The 80’s called… it wants its entree back!

Last night was a special occasion here in our house, so to celebrate I stuffed eggs! Yes, that’s right. We really know how to party.

My husband has a particular (peculiar) love of very retro food. Custard squares, asparagus rolls, club sandwiches… all the sort of stuff you’d find in what I call an ‘old lady tea room’. You know the kind of place – sausage rolls, shabby decor with plenty of crocheted doilies, tea by the gallon.

But there’s something quite comforting about food that’s gone out of fashion. It’s the kind of food you ate growing up, seeing it again takes you back in time to when you were young and carefree… who wouldn’t want to feel like that? Stuffed eggs just scream fancy 80’s dinner party to me – I’m not entirely sure if that’s what smart and cultured people were eating back then, but if my old cookbooks are anything to go by, it was probably on menus everywhere.

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To make my eggs, I hard boiled them then ever so carefully shelled them. I didn’t know this for a very long time, but ever since we’ve had chickens (and fresh eggs) and I hard boil their eggs I’ve noticed it’s particularly hard to peel fresh eggs, the whites just don’t hold together. The older the eggs are, the easier they are to peel – the shells just come right off. Which is kind of funny… because for many years I’ve discarded eggs that were really hard to peel, thinking they were old! PRO TIP

I halved the eggs, scooped out the middle and mashed the cooked yolk with diced cornichons, capers, some chopped parsley and chives, and a few tablespoons of good mayonnaise, a dash of white wine vinegar, and a half teaspoon of mustard. And a pinch of salt, and plenty of fresh black ground pepper.

I would have piped the egg mix back into the whites with a fancy nozzle (just like they would have in the 80s) but I hadn’t chopped the cornichons up quite as finely as I should have – they would have blocked the nozzle. So I just stuck it all into a small zip lock plastic bag, with a corner cut off, and piped it back in that way. Not quite as pretty, but still good!

P1020485A little dust of sumac on the top, and they were ready to eat! And as an endorsement of just how good they tasted… my daughter, who normally runs away at the sight and smell of egg, happily polished off three of them.

 

Waaph-waaph (wrong answer in a quiz show noise)

Cupcake towerOh dear, oh dear… what went wrong? Tough crowd perhaps? The cupcakes I made for the baby shower were a dismal failure and I can’t work out why. I’m the first to admit that my decorating skills leave much to be desired, but it’s the effort that counts right? I spent a good few hours baking, icing and cleaning up, not to mention the money I spent buying the ingredients and the display tower, and hardly any cupcakes were eaten (I counted three missing from the cupcake stand when I left the shower – and one of those was eaten by a child who licked off the icing and promptly discarded the cake). I got a perfunctory ‘thank you’ from the hostess, but not the ‘Oooos’ and ‘Ahhhs’ I had expected. Was I expecting too much?

I think in this day and age, when most people don’t bake, and just go out and buy things like this, that it’s really nice when people take the time and effort to make something themselves.

I’m feeling very deflated after the excitement of planning what I was going to make, baking the cupcakes, icing them, and then displaying them – all for NOTHING!!

Anyone else had baking disasters? Not that I think mine was a disaster – it was more like I got a reaction I hadn’t been expecting.

The cupcake deck


I’ve chosen which cupcakes I want to make for the baby shower from The Cupcake Deck. This is a super-cute little assortment of cupcake recipes on individual cards kept together in a dinky wee box. I just love this!

From left to right, I’m making ‘Kid Simple’ cupcakes (vanilla flavoured, with my addition of a little lemon rind for a nice lemony scent), ‘Hummingbird’ cupcakes, and ‘Chocolate Fudge’ cupcakes.

What do you like best?

Best way to display a whole lot of cupcakes?

I bought this tower yesterday, as I thought it was a pretty nifty way to display all the cupcakes I’m going to bake tomorrow. Though the one in the picture is pink, I bought a cream one… at first I was plumping for pink (I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a ‘pink’ kind of girl) but I figured cream was more versatile in the long run: it will match more colours of cupcake, right?

Let them eat cupcakes

Attending baby shower on Saturday and will be making a ‘cupcake tower’ to take along for the Mum To Be. Bought aforementioned ‘tower’ today, so now comes the FUN part… making the cupcakes! Have decided to make three kinds: super-chocolate, hummingbird, and what I call ‘plain’ (guess you could describe it as vanilla).

But the topping – that’s the important bit. So… HAS to be super-chocolate ganache for the chocolate ones, and by super-chocolate I mean at least 70% cocoa solids. None of that namby-pamby milk chocolate for me! Then cream cheese frosting (with a hint of lemon) for the hummingbird cakes, considering they are similar to a carrot cake in style, and carrot cake and cream cheese frosting are a match made in cake heaven! And the vanilla? Yet to be decided – but whatever it is will be coloured in all manner of fairy pastel tints. SO pretty – sigh…