CHRISTMAS AT THE CUPCAKE CAFE – On sale October 14, 2014
About the book –
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.
If you don’t make your own mincemeat, you might as well just buy mince pies from a shop. Using prepacked mincemeat, you’re basically just putting stuff in an envelope. It isn’t difficult to make, and it is less expensive, and if you get some of those nice-looking fancy jars, you can give it away as Christmas presents, although make sure you give it to people who like stewed fruit and know what to do with it, otherwise they tend to look at you as if you’ve just given them a jar of fresh rabbit droppings, which is rarely a welcome gift unless you have a friend with a very very tiny garden to compost.
The nice thing about mince pies is that they can officially be made to taste utterly delicious by the official worst baker in the world. They are as hard to mess up as peppermint creams. This is not one of those recipes where if you don’t use precisely the exact measure of butter you might as well throw the entire thing in the bin. These are going to turn out absolutely perfect and fine. Trust me. Also, make them on a Sunday, as you can hang around and read the papers whilst the kitchen starts to smell absolutely and utterly delicious. The only weird ingredient is suet. Yeah. It’s weird. Don’t enquire as to what it actually is too closely.
200g small cubes of apple
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp mixed spice
Juice and zest of one lemon
Juice and zest of one orange
250g suet, cut into small pieces
The night before you need the mincemeat, put all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix well. Leave overnight covered in a clean dishcloth. In the morning add brandy (I’ll leave it to your discretion how much) and then stick in the oven at 120°C/gas
mark 1/2 for three hours.
Let the mincemeat cool and then pop into sterilised jars (to sterilise, dampen jar for one minute in the microwave). Cover with brown paper, then seal. It should keep for up to a year. If it keeps for up to a year, you’re probably giving it to the wrong friends. For the pastry, rub 200g flour and 200g cold, chopped-up butter together. Add 100g of golden sugar, a pinch of salt and a little water until it is ready to roll out and cut. Pop in baking tins, spoon in mincemeat and put pastry lids on pies.
Brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle a little more golden sugar, then 20 minutes at 180°C/gas mark 4, and . . . ta-dah!
About the author –
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.
There are 2 e-copies of CHRISTMAS AT THE CUPCAKE CAFE up for grabs – go and check it out right over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway