to critique than baking. Sometimes a cake is just a cake... no more, no less.

  4. I am sooo going to try these! I've got a lot of baking to do for a 'tea and cake' afternoon I'm hosting soon for charity and baking is not my thing. Made some muffins today that were a disaster!!