Thursday, 24 September 2009

Global domination of cupcakes

Monday night found me at the Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden, swilling champagne and Hoovering up exceptional sausage rolls and mini quiches to celebrate the launch of a new book by its owners, Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery.  Yup, that's right, it's a whole, glossy cookery book devoted to cupcakes. 

I can't help but marvel at how these delicate little confections have so quickly become the gateaux de nos jours.  Why is it that any self-respecting Chelsea Henrietta will eschew a jam tart or cream slice but is defenceless when faced by what are really just fairycakes with a very thick layer of soft icing? 

Do they somehow tap into early childhood nostalgia with their lurid rainbow of icing colours and pretty decoration?  After all, if a little girl were asked to draw a plate of cakes, she'd use every pink, yellow and orange felt-tip pen in the pack and come up with something very like cupcakes - she wouldn't draw an undecorated Dundee or a slab of plain, pale Madeira.  

Are they so insubstantial that it's easy to kid yourself they won't make you fat?  Is it that finally we have discovered a cake with the proportion of frosting to sponge that we've all long craved, i.e. one-to-one?

Whatever the reason, these days, cupcakes rule the capital's hospitality scene.  Sure enough, the Primrose Bakery provided a stunning selection at the book launch, the chocolate and coffee varieties proving particularly memorable. 

If I were being ultra picky and ungrateful (and I am), the only slight disappointment was that no sweet wines were offered with them.  It was commendable that the champagne never ran out, and very nice it was too with the savouries, but switching to a Spumante or similar would have not only partnered the cakes far better but also saved our hosts some money.

We still seem to struggle with the idea of medium or sweet wines, sparkling or still, in this country when they suit so many foods perfectly.  But that's a whacking great hobbyhorse of mine which we'll save for another day.....  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bill Buckley ~ I heard you last night on BBC London and remembered your URL ~ how's that for a feat of memory.

    All the best with the blog. You were talking about nice prose ~ I think your writing's very nice indeed.

    I look forward to hearing you tonight. But I won't phone in I'm too shy

    Cheerio for now!