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Thursday 4 March 2010

Book Review: Eat Me! by Cookie Girl

Do you know Cookie Girl? Xanthe Milton started her baking career by rising at the crack of dawn daily to make delicious biscuits and baked goods, which she then sold from a basket around West London, and her blog and business grew from there.

From a stall at Portobello Market and on to selling via Selfridges nationwide, it's been a huge success. She's the Dita Von Teese of the cupcake crowd, less wholesome mummy a la Primrose Bakery, more sugar seductress. Now she's brought out her first book, which is all about the sweet stuff and set out seasonally with exuberant descriptions of what makes each time of year so special for her.

'Eat Me' is filled with cupcakes and bakes including some truly novel seasonal recipes, like the Bonfire Cupcakes and Bloody Hand Cookies.

So far I've tried the Bollywood cupcakes which are mini carrot-cakes laden with the most over-the-top icing you can muster. I was impressed that the cake mixture was precisely enough for twelve deep muffin cases. Though giving exact metric and imperial measurements and then saying '2 medium carrots' does drive me a little nuts.

The ingredients list for the frosting mentioned vanilla but it was missing from the method. I'd already decided that I was going to have to fudge things slightly as I'd realised I didn't have quite enough icing sugar, so threw in more caster. I ignored the mysterious vanilla in favour of a lime's juice and zest in the cream-cheese and sugar mixture, as I prefer a zingy complement to carrot cake.

I used a little red food colouring so mine just ended up being remarkably pink, but I did try to pile on the edible glitter - more is more, darling. She suggests a couple of different colours piped together for that extra garishness, and if I'd had time I would have given it a go. The cake was dense, stickily moist and with just the right amount of sweetness and spice. I will definitely make these again.

Cookie Girl encourages people to experiment, but I'd recommend that beginner bakers do follow her instructions closely - and make sure you check the ingredients list against the method. Baking does adhere to certain principles and it's slightly more of a science than the alchemical magic she credits it with. Though I heartily agree that baking is addictive, and I'll be trying some more of her recipes soon - the Oatmeal Toffee Cookies and the Pecan Banana Cookies are next on the list! I'm also looking forward to attempting some of the more grown-up liquor-laced ideas in the Parties section.

Cookie Girl is a whimsical Nigella for the Noughties, and if you're a cupcake fan then Eat Me! is certainly worth adding to your bookshelf.

Available from Amazon for £10, RRP £15.


  1. oooh tempting...

  2. The book is so gorgeous. I think you're right Gail, not all of the recipes are completely polished which is a shame, because Cookie Girl has a really unique take on the cupcake. Which couldn't come a moment too soon - I'm getting a wee bit bored of them.


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