Cupcakes -- or fairy cakes, as they're known on this side of the pond -- always have the power to put me in mind of birthday parties or end-of-year school celebrations, something out-of-the ordinary that gives the whole day a special tinge. So when I heard that Hummingbird Bakery was creating a special Valentine's cupcake, I couldn't resist.
Hummingbird cupcakes. Image courtesy of the Daily Mail - mine didn't last long enough for photos!
I've been a Hummingbird addict for some time now. Smack in the middle of Portobello Road, their cupcakes are so delicious it's as if they've dropped straight from the sugar god. A moist, tender cake topped with creamy, sweet frosting, I can't devour them fast enough. Apparently I'm not the only one. Every time I've been to their tiny shop, the queues stretch out the door -- even on weekdays, when the market isn't on.
As much as I love the quirkiness of the Saturday Portobello Market, I'm definitely not a big fan of the crowds. But even this was not enough to put me off my quest for Hummingbird's Valentine cupcakes. Pushing through the tourists (strangely, there always seems to be loads of Italians?) and past the stalls selling everything from rugby balls to brass door handles, I finally got to the door -- where, as expected, no fewer than 15 people were waiting. At £2.50, the cupcakes aren't cheap, but they're well worth the wait. I chose my favorites: a chocolaty cake topped with cream cheese frosting, and a vanilla sponge smothered in chocolate frosting.