Sunday, 5 December 2010

Totally "Gleeking" Out!

Ever since reading Nigella's Kitchen (See previous posts) I have been dying and if I'm completely honest, rather obsessed about re-creating her awe inspiring luridly green "Grasshopper Pie".

For this dish Nigella was inspired by an episode of everybody's favourite.... Glee (oh come on, we are supposed to be honest here, besides it's just you and me and I promise not to tell a soul...ssshhhh it's our little secret). In this episode Terri Schuester is still pretending to be pregnant with her husband Will's baby in an outrageous attempt to hold onto her man and in doing so is literally shovelling piece after piece after piece of Grasshopper Pie into her face (after all she is eating for 2).

So I've been on the edge of my seat watching Glee with one foot in the kitchen waiting for the opportunity to get cracking on this disturbing looking pie. However fate is not always kind to me and I have found myself on the longest and most dispiriting (really I promise no pun intended...) hunt for one of the pies main ingredients - that old lady Christmas staple, Creme De Menthe. You would think that my "old lady" liquor cabinet would be overflowing with the stuff but actually I had to make room for the Chambord, Chinzano and Advocaat in the run up to Christmas)! Not one single supermarket, off licence or corner shop within a 3 mile radius has this alcoholic mouthwash (actually maybe Listerine would have been an excellent substitute), either this is seriously out of fashion or there are a lot of drunken old dears living around GP Towers!

So with a heavy heart I was on the verge of giving up this quest until fabulously foreign Lidl pulled through with a dubious Vodka based Chocolate Mint liquor this week and what a bargain, less than a third of the price of old CdM too! Well today we are back in the game and with my Glee student over for dinner later this evening I'm hoping to impress and win back some Kudos since I am now at least half a season behind her!

Well, I promised before that there will be more Glee inspired treats coming soon (any excuse to hitch myself to whatever bandwagon, or should that be "show choir" wagon, that's passing through town). As I am now hotly awaiting my Glee - Live Tour tickets I should think I'll be busting out some celebratory cupcakes when Mr Postman finally comes ringing.....(twice).

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Belated Birthday Treats

With so much going on lately I have found myself a month behind what I wanted to be posting (not including the 4 month delay with the Legally Blonde post, of course...but I promise its coming...)!
So we're a month into my thirty something'th year and already we can see that my blogging punctuality has not improved, however what a treat for the office my birthday was!

The Guilty Pleasures Tasting Menu:

It was an exceptionally popular menu ensuring lots of smiles and full bellies (although I should say this is no thanks to London's stunning (er?) transport system and the Mayors inability to stamp out tube strikes. Having to squeeze onto an overcrowded bus with 60 cupcakes, 58 cookies and a tray of brownies is no fun what-so-ever especially when said bus then sits in traffic for 45 minutes on a 10 minute journey)! Anyway as I'm no longer bitter about this I'll run you though the cupcakes as they deserve a special mention (besides I only have photographs of them ;o)

Starbucks Creamy Cappuccino:
So called as they are made with the fantastic new Starbucks Via, wonderful tasting instant espresso for the rich Starbucks taste at home (or in my cakes....) I topped this fragrant coffee cupcake with creamy vanilla buttercream, my gentle nod to delicious steaming vanilla lattes which I enjoy 11 months of the year before they break out the Gingerbread/Eggnog lattes!

Black pepper and Strawberry with Champagne:
Delicious Delicious Delicious. Maybe the only thing missing here (if I'm being overly critical) is a slice of fresh strawberry to adorn the light yet decadent Champagne frosting. However the glistening rose gold does add an expensive and celebratory looking finish. The fresh strawberries and fiery heat of the pepper were perfectly balanced in a moist cupcake topped with silky buttercream infused with crisp chilled Champagne, the real secret here is how much went into the frosting and how much went into my glass....lets just say the rest of the afternoon went by in a relaxing fuzz.

It just wouldn't have been my special day without bringing along old Rosario to partake in the festivities, but this time I dressed her to the 9's (after all a birthday should have a little sparkle and zhuzh)!

