Look, I've nothing against Nigella. She's a brunette with big hips, which in my book is a fine thing to be. But her cupcake recipe sucks.
I can say this, because I am A Woman. I can flip a pancake; I can bake a cake; I can joint a chicken. Her cupcake recipe, the one I have been using, is just not good enough.
So when Duyvken raved on about red velvet cupcakes just weeks after my sister-in-law had mentioned them, I thought they were worth a go. A blogger had handily provided Duyvken with a recipe, which she passed on, and I made cream cheese icing. And apart from a moment of terror when I realised that the carefully plotted instructions (you don't just get to fling this all in a bowl and whizz it with a handblender) didn't tell me what to do with the damn egg, it was a very happy experience - yummy, velvety and grown up.
And it was exciting, because the recipe used bicarb and vinegar, which up until yesterday I wouldn't have understood. We learned all about it in an attack of frenzied kiddie science brought on when I found the Lattes in the bathroom mixing things to 'make a potion'. You can make a volcano with bicarb and vinegar, if you put the bicarb under some flour and then fire the vinegar at it through a dropper. See!
it's erupting from Coffee Lady on Vimeo.
Today a friend came, and we had a red velvet cupcake and chatted while the children wrecked the house. And then as she was leaving another friend rang, and said had I forgotten she had invited me for tea and I must come right now, as she had made rose meringues with chantilly cream, and there were other people there and I must bring the children so they could all wreck the house.
So you know. Lent is going very well.