Gruffalo Cup Cakes!

I'm already starting to forget some of the things I got up to while in the UK, but I have written about one of our visits which was to The Hawk Conservancy Trust over at The Teapot

As this is my more Foodie blog, I will tell you about some of our adventures in cooking. At Downe House, Lines Summer School don't have access to ovens/microwaves etc, so last year we were limited to making sweets/chocolate crispy cakes, as we could melt the chocolate in a big bowl of hot water. This year, however, our Head of department splashed out on a couple of Cup Cake Makers, which meant we could make cakes without resorting to ovens! These were a great success! (even if we did have to use them outside in the covered area because we were afraid we would set off the fire alarms!)

In honour of our (aborted) trip to see "The Gruffalo" we made Gruffalo cupcakes. On the internet there are plenty of inspirational examples, such as these, at Mrs Bailey's Cup Cakes:

However, on a limited budget, (and with a limited skill set!) we couldn't aspire to these. We also couldn't find cup cake cases small enough to go in the Cup Cake Maker, so we used normal sized ones, with gave an interesting "kink" to the cakes...

As you can see, ours don't have quite the same attractiveness (nor recognisable qualities!) as Mrs Bailey's do! I don't think she has anything to fear from us as competition!

However the kids enjoyed making them

 Altho' Mary doesn't look too impressed by what she's doing here!

Oleg shows off his two Gruffalo cup cakes (shortly before eating them!)

And here is the entire Kids' department in the pergola, being proud of their Gruffalo cakes!

 The Cup Cake Makers were definitely a good buy! And my colleague, Hawa, who lives most of the year in Senegal, running her own school, was very excited by the thought of a Cup Cake Maker - she has no oven, and misses cakes very much. She was planning on buying one, and possibly using it as a moneyspinning venture...although judging by the number of our "trial run" cup cakes that she scoffed I'm not sure she'll be making much money from them!!

As always, I want to say...
KEZZIE asked about what kind of "English essentials" I stock up on...Well, we now have a list that we always take with us, which includes such things as Branston Baked Beans, Assam loose leaf tea,  mango chutney, Bisto gravy granles, Oat Crunchies, bacon, cheddar, sausages, stilton, Bottlegreen cordials... And other things too. One thing I wanted to get but forgot were some more English-French adapters. We have loads but they all seem to have gone walkabout, so I'm having to resort to juggling the one from the living room light with the slow cooker. Mr FD may be popping back to see his sister, so he will have strict instructions to bring back at least 5 more!
JAN welcomed me back...everything went fine, thank you, although my last week working wasn't so good as I was ill and very tired. But never mind!
SANDRA at Thistle Cove...Thank you for your lovely compliment, but I'm not sure I'm a "great teacher" - after all, it was David our Head of Dept who booked all the trips, but I do think the Kids Dept in general has a great team. We all have different skills and complement each other. The Kids do seem to enjoy themselves. In fact we had one girl who was 10 years old, and had originally joined the Teens group ( we are officially 6 - 10 year olds, but there is some flexibility for the 10 year olds to go into the Teens dept if they seem mature enough and have good enough English) but who had struggled there. She joined us for her second week and had a whale of a time. She was really sweet and enthusiastic anyway, but kept saying "This is so much better than Teens!" to me.
 And finally, the obligatory LolCat:



  1. A cup-cake maker sounds like a great idea - especially for your colleague who lives in Senegal. Jx

  2. Love the cupcakes! They're really cute looking and I hope they tasted as good at they looked.

  3. That cup cake maker sounds a super idea, esp in the absence of an oven for Hawa.
    The gruffalo cakes are a really sweet idea. I prefer something with less icing so I'd prefer your version! I approve of your stocking up items!!!x


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