I have a very lovely friend who I am going over to see tonight on a rare girl’s night (girl’s night in rather than girl’s night out – it’s a school night plus I’m not sure I would remember what to do on a “Girl’s Night Out” even if I had any inclination to one!). Her husband travels away quite a lot and so when he is away for a long trip like he is at the moment, we monopolise the sofa at her place and drink cocktails. I usually try to take something with me when I go over but (the somewhat familiar) budgetary constraints have struck with a vengeance for this month and probably the next couple of months so unfortunately I couldn’t manage anything very extravagant. So I made cupcakes and left them sitting in the kitchen cooling off and waiting to be decorated.
Now I bake a lot, and I love it – there is nothing sweeter to me than the whole house filled with the aroma of chocolate-y or cake-y goodness but I have to admit, I am a bit lazy when it comes to decorating. Usually my cakes have jam in the middle (chocolate spread if I’m feeling fancy) and icing on the top, and some times on the side, and quite often on the plate around the edge. I chuck butter icing at the problem of uneven cupcakes and smooth it on with a spoon. It all gets eaten and everyone seems to like it and I was about to repeat the process with these cupcakes without an ounce of guilty conscience.
Then I thought about my resolution this to make a little more of an effort to make things look beautiful, even if it is just a little bit, to make more of an effort to make things that the eye can enjoy rather than just taking the easy option. And I thought, you know what, she’s a really good friend and I know she will appreciate the effort so don’t be so lazy!
I am loving all things ‘vintage’ at the moment, to the extent that I now spend probably an unhealthy amount of time browsing on Pinterest allowing my heart to quicken slightly at all the gorgeous things I see there, so I thought I would go for a vintage style in terms of cupcake decoration. I dutifully dug out my piping bag and dyed the butter icing with pink colouring which turned it a lovely apricot colour (more accident than judgement if I’m honest but I really like the effect) and then added some chocolate cherubs which I had bought a few weeks ago for no other reason than they were just soooo pretty and marked down to 20p a box in Sainsburys. It turns out that the reason that I don’t pipe icing very often is that I’m not very good at it, or perhaps I’m not very good at it because I don’t do it very often (either way it is now a new resolution to get the hang of it over the course of this year) so I certainly wouldn’t hold up my vintage style cherub cupcakes as being of a professional, semi professional or even gifted amateur status. But I think they look pretty and certainly much prettier than butter icing spooned on and covered with sugar strands which is where the whole thing was heading until I gave myself a talking to. I put them on here really to remind myself of the rewards of making that bit more of an effort.
Now bring on the Margaritas!