As Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte descended on London recently with the arrival of Sex And The City, never did the humble cupcake enjoy such fashion iconic status.Seen as the must-have accessory for birthday parties, ladies’ afternoon tea parties and girlie evenings, the cupcake is enjoying its new-found red carpet status as the Jimmy Choo of the tea set.The cupcake (American term) or fairy cake (British term) was first baked at the turn of the 20th century. The name comes from the measurement of ingredients – equal proportions of 1 cup of butter, sugar, flour and eggs, in a similar way to the pound cake. The cakes are also thought to have been baked in individual tea cups, taking much less time to bake than a traditionally larger cake.Hostess presented the first commercially produced cupcakes in 1919, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the cupcakes were dressed with frosting, cream cheese and sprinkles. Not to be confused with a muffin, which is usually less sweet, has no frosting and can include savoury varieties, the cupcake has now become the preferred name universally with bakeries such as Magnolia Bakery in New York, the Primrose Bakery, Hummingbird Bakery, Fru Fru and Lola’s Kitchen in London offering a range of flavours, including Red Velvet with whipped vanilla icing; Devil’s Food with mocha, caramel or cream cheese icing and Coconut topped with meringue.It was in Stockholm, surprisingly, that I experienced this cupcake culture. I stopped for coffee and ordered a carrot cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting. The cupcake was presented on a plate, sliced vertically with an over-generous orange cream cheese deposited much like a Mr Whippy ice cream. It made a real sense of occasion – but it was, indeed, very sweet!I don’t make cupcakes per se, but at Little Venice Cake Company we take the cupcake revolution one step further by creating individual cakes fully covered with either chocolate or sugar paste and intricately hand decorated.The Berkeley Hotel in London serves afternoon tea inspired by the current fashions, known as Pret-a-Portea on Paul Smith china. From now until December they are offering a Sex And The City weekend stay that includes access to a complete boxed set of the film’s DVDs with chocolate handbags and iced shoe biscuits, nibbles, and coloured cupcakes.I, for one, will be checking in and indulging in all things sweet.
This past weekend’s River City Music Festival saw two of its three headliners pull out of the festival at the last minute. Set for Saturday, June 18th, the Nebraska festival saw George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and Keller Williams drop out at the last minute, while third headliner Matisyahu did actually perform.As reported by Brooklyn Vegan and local news network WOWT, the festival did at some point post an apology on its Facebook page, only to fully delete their website and social media presence in the wake of extreme anger shown by several disappointed fans.While the festival promoters seem to be hiding, Keller Williams, however, did release a statement on his Facebook page that pulls back the curtain on some of the reasons why this festival had so many problems, and the difficult decisions that artists face when put in tough situations like what he experienced at River City. He talks about how he “love[s] to play festivals” and how he is “grateful to get to play so many,” yet that “with this particular festival, my team and I had to follow our guts and pay attention to the red flags that the producers started to raise.”Read the full statement from Williams, below:I’m truly sorry for canceling the Nebraska festival. I feel like shit and that’s a feeling that I’m not used to feeling. I love to play festivals. I’m so grateful to get the opportunity to play so many. Over the years, my team and I have finally learned to follow our guts. The first couple bad checks we received, we got mad. Lawyers were hired and more money was spent and it ended in a head shaking lesson learned. Who wants to admit that they don’t have the money to pay you? Not me. I admire all promoters and festival producers because they take a HUGE risk for all of our good times. Also because I could never do it. Where would my world be without them? Probably in a van down by the river.So with this particular festival, my team and I had to follow our guts and pay attention to the red flags that the producers started to raise. To all the folks I inconvenienced with this decision, I’m truly sorry and hope I can make it up to you,personally…..some how. Kw.