It was the packaging. It was the fact that I was in a gourmet grocers and I'd just had my haircut and I thought I'd pretend to have disposable income. This is my only excuse for paying $14.95 for a packet mix. I'm no Nigella, but I'm no slouch in the kitchen either and I've become quite renowned for my cupcake skills.
But there was something so seductive about the brown and pale blue papers, the elegant box and even the pithy message from Donna ('shhh, don't tell them they're not yours' - uh Donna your name is on EVERYTHING I think they'll guess)
They looked ok. They were a weird pasty colour when they came out of the oven, and there wasn't quite the fluffiness to the icing the photo promised. I have to tell you folks they tasted absolutely disgusting. really. the most synthetic, rubbery, and just plain odd flavour I've ever tasted. I would have been better buying a jam roll from the supermarket. I took them to the HML bbq just so everyone could sample a truly horrible cupcake.Needless to say no one did and they went straight in the bin.
Maggie B on the other hand is working her way through Michel Roux's Pastry book. This lemon meringue pie browned a little in our insane oven but the pastry was flaky, the lemon was curdy and the meringue was deliciously crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Sigh, back to the kitchen for me.