Monday, October 27, 2014

Blog tour: Christmas At The Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan

Christmas at the Cupcake Café
Cupcake Café  # 2
By: Jenny Colgan
Releasing October 14th, 2014 
William Morrow

Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn’t be happier. Her new business is thriving and she is surrounded by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don’t seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe - with its increased demand for her delectable creations - begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.

This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another. . .

Indulge yourself and your sweet-toothed friends with Jenny Colgan’s new novel, simply bursting with Christmas cupcake recipes and seasonal sugar-fuelled fun.

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including Christmas at the Cupcake Café and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, which are also published by Sphere. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and France.

Hello Jenny! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person. 

Hello! Lovely to be here. Well, I'm Jenny. I'm originally from Scotland, and currently live in France with my New Zealand husband and our three children, who are disarmingly french. It's quite confusing. I write romantic comedies, often with a 'foodie' theme, and I also write for the British tv show Doctor Who which is completely different! It's great fun to be able to do more than one thing. 

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?  

Well, I was always a bookworm and obsessed with reading, but writing as a job didn't seem much more realistic than being a pop star or in the olympics or something. Nobody was more surprised than me when it actually happened. Well, possibly my mother.  

Let’s speak about CHRISTMAS AT THE CUPCAKE CAFÉ. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about? 

It's about Issy, who's worked incredibly hard to set up a café in London, full of her own amazing creations. Then her boyfriend Austin gets the job of a lifetime in New York, and they have some tough decisions to make...there's also some very yummy christmas recipes.  

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters? 

Well, I moved to France when the children were small and was amazed at the difference (I'd been in London and the Netherlands before). In France, everyone just cooks. You can't even buy much in the way of pre-arranged meals. You have to buy the ingredients and actually make stuff! I know, amazing. Anyway, having never cooked I was now at home with the children and started cooking and baking with them and just really enjoyed it. So it came out of that really.  

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick? 

Funny, warm, romantic- I hope!! And optimistic. Always.  

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre? 

Loads! I love John Irving and Sophie Kinsella and Garrison Keillor and C.S. Lewis- honestly, I could bang on all day. I didn't choose a genre, I wrote really just what I loved to read and write about, and that's how it came out.  

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing?  

I sing in a choir, very badly. I ferry the children about, read like a fiend, catch up with friends, bug my husband to take me out to dinner. I like to travel when I get the chance. It's not very expensive to catch the train to Paris from where I live, so if any of my friends ever visit I like to slip off and see them. I get a ton of work done in moving vehicles. I don't know why this is. Something to do with the white noise maybe?  

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends? 

Hahah NO! Well, children don't care, my five year old thinks I 'go for walks' for a living. And my husband is very good, if I'm getting my head turned and thinking I am terribly important as a writer, he brings me back down to earth. He's an engineer. Engineers and writers are good matches, there's a few of us. Nicely balanced. But I think he's secretly proud really.  

What are your dreams and goals for your future as a writer? 

Oh LOADS!!!!! If I told you them all you'd think I was a nutcase. But I love to write in different genres, I'd love to publish a recipe book... oh, so many :)  

What would you say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books? 

I would, but the five year old has just come in and started the dryer (yes, my glamorous writer's office is in the basement). Hang on, let me ask her.  

Me: Delphine, why should people read mummy's books? 

D: Because they're grown ups.  

Me: is that all? 

D: Because they like reading? 

Me: YES! Now stop touching the dryer.


Polar Bear Cupcakes

These little cakes are irresistible. Cut the liquoriceinto tiny eyes and a little nose, and use whitebuttons for the ears. Or if, like me, you hateliquorice, use chocolate chips. Try not to feel toosad when you bite into them; let’s face it, anyonewho can eat a jelly baby can eat a coconut babypolar bear.

125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
125g sifted self-raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk

For this recipe you need two different sizes ofcupcake tin, one smaller than the other.Preheat oven to 190°C/gas mark 5, and putpaper cases in the tins.Beat butter and sugar together, then add eggs,
flour, vanilla and milk and beat until the mix dropsslowly off the spoon (add more milk if it won’t).
Spoon into paper cases, put in oven. Check witha toothpick after 12 minutes – if it comes out clean,
we’re ready.

For the topping
125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar, sifted
1tsp coconut extract (you can also use Malibu, ifyou’re feeling frisky!)
splash of milk
desiccated coconut
chocolate chips, large and small
white chocolate buttons

Beat the butter and add the icing sugar, then addthe coconut extract and the milk until you have a
light frosting.Spread the frosting all over one small and onelarge cupcake, then stick them together so the littlecake makes the polar bear’s head. Carefully roll thebear in the desiccated coconut.

Add chocolate chips to make the eyes and thenose, and the white chocolate buttons to make theears – and voilà! Polar bear cupcakes!!!!
Merry Christmas!


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Two digital copies of Christmas At The Cupcake Café

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1 commenti:

  1. Thank you for hosting ~ Gaele (for Lisa)