So I’ve written a previous blog about the lovely idea of foodie penpals, if you have no idea what I’m talking about check back to my previous blog here or go straight to our friend Carol Anne’s blog to read all about how it works
So now time to reveal what I gave and what I got!
I sent a parcel along to the lovely Lucy and she is on a challenge to eat Offal for the year. I decided to try and make the parcel as fitting as possible for her challenge and luckily I have just been on a trip to Nigeria so I provided a box of spices and tricks for her to keep her offal interesting and a few recipes from the lovely chef Ben MJ for how to cook offal Niga style.
I also put in some yummy lemon grass, BBQed peanuts to snack on as well as some Chin Chin which is sweet biscuit bits handmade by Chef Ben’s Aunt, which took several hours and I will try and recreate them at some point soon.
Lastly, I provided some of our home made chutney from last year made with some of our veggies grown in the garden. Next time I think I won’t send so many things in jars as it ended up weighing too much (although spices are much nicer in jars) but on the whole I think I made a nice box.
So now for the box that I got! I received my box from Rhi who shares her name with one of my best friends so I warmed to her instantly. She sounds like a lovely baking/cakey person from her blog so I had high hopes for my foodie box.
And here it is!
I received a Cadbury’s creme egg (which I ate while reading my letter and cake recipe) I got a lovely recipe book about cupcakes and a whole kit of stuff to make cupcakes a really nice idea and I liked that the whole box of goodies all went together.
I got some cupcake cases, nozzle for a piping bag, some flower cut outs for fondant icing, some glittery edible bits in green, blue and yellow. Some silver leaf (which I’m still not 100% sure what to do with) and also a lovely tea towel, I think Rhi was very generous and did some clever shopping to get all of that for £10
So then the challenge was on to make some cupcakes. I have been to a one day (well it was about 2 hrs) cupcake making course so I do have a bit of practice but honestly hadn’t made any cakes since. My sister had actually bought me a piping bag for Christmas so this was the perfect chance to use the new cupcake kit and the Christmas present still sitting in it’s packaging.
So the baking of the cakes themselves was not too tricky and to save on energy I put them in while cooking some pulled pork (which I will blog about later), I followed the recipe Rhi had given me which was a little different to what I’d been told before but they turned out ok.
I made butter cream frosting (on the recipe above) but seemed to have real trouble with the consistency, I was hoping when the frosting was in the piping bag it would fix itself. However, when it came down to the piping skills everything I had learnt seemed to go out the window, any patterns just seem to melt away!!
It was me against the piping bag sadly I lost. The first set of cakes were not looking too hot but luckily I had some family members around to eat some of the test runs.
But I wasn’t giving up that easy! I then made some Royal Icing which according to my new book is very good for piping and needed to have a very stiff consistency.
TA DA, here’s the results, not bad I didn’t think i’m sure it will get better with practice and it was fun to use a few drops of food colouring and try out something a bit different.
My fav one is this one which I will be giving to my lovely boyfriend as he’s been working hard this week.
There’s another batch of cakes cooling now so I’m hoping to try out the piping bag again tonight and will then post up any really good results, the cakes will not go to waste as its my uncles birthday tomorrow so I will take some cakes along for the family.
Thanks very much Rhi for inspiring me to make some cakes, I will try and do some at least once a month so I can improve my skills.