Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Trinity Stores, Des Lys Patisserie and Halloween

Well, October has been and gone, and I've had quite a cake-filled month- here's hoping November will be the same or better!

To start off, I've been exploring the lovely cake treats Balham has to offer. First stop- Trinity Stores on Balham Station Road. This deli and cafe is bustling with customers, and as well as getting a coffee, cake or light lunch you can stock up on nice homemade bits and bobs to fill your cupboards- chutneys, coffee, chocolates etc.

Although distracted by the vast array of sandwiches, salad and quiches, I restrained myself to just having chocolate cupcakes that were beautifully displayed on a cake-stand by the till. 
 These mini cupcakes have a rich chocolate ganache style icing, which really compliments a very chocolatey sponge- all nicely balanced with flavour. The crunch of the hundreds and thousands is a nice addition, and any other decorations could make the combination over-complicated. For a fully chocolatey taste, these mini cupcakes hit the spot, though any bigger and it might be too much. I really like the homemade look of these cakes, which fits in with Trinity Stores and its style, and hope to sample more of their cakes soon- I'll be branching away from cupcakes next time!

Take a look at Trinty Stores on their website, or go and have a visit- it's right by the station, so there's no excuse!


Next up- staying in Balham- the delightful Des Lys Patisserie Boulangerie on Bedford Hill. This French patisserie and cafe is small and welcoming, with three tables where you can sit and enjoy delicate cakes in a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. The selection on offer includes homemade pastries, artisanal bread, croissants and cakes (whole or pieces). Also on the counter are fun French sweets to give it that 'out-of-London' feel!

When choosing my cake, I couldn't resist a piece of beautiful pink and white Genoise cake, which didn't disappoint when tasting!

The delicate layers of thin sponge and strawberry flavoured mousse make this cake decadent but not too rich- light and easy to eat. The cake is topped with a thin layer of  mousse and glaze, then piped white chocolate with a sprinkling of coconut. The taste is delicious, and its lightness makes this cake a delight to eat. I'm already looking forward to my next piece of cake from Des Lys!

Take a look at their website for more information:   www.delys8.com

And finally....

For Halloween, I decided to have some fun with cupcakes of my own, and tried out Red Velvet for the first time. As well as enjoying the fun chemical reaction when you add the white wine vinegar and baking soda, the slightly more time consuming recipe ended up being worthwhile, and I enjoyed making weird and wonderful designs.

Enjoying these only slightly consoled me and my disappointment at missing Cupcake Camp, which I have been reading lots about on Twitter...next year I hope to be there in force, but will be perfecting my own baking efforts so I can contribute too!
Until next time....

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Cupcake Blog Backlog!

Well, it's been a bit too long since my last blog, but I have been busy eating cake..and will gradually be adding some delicious pictures and reviews bit by bit! I'm sure that a few non-cakes, macaroons etc, will enter the mix, but be reassured that they'll still be as sumptuously sweet!

Now onto my latest cakes- brought to me courtesy of a friend of mine, who knows the very talented owner of Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery in Twickenham. These gorgeous cakes were from their stall at Camden Market (every Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and very nice they are too...

The mini chocolate cake was the first I tried, and the richness of the chocolate flavour is great- not too full-on, but a fuller chocolatey taste than a lot of sponges. The butter icing is beautifully smooth, with lovely pastel colours to contrast with the sponge- almost looking like colourful meringues on top!  The decorations on the cakes are simple and delicate, and the little penny sweets on top give them a lovely kitsch look.

So onto the white chocolate cupcake...as with the chocolate, the icing and sponge balance is just right and the lightness of the sponge is great, particularly with the addition of white chocolate chips this time. Every bite is rich with the white chocolate alongside the sponge, and the buttercream icing is smooth and creamy- topped off with a sugared raspberry sweet and sugar confetti, it's a pleasure to eat. 

I hope to make a proper visit to Sweetie Pies at the shop in Twickenham very soon, and will have a few more cakes to sample, but in the mean time, I definitely recommend looking them up or heading to Camden to their stall.

You can find out more at: http://www.sweetiepiesboutiquebakery.co.uk/
Coming soon- cakes from Love Bakery on the Kings Road, Assorted Macaroons and Konditor and Cook!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tea Party Delights

  While deciding which cake destinations to re-visit and review their latest offerings, I recently took part in a baking marathon preparing for my first ever tea party! I was lucky enough to find a lovely collection of vintage cups and saucers, tea pots and cake plates at recent village fetes, stumbled-upon antique shops and dusty drawers at home, which encouraged me to strive to create the perfect tea party...Suddenly the stock of 3 cake-stands I have doesn't seem quite so ridiculous, as I begin to worry if we will have enough plates to store my planned delicacies! I needn't have worried, thanks to Talking Tables' current vintage-inspired tea party paraphenalia, which provided me with a floral and lace patterned paper tablecloth, floral cake toppers and patterned platters to add to the genuine articles. Paper floral garlands and paper chains adorned the house, and my collection of flowers, corsages and brooches were dotted around to add extra prettiness...but now to the cakes...

I decided on 4 varieties of cupcake- Peaches and Cream, Rose, Vanilla and White Chocolate and Raspberry- icing with various pastel colours and decorating every single one individually with different sprinkles, flowers and glitter- just under 70 were made in the end!

I also made lavender meringues with home-grown lavender and a purple tint, petit fours and orange, vanilla and rose macaroons. These last two were the most challenging- fondant icing being the most frustrating to spread on each side of my sponge sandwich cubes, and macaroons due to trying a new recipe and having a more biscuit-like consistency. They looked how I had hoped, and next time I intend to create the perfect specimens! Adding to the collection, friends made the perfect two-tone brown and white cucumber sandwiches, Victoria Sponge, Lemon Drizzle, chocolate brownies, peanut butter fudge, rocky road and chocolate fudge as well as a few ready-made classics. After a lot of colour-coordinated cake arranging, the tea-table looked resplendent in its sparkly, sugary, floral beauty! Champagne and Bucks Fizz out of tea cups, with tea as an alternative, made all the guests feel even more decadent, and with the sun shining on our garden, it was the perfect combination.

Enjoy the pictures and I'll be planning Mark II as soon as my oven recovers...meanwhile, let the cake-eating commence!


Wednesday, 1 September 2010


This is my opening blog to introduce 'Have Your Cake and Tweet It'- a new way to enthuse about cake! I will be posting reviews and recommendations for cafes, restaurants and bars that have delectable cakes on sale and encouraging people to do the same. Using my twitter page: http://twitter.com/londoncakequeen http://twitter.com/londoncakequeen I will enable people to have their cake and tweet it!
Suggestions will always be welcome for anywhere to explore around London and other regions if they're worth it- no promises on travelling far and wide just yet, but I'll see what i can do!
Bear with me while I get this started, but I hope I'll be able to sample some mouthwatering morsels and make some along the way too. Watch this space!
                                                                                                 The London Cake Queen