Friday, 29 August 2014

How to make Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

These little Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are a perfect treat for your little darlings; they remind me of long sunny days on the beach in Cornwall and eating a Mr Whippy '99' ice cream with a flake.  They are so easy to make as you are simply replacing a paper cupcake case with a flat bottomed ice cream cone.  

I don't know if there are other brands out there but the most commonly available flat bottomed cone are made by Askeys; the flat bottom is essential for obvious reasons, otherwise your cupcakes will topple over.  

I followed this recipe from the wonderful Jo Wheatley on the Sainsbury's Magazine website and it is truly easy peasy lemon squeezy.   The recipe is for a basic no-mucking-around cupcake batter and Jo gives a great tip to pipe the batter into the cones to ensure it fills up the bottom properly.   Placing the filled cones in a muffin tin keep the little lovelies from falling over in the oven.

The recipe is for 8 cones but you could easily double it up and play around with the batter by adding cocoa powder or chocolate chips or lemon; let your imagination run free!  I like the idea of having a marble effect in the sponge by mixing a chocolate and vanilla batter or perhaps mix a pink and a white buttercream so you get a nice swirly twist like a stick of rock.  You would think that the cones would 'catch' in the oven and go brown or get burnt but they don't in the least.

You really must pipe on the buttercream topping for the Mr Whippy effect and then the fun begins by adding sprinkles, chocolate sauce, chocolate flakes, sweeties or glace cherries.  We added some cut stripey paper straws to give a knickerbocker glory effect or you could use those little plastic ice cream spoons for an ice cream cupcake sundae.  

These will go down a treat at the school bake sale so give them a try my dears.  

TTFN from Saucy Towers. Galx

Monday, 18 August 2014

Fabric Lust and Vintage Threads

I've been drooling over some delicious new fabrics for weeks now as well as developing a little vintage-fabric-on-ebay habit.  So far, I've mostly been looking and lusting but I have made a cheeky little purchase or two, just don't tell my current husband, ok?  It can be our dirty little secret; yeh right! That would be fine and dandy if it were not for the fact that my fabric stash has staged a full on invasion of the dining room and is shamelessly displaying itself like one of those naughty ladies in the window of an Amsterdam brothel!

One of my favourite fabrics ever is from Melody Miller; the Ruby Star Rising Cameo fabric.  I bought a couple of meters of this when it first came out and used it for projects that I gave as presents to my sister (a cushion cover and an apron).    I still have some scraps of it and have searched high and low to buy some more but sadly it's unavailable in the UK now and is a discontinued line. (Insert a big sad face here).  I did manage to find some for sale on Etsy from an American seller though, hurrah! (Insert insanely happy face here!)  

I am completely in love with just about all of Melody Miller's fabric range, especially the new Mustang fabric; I just had to have some of this utterly gorgeous fabric in my life.  I haven't decided what I am going to use the fabric for yet, so I just sit and stroke it for now like the fabric-perv I am; honestly, the linen home dec version has the loveliest drape and feel to it (sad muppet).

One of my favourite designers is Donna Wilson and I have a few pieces of her lovely tableware.  Donna has just produced a small range of fabrics which are available from her website to buy and this Holding Hands Oyster Linen is right up there on top of my 'most wanted' list.  Lorks, doesn't this stuff just make you happy?!  Not sure how long I can resist this beautiful stuff; I just love the quirky characters in this.

My current obsession in vintage fabrics is barkcloth; I adore the 'nubbly' texture and look of this fabric and have a few bits myself but would love to acquire a massive stash of it.  This rose barkcloth was two pairs of  vintage curtains that practically had me hyperventilating and eventually sold for £161.85 on eBay; I hasten to add that I didn't buy them although I wish they were mine.   Donna Flower has a wonderful and extensive catalogue of stunning vintage fabrics for sale including plenty of barkcloth; looking at her website is like vintage fabric porn and makes me feel like an addict because, really, I NEED ALL OF THIS FABRIC!!!! 

 I think I had better have a bit of a lie down with a cup of tea and indulge in a furtive trawl through eBay for some perty vintage threads.  

TTFN from Saucy Towers. Galx

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