Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.

Archive for the ‘Sweets’ Category

August 22nd, 2011 by Clarabella

Wilmslow Market – Cake Pops Debut

Saturday was Sugarbird Cupcakes’ debut appearance at Wilmslow Artisan Food Market, offering our lovely cake pops to the people of Wilmslow. My very first market stall experience was a fantastic one. We arrived bright and early at 8am ready for set up, and after a little confusion managed to find out stall and start making it pretty. The table was dressed with first a white tablecloth and then a pink and white polka dotted wipe-clean tablecloth. The stand for the cake pops matched the tablecloth well, being polka dotted and checked, and all the little pops looked adorable in their stands. Somehow I managed not to forget anything, thanks to the checklist I’d made and the day ran smoothly.

I did receive wonderful feedback on the cake pops as people nibbled on the tasters, and although I think that many people still do not know what cake pops actually are, I think I have won over a few hearts and tastebuds to the world of the cake pop.

The flavours I took along were strawberry cheesecake filled, caramel apple, cappuccino and lemon and the strawberry turned out to be a firm favourite, selling out long before the other flavours. Mental note: make more strawberry next time!

 

One thing I loved about doing the market stall was seeing people’s reactions to cake pops. They are not nearly as well known here in the UK as they are in the States, but people were very open to trying them once they realized that they were not in fact lollipops! I especially loved seeing how the children respond to tasting new things. A few little boys and their mums/dads would end up in front of the sample plate on my stall, and although I could see that they wanted to taste, they were often overcome at the last minute by bouts of extreme shyness that left them hiding behind their mum’s skirts or their dad’s jeans, with just one big, nervous eye peeking out, looking nervously between me and the cake. Sometimes the desire for sugar would overcome and they would reach a tentative little hand out and quickly snatch a (always the largest) piece before retreating back to the safety of their parents shadow to devour the treasured morsel.

 

It was a lovely day and I met many lovely people and hopefully scored one point for the cake pop on UK soil. I look forward to the next market which I have been told I am allowed to bring cupcakes to as well as the regular cupcake vendor sold out this time, so there seems to be a large market for the cupcake. Excellent! Hope to see you there.

X Claire

August 3rd, 2011 by Clarabella

Lemon Curd

I love lemon. Lemon cake, lemon tart, lemon cookies, lemon bars, you get the idea. I even eat lemon. Straight. Weirdo? I know. I can’t help it.

So yesterday while making a bunch of low calorie cupcakes, I had some time to kill in between batches and I also had a whole load of egg yolks left over from using the egg whites in the cupcakes. As my brain was mulling over the potential uses for 8 egg yolks, my eyes fell on the big bag of lemons in the fruit bowl. Perfect! 🙂 Lemon Curd!

My first memory of lemon curd is of my grandmother. I don’t know if you can even buy lemon curd in South Africa. We certainly never had it in the house when I was growing up. But I do distinctly remember my grandma having jars of it that I am pretty certain she made herself. I remember it being used just as a topping for bread/toast, and the sweet, silky, lemony flavour has stuck with me. Read the rest of this entry »

July 5th, 2011 by Clarabella

Rum & Raisin Chocolate Truffles

Rum + Raisin = Sublime

Rum + Raisin + Chocolate = Divine

These homemade Rum & Raisin Chocolate Truffles = Perfection

I have not done much chocolate making in my life, but I have been thinking a lot about chocolate and making things from home recently. Then the other day I happened to be watching an episode of the Barefoot Contessa that was based around all things chocolate, and she made some Rum and Raisin truffles. Needless to say I was smitten, and almost the second it was finished, I was in the kitchen, rummaging in my chocolate storage box for all the chocolate I could lay my hands on to start making a bounteous batch of these beauties.  Read the rest of this entry »

June 27th, 2011 by Clarabella

Grand Marnier Marshmallows

I currently have a little more time on my hands than usual, and so I have been looking over all the things I have never made that I always meant to, and have been watching the Food Network (its dangerously addictive) and being even more inspired. So I have started Rum and Raisin truffles, and this morning I have completed Adults-only Grand Marnier Marshmallows.

I saw the Marshmallows in a copy of the Delicious Magazine earlier this year, and I always wanted to make them, but I never quite got up the courage. After my impressive failures with sugar-based treats such as fudge and nougat, I was not ready for yet another pile of goo to be chucked in the bin. But I was reading over the recipe again and thought I’d take the plunge. I mean, I have to get lucky once in a while don’t I? Read the rest of this entry »

April 24th, 2011 by Clarabella

My First Foray into the world of the Cake Ball

I had vaguely herd of the American concept of the ‘cake pop’ before but my first hands on experience with a cake ball/pop was by accident when shopping at the Peter Herd bakery not far from where I work. I was on a mission to get cakes for an office meeting or some such excuse, and the lovely ladies behind the counter drew attention to the cake balls. Round, chocolate covered, prettily decorated spheres, with unknown delights inside. How could I resist?

The first taste was an experience. The cake balls have a cake-like flavour but a much denser consistency. This first one was a lemon cake ball. It did not taste like actual lemon though, but more like lemon flavouring. But it was not unpleasant, far from it. I was intrigued by the concept and have sampled a couple of other flavours since then, and I have been mulling over the prospect of making them myself ever since.

 

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