The best cupcakes start in Wandsworth

Recently, I wanted to send some cupcakes as a birthday surprise to my friend. On a Saturday, to her house, as I couldn’t make her party.

But as I sometimes tend to find, the road from ‘nice altruistic thought’ to ‘happy reality’ can take a detour via scenes of frustration, annoyance and quite honestly, ultimate resentment. By the time I  spent longer than I thought I would/should on the internet researching cupcake companies and prices, finding last-minute hurdles at the check-out with fees, timings and restrictions etc. I would have happily popped a row of 12 cupcakes like crack (in case you are concerned I’ve never genuinely dabbled in crack).

Wow I sound sour don’t I? Stay with me, this is a happy ending.

Basically (I think) I found the best place to order cupcakes from in London. And it happens to have a branch in WANDSWORTH (so biased). It is called Crumbs and Doillies (I mean you have probably all heard of this but it was news to me).

mixed_cupcakes

Cupcake quivering beauty (from the Crumbs and Doilies online gallery) – my friend has not yet sent me a picture of the ones I bought her – smacks of ‘I ate them all’

I looked into lots of other companies – those which might immediately roll off the tongue when thinking of London bakeries. But Christ they were expensive when you add on the average £25 courier fee?! (I’m not about to name/slag off these companies on the internet, just because they aren’t to my taste, as my blog isn’t really about being a bitch about cupcake companies – I mean come on).

But that said – I have never really ‘got’ this very American cupcake trend that landed in the UK years ago. Quite frankly the frosting levels are too excessive for me. I’ve never understood how you are supposed to eat them. Do you dive your face into 3cm of cochenille butter icing as if you are troughing for truffles? Or lick the frosting off with the tip of your tongue  in an awkward/sexy way? I guess you just get a fork…But I am just a bit too British and would rather nibble on a fairy cake with some traditional white sugar icing and sprinkles, like they did at fetes. In the fifties.

But  anyway…Crumbs and Doilies do cupcakes in pretty much every flavour imaginable (some of which you definitely won’t have imagined). Its all very exciting in a ‘Willy Wonker’ type of way –  from ‘buttered popcorn’ or ‘malteser’ to ‘mexican hot chocolate’ and ‘maple and bacon’ flavour (yes MAPLE AND BACON). So I was totally converted. Particularly because – crucially – you can buy the ‘mini’ size, which answers all of my practical questions on etiquette. So I bought two dozen mini cupcakes for £24 which I didn’t think was too bad.

The delivery fee is also very competitive. It depends on where you live in London and ranges from £4-£14. But you can pay extra for a set delivery time. And you get preferential treatment for living in Wandsworth. As you always really should….

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London cocktail party sausages

In my mind, its not a party until the mini sausages arrive. I really do believe that I am the holder of one of the best recipes going for cocktail sausages. (As an aside – I know I do sound a little arrogant in my recipe posts, the brownies being a case in point,  but you have to back yourself in life, right? And the three good recipes I have in the locker are almost up soon anyway…).

The recipe’s beauty lies in its simplicity. Basically you just cook chipolatas in the oven and smear honey and mustard sauce over them.

So how to make the sauce? Its basically about 3 tbsps of wholegrain mustard, blended with 4 tbps of honey, mixed together and then drizzled over the top of uncooked chipolata sausages.

Honey and mustard sausagesPut them in the oven in a tray or oven-proof dish on at 180 until the sauce bubbles and the sausages turn golden brown and are cooked all the way through – usually takes 30-35 minutes depending on the quantity. And of course the size. I would normally go for mini-chipolatas, but there were non-available when I went food shopping, so instead I used these larger sausages and chopped them in half. That’s what I would do when serving at a party. But obviously, I’m not having a party, I just wanted some of these for dinner….

Nom nom nom x