I didn't choose the bake life, The bake life chose me
Updated: May 1, 2018
When I told my brother about gin and how I was getting into it a year ago he laughed... MeMe your such a collector. I was a little startled by his response and I asked him to explain. Well look how you were with Johnny Cupcakes.
MeMe your such a collector
All of a sudden I had a realization, I am a collector. How had I never classed myself as one before?
Now those of you who don't know me are thinking Johnny what?!?! Those of you who follow me on Instagram are probably thinking oh I've seen MeMe wearing the tshirts. Those of you who know me very well are thinking... she doesn't just collect Johnny Cupcake stuff shes obsessed.
So lets go back to 2011 when the London store opened. My cousin in Calgary asked me to go in and buy him some instore exclusive tshirts. Walking into the store I was surprised by how awesome the store was. It looked like a cupcake bakery but it sold tshirts. The details in the store were well thought out and the staff were super friendly. Whenever I was in Carnaby street, I would go in and take a look around. That was when I started buying tshirts for myself.
The tshirts were limited edition with fun themes. They have done collaborations with The Simpsons, Nickelodeon and Hello Kitty to name a few.
Soon enough I was going to JC events instore, doing pickups for fellow cupcake collectors all over the country and actually the world. I sent out tshirts to America, Singapore and even Australia. Fellow cupcakers (yep thats what we referred to ourselves as) would send me store exclusives tshirts too.
Through social media it was like I knew each and everyone of them. A few of them have become my closest friends.
I went to LA and Boston to visit the stores. My family started wearing the tshirts too... ok ok I brought them the tshirts so they started wearing them. I had JC themed birthdays and even had a JC themed day on my hen weekend.
I think my collection consists of 150 tshirts, 400plus pins and lots of other collectibles.
Sadly the store closed four years later as it was only ever meant to be a popup shop. with that my collecting slowed down.
Now I feel like I've replaced the love for JC with gin. I collect gins, get excited every time I buy a bottle. Always wanting to try new gins in bars. I've made friends through the obsession which I call Gin-friends. I love attending gin events and I'm guessing soon enough I will want to be traveling abroad to visit gin distilleries.
So here's me trying to incorporate two of my obsessions into one... Gin cupcakes.
200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour
Finely grated zest 1 lime
For the syrup
50g caster sugar
50ml tonic water
For the buttercream:
200g unsalted butter, softened
450g icing sugar
2-3tbsp gin, to taste
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1. Preheat oven to mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy – about 5min. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition.
2. Fold in flour and lime zest, followed by the gin. Spoon into cases and bake for 25-30min or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.
3. Meanwhile, make sugar syrup: gently heat the caster sugar and tonic water in a small pan, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up heat and boil for 1min. Stir in gin.
4. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, poke holes into the top with a skewer and brush over the gin syrup. Leave to cool for 15min in the tin then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the butter until very soft with an electric whisk then beat in the icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the gin to taste and the lime zest. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate.