Welcome to my celebrations for the 100th Maison Cupcake Blog Post!
To kick off I am going to do a round up of the Cake A Difference cupcake sales that I organised last month to raise money for Bliss, the premature baby charity.
Over three days during Cake A Difference week, 8-14 February, I ran a series of cupcake sales at various Walthamstow toddler groups and following this also baked personalised boxes of cupcakes for local mums.
6 kilos of butter…
5 kilos of flour…
5 kilos of caster sugar…
4 kilos of icing sugar…
2 litres of milk…
…not to mention all the cocoa powder, fondant icing, oodles of sprinkles, paper cases and cardboard boxes!
…oh yes, and verrrrry late nights producing 80+ cupcakes per night several days in succession.
…with a toddler running around causing chaos of course.
It really knocked the stuffing out of me as you might have noticed lately.
The cupcakes were sold for 50p each at the toddler groups and the personalised boxes sold at £10 for boxes of nine. The toddler group cakes were mostly kept quite simple with their tops being quickly rolled in sprinkles but the personalised cakes featured lots of colours of royal icing and/or hand made fondant decorations. 50p each might sound quite cheap for a cupcake if you are used to Hummingbird or Buttercup’s prices of £2+ per cake, however in my neck of the woods it was a realistic price for mums at a toddler group. (One well meaning lady suggested I might sell them for 20p each…)
Those with an appreciation for the finer qualities of cupcakes were able to order the personalised boxes into which I put more work and charged a higher price. Around ten mums took me up on this offer ordering cupcakes for birthday parties, baby showers or just plain indulgence. I’ve been gradually doing everyone’s personalised cakes in the past couple of weeks having taken a break after the frenzy of three back to back sales and the big number six birthday cake that I forgot to photograph in a panic.
I am delighted to announce that we raised £205 for Bliss. Thanks are owed to Miss Miranda Music Time and St Mary’s Under Fives Fellowship for letting me host the cupcake sales at their groups that week, to the local mums who bought all the cupcakes and most of all to Morrisons who very kindly sponsored the costs of the baking ingredients meaning I could donate all proceeds to Bliss direct.
It was very tiring making so many cupcakes in one go, if I were a cupcake bakery I’d need to do that many and more all the time so it’s useful to dip your toe in the water and see what it would be like. I think I might go mad if I did that many cupcakes all the time… Writing my blog is my first love!
100 Blog Posts Later…
So it’s no surprise then that I’ve reached the dizzy heights of 100 posts in less than nine months since I started. When I started what was initially an online record of my cakes and baking shopping sprees, I never imagined I’d end up with real people reading what I posted on a regular basis. Thank you very much to my regular readers and I really appreciate everyone who drops by here.
Leading up to my 100th post I asked if anyone had any questions for me about blogging, food, France or anything else. Here they are:
What are your five favourite French desserts?
These would be simple things that my husband and I have enjoyed on the menus of restaurants on holiday. Things I order again and again are Isles Flottantes, Marquise au Chocolat, Crème Brulee, Profiteroles and Tarte Tatin. Ironically I have a real thing about French “crème anglais” whereas I’m nonplussed about English custard!
If you had to rescue one cookbook in a fire which one would it be?
Not a baking book actually! One book I could never memorise the contents of would be “Indian Every Day” by Anjum Anand which is full of curries and how to make Indian specialities such as chutneys, breads, paneer, desserts from scratch. I am an ardent curry lover (more so than cake believe it or not) and would be in a real tizz without a book to refer to for authentic curry blends.
What is the best macaron you have eaten?
Oddly, although I’ve had this macaron frenzy which is well catalogued here, I haven’t eaten very many professional ones to even know what they’re supposed to be like. I did however buy some from the Pierre Herme counter at Selfridges last month and my favourite one was passionfruit. Which is weird because I don’t even like passionfruit.
What food brings back certain memories for you?
Burton’s Fish and Chips crisps in the bag printed like a newspaper would take me straight back to the playground. I’ve not seen them for years and don’t know if they still exist. I went hunting for them online and got lost in here for several hours.
Thank you to Mary Moh and Alison at Deer Baby for their questions.
“Postcards from”… Lost in the post temporarily!
You may or may not have noticed that my regular weekend “Postcards from…” series has been missing for the past two weekends. This was initially down to lack of computer time but on the second weekend it was deliberate as I didn’t want my 100th post to be a Postcard post if that makes sense. I know some of you have been enjoying the postcard series very much so it will return soon. I also have plans for a series of child friendly restaurant reviews which will be published at weekends so the postcards may end up being more intermittent in future.
