Saturday, October 01, 2005

Barter Baking

This is the story of fairy cakes.

A week ago at work, (the cinema, remember), my co-worker Daisey saw a picture of me in an orange dress, and felt inspired to make me earrings to go with. I offered to pay her for them, but she wouldn’t accept! Not even for materials. So, I offered to make her some cupcakes in return!

136. Fairycakes (Feeding Babies and Small Children)

Last night, I finished work at 10:45pm, headed down to the Coles Express next to the train station and bought some unsalted butter, icing sugar, mini-marshmallows and glace cherries. Then I took the 11:16pm bus home, had a shower and got busy baking.

The fairycake mixture is basically the same as a Victoria sponge, all mixed together in the processor with some extra baking powder for added lift.

I love sponge cake mixture – I love the colour and its smooth butteriness.


I did the first half of the mixture in mini muffin tins. However, I didn't have any mini papers, so I just buttered the tin generously. Well, perhaps they were still too hot when I impatiently prised them from the tin after baking, because half the little buggers broke on me! So I just had to eat the broken ones. Damn. For the rest of the mixture, I used a normal sized, lined, muffin tin.

Here are the mini ones.

Today I was working from 10:30am - 6:00pm, so I got up at 8 o'clock and started icing! I did a mixture of pink and white icing (to emulate the marshmallows that Daisey loves), and iced them with the leftover letters from DG's birthday biscuits. I wanted to spell "DAISEY", but I seemed to have eaten all the E's on DG's actual birthday. This wasn't a huge problem though, I just cunningly fashioned a new "E" out of an "H".

Daisey with Cupcakes

Fairy Cakes - there are two mini ones on the sides which I managed to ice and transport without breaking. You'll notice that my icing job wasn't brilliant - I think buttercream icing is the way forward for fairycakes. Or perhaps just thicker icing (i.e. more sugar to water) so you can't see the cake through it. Not that anyone was complaining. I shared my cupcakes around work with the co-workers, and they were a big hit.

"These are so good... I mean, these are really, really good."
"You're a really good cook."
"Can you adopt me?"
"My roommate says she's a good cook, but you're better."

I love a good ego-boost!

The cakes are so fragrant and light and tender - dangerously easy to eat. They remind me of the patty cakes that my mum used to make for my birthday every year (but to a different recipe - I know that one's got cream in it).

Stay tuned for a pic of the earrings.

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