I had a VERY exciting night last night. I know I don’t get out of the kitchen much, but even if I did have the social life of a busy butterfly in June last night would still be up there in exciting nights….. well for a cupcaker anyway!

Iron Cupcakes has come to London! I missed the first one because 18 hours a day looking at cupcake related things on the Internet obviously isn’t enough, luckily Liz tipped me off about the second one. At first I was totally up for it, I was even dreaming of flavours but as the nerves crept in I told myself I was too busy and not inventive enough to come up with something out of the ordinary. So that was that… Until luvvie Kat brought it up, she was totally up for it and twisted my arm.

I spent the weekend baking orders, A baby shower and a birthday, while Kat was slaving away coming up with utterly inspired combinations, the accountant in me was having trouble with the thought of deviating from a recipe, after all, a recipe is a recipe and a recipe should be followed! Ahhhh!! A few deep breathes and a pep talk from Kat of we went to the new farmers market in Westerham looking for inspiration. I came home armed with Apples, Black currents, Strawberries and Raspberries amongst other lovely things and set to work at …….11pm! I just couldn’t decide what to bake. I had some peaches in the fridge….. and some Blackberries…..

So in the end I settled on 2 entries. Peach and raspberries to reflect high summer and Apple & Blackberry to reflect late summer.

Peach and Raspberry bakingFor the Peach and Raspberry: I Poached the peaches in honey, sugar and a little peach schnapps, let them cool while reducing the syrup by 1/2 (wow that syrup is good!). Made a Raspberry coulis and let that chill. Prepared the vanilla cupcake batter, folded in the now chopped peaches and then added a squirt of the coulis, ran a skewer though the batter for the ripple effect and baked….

Once they had cooled I brushed them with the syrup and filled them with a little of the coulis and topped with cream cheese frosting. I had hoped tofrost them with a lovely cream cheese frosting that had fresh cream and Marscapone but with the weather hot and sticky I chickened out, there was no way they would make the train journey.




Because the theme for this month’s Iron cupcake was Summer fruits I tried to think about what summer meant to me, it evoked memories of the summer holidays, when I’d almost forgotten what getting up for school was (I’ve always always loved a lie in!) the days are still long and the grass has gone brown everywhere. I remembered the elderberries in the back alley, wow they make a mess! and the blackberries growing on the common opposite….. black berries….. apple and blackberry pie with custard! oh yes…..

So I grated 6 Organic bramley apples, toasted some walnuts and prepared the batter, luckily I had experimented with a few apple recipes last year so knew what batter to make. I toned down the spices, as I didn’t want it to be too autumnal, so it was just a touch of Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Cloves. I chopped the blackberries and gently folded them in and hoped they wouldn’t just sink to the bottom as they baked.

Once they were cool I filled them with some creme patisserie and again topped them with cream cheese frosting.

So from fretting about meddling with recipes I went from simple beginnings to what I think ended up as quite complicated. I had no time to get second opinions, even if I did what could I do, at what was now school run time there was no time to re-bake so I would just have to wing it. Eeek!

Off we went, Kat & I, to the Barrow boy and Banker at London bridge. I was so nervous. Cupcakes on public transport!?! Where is Mr D when you need him! OK, at work, but really, this was a cupcake emergency!

And we arrived…..were they going to be OK? The right way up? melted cream cheese frosting? broken decorations? Oh honestly, the stress!

Phew! We arrived in one piece!


The people at ICL have really got it sussed, very organised, you have to have 12 of each entry. You place 2 on a plate for the judges and then the rest on another plate for everyone else to try. Very quickly the table filled up and the competition was hot. they all looked amazing all neatly lined up. the sense of anticipation was immense

First round of samples:

 It was such an experience. To be able to unashamedly scoff multiple cupcakes. Lets face it, in most circumstances it really doesn’t come across as polite to grab more than one serving of cake. So to be able to walk up to a table and feel totally unembarrassed about taking 3, with the knowledge that you are also going to help scoff the other 3 your Friend has… well it was like blooming Christmas!


 But, Oh How much did I need this:  

And how much did I regret this:Full up

It felt so wrong to be leaving so much cake. All the thought, love and hopes that had gone into baking every single one of those wonderful cuppies…. and what you can’t See is that it was all around the room. 50 odd people stuffing themselves silly with cake, absolutely bulging, all saying No more! but then creeping back to the table to check out the late entries.

Finally the moment came, the judges and the public (Bakers and Eaters) had all voted… the result was in. With all the time I procrastinated away, the rush in the end and the lack of sampling I was just glad both my plates didn’t still have 10 cupcakes left on it. There were so many luscious cupcakes, smelling like summer on a plate I didn’t think it was my turn this time. But WOW! shock of almighty shock! I won first prize! I can honestly say I have never in all my life won a competition where you have work judged. I can’t actually think of a time I have entered anything. probably because I have never been as passionate about anything as much as i am cake. So this was amazing. I really didn’t have a clue what to do. I know I wanted to cry, pathetic emotional bag that I am!

So here are my goodies:

I was absolutely bowled over! It was fantastic night even without winning, hopefully next time I will pluck up the courage to chat to the other people that have come to stuff them self silly with cupcake. I can’t wait! roll on August! And remember you don;t need to be a baker to come, you can just come and pay £5 to stuff yourself silly with wonderful cupcakes! personally I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday night.

You can see more about the evening at www.ironcupcake.co.uk



It will be day 7 tomorrow so whilst I haven’t been baking much this week I have been very busy in other ways. Monday was a very good day, I incorporated Positively Marvellous Temptations! I am now a Ltd company!! Yeah at last! Some have said I shouldn’t have done it as it will just cause a trail of paperwork but I wanted to, the paperwork needs to be done anyway and I felt strongly that I start as I mean to go on. I am determined that this is something I will build over time to a strong robust entity with a good client base that keeps returning. I hope to watch all these little ones grow up by way of knowing them through their cake choices. From Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy to an elegant handbag, a wedding cake and maybe a christening cake! there are many ways of watching the circle of life, I think through cakes eyes is a good way.

I’ve been reading up on the regulations and have got the food safety regulations Pack/Log on its way to me. With the food safety course the week after next I am feeling very much under pressure to get the house straight. I need to replace the dead dishwasher and the poorly fridge freezer, and invest in PMT’s very own fridge. Get all of that installed as the current ones are integrated, what a mistake that was! and then I will be ready for the council inspection. Once that is done nothing can hold me back. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to having a therapeutic clear out. The poor kids are loosing their messy play cupboard, as from next week that is PMT’s equipment and packaging storage. By complete fluke the cupboards I built last year under the stairs have cubby holes the perfect for the cupcakes boxes I bought in bulk last week. See, this was fate! How did I possibly know the dimensions of the boxes then, fate told me.

And whilst I just want to bake cookies and make Easter treats Mr D wants to go away for the holiday weekend, We haven’t seen our lovely freinds in Newcastle for a very long time and as I hope to have plans for most Saturday mornings for the rest of my life we should probably take the opportunity while we can… I was looking forward to the cupboard sorting though. Maybe I can squeeze in some emergency baking before we go  to keep me going.

Next weeks challenge… Organisation and Storage… Oh my, that sounds like a trip to Ikea! Oh and printing, start getting things ready to go with that, although that may need to wait until the following week as I don’t think my cousin can take 2 small people around all the machinery in his factory. The boy will be in machine heaven.

I really feel like I am steadily on the way now… slowly ticking things off the list.

Friday 3rd April, the first day of the rest of my life. I’ve quit my job and I have no intention of seeking employment that will keep tied to a desk, so this is it no what if’s, maybe’s or might’s… this is it.

I’ve always loved cake, I live on chocolate, I am sure if you cut my veins you would just get warm fluid chocolate, I bought a book 2 years and 2 months ago that changed my life, it was cake the way cake should taste and I’ve  lived and breathed cake since. It’s all I think about. I dream cake.

But it’s cupcakes that really do it for me. People here are only just catching on to it. Why has it taken them so long?! You see I love celebrations, mainly for the cake, but don’t you feel a bit disappointed when have stood and admired a beautiful cake, you’ve imagined eating it, the chocolate melting in your mouth….ooh the anticipation…. then someone passes you a napkin… it’s nearly time, getting excited… it’s a bit misshapen and  crumpled but it’s cake, so that’s OK. You have no fork so you just have to go for it and pick it up, disaster! you drop a huge chunk of the sponge on the floor and are left with a thick lump of dried up sugar paste, which bears no resemblance to the beauty it once was….. oh dear! it’s such a shame.

But Cupcakes… now cupcakes are different.

Imagine the same situation, you stand around singing happy birthday, but this time you are admiring a beautiful display of cupcakes and the lovely dainty little cake on top with candles in it, see it’s different already. Very quickly everyone is passed their own individual little beauty, you could even sneak it into your hand bag and to savour at home in privacy with a cup of tea and cosy slippers, but I can’t wait that long. It’s beautiful and perfectly formed and it’s all for me. I read an article a little while ago that referred to them as “the me-cake” they didn’t mean it as a compliment but I really think that it’s a perfect name, because that is what it is, my own little perfectly formed beautiful cake, and it’s all for me! I’m grinning now….. I can easily pick off the adornment, keep it to show the children or liberate it forever. Peel down the liner and sink my teeth in, making sure I get an even amount of frosting in each bite… and maybe hopefully some filling, oh the joy, the satisfaction when the last bite is gone. Oh it’s perfect. It was worth the wait.  

See wasn’t that better than loosing half your cake on the floor?

But saying all of that, a  beautiful big cake is hard to beat isn’t it. Nothing makes you feel as special than to be presented with a lovely cake all in honor of you, on your special day. I’ve even been thinking about whether i should write a will so I can specify what cake should be served at my own funeral. I’m running short of cake opportunities for myself, my wedding has passed and I probably won’t have anymore children, all I am left with is birthday’s which I really try to avoid, so I can’t be letting an opportunity pass can I. I don’t mind that I wouldn’t be able to eat any, so long as everyone enjoys it. It’s all about sharing. Spreading joy by way of cake.

So over time I hope I can build my life of creating joyus happy cakes. Developing my style as I go, to be inspired everyday and take the time to be thankful for having the opportunity. I hope I don’t let my family down. Mr D has been wonderfully supportive, he says the size of his waist shows how supportive he is being. Well at least he’ll have some reserves for when we are destitute.

In the next few weeks I hope to get PMT Cupcakes off the ground. The registration, the printing, the marketing and hopefully a fuller diary. PMT stands for Postively Marvellous Temptations, it’s a bit of a mouthful, like cake, so it’s fondly become PMT Cupcakes, it’s easier to spell and the initials have a habbit of sticking in your mind. It’s OK, I know PMT means something else, I just prefer to think of cake than another reason for PMT.

I’ve waffled for too long. You’ll be bored now. So I’m off to bake… Lemon and Vanilla, Chocolate and finally Caramel Mud. 42 cupcakes, 3 flavours, 3 fillings and 3 frostings, all topped with lovely blue things for Dylan’s First birthday.

And Liz….. Thank you. You wonderful lady that made this page look yummy. You are a superstar! xxxxx