Sunday, 18 January 2009

Apple Muesli Slices

It's been such a busy couple of months for me, what with Christmas and starting a new job I've really been feeling quite stressed recently. I love weekends so much and really try to make use of every second and make the time last as long as possible. I think one of the reasons I enjoy baking so much is that I find it so relaxing and calming and I really enjoy eating what I've made during the following week at work!

I started the year thinking it's time for the new year diet. Two days later I decided 'baking wanabee' and 'dieter' don't really add up well and decided to stick to running instead. Good plan I think. I have made a few resolutions this year (none of which are anything to do with the word diet). One is to try and source healthier products for myself and my home. I've started with mineral make-up, lush natural face wash and organic shampoo. Good start! The second is to try and spend the year perfecting the perfect cupcake recipes. I found this really cool website: which has loads of reviews on cupcake shops and it got me thinking. So, i'm going to taste and sample all different cupcakes from shops around London and spend many an hour in the kitchen trying out different methods and ingrediants.

I know everyone, likes to have a healithy start to the new year and so I started my January baking with these apple muesli slices (see pic above). I didn't really follow a recipe, i just grabbed a bowl and threw in anything I could find: raisins, sunflower seeds, oats, honey, muesli and a bit of butter and baked it in the oven - they are perfect 'pick-me-ups' for the first weeks back at work.

This afternoon I am going to make carrot and orange soup for dinner followed by fruit and marizpan cupcakes. Bliss!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Magnolia Bakery - NYC

Happy 2009! I had a great Christmas and New Year and hope you did too.

Before I start my New Year baking, I wanted to show you my pics of Magnolia Bakery in New York. We were lucky enough to visit our friends there in November but I was so busy posting about Christmas baking I never had time.

Magnolia bakery is where Carrie went to buy a cupcake in SATC and that is what started the cupcake trend. It was like a dream, the shop was full of cupcakes and larger cakes and cookies and the choice of flavours was just mouth watering delicious! I had the one above in the right hand corner. It was topped with cream cheese and autumn sprinkles and I honestly have never tasted anything like it. It tasted divine. My friend got the one of the left (the cream one) and it was a red velvet cupcake with traditional whipped vanilla icing. Heaven. I couldn't believe how red the sponge was. Deep, dark, smooth, velvet red.

Other flavours included pumpkin cupcakes with maple cheese frosting, german chocolate with coconut-caramel-pecan icing and coconut cupcakes with meringue icing. I wish I could have tried them all!

And just to make your mouth water a little bit more, other totally gorgeous american offerings in the bakery included: pecan pie, bundt cakes, brownies, blondies, whoopi cookies, pumpkin spice cake and devil's food cake.

They really were the best things I've ever tasted. If you go to NY you must try these cakes! And what a cute interior...