To compensate, today I have some photos from this weekend when I was out and about testing my new camera on a daytrip to Whitstable. I came across this lovely shop called Sundae Sundae, which sold ice creams and nostalgic sweets like sugar mice and Space Dust. Who of a certain age doesn’t remember sitting with their mouth open with Space Dust noisily bubbling away inside?!
To celebrate my 100th blog post and all this excessive sugar consumption I’ve encouraged, I have an international giveaway. Up to half of my readers come from outside the UK and I prefer where possible to run giveaways that my overseas readers can enter too.
So here we have a delightful little book called “Sweet Temptation” by Nicki Trench, published by Cico books. It features 25 recipes for homemade sweets, chocolates and other delicious treats including sugar roses, how to make your own chocolate easter eggs, marshmallows, honeycomb, florentines and much more.
To enter please leave a comment below telling me what were your favourite nostalgic sweets from childhood? (Mine were pink fizzy “Wham” bars from the vending machine at Tamworth swimming baths)
Deadline for entrants, midnight GMT on Sunday 28th March 2010.
A winner will be chosen at random.
Good luck and thank you to all of my readers who have given me the motivation to keep blogging for the past 9 months.
Rambling Tart says
Congratulations, dear Sarah! 🙂 I've loved your posts so much and I am simply amazed at all the work you put into those fabulous cupcakes. You're a real luv. 🙂 Favorite sweet childhood memory? Anything gummy – worms, coke bottles, red feet – my three brothers and I would horde every penny, then race down to the corner store on the weekend and buy up our favorite gummy candies, clutching them tightly as if they were great treasure. Which, of course, they were. 🙂
Barbara Bakes says
Congratulations on 100 fabulous posts! It's still hard for me to resist an O R E O cookie. Probably my favorite growing up. Great job on the cupcake fundraiser!
Ria Mathew says
Congratulations Sarah! May you have many many more! Look at those gorgous cupcakes you have been baking! Amazing! You are truly talented!!
My favourite was a caramel toffee which was round in shape, wrapped in a golden colour noisy wrapper and had a picture of a cow on it. My aunt used to get them for me from Dubai. It's taste still lingers on my tongue! mmmm
Btw, thank you SO much for all the lovely comments that you have been leaving behind on my blog! xo
faithy, the baker says
Congrats! I'm impressed with all the cupcakes you made for the fundraiser cos it is not just your effort but also time to make them. I can see it's a lot of cupcakes and a lot of work has been put into decorating too! All of them looked great and beautifully decorated!
As for nostalgic sweets, i heart Gummy Bears and the asian milky Rabbit Sweets… 😀
Fresh Local and Best says
Sarah, it's wonderful to learn more about you in this post. I admire the hard work you've dedicated to this cause. The decorations on the cupcakes are cheerfully festive.
Nostalgic sweets? I enjoy peach gummies.
Congratulations on the fund raising and the 100 posts! I am looking forward to the next 100…
My parents owned a sweet shop when I was growing up so I sampled all of the sweets! My favourite? Fizzy cola bottles.
I really liked some kind of store-bought cookies that looked like animals! I don't know their name 🙂
deer baby says
Congratulations on the 100th post – you deserve a telegram from the Queen. Loved hearing about all the cupcake frenzy. What a great cause Bliss is.
I remember Space Dust well. And rhubarb and custard, blackjacks, everlasting toffee. I think my favourite homemade one was coconut ice.
I'll opt out of the giveaway because I've just bought Hope & Greenwood's book on homemade sweets.
Here's to the next 100!
Congrats on the 100th post Sarah – and well done you for your marathon cupcake baking. I've been thinking of doing something similar for Shelter and you've inspired me. When I was young I loved blackjacks, fizzy cola bottles and aniseed balls – but they were all secondary to chocolate tools. I was always a chocolate girl – even if it was that horrid not-real chocolate. In my memory they were delicious!
I used to love aniseed balls and gobstoppers simply because they used to change colour as they became smaller and smaller in your mouth. Also, sherbert fountain with it's very own liquorice dipper!
sarah happy 100th! great way to go and a lot of work in nine months. not to mention all the wonderful effort you put into those gorgeous cupcakes! keep it up babes!
You really do rock! Happy Happy 100th! That is quite an achievement because not only have you given us 100 posts but you've kept us laughing in the processs! And not to mention being a mum to ted and making all of those fabulous cupcakes! Congrats on the great work you are doing! I am so glad I have gotten to be your friend!
