Up until a year ago, I wasn’t one for cooking. Or rather, I fell into that typical category of “won’t cook” rather than “can’t cook”. I’m ashamed to admit that most of the meals I did attempt were of the easy boil-pasta, fry-sausages, oven-cook-pizza category. But over the past year, I’ve become (I think, at least!) a dab hand in the kitchen, whipping all sorts of delicious meals from scratch – which I then devour, before complimenting myself vigourously!
Review of Cookie Girl’s “Eat Me” book!
One area of cooking that I’m a complete novice in, however, is baking sweet items: cakes, cookies, cupcakes, that sort of thing. I tried making some biscuits a few months ago which ending up being a semi-disaster, with dough that wouldn’t stick together and too long a time in the oven.
But in an attempt to review the new book Eat Me: The Stupendous, Self-Raising World of Cupcakes & Bakes According to Cookie Girl (see my earlier post on the book: New book by Notting Hill’s Cookie Girl) I thought that there would be no better way than to actually try one of the recipes – regardless of my beginner status in baking desserts.
Flicking through the beautiful book, a number of recipes caught my eye – from the straightforward French Vanilla cupcakes (which are actually recommended as a good place to start) to the exotic, such as Margarita cupcakes (the ingredients of which do actually include tequila, triple sec and salt) and Bollywood cupcakes, to the traditional, such as pastel macaroons and butterscotch cookies. (I’ll definitely be giving those Margarita cupcakes a whirl one day!)
But it was the French Toast cupcakes that I decided to give a go – partially because they didn’t seem too tricky, partially because I seemed to already have most of the ingredients – and especially because I’m a big fan of French toast.
Following the recipe was very straightforward and I found all the steps just right for someone at my level – it felt a bit like someone was holding my hand, much need for a cake-baking novice such as myself! And after a bit of whisking, sifting, stirring and mixing, plus 20 minutes baking time in the oven, a batch of perfect cupcakes materialised.
At this point, all that was left was to decorate the cakes. Here’s where I failed slightly – not because I couldn’t adequately decorate, more that my local supermarket failed to supply with appropriate cupcake making items. (Note: the book has a useful guide to where you can buy better cake decoration supplies.) So I had to make do with a rather sickly sweet pink food colouring for the icing, together with some rather basic chocolate sprinkles. And this is what I ended up with:
They may not look especially pretty (or be anywhere near as beautiful as those depicted in the book), but they tasted absolutely delicious! And yes, as I’m sure you’re asking, they did actually taste of French toast. A big thumbs up from me and all those I fed the cupcakes to in the taste test.
Overall, Eat Me is a lovely book featuring some truly delicious cupcake recipes. For any baking beginners (such as me) there’s a section on baking basics, and all recipes are easy to follow. As I’ve said in my earlier post, this book is also delightful to read in its own right with its wonderful introductions to each section and its beautiful photographs. Give it a try – with the cupcakes and cookies you end up making, you won’t be disappointed!
Stay tuned as I’ll be posting the recipe of the French toast cookies I attempted in a couple of days.