Recipe: Cupcakes fix everything…

Cupcakeblog-hero

I class today as a day from hell. I won’t go into the details but to give you a hint of how bad it was, here are the top three worst things that happened: three nose bleeds, a waste of petrol and an essay.

As I rushed to find a toilet, clutching my bleeding nose, on a campus I had only been to a few times, I am so glad I had a free hand to grab the lemon meringue cupcake I bought at the SU Cafe. It wasn’t until after the shock and humiliation had worn off from my nose bleed disaster, having returned home, that I realised how lucky I was to have saved the cupcake from its dustbin fate. The cupcake in question wasn’t just any cupcake, it happened to have powers to wipe away the misery that I had accumulated throughout the day. With every bite my worries and depression slowly slipped away.

I share the powers of the cake on my blog because I think everyone should go away, hunt down/bake your own lemon meringue cupcakey, goodness and allow the wonderful taste to brighten your day.

I found a recipe for these cake treats on the BBC website:

Lemon meringue cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes
For the meringue

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. For the cupcake, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together in a large mixing bowl until pale, fluffy and well combined.
  3. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until both are fully incorporated into the mixture.
  4. Fold in the flour and lemon zest until well combined.
  5. Place 12 paper or foil cupcake cases into the wells of a muffin tray, then spoon in the cupcake batter. Add a teaspoonful of lemon curd to the top of each cupcakes.
  6. Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are pale golden-brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the centre.
  7. Meanwhile, for the meringue, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gradually add the sugar, whisking continuously, until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  8. When the cakes are cooked, turn off the oven and preheat the grill to its highest setting.
  9. Spoon the meringue over the cupcakes and tease it into spikes using a fork. Place the cupcakes under the hot grill for 2-3 minutes, or until the meringue is golden-brown.

 

Hope you all enjoy!

 

Advertisements

Travel: Cold feet, hundreds of bodies and a place at camp…

tumblr_mhwuqejPM31s5vcodo1_500

The summer of a life time is slowly creeping up on me.

A few months ago I attended the London, Camp America Recruitment fair in the hope to be placed at a camp I had chosen. A few days prier to the event I searched through all the camps that were attending online to see which ones appealed to me the most. With my heart set on Camp Westmount I got on the train to Reading to meet my friend, Siobhan, who was also hoping to get placed.

The alarm was set for 7am and when it went off on the morning of the big day I couldn’t believe I had even had an hours sleep let alone 8. Begrudgingly I rolled out of bed and got dressed, wrapped cold pizza in tinfoil and left the house. The cold, winters walk to the station woke us both up and we boarded the 9am train to London Paddington.

Arriving in London to be greeted by the hustle and bustle of early morning travellers we headed for the underground to join the monotonous clan. Luckily once we took to the surface the sun was poking its head between clouds but this did not deter the cold effecting us.

As we approached the building, that was playing host to the Camp America fair, queues were already forming. At this point it was 10am and there must have already been 200 young adults chatting and shivering in line. Donning a green #iamCA sticker we joined the back of the line and was handed a large booklet filled with information.

With frozen fingers I sifted through the booklet and circled, for the second time, the camps that looked most appealing. In discussion with Siobhan we each changed our minds on wanting to go to Camp Westmount. Siobhan liked the idea of spending her summer in California whilst I liked the sound of Surprise Lake Camp (SLC). The destination of the camp wasn’t my priority because I new, if I got placed, then I would travel America afterwards. It just so happened that the camp I found most tempting was in New York. What drew me towards SLC was the short right up that described what they were all about. The paragraph sounded friendly and fun which is what won it over for me.

It must have taken us a good hour and a half to come to our final decision about the top 5 camps we would look to get placed at. We both figured that we had best decide on a few favourites because the likely hood you will get placed at any is ambiguous. Once we had sorted this out it was a matter of waiting for the doors to open at 12am.

Without anything to occupy us the impending feeling of frozen toes and red noses came to the forefront of our minds. I don’t think my toes have ever been as cold as they were that morning. In the end I walked down the street to get a cup of tea and as much as I love tea, I didn’t want to drink it because it was keeping my hands warm.

At 12am the que surged forward and the nervous really started to kick in. As we slowly crawled further towards the entrance I realised how hard it was to walk. The frozen toes were truly getting to me and getting a place was ever more paramount.

After what felt like an eternity we finally entered the realm of warmth. We were ushered up a flight of stairs and motioned to sit on chairs facing a big screen. The man spoke and I half listened and half revelled in the fact I could feel my body defrosting. After watching a short video we were left to fight to the deaths to try and get placed at a camp.

I spotted the SLC stall as I was walking down the stairs towards the main room that held all the other stalls. Once I reached the bottom I wished Siobhan good luck and headed towards slot 61 where SLC was based. I smiled at the camp representative and asked if I could collect some leaflets. Reading through them clarified for me that this was the camp I wanted to spend my summer at.

Avri, the camp representative introduced himself to me and I returned the pleasantries. He carried on talking to another girl and it looked like the interview was going well for her. This made me more determined to try and have mine go the same way. After he had finished he invited me to sit on the hot seat and he began asking me interview style questions. I answered them with honesty and enthusiasm. I tried to demonstrate parts of my personality as I was advised on the introduction video. After answering all the questions my heart quickened as I watched Avri write down a few notes. He then turned to me with a smile and said he would like to offer me a place. With a sigh of relief and a shake of his hand I already felt like part of the team.

What I felt was so lovely about Avri himself was that he didn’t sit behind the table like every other camp representative did. He sat opposite me whilst he asked me the questions making me feel more at ease. The fact that he chose to sit on the same side as the people he was interviewing says to me that he is presenting himself as an equal.  After speaking to him for more than a minute I felt comfortable in his presence.

Once the forms were signed and I had bid Avri farewell, I made my way towards the que to have my photograph taken and to pay my deposit. Standing in the line I nervously rang Siobhan to ask if she had also been placed. Luckily she had so we both were able to leave with smiles on our face.

The entire day consisted of lots of queing and many excited people drifting from stall to stall. It was definitely an experience I wouldn’t want to relive in a hurry but it was all worth the nearly frost bitten toes and cold pizza for lunch. I am one step closer to being able to wake up in New York City.