This is where I spent much of the past week. Breakfasts, dinners, glasses of wine(s), reading the morning paper with a second cup of coffee, talking, thinking, chilling out. Enjoying the company of my cousin Jan Marie and her husband David, the warmth of the sun in the morning and the cool breeze in the afternoon when it was 34 degrees. You can understand why I thought twice about returning to Auckland. Where it rained all of last night and today is 17 degrees.
But of course I had to get back to write my round up of the Donna Hay Self Frosting Cupcakes event.
I chose this self frosting cupcake recipe for the inaugural Hay Hay It's Donna Day as when I first saw the cakes I thought "ooh I must try that, it sounds so good". Nik started the whole thing off and it went from there. For me that is what cooking is all about. When you are inspired to try baking something somebody else has made you are saying I like what you have done . And we all like to receive those compliments don't we? Added to that, it is the type of recipe that sometimes doesn't turn out exactly as we planned the first time, and we know we can do better, so we try again. Well mine didn't turn out perfect the first time anyway!! Then we start thinking of variations and how we can improve or alter the original and give it our own personal touch. Which is how and why the culture of food grows and evolves.
Check out the entries I received.
The Baker Who Cooks who posted before and after pictures and both looked so good I'd have been happy to eat them before they went into the oven.
Running With Tweezers experimented with two different toppings - a Mocha Espresso Sauce and Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Noshes Thoughts Reves very cleverly made her own cashew nut butter topping to swirl on the top.
Taste Everything Once thought about a dark chocolate version with a pistachio butter topping which sounds fabulous but in the end went with the Nutella.
Tham Jiak needed to half the recipe to fit her mini oven and had a few consistency problems. The Kaya used in the topping was new to me and I'll be out searching the Asian food stores for my own jar.
Piggy's Cooking Journal baked one tray with Nutella topping and another where she added Bailey's Irish Cream to the mixture and swirled cream cheese on the top.
Pearl of the Orient piped and swirled Nusspli, a German version of Nutella, to create a cupcake which was a work of art.
Culinary Obsessed had her niece and nephew to taste test her Nutella topped swirls and also suggested some other interesting toppings for the future.
Something So Clever tried out a White Chocolate Peanut Butter topping and was not happy with the final result but I must say they look very pretty in their silver skirts.
Masak Masak another Donna fan, told me something I didn't know. Donna Hay originally worked for Marie Claire magazine. Another experimenter with a tray of Nutella tops and a second of Kaya, all beautifully photographed with her little friends.
The Skinny Epicurean tried out a low fat chocolate sauce for her topping and despite her brother thinking they were marbled cupcakes they tasted pretty good.
Esuriantes made a batch with Appelstroop which didn't swirl as well but look so good I could almost taste the sticky syrupy mess. The second batch made with Nuts About Chocolate looked pretty tasty too.
And Nic at the BLOG that started it all moved on from cupcakes and produced some lovely looking scones with a Nutella topping.
Thank you all for joining in the event. I hope you had as much fun as I did and will play again. If you would like to host a Hay Hay It's Donna Day let me know and we will plan another one.
And now to choose the prettiest cupcakes for the prize. I wish I could choose everybody as I thought all the entries were pretty. But I only have one magazine to give away and I'm going to select Glutton Rabbit at Pearl of the Orient who created beautiful swirls by piping on the topping and using a chopstick to create a pattern. Until this event she had never heard of Donna Hay. After receiving her first edition she will soon know all about her.
If I missed any entries please let me know. I seem to have misplaced one I received earlier.
And here is the one I missed. Sorry Tanvi.
From the Pantry produced these double choc decadent little beauties.