Congrats on 100 and hats off to your generosity with your baking! What a way to use your passion! Hmmmm… childhood memories flood over me when I see a package of lick-a-stick or the double frozen pops that you break in two (cherry flavor!).
Heavenly Housewife says
Congrats on your 100th post. And your cupcakes look absolutely lovely.
My new site went live today and I am doing a give away too so check it out daaaaaahling.
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@ramblingtart – I loved coke bottles but beer bottles were better!
@barbarabakes I'm so glad Oreos now widely available here, I love them
@ria Thank you!
@faithy Yes I was done in!
@freshlocalandbest Peach gummies? Not had those but they sound v nice
@reena Yes fizzy cola bottles were even nicer than the normal ones
@clara I wonder if they were Cadbury's Animals? They still do those I have some downstairs. Best bit is scraping the chocolate off with your teeth
@deerbaby Rhubarb and custard! Of course but do you mean chewy ones or boiled square ones?
@natalie Chocolate tools were great – in the same vein as white chocolate fish and chips
@margaret Sherbet fountain! Yes!
@jamie So glad to have made friends with you too. Skype you soon.
@tiffany spegar They sound good
@hh Thank you, I will scoot over there now!
Happy blogoversary! That is an impressive amount of cupcakes and they all looks so good – I take my baker's hat off to you!
When I was little my sisters and I were allowed 50p (later upgraded to £1) to spend on sweets and drinks at the local sweet shop every saturday. I would always get a can of Shandy Bass and either a quarter of toffee bonbons or squirrel nuts. The bonbons were my favourite – thick dusting of icing sugar, a hard, crisp shell that gave way to chewy tpffee. The squirrel nuts were more of a challenge – hard toffee covered in chocolate, but still, you have to train your jaw up somehow!
Daily Spud says
Congratulations on your 100th post! And as for all those cupcakes, I'm getting tired just thinking about the effort that went into making them – they all look fabulous, well done you. As for my favourite childhood sweets, well, there were lots of them – fizzle sticks, sherbet dabs and pink panther chocolate to name a few!
As a slightly older poster, my memories are of "old money" where we'd all troop into the sweet shop after school and ask for "the penny tray" A variety of things were laid out, at 1 penny each, a halfpenny or two for a penny. Delights included liquorice bootlaces (never liked those) shrimps, sherbert fountains, black jacks,fruit salads, swizzels,a pack of sweet cigarettes ( !!). Remember the penny bars of chocolate from Cadburys. And if you'd a lot of money there were tuppenny bars which were bigger.
Anyone really interested in nostalgia might check out the web site for "The Back To Backs" in Birmingham; a National Trust site, which has saved and restored a group of original back to back houses in central Birmingham. Adjacent to the houses,is a real old fashioned sweet shop which sells all the sweets people are mentioning above and more.
Great posts Sarah, I love your blog, but perhaps I'm biased.
Those sweet little babies with the pacifiers are soooo cute. Now are those pink and white creepy rodents in the jar I see, the sugar mice? OMGosh. That freaks me out, just a bit. My favorite candies growing up where dark chocolate nonpareils bought from the candy counter in Sears department store.
Congratulations on your 100th post! 🙂 I love the array of cupcakes you made, no wonder you were so busy during that time, you cooked up a storm. And for a really good cause as well, which is brilliant. x
COngratulations on the great work you did for such a great cause. You need to open a bake shop, they looks so professional. And congrats also on your 100th post. Ted is adorable, I think he keeps you moving!
When I was a kid I love M&Ms – I think they're called Smarties in Europe. My secret now my favorite candy is a Reese Peanut Butter Cups , not sure if they have them in the UK, but I just found them today here in Paris – which may or may not be such a good find…
Good evening my friend,
Santie and Athina says
Hello!I've just found you and I must say it's fabulous what you have done!
As for the nostalgic sweets, mine it's "loukoumades", a greek traditional sweet, a kind of pancake, with honey and cinammon!!
Sarah, congrats on your 100th post! Well done! Next, thanks very much for answering my questions as to your 5 favourite French desserts. I'll know what to order if I visit France one day 😀 Great job you did for the cupcake sales….fantastic. But I'm just annoyed at the person who thinks you could have sold them for 20p each!! Sometimes I just don't understand some people. Anyway, have fun with your new camera!
LoveFeast Table says
I love the personalized cupcakes! What a fab idea! My favs are the little foot prints! Darling!
Favorite childhood sweet…hmmm, mom's chocolate chip cookies…still are today!
Oh, and thanks for stopping by our table!!
