The Obligatory Royal Wedding Post


Image courtesy of CBBC.

If there is anything I really do not care about it’s the Royal Wedding, which as Isabelle pointed out to me the other day probably means that they’re going to kick me out of the country for not being a good little Brit. But I’m sorry, I just can’t muster up a shred of a damn about it.

I’m too young to remember the Diana hype so I don’t see the relevance, though I do understand why some people are going gaga over Kate. I remember the day she died, and I did cross paths with William, Harry & Diana on occasion (my brother was at a school in the same area when he was very little and Diana used to drop the boys off every day, surrounded by paparazzi of course) – it just really didn’t affect me in any way. But I know it affected others – I had a girl friend at high school who always said she was going to marry William (her name was not Kate Middleton, so clearly that one didn’t come true), knew kids who ran in the same circles as them, met other girls who fawned over the names ‘William’ and ‘Harry’. But not me. No, I was far too busy having my own life, falling in love and having my heart broken several times, throwing myself into film, theatre and food, living all around the world, embracing my adulthood and freedom, and deciding that I really don’t want to get married at all (sorry).

So why should I care that William is marrying Kate? I don’t. Why should I watch the ridiculous made-for-tv movie about their romance? I shouldn’t (seriously – even the trailer made me feel a bit ill). And why should I watch a man marry a girl, as really that’s what they are, and get excited about it? I won’t.

Instead, this Friday at 11.15am I’m going to the hairdresser’s to cut my 17″ hair off and sell it to Banbury Postiche, a company who makes wigs for cancer patients and people who have lost their hair due to alopecia, then donating the money to the Little Princess Trust who supply wigs to children with cancer in the UK. I can’t help but feel that this is a much better use of my time. I’ve had a few people say they’re interested in donating to this worthy cause as well, so if you would like to either match the amount Banbury will pay for my hair (£5 per ounce) or donate a small sum for the Little Princess Trust, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

But hey, you don’t all have to go and cut your hair off to avoid the Royal Wedding. Why not spend that time in the kitchen instead, making these tasty cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook? And if you really must watch it on TV, you could always add these to your (dare I say it) “Royal Wedding Party”.

Adapated slightly from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

When I made these the first time they simply didn’t work, and after reading through the recipe again I realised it was because this is sadly a case of yet another cookbook not properly tested in a domestic kitchen before release. As such I’ve made a couple of tweaks which I hope will give you better results!

For the chocolate sponge base:
190g plain flour
120g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
40ml sunflower oil
125ml water
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the cheesecake filling:
140g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
100g milk chocolate chips/chopped into small pieces

For the cream cheese frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
Cocoa powder for dusting

Special equipment:
x2 12-hole cupcake trays, lined wit paper cases
x1 1/4 cup ice-cream scoop (I find it really useful to bake with an ice-cream scoop as you get lovely even portions, but you can, of course, also use a tablespoon)

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
2. Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and whisk to aerate and combine. Set aside.
3. In a jug, combine the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and water, and whisk to combine.
4. Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in the oil and water mixture, stirring together until all the ingredients are incorporated.
5. Using the ice-cream scoop,scoop a portion of the mixture into each paper cup and set aside.
6. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and cream cheese, then beat in the egg, vanilla extract and salt with a wooden spoon, until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. The consistency will be quite loose.
7. Scoop about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on top of the cupcake mixture in the cases, and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-27 minutes – keep an eye on it.
8. To make the cream cheese frosting: cream together the butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon, then beat in the cream cheese until completely incorporated and light and fluffy. Do not overbeat or it’ll become runny.
9. Using a palette knife, plop a portion of frosting on top of the cupcake, pat it down to make it round, then, holding your palette knife at a slight angle to the cake and frosting, swirl it in a circle around the frosting, about half an inch in from the edge. When you complete the circle, swirl in the opposite direction slightly further in until you reach the centre of the cupcake and lift up to create a peak. I found this YouTube video very helpful! When you have frosted all of your cupcakes, using a small sieve, dust with a little cocoa powder to decorate.
10. Enjoy, with or without William & Kate.

So there we have it guys. Regardless of what you’re doing this bank holiday weekend I hope you have a wonderful time. Until next time, peace and love.

Jax x

PS: Don’t forget there are only 3 days left to enter my give-away to win a copy of Five Minute Bread or an Amazon voucher! See here for more details!

15 Responses to “The Obligatory Royal Wedding Post”

  1. Tunde Says:

    Good for you Jackie !! I really could care less about it myself. Good thing its a Friday so I’ll be at work. Now the cupcakes I could go for. Great cause you are supporting :D. Decided if you doing a buzz cut yet or its still a surprise for your readers ?

  2. Milla Says:

    My dear Jackie, I am so proud of you! You’re an amazing cook but wow, what a kind soul you have. Email me – I’d love to make a donation.

    My mother gave me the Hummingbird Bakery Cook book and I haven’t looked back. It’s very different to Nigella’s style (I’ve only ever used her recipe books) and everything is so delicious!

  3. Naomi Says:

    If my hair was longer I would join you in your donation. Also it’s in very bad condition from dying it so much. Such a lovely thing your doing- and I totally agree with you about the royal wedding hype- I’m just using it as an excuse to drink pimms in the middle of the day xx

  4. BigFatBaker Says:

    I’m right there with you. It almost bothers me how excited girls in the US at my school get about the royal wedding nonsense. Sorry but it’s not gonna happen for you…ever. I love that you are donating your hair. My mom had breast cancer and had to go through losing her beautiful long hair. It was really hard for her but she was lucky to find some really beautiful wigs thanks to people like you. My hair is currently half way down my back, and you have inspired me to donate it to a worthy cause once I’m ready to chop it off.

  5. Brian @ A Thought For Food Says:

    Oh dear… these look wonderful! And I’m so glad you were the guinea pig and had a chance to tinker with the recipe!

    I think any wedding is a beautiful thing… but I also don’t get the hype.

  6. Mindy Says:

    That’s a beautiful thing you’re doing with the haircut. A much better way to spend your time. Being part of the Commonwealth we keep hearing all the hype about the wedding here in Canada, and I can’t agree with you more, I just don’t care.

  7. Vanessa Says:

    Those cupcakes look amazing! I can’t wait to try them out here. Miss you!

  8. Celia Says:

    Girl, I cannot WAIT to see those hair pics! I’ll content myself with cupcake pics for now, but come Friday…

    Also, come Friday – must admit I’m watching the wedding, but with a more anthropological perspective (love to see what bread & circuses our culture cooks up)…and maaaybe a bit of an eye for the dresses…

  9. Melissa@EyesBigger Says:

    I seem to be an odd mutant girl who didn’t get the wedding gene at all. It’s totally missing! I don’t get the hype, or the expense, for one day, regardless of who is getting married but I know that this makes me very odd indeed. lol.

    But I love how you are going to spend your time instead! Good on you :)

  10. CC11 Says:

    I live in a commonwealth country and I couldn’t care less – congrats to them but I don’t know them personally.
    But hey, any excuse to bake something is always a good one. Nice black bottoms ;)

  11. Ashley Says:

    Eh, well I’m glad people are interested in something happy and joyful for once. So whatever. I am NOT getting up at 4 am to watch it though. HELL no! haha.

    When do we get to see pics of the haircut?!?

    I want me some of those black bottoms….SOUNDS SO WRONG.

  12. Isabelle Says:

    Hmmm… well, since the hoopla is done and they haven’t booted you out of the country yet, I guess I was wrong. :) (For the record, I’m not much on weddings either, which probably explains why The Boy and I are still living in sin.)
    Good on you for donating your lovely hair to such great causes, and for providing us with such a yummy-looking recipe for cupcakes.
    PS – I think they’ve let you stay because that new ‘do is seriously HAWT. ;) xo

  13. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite Says:

    What a great post. I did get caught up in the hype, remembering both Diana’s wedding and her death (I was living in Paris at the time) and even though I am not a huge fan of the Queen, I see hope for the Royals in this new generation. Finally they might become relevant. I love that you donated your hair to charity. And you look gorgeous, by the way!

  14. Jackie Says:

    Thanks all! I’m taking some proper photos of the new do soon which I’ll share =)

    Jax x

  15. Paula Says:

    I didn’t watch that made for TV movie about William and Kate but I sure did watch their wedding, more than a few times. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it made me miss my Mom who loved to read and watch anything on the Royal Family.
    Wonderful of you to have donated your hair. My grand-daughter did it when she was six and is growing it out again to have it cut and donated again. She’s seven now and it’s almost long enough.
    Your cupcakes look delicious and I’ll be you look awesome with shorter hair. Heck, you’d look awesome with no hair. I’m not a stalker (truly I’m not) but I do recognize a natural beauty when I see one. Just sayin’

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