I should be writing a presentation right now but this is the first weekend in many that I’ve simply sat at home doing nothing and it feels like I have all the time in the world. Though when presentations, piles of washing and a house in desperate need of cleaning call that time will surely evaporate. While baking, has, as always, been on my mind recently I have been reading food magazines on trains rather than spending time in the kitchen. Last weekend was my brother’s 21st, I arrived home to find my mother had made a giant devil’s food cake and 2 days before my brother’s party it was sitting on the side along with the meringue base for a pavlova. My mum’s pavlovas are superb and she knows it, they are her fail safe, the thing she makes if she doesn’t want to worry about desert or needs something quick and easy. Meringue is one of the few baked goods where an Aga helps rather than hinders, baking it at home is easy, or so it should be, I can’t remember if meringue is just not my thing or if I’ve never really tried making it.
I had brought red food colouring and a piping bag home with me so I could make Arsenal themed cupcakes for decorative purposes. Just a simple easy, basic cupcake, with lots of good vanilla and a little cheating on the icing. While I was home over christmas a box of fondant icing sugar and one of royal icing sugar had made their way into the cupboard, so I pulled both out and iced the cupcakes with white fondant icing and piped 21s onto them in red royal icing.