Well done Sarah, that's a really wonderful that you raised such a large amount! I must say that the cakes are darling, who could resist one?!
My fav childhood sweet would be… hmmmm… there are so many… maybe cola cubes!
Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says
Congratulations on your 100 posts Sarah! May there be hundreds more 🙂 And I love your sugar babies, they're perfect! No wonder you got so many orders!
M D says
Oh wow! What lovely looking cupcakes Sarah. Congratulations on 100th post! Very well done!!!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@ginandcrumpets I loved toffee bon bons, I used to suck the icing sugar off first, I'm starting to marvel that I still have teeth as I've eaten all these sweets people are mentioning
@dailyspud Pink Panther chocolate! I used to buy those at Solihull Ice Rink!
@rose Greetings Mother, always nice to see you in here x
@bethie Admittedly I am bit icky about sugar mice with real string for tails. I must prefer the white chocolate version
@su-yin Thank you!
@bonjourromance We have both M&Ms and Smarties in UK, they taste quite different. I much prefer M&Ms, they're more sophisticated although sadly we can only get plain and whole peanut versions here and not sadly the peanut butter version that BethieofVA (above) recently posted to me from the states
@santie They sound lovely!
@marymoh I know… I wanted to just roll my eyes
@lovefeasttable thanks for dropping by!
@nicisme Ah! Cola Cubes, or should I say Kola Kubes, I have forgotten about those though they did get a bit sharp as you sucked them
@lorraine I know, they're pretty darned cute even though I say so myself. The pattern on the woolly hat is my favourite bit
Congratulations on 100 post! I'always impressed by your delicious cupcakes!
Cupcake Forum says
I would have to say the tiny expensive boxes of Morinaga Milk Caramels that I got at my city's Sanrio store.
You raised quite a lot for Bliss! Congrats and congrats on your 100th blogpost 🙂 I would so love to be at your bake sale or watch you create these gorgeous cupcakes. Did you use fondant to create the bears on top? You're utterly inspiring Sarah and Ted is adorable! Look at him bouncing about.
I'm not sure what are my favourite sweets from childhood as I was never biased. Maybe these milk rabbit sweets wrapped in edible melty paper. You don't find them here but they're very popular in Asia 😀
Kitchen Butterfly says
Well done…..and superb job with the cupcakes. I don't think I could have managed it….without eating a lot along the way! Childhood sweets…..would be Tree-top!!! Though not a sweet but a drink powder, we loved licking it…..hmmmm, takes me back!
100 posts. It's great to look back on them isn't it? Reminds you of all the things you have achieved. I like your Q&A bit. You were a good girl making all those cupcakes. I need to make a load tomorrow for our Spring Fair, and although I would like to get creative I think I may go for qty rather than quality.
Favourite sweeties…I think it was probably sherbet pips. They are not as fizzy as they used to be though. Ed has just placed a late vote for Wham Bars. They are definitely smaller than they used to be!
Looking forward to the next 100!
Amy @ cookbookmaniac says
Awww, those cupcakes are too pretty to eat.
Congrats! (And those baby cakes are just too adorable for words!)
Wow that is SO much work to do all those cupcakes, great job! And in response to your Selfridges macaroon experience, have you tried the ones from Yauatcha on Berwick Street in Soho? It's a restaurant but they've got a separate patisserie upstairs and do a ton of amazing Asian-fusion flavours in their macaroons and they are to. die. for. Right up there with Laduree in my book.
My favourite childhood sweet was whistle pops, since you got to annoy Mom AND get a lollipop all in one go. 🙂
The London Foodie says
Hi Sarah, congrats on your 100th post and really well done on raising so much money for charity by baking those gorgeous cupcakes. Wow, i am so impressed.
Luiz @ The London Foodie
My favorite childhood treat is cloud 9, a local brand of chocolate ( :
A_C_E_ at hotmail dot com
Gourmet Chick says
Congratulations Sarah on 100 posts that's great – I can't believe this blog hasn't been around for longer than that! You have done so well in a short time. My favourite childhood sweet was Wagon Wheels – I am not sure if they are an Australian thing?
Congratulations on your 100th post and your awesome fundraising efforts. Those cupcakes are so pretty.
Don't know if I'll meet your giveaway deadline, but my favourite childhood candies were Smarties. I still remember they used come in these tubes and I would divide them by colour, into 4 portions (for my parents, little sis and myself!). 😀
What a wonderful achievement Sarah! Congratulations on your 100th post! How can you be procrastinating while managing 100 posts in nine months, your lovely little Ted and all those beautiful cupcakes! Can you teach me? 🙂