Limoncello Meringue Pie:
Combining my love of comfort eating my way through traditional English "puddings" and my wink to all things deliciously Italian and boozy. A light lemon cupcake was "cored" and filled with a heady limoncello curd and topped with a marshmallowy meringue before getting a light toasting by one of my favourite kitchen gadgets, the blowtorch! With all the booze and flaming blowtorches in the kitchen that day it was incredibly hard to resist a Flashdance moment, as I/m sure you can imagine!

Thai Lemongrass & Coconut:
If you can never seem to get round to booking that World Trip or holiday to far flung places the best thing to do is experiment in the comfort of your own home, specifically the kitchen. I love the delicate warmth of Thai lemongrass almost as much as I love calling it Thai Lemongrass and not just lemongrass, but twinned with an exotic and creamy coconut frosting these cupcakes were a real taste of paradise without the hours of travel usually required (OK, aside from the extended, smelly and bumpy bus ride courtesy of Boris).

So that's it for another year although my daytime colleagues will be happy to know that they are just a mere 25 more sleeps away from my annual Christmas Eve Snow bombs and Yuletide bakes!

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Brown paper packages tied up with string.....

It's been a very exciting couple of weeks what with my birthday, Volupté visits, Flashdance, Warrington, Chicago inspired cakes, Christmas planning, Theatre trip planning, Cupcake classes and Work (!), but now I'm suffering with potentially the worst bout of man cold know to anyone...ever (of course I am doing it in style and being a total martyr about the whole affair....) So I'm taking some "me" time away from the kitchens and whilst I'm bundled up on the sofa (after a particularly taxing day at the office I should add....(move over Joan I'm tying myself to that stake..) I thought we could have a nice chat over a Lemsip. Feeling in a sharing mood (must be the Night Nurse) I am about to thrill you with 5, yes 5 of my Guilty Pleasures - just for fun, so in no particular order of adoration nor Guiltiness I think we should kick off with....

GP1: Volupté Lounge

Having sampled many many burlesque supper clubs I feel extremely qualified to say that Volupté is and always will be my favourite place to relax with my gorgeous friends after a hard day slogging over PC's, ovens and general daily life après duvet o'clock. Everyday there is something different and exciting to sample from their gorgeous cocktails in the sultry lounge bar to decadent dining in the below stairs supper club (all washed down with gallons of rich and warming red wines of course, well it is Winter after all). Recently I was lucky enough to experience Missy Fatales Swinging Burlesque Boudoir, with its fire eating, tassel spinning girls in an evening of fan dances and magic......

GP2: John Barrowman

Presumably you have all read my previous post (if not consider yourselves spanked and sent to the corner of the room until you rectify the situation) so my 2nd GP is no great surprise at all! For the rest of you I promise not to go on too much.... Following the arrival of I have been almost unable to peel myself of the sofa. This is "Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic" and should in fact be watched by everyone. I even felt the man-cold symptoms slipping away whilst I re-lived the magic of John and Jody! So much so that I could be lead to believe that John Barrowan may be a saint of sorts, therefore will require yearly pilgrimages to the Albert Hall (or it could just be the Night Nurse again...) And the best part? My friend and I feature (ahem,) briefly on the DVD - 1 Hour, 10 Minutes and 7 Seconds in to be almost precise....but you'll need a good eye and an excellent freeze frame!

GP3: RuPauls Drag Race

"Gentlemen start your engines and may the best woman win"

Reality shows can be very hit and miss, Come Dine with Me, Dancing on Ice, Who Wants to be a Joseph/Maria/Friend of Dorothy and of course Britain’s Got (Limited) Talent definitely rank highly in my favourites list, with Big Brother, "X Facta" and I'm A (ahem) Celebrity on the "Not really my cup of Cava" list. But setting the standard for all outrageous, campy vampy fun shows is the decadent RuPauls Drag Race. I'm currently speeding towards the finale of Season 2 and am not sure how I’m going to fill my weeks when they crown (this years) "Next Drag Superstar". In a nutshell this is a reality show starring a group of Drag Queens all battling for the title by surviving weekly challenges (and each others bitchiness). At the end of each week the 2 queens that have impressed Ru the least will have to Lip-Synch for their Life! (Gripping stuff...) Everything about this show kicks serious ass, you'll have to check it out for yourselves though - get a few girly (or boys who like to be girly) friends over, crack open some Vintage Cava and laugh your asses off. Personally I’m gutted that Pandora Boxx was voted off so close to the end - I really thought she was a winner. You can check out Pandora’s fab blog by simply clicking....

…and remember ladies, "Don’t Fu@k it Up!"

GP4: The Hampshire/Vista/Cellar Door

I love a nice bar me, especially ones that other people don’t go to!! OK so a smattering of other people is fine, I guess (just for atmosphere though...) but I'm now of an age where I don’t like waiting to be served and I like to be able to have a conversation without loosing my voice..(Actually I've been like this since 25!). It would be impossible for me to separate these 3 bars in terms of how much I love them, they are all just so different and just so perfect for different occasions The Hampshire is plush with over sized red velvet chairs and is a true peaceful haven in the centre of Leicester Square. Extravagant nibbles are served with delicious cocktails or full bodied reds; this place is perfect for relaxing and is so cosy for winter chats.

Vista is just stunning and at the risk of everyone going there I have to say its views across London are breathtaking. Vista is London's roof garden on Trafalgar Square but with its trendy New York vibe you would never believe you are above one of London’s noisiest tourist attractions. I recommend a chilled bottle of Sancerre on those balmy summer afternoons!

Finally for those outrageously decadent pre theatre drinks you must try Cellar Door. Hidden away under the Strand this venue used to be a Gentleman’s lavatory allegedly frequented by Oscar Wilde, Gielgud and Joe Orton. Nowadays the main draw is the fantastic drink offers (we took advantage with several bottles of Laurent Perrier to start the evening with a touch of glamour), quaint surroundings and the best toilet doors I have seen...ever. I don’t want to ruin the surprise so I suggest you go and check them out for yourselves (I must be getting old, I can’t believe I’m rating a bar on its toilets!!)

GP5: Legally Blonde

OMG you guys this is like the best musical….ever! Obviously this whole section should be read (or sung if your up to it) in an American accent for full dramatic effect). Now I could forgive you for not knowing just how much I love this show, that my dears is entirely my fault as I have not yet completed my blog entry regarding the show and my wonderful cake for the wonderful cast members but I do promise that I will get that finished and posted asap!!
Whether this is a Guilty Pleasure or just 2 hours of pure joy I cant really judge but suffice to say I am seeing this again next week for the 8th time and have so far dragged in the region of 104 people with me to see this (surely the Savoy should be sending me free gifts for being such a fantastic patron)!
I will be writing more about the show in my full LB piece but I will tell you now I’m in good company with this one, with celeb fans such as Gok Wan, John Cleese, Brian May and the cast of The Only Way is Essex (!) all turning out time and time again for this amazing show.
I can’t wait to see the new cast give it their all next week but I’m so upset to be missing Sheridan Smith again!!
“Snaps You Guys!”

Well that's your lot I'm afraid, 5 down - hundreds more to go....OK OK, you want more, I know, but there really can be too much of a good thing so as a compromise here’s a sneaky preview into my 6th....

I have recently turned into a total GLEEk, devouring every episode I could get my hands on and having just finished the Season 1 finale (barely managing not to cry) I cannot wait for Season 2. Its hard to pick a favourite episode but so far the highlights have been Kurt performing Beyonce's "Single Ladies" on the football field, Sue's "Physical" duet with Olivia Newton John and the entire Gaga episode (being the "Little Monster" that I am). But this is just a sneak peek so you’ll just have to wait for my Glee inspired cupcakes for the full story….

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Friday, 8 October 2010

A Real Guilty Pleasure......

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May Contain Spoilers....and will, most certainly contain Nuts!

As you know its not often I write about something non cake related but life's not all about buttercream and lemon sponges (or so I hear..) The last few weeks have been rather crazy for Guilty Pleasures what with pulling together what I now refer to as the gorgeous "Autumn Collection" and attending glamorous hotel launch parties. (It should be said that at one point last week the "Autumn Collection" caused what I can now only refer to as a colossal "Cake-down", in many ways rather like your normal common or garden Breakdown but very clearly cake related....)

So tantrums and sugarpaste tiaras swiftly dealt with and happy "Pleasurites" now devouring my rather elegant autumnal creations, I felt a little time out of the test kitchens to indulge myself in something decadent and terribly naughty was well deserved. Unfortunately, I've always been dreadful at keeping secrets so its absolutely no surprise to you all (providing you've been keeping up with my blog of course....) that my biggest (and possibly only) Guilty Pleasure is Mr John Barrowman.

With a perky little spring in our steps a dear friend and I found ourselves sat mere feet from the stage at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 4th October. In a fun twist our little twosome did mirror the entire audience as a whole, but I will save all our blushes and leave that train of thought.

I wouldn't want to give too much away about the show but I have not had such a fantastic (fantastic, fantastic) evening in a very long time!! To say that the audience hung on every word that he said and sung would be a huge understatement, my friend and I were astounded with just how popular the great JB is! (We had thought he was just our little secret...). So along with the entire Albert Hall we laughed (Spiderman/Wonderwoman medley is quite frankly inspired and hilarious - please note anyone with a nut allergy should look away now......),

.....we cried (Don't Cry Out Loud and Rule The World were particularly teary, of course that could have been the wine....) and danced our sequined butts off (too many to say but we did have an extremely energetic (for us) boogie to Lets Get Loud and I Am What I Am - for anyone unfortunate enough to witness, I would like to add that my dancing was very much fuelled by Mr Pinot and his brother Grigio at this point of the evening...)

John also had a special guest for this tour, the fabulous Jodie Prenger. I was thrilled! Jodie is extremely talented and rocked the hell out of Proud Mary and Mambo Italiano amongst other great numbers. Not only did she belt out some fantastic tunes she had us in stitches with her mad monologues and pure genius comedic timing.

I have to say the people in the audience were amazing and I have to thank Ann (who took a bus from Wales at 5am to get to London) for sending me the photos she took of the show! They have prettied up this blog a treat!

So all in all a great evening for living our wildest Guilty Pleasures (bloody tube strike aside) maybe I'll see you all there next year.......if your honest with yourselves, you know you want to come!

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

NB: Ok so I've "shown you mine" now "show me yours". I'd love to hear your Guilty Pleasures - I'm sure you'll agree, sharing is fun my gorgeous "Pleasurites".

Sunday, 19 September 2010


They say you should never meet your heroes...... but I figured Nigella could just abut handle the pressure of being in the presence of Guilty Pleasures for a few moments ;o)

The 2nd of September 2010 may have passed most of you by as just another Thursday but for us Domestic Gods and Goddesses it marked the release of the fabulous new book by Nigella Lawson entitled - "Kitchen - Recipies from the Heart of the Home". To quote from the mammouth book itself "Nigella rounds up her kitchen kit must-haves (telling us, too, what equipment we don't need) and highlights individual ingredients - both basic essentials and modern-day life-savers. But above all, she reminds the reader how much pleasure there is to be had in real food, and in reclaiming the traditional rhythms of the kitchen, as she cooks to the beat of the heart of the home, creating simple recipes to make life less complicated..." and if you ask me you just cant argue with that!

So one week on and I found myself standing 5th in line outside Waterstones Kensington, waiting for the Original Domestic Goddess herself to arrive. In usual Guilty Pleasures style I had panicked, over complicated the journey and found myself arriving almost 2 hours early....however there were people who had arrived at 9am making them 4 hours early and clearly very dedicated (and or mad). Now dont think I attended empty handed, those who have spotted me around the City and "Up West" will know I always carry my amazing ManBag which is usually full of fantastic items of pure un-necessity (no, really...its a bag full of nothing!) but today I had crammed it full of beautiful chocolate swirl cupcakes for Nigella (which I have decided to call Rosario, mainly beacuse there is a beautiful red rose on each but also as I love the maid in Will & Grace).

So I got to meet a hero and now sit in the GP kitchen slavering over my signed copy of "Kitchen", and Nigella got to eat some fabulous cupcakes (she seemed genuinely touched and said she would enjoy them later). Maybe in years to come she will even arrive two hours early at my booksigning and also bring me a gift........maybe?

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Talking 'bout those Bad Boys.....

Guilty Pleasures is "Guest Blogging" over at Mimi Grace today....why dont you stop by and see what we've been talking about?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


This week I have decided to join the many thousands of people in the UK, indeed the world, in seeing just how much stress I can put myself under before exploding or having some form of (icing) meltdown.
So far so good but its only Wednesday and I'm feeling distinctly jittery about how much Ive taken on prior to a much needed holiday. Actually the holiday itself is stressing me out - with all the recent GP Kitchen related experiments I'm convinced I have put on er one or two pounds which have conveniently grouped themselves around my midriff - therefore no Speedos on the beach for me....(the Italians breathe "un sospiro di sollievo...."

So whilst I pile on the work (and pounds) in the office and in the kitchen I'm trying to stay calm and serene by thinking of the times when my friend and I build up the courage to attend our "weekly" yoga class. Since joining last August the classes have become more and more obscure culminating in having to "sway in the wind like a beautiful tree" at the last session! Whilst yoga would appear to be a stress relieving way to tone and strengthen the body we have come to view our classes as stress relieving due to the amount of childish giggling we find unable to hold back. No matter how dreadful we look in a "downward facing dog" or "backwards looking headstanding warrior" there will always be someone else to pass wind or generally make the whole thing more comical and therefore enjoyable - for example nothing will ever beat the day we witnessed Billy Elliot's older sister through the window, twirling and leaping about in the studio prior to our class.

Anyway, I'm talking about my friend and our more erm... occasional, than regular trips to yoga as this week is her birthday (not all week, obviously...) Now, she had decided to order cupcakes and cookies from the Guilty Pleasures Kitchens to help her work colleagues celebrate the day but this was never going to be enough to send me into a stress spiral - oh no sir, so I decided I would also treat her to a decadent birthday surprise.
I really wanted this cake to evoke feelings of calm and relaxation, something to be savoured and enjoyed, hence its name, "Tranquility". I would desperately liked to have eaten the entire thing myself and even today the thought of the moist lemon sponge surrounded with cherry scented buttercream is easing those feelings of sheer panic and horror now that I am facing down even more extravagant cakes, a mountain of packing and some truly hideous spreadsheets....
I could maybe sneak a small taste, surely that couldn't hurt..after all I have paid for this weeks yoga already so I'm bound to attend....right?

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Pick A Side!!!

We all have our Guilty Pleasures but mine seem to be getting outed recently and the funniest thing is I don’t feel so altogether Guilty about them anymore – after all if we all love John Barrowman its nothing to be ashamed of (is it?)
The enjoyment I take from most GP’s (and I’m not talking ER here) I had always assumed was down to some kind of Peter Pan complex (presumably brought about by my Mothers unswerving adoration for Sir Cliff Richard).
I’m still instantly cheered up by the music I used to love “back in the day” and if you look at my iTunes you would be horrified (but let’s be honest, not shocked) to find a never ending dirge of retro classics by Steps, Deuce and Tatjana (there is also a bit of Gaga, Paloma Faith and the largest collection of musical theatre (surprise!!!) you have ever seen). So, stupid things make me laugh and Disney on Ice kicks ass but again everyone who is honest with themselves loves these things too which brings me on to my point and ....the cake (finally, you say? Sorry I couldn’t hear you over the Kylie and Danni duet version of Winner Takes It All)!
A huge and very much shared (you know who you are...) Guilty Pleasure right now is the whole, very fashionable Vampire thing. I cannot get enough!! True Blood is just brilliant and the only thing keeping me from going to New Orleans immediately is that I have tickets for a screening of Eclipse on Sunday!!
Whilst frantically reading through the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner before Sunday (after all she will be in the film for approx 31 seconds) I have even had the time to make my second in the line of Twilight cakes.
My very dear friend was turning 30 and I knew this would be a perfect opportunity to get the creative juices flowing again.
This time my focus was purely filmatic and without any thought for myself, forced myself to rewatch Twilight and New Moon over and over again just to get the feel right. As you can imagine it’s a real wrench to have to sit through these movies, after all they are not always bare chested!
There was never any doubt as to where I wanted to take this cake; I wanted something romantic but also exciting and fairly realistic. This wasn’t going to be easy but after a few hours (on Edward) and 4 and a half minutes on Bella (oh come on who looks at her) the cake started to take shape.

