"Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have live." (Helen Keller)
This morning I woke up with the sparrows, and believe me they wake up really early here in summer, before 4 a.m. I wanted to be up and about in order to phone my gorgeous twins for their Birthday before they went to work. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kyle and Roarke!!
I was outside in the garden bright and early: no, not quite as early as 4 a.m. Whilst Lily is doing her business (or supposed to be doing it) I busy myself with various basic gardening activities. Like pulling up weeds or trimming bushes. This morning I was greeted with the fragrance of my jasmine bush in flower. Next to it is an Indian mint plant. I crushed a leaf and smelled it. And decided today was going to be a day of Smells. Ariel and I took a train down to Brighton - to hand out her CVs.
Tar somewhere along the line on the way to and from Brighton
Garlicky aroma wafting from restaurant kitchens
Coffee from street cafes
Fishy reeks from dodgy fish eateries
Seaweed around the sushi handrolls at Moshi Moshi
Burnt caramel caressing the nostrils from Roly's Fudge store
Cooking onions from next door
Puppy dog smell
Came home from Brighton and even though it is swelteringly hot, I made a cup of coffee.
"The smell of coffee cooking was a reason for growing up, because children were never allowed to have it and nothing haunted the nostrils all the way out to the barn as did the aroma of boiling coffee." (Edna Lewis, author of 'The Taste of Country Cooking')
So I thought I'd add a cupcake recipe just for fun:
200g self-raising flour
200g softened butter
200g golden caster sugar
few drops vanilla extract
sugar decorations, to serve
For the orange butter cream
75g softened butter
150g icing sugar
1 orange, rind and juice only
For the mallow frosting
2 egg whites
110g vanilla sugar
Bottom of Form
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Arrange silver paper cake cases in tartlet tins.
2. Combine the eggs, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until smooth and pale.
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared paper cases and bake for 12-18 minutes until risen, golden and just firm to the touch.
4. When cakes are cool, ice with the frosting of your choice and decorate as desired (see cook’s note below).
5. For the orange butter cream: whisk all the ingredients together till smooth and spread onto cooled cup cakes.
6. For the mallow frosting: beat the egg whites with the vanilla sugar until stiff. Swirl the mixture onto cooled cup cakes, then pop them under the grill for a few minutes until just tinged with colour. For a marbled finish, stir some chopped chocolate or crushed berries into the meringue at the last minute before grilling.