Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn’t be happier. Her new business is thriving and she is surrounded by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don’t seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe - with its increased demand for her delectable creations - begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.
This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another. . .
Indulge yourself and your sweet-toothed friends with Jenny Colgan’s new novel, simply bursting with Christmas cupcake recipes and seasonal sugar-fuelled fun.
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Polar Bear Cupcakes
These little cakes are irresistible. Cut the liquorice into tiny eyes and a little nose, and use white buttons for the ears. Or if, like me, you hate liquorice, use chocolate chips. Try not to feel too sad when you bite into them; let’s face it, anyone who can eat a jelly baby can eat a coconut baby polar bear.
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
125g sifted self-raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk
For this recipe you need two different sizes of cupcake tin, one smaller than the other. Preheat oven to 190°C/gas mark 5, and put paper cases in the tins. Beat butter and sugar together, then add eggs, flour, vanilla and milk and beat until the mix drops slowly off the spoon (add more milk if it won’t).
Spoon into paper cases, put in oven. Check with a toothpick after 12 minutes – if it comes out clean, we’re ready.
For the topping
125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp coconut extract (you can also use Malibu, if you’re feeling frisky!)
splash of milk
chocolate chips, large and small
white chocolate buttons
Beat the butter and add the icing sugar, then add the coconut extract and the milk until you have a light frosting. Spread the frosting all over one small and one large cupcake, then stick them together so the little cake makes the polar bear’s head. Carefully roll the bear in the desiccated coconut.
Add chocolate chips to make the eyes and the nose, and the white chocolate buttons to make the ears – and voilà! Polar bear cupcakes!!!! Merry Christmas!
Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including Christmas at the Cupcake Café and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, which are also published by Sphere. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and France.
Places to find Jenny Colgan:
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