So you think that Edward, lying back seductively sparkling, is magical and mysterious? However the greatest mystery was Edwards disappearance mid party! This gorgeous Twilight creation suddenly became just a cake with an oddly shaped girl on top. We are not sure where he went but in true Vamp style he was located several hours later, reduced to dust, at the bottom of a handbag. Poor, poor Edward...let us kiss it better.
So I think it’s time to decide, are you Team Edward, Team Jacob (or Team John.....)

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Friday, 21 May 2010

"A Stitch (Back) In Time....."

I think its fair to say that there have been hundreds of fashion "whys" over the years; Mantyhose (quite literally tights for men), shellsuits (yes I had several), Ugg boots (really, just pick your feet up it's unbearable) and Jodie Marsh.....

However the biscuit was well and truely taken during a recent discussion with a colleague regarding a cake for her mothers 80th birthday. As it transpires the mother regularly wore a green knitted swimming costume whilst in her teens. A knitted swimming costume? I can imagine that some "bright" spark may have the rather ingenious idea of a woolen outfit you could wear whilst taking a dip off Margate pier but how would this idea really take off? Surely after watching your fiend walk out of the briney being tailed by a sodden gusset (which incidently doesnt fully emerge from the deep until said friend has walked seven feet from the waters edge) how could you seriously consider one for yourself?!
Admittedly its rather chilly in the UK and usually just as bad during the Summer but would a wet, scratchy and still saggy, wooly cozzie keep you any warmer?

Well technicalities aside, we wanted to surprise the birthday girl with the trip down memory lane that had had everyone "in stitches" (sorry..) I needn't have been so worried about the stretched gussets and wayward seaweed, as this swimsuit was worn casually around town and glamourously in the garden rather than pool or indeed sea side. I wanted to take the lady back to her youth and so began working on my fabulously 5o's Glamour Girl in her glorious green knitted bathing suit! I deceided upon the garden theme for this cake and love the bright colours of the flowers and her towel. Just to give it more of a vintage look I went with the heart shaped lips and what 50's siren would be complete without her pink Roberts radio?!

Ladies and gentlemen its time for A Stitch (Back) In Time....

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Sunday, 16 May 2010

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche......"

Ok, so I’m not here to judge and I’m not here to bicker over who actually said what, but this really has to be one of the most influential quotes I have ever heard!
Picture the scene; it’s 1792 and you’re a young, beautiful queen lounging delicately over an elegant Louis Quinze banquette (granted, less imagination is required by some for this ...). Your sipping Pernod and nibbling on Ladurée Macaroons (mmm ok, I agree this is a big stretch as we are ahead of our time now by 100 years, Ladurée opened their first bakery at 16 Rue Royale, Paris in 1862 - we are never too old to learn my dears). So, back to our banquette. ...
It’s been a perfectly lovely afternoon tripping around the Tuileries Palace, playing with small puppies and having your wig blow dried but just as you pop another almondy treat into your perfectly rouged mouth, Cosette (your Lady in Waiting) bursts through the doors at such a speed she nearly breaks the heels on her Louboutins (you may have noticed I have now given up being factually accurate by this point, after all I’m an artiste not a history teacher....)

"A mob of terrifying aspect” has broken into the Palace grounds and is heading straight for your drawing room, Cosette wails.
So what would you do? Faced with certain death and humiliation (but with the flip side of a more central Paris view from La Bastille...) would you run or just look for your petite livre of famous quotes and quip the scoundrels as they burst in with flaming torches? Well whether it was uttered by Marie Antoinette or not the very idea of keeping your head whilst the great unwashed are breaking through the garden gates and bludgeoning the staff I think it would make you feel so much better to tell the blighters “Qu'ils mangent de la brioche......

As a respectful homage to Marie (I'm fairly sure we'd be on first name terms by this point) and of course as a thank you too, after all, no revolution would mean no Les Mis and what would the West End be without this juggernaut of theatre, which is now almost as old as me, turning out hundreds of sobbing punters every night onto our rain soaked streets? So on this “relaxing” weekend of mine I have decided to create some beautiful cupcakes based on my vast historical knowledge (ahem) and all things French.
Se faire plaisir,

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Monday, 10 May 2010

Time for Tea (1940's)

This seemed like it was going to be a true Guilty Pleasure from the outset, a former Land Girl was turning 90 and I had been asked to create something exciting to mark the occasion. “How exciting indeed” I thought with images of tanks, Marines, The Windmill and burly GI’s flashing before my very eyes. BUT, how could this be made more appropriate for someone with a few more years and in fact more class than I?
How indeed...
I had a further chat with a friend of the client who had suggested that since our former LG loved cakes, maybe a modern shop front filled with cakes, rather than focussing on the past would be a good starting point, and for a while it was...
The more I thought about this project the more I couldn’t get a certain image out of my mind. If you search for Miss Polly Rae on the web the same, incredibly striking photo always seems to be listed first. Dressed in what I imagine all Land Girls worth their salt to have been wearing (although on reflection, a bustier and hold-ups would be terribly impractical for picking your way through the “Blitzed” streets of London, especially during a blackout), Miss Rae stands triumphantly (and saucily) before burning planes and a battleship. I was desperate to use this as my starting point but it’s a battleship not a “Battenberg”.

It wasn’t until the day I ventured out of my glamorous central London apartment for baking supplies that I really started to get a feel for this Guilty Pleasure. Within my first few paces I had my first flash of inspiration (if this was a movie there would have been sounds of German planes overhead and some very dramatic music). The builders have moved in opposite and started to demolish an old 70s maisonette block –leaving behind half walls and debris. It was (and still is today...)exceptionally beautiful.
Turning the corner onto a quiet residential street I was happily mapping out my trip around the store and feeling quite glad that there was a tiny fraction of sun peeking through the dismal skies. When I looked up I noticed three sad looking flags tied into a tree, the leftovers of last summer’s street party.

I couldn’t have been more inspired by this point and with a determined nod (to myself, of course, it wouldn’t do to start acting crazy in such a cute little street) - I had finally cracked this. My cake would be a smashing tribute to cakes and to the Land Girls!
With a few extra touches, such as the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, radio and Union Jack bunting I hope I have captured the spirit of the times and made someone very happy in the process.

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x

Friday, 7 May 2010


With so much going on this week I have already found myself behind with my Blog before I've even begun......

I was recently asked by a regular Guilty Pleasures habitué to design something fabulous for a Hen party she would be attending in Brighton. I knew right off that I wanted to steer away from the usual Hen fare of handcuffs and L-Plates - if this was going to be a real Guilty Pleasure I would have to start at the bottom (quite literally) and see where the mood would take me.

I needed inspiring, I needed a muse but most of all I needed a night out! A few days after the initial consultation, I rounded up a group of exciting chums for a GP Theatre Trip and very soon found ourselves in some marvellous seats at Priscilla The Musical at the Palace Theatre, London.

Well I was looking for inspiration and found it in spades, amazing costumes, feathers, boobs, bums and muscular thighs. Not only was this the most inspiring show for this particular cake it was a blindingly fun night out for our group. Somehow, one costume stuck in my mind (and there were hundreds! Actually on a culinary theme I should mention the 6 drag queens dressed as lime green cupcakes, spinning to a fabulously disco MacArthur Park)! Anyway, during an outback inspired "I Will Survive" Bernadette shows her travelling companions how to lip-synch with all the gusto and glamour of a former "Les Girl", wearing an amazing leopard print jumpsuit which got me thinking about the basis of the Hen cake....

Now I had the more than enough material to work with and decided to hand paint leopard print onto my cake and trim with black marabou for an extravagant look. Then it was back to the biggest "What" of all. Just what could top this creation with all the style and panache befitting of me? Ok so no L-Plates and no handcuffs and definitely no saggy condom festooned veils...well that only leaves one thing for a Hen Party;

So Ladies and Gentlemen I proudly present "Backstage, with Sonny, Rod and Marco"

And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x