Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Valentines Cupcakes for Handmade Brighton

My friend Nargis contacted me in January to ask if I would be interested in doing a stall with her at the Handmade Brighton Valentine's craft fair. "Of course", I replied, "when is it?" That's when I discovered it was only 3 weeks away! So I set to work busying myself with making aprons and tea cosies and planning some fun Valentine's Day cupcakes. This would be my first experience of selling my wares to the general public, so it was all rather exciting.

I decided to go with a basic vanilla sponge and pink vanilla buttercream, with pink sugar sprinkles for a sparkly effect, pink sugar balls and to add that special Valentine's touch - a Love Heart on each one.

Here they are, on the stand in full glory:

I was quite pleased with how they turned out, as they got lots of comments and sold out on the day! People gave me positive feedback on their taste and appearance, which has helped inspire me to continue with my cupcake laden journey. The only problem was that people thought they were soaps!? I probably should have made the colouring stronger on the icing...

Successes: Positive feedback on taste and appearance. Sold out at £1.50 per cupcake, by far the most successful thing on my half of the stall!

Failures: I put the Love Hearts on too early so some moisture from the icing seeped into them, making them slightly mottled in appearance. It didn't seem to detract from the taste any, but it tarnished the presentation a little. The red food colouring I used in the icing made it more of a peach colour than the strong pink I hoped for and the sugar balls I purchased from Asda were hard and chewy, not crunchy like I thought they would be.

Ideas for the future: If using sweets with the icing, decorate them on the day for maximum freshness. Buy a new pink food colouring. Make better signage for the cupcakes...something along the lines of "Yes I am edible! Why not try me?" with some free tasters or something. Provide cello bags or boxes so that people can take them away to eat later.

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