Archives for posts with tag: baking

Two of my favourite bloggers joined today. Pete from BeetleyPete features Robbie Cheadle’s new and utterly delicious book.

Today, I am delighted to be featuring the new book by the lovely Robbie Cheadle, and her son, Michael. Robbie is my kind of blogger; committed, engaged, and generous with her time and comments. Rob…

Source: Blogger’s Books: Robbie Cheadle | beetleypete

Hi all:

As you will know, recently I published ‘I Love Your Cupcakes‘. Part of the action develops in the set of a TV culinary game show. As people seemed to enjoy the sample I brought  you a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d leave  you another one (and I promise you that’s the last one!), the chapter where Dulce and Adelfa, the main protagonists (sorry Storm) meet the crew and the members of the other teams. There’s a bit of everything:

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

Chapter 6. Baking and TV fauna. (Now)

The three weeks went by in a wink. Dulce and Adelfa asked the main members of staff and friends, Pixie, Vicky and Tessa if they could cover the shop while they’d be away. They were all very excited and happy to organize themselves to keep the place going with help from volunteers. They made sure that they didn’t accept any big orders for the week when they were going to be away, although they were convinced the team left in charge was more than capable. Toni took a few days off to help the girls and do more hands-on work. Dulce and Adelfa packed their favorite and most comfortable outfits for cooking, a nice dress and accessories for the gala (in case they got that far) and a few utensils and gadgets, “for luck.” Tony and Toni drove them to the airport.

“Are you ready, girls?” Toni asked.

“As ready as we’re ever going to be.” Adelfa replied.

“We’ll know for sure once we start. We’ve done everything we could think of and everything everybody has suggested to prepare. The rest…is in the hands of the gods.” Dulce said.

“Is Storm going to join you there?” her father asked.

“He’s happy to consult with us over the phone and if we go past the four first days he’ll join us live. He’s also been watching old programs and has sent us designs, blueprints and ideas. If we can manage to get that far and he comes we’ll have the best artist they’ve ever seen there.” Adelfa said.

“That is true. That boy is as odd as he’s talented.” Tony said.

“Dad, he’s not a boy any longer. And we aren’t girls either.” Dulce complained.

“I thought you were going to object to my calling him “odd”.”

“No, he’s odd, but we love him nonetheless.” Dulce finished.

“Or maybe we love him precisely because he’s so odd.” Adelfa added.

They all laughed. They got to the airport, took their luggage, said their goodbyes, Toni assured them she’d look after their shop and then they started on their greatest adventure.

During the flight they tried and focus on watching the in-flight entertainment rather than think about what expected them. Once in LA it was all rather exciting. Sunny, noisy and…

“This is really…” Dulce started.

“Artificial? Fake? Pretend?” Adelfa suggested.

“Blonde, tanned, beautiful with an advert idea of beauty. Oh dear, we’re going to stick out like a sore thumb.”

“There it is! They’ve sent a car to pick us up.”

Adelfa had spotted a woman with a sign with their names on it and started walking towards her.

“It’s us. I’m Adelfa and this is my partner Dulcinea, Dulce for short.”

“Pleasure to meet you. I’m Danielle, Dannie. I do a bit of whatever has to be done. Supplies, coordinating, covering for whoever is not there, go and fetch…”

“Chauffeur…” Dulce added.

Dannie nodded.

“Let’s get going. I’ll drop you at the hotel. It isn’t very far from the studio but we’ll send somebody to pick you up tomorrow. There won’t be a live program, only time to get you used to the ovens, discuss the details, do a bit of preparatory filming, and have time to get to know everybody. And a welcome meal. But we’ll let you have a bit of rest this evening.”

“That sounds good.” Adelfa replied.

In the car Dannie played the part of the occasional tour guide. She pointed out a variety of touristic spots and houses of the rich and famous.

“If you’re still here on Thursday, as that day there’s no program, sometimes the contestants decide to go on a proper tour. It’s good fun and a nice way to relax when we’re getting close to the final line.”

“That sounds nice. If we get that far.” Adelfa said.

“How is the rest of the team?” Dulce asked. “So far we’ve only talked to Harry Heston.”

“Dirty Harry?” Dannie asked. “He’s rather unique, not your standard team member.”

“Dirty Harry? Is he a fan of Clint Eastwood?” Adelfa asked.

Dannie breathed in deeply before replying:

“That’s not the reason for the nickname. We’ve arrived at the hotel. Here.”

Dannie helped them with their luggage and told them a car would be there at 9:30 next morning. Once up in their room and after unpacking Dulce and Adelfa decided to go for a walk and explore the surrounding area. It was a rather non-descript suburb although after asking a couple of people they managed to get directions and caught a bus that took them to the beach. There they walked and observed the people on roller-skates, sunbathing, playing beach volleyball…

“It is really like in the movies” said Dulce, trying not to be too obvious when contemplating the fabulous bodies around them. Adelfa, on the other hand, wasn’t particularly discreet. “You’re looking at those guys as if “they” were cupcakes.”

Adelfa smiled, deviating her gaze to look at Dulce for a few seconds.

“Well, they are gorgeous. And evidently they are here exhibiting themselves. They don’t work out that much and build up those muscles to hide them at home. Think of it as window-shopping. I have no intention of buying anything but looking…Feast your eyes! We don’t get many occasions like this one.”

“You’re probably right.”

After spending a good while people (mostly men, although some women were so interestingly undressed that they could not help but wonder) watching, they sat down with an ice-cream each. Adelfa seemed thoughtful, licking her ice-cream very slowly and finally asked:

“What do you think the Dirty Harry thing was about?”

“Probably some “in” joke. Maybe if we manage to stay long enough we’ll get to know.”

Dulce had no idea how right she was. Or how much she’d remember and regret her words.

They waited for the sunset and then returned to their hotel, stopping on the way to get some fruit and water. After watching some TV they went to bed, to wait for the first day of their TV experience.

They didn’t sleep very much and were up very early to make sure they were ready in plenty of time for the car. They didn’t want to be late on the first day and make a bad impression. The car dropped them at the TV station and Dannie was at the door waiting for them.

“Go and have a seat in reception. Once you’re all here we’ll go to the studio and meet everybody else.”

“Are we the first ones?”

“Not quite. There are some people there already. Go and introduce yourselves.”

There were four people sitting in reception waiting. Two young blonde girls, typically Californian, who immediately jumped up when they saw them and told them they were very excited, and kept laughing and making plenty of noise all the time (and although called Denise and Diane, Adelfa immediately named them Barbie and Cindy, with good reason) and a man in his fifties and one in his thirties, father and son, Andrew and Andy. Both men were engineers, although Andrew had worked most of his life in oil camps and Andy had worked in transportation.

“My father is an engineer also.” Dulce offered.

“What’s his name?”

“Oh, Tony, Anthony Baxter.”

“I think he worked on a bridge part of the line my company has been working on recently. In Nebraska.” Andy said.

“I believe you’re right, although it was quite a few years back.” Dulce replied.

“Very good job.”

“Are you big into cooking?” Adelfa asked, trying to size-up the competition. She had already dismissed the two girls, who seemed only interested in how they’d look on camera.

Andrew shook his head from side to side.

“I’ve always been interested and done a bit of cooking in my spare time, although Andy is a much better cook. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to improve my skills and Andy…since his wife had the baby, he’s been pretty busy with other things” he said, messing up his son’s hair affectionately.

Andy smiled at his father.

“Yes, very busy.” He took his phone out of his pocket and showed them a picture of a baby-girl. “Lily. She’s nearly 3 months old.”

“She’s beautiful!” Dulce said.

Andy beamed at the comment.

“Have you come up with a name for your team?” Andrew asked.

“Oh, we have a shop. ‘Literally Cupcakes and Cakes’, so we’ll go with the same name.” Adelfa said.

“Literally Cupcakes?” asked Dulce with a frown.

Adelfa dismissed her whilst the two guys looked at them with a puzzled expression.

“We have an ongoing semantics argument about the shop’s name. I prefer ‘literally’ whilst Dulce wanted ‘literary’ as she loves books.” Adelfa explained.

“And the shop is much more than a cupcake shop. We do have second-hand books and also exchange books clients bring in at no cost. And have writers and other people come and talk, and book readings for kids and a book club, and we run exhibitions, and workshops, and cookery and cake decoration courses…” Dulce explained.

“It sounds amazing” said Andy.

“You should see it. Let me…” Dulce took her phone out and showed them some pictures. They were suitably impressed. Denise and Diane also joined.

“Wow, a fire-station! What fun! Do you have any firemen?” Diane (or Denise, Dulce wasn’t sure) asked.

“Unfortunately they didn’t come included with the building but I’m sure we could do something about it if you come for a visit.” Adelfa replied. Dulce nudged her on the ribs but she just smiled, as sweetly as she could, at her.

“Great! We don’t have a shop yet, but we have a name. ‘A Little Bit of Heaven Cupcakes’. Denise wanted to go with ‘D-lights’. You know, D as in the letter D, as we’re both Ds, Diane and Denise, but I thought people might think we were talking about something naughty, especially with cup and…And it wouldn’t be good to mislead people, not at least until we’ve had some surgery…We aren’t really D cups…”

Andrew and Andy went through all the colors in the rainbow during Diane’s explanation, but Dulce and Adelfa just laughed.

“I think ‘A Little Bit of Heaven’ is a great name.” Dulce asserted.

“Our shop is called ‘Let Them Eat Cupcakes’. We also run an on-line business, ‘Lady Cupcakes and Lingerie’ that’s going extremely well.” A tall woman, with long dark hair, huge golden sunglasses, incredibly pointy shoes with the highest heels Dulce had ever seen, and the shortest skirt and one of the most revealing tops she’d ever imagined had walked into the room and joined the conversation. A shorter, petite version of her, with red highlights, but similarly short skirt and low-cut top had followed her in. They introduced themselves as Pam and Chloe.

“Well, there’s another red-hair in the competition. You won’t feel so alone.” Adelfa whispered.

“She’s not really red-haired” Dulce replied, also in whispers.

“I think I can see that…especially now that she’s sitting down” Adelfa joked, looking at Chloe’s skirt.

“You…” Dulce jokingly hit her on the arm.

“So you sell lingerie and cakes?” Andrew asked the newcomers. Dulce worried his eyes would pop out of his eye sockets. Andy had grabbed his father’s arm, seemingly trying to stop him from embarrassing himself.

“We make boxed sets containing sexy pieces of lingerie and cupcakes. Our idea is: the woman eats the cupcakes…” started Pam.

“And the man eats…” Chloe added.

“I think we get the idea.” Adelfa interrupted. