There's something magical about a Saturday afternoon spent home alone and baking cupcakes.
It all starts with the preparation. Surfaces are wiped clean and I'm left with a blank page beckoning a new creation.
What shall we experiment with today? A new butter-cream perhaps, an unusual flavour that begs tasting, or maybe a secret recipe a little bird whispered to me recently...
Possibly I'll stick to old comforts; recipes tried and tested, proven satisfactory by plates licked clean and smiles encased in sweet crumbs.
Whatever I bake today, there will be some element of magic stirred through it. It's in the mixing of secret ingredients, the precise nature of folding and spooning, the transformation that takes place in the oven and the sweet and fluffy results.
Baking is my 'me' time and it is a pleasure to share my magical creations with lots of lovely people. A cupcake brightens up a steaming cup of tea on a rainy afternoon, or a chatty coffee morning with friends. Cupcakes at a birthday or wedding welcome gasps of delight at their dainty detail and delicious individuality.
But the most magical thing about cupcakes is that you can eat a whole cake to yourself and not feel guilty. Enjoy!