I just wanted to raise some awareness of Marie Curie Cancer Care's Blooming Great Tea Party campaign.
They are hoping to have thousands of people (4909 have signed up at the time of me writing this post) up and down the country to host tea parties to raise funds for such an amazing charity. I am hoping that some of my readers may see this and decide to host their own one.
It's such a lovely idea. I am hosting my own party at home on Sunday 21st of July. The official time for the tea parties is June and July but some people still host parties into August so there is plenty of time for you to plan one. You can do one at home, in your workplace, in the local hall, anywhere. You can have you and another person at the party or you can invite thousands. Whatever you feel you can do will be perfect. You can sign up to do one on the website and the charity will send you loads of useful things to help with planning your party.
The idea is to raise some money for this wonderful cause. Marie Curie Cancer Care uses the donations for cancer research and development, for hospice beds and for funding Marie Curie nurses who are a hugely valuable support to patients with terminal illnesses and their families. As a GP, I see the good they do every single day. I can't overstate what a huge difference they make.
If you feel you can't host your own party, please consider making a donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care. You can do so through Just Giving or you can donate to my page set up for my own tea party.
I am busy planning what I am going to bake for the day. I am thinking I will do a Victoria sponge, some cookies, brownies, lemon drizzle cake and lots and lots of cupcakes.
I have mentioned before that my basic cupcake recipe comes from Cupcake Magic by Kate Shirazi.
This book so inspired me when I picked it up about 5 years ago and I thought, "I could make some of those". That started me baking more regularly and trying new things. My husband always says he wishes he had stopped me buying Cupcake Magic as it has led to me getting slightly obsessed and having a house full of sprinkles and cupcake cases and cakestands! However, secretly, I'm sure he's glad that I got my new hobby and started feeding him lots of lovely cakes.
One of the things that attracted me to Cupcake Magic in particular was Kate Shirazi's support for the Battery Hen Welfare Trust (a donation from each book sold went to them) and stories of her own rescue hens and photos of them enjoying her cupcakes. Have a look at Cakeadoodledo to see her cakes for sale, her other books and her blog.
Anyway, I know her basic cupcake recipe off by heart and can whip up a batch with my eyes closed. They are so easy and yet very tasty. This is the perfect recipe for those new to baking. Kate has very kindly allowed me to reproduce the recipe on my blog and so I am going to share it with you here. I think that might be worth a donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care - no?
Recipe - Your Basic No-Mucking-Around Cupcake from Cupcake Magic by Kate Shirazi.
110g / 4oz / 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
110g / 4oz / 1/2 cup caster sugar, sifted
110g / 4oz / 1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 tsp baking powder
2 large free-range eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Glace icing and sprinkles to decorate.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas mark 3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. Put all the ingredients (except the icing and sprinkles, of course) in a mixer (food processor, stand mixer, or just a big bowl with an electric whisk). Mix really well until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Plonk heaped teaspoons of the mixture into the prepared cases, and bake in the oven for about 20 mins until golden, and firm and springy when you give them a light prod on top. Let them cool before icing and decorating.
And, look, I don't have any decent photos of any of my batches of these cupcakes which is, quite frankly, a bit weird. In fact, I just dropped off a batch of these to my Grandma today for her 80th birthday and wish I had taken a photo - they were very pretty. However, here is a photo of Adam when he was about 3 making a beautiful batch!
I will take photos from my Blooming Great Tea Party and will post here. Please let me know if anyone else is doing a tea party - I'd love to hear about it.
In the meantime, here is a link to Foodie Quine's Tea Party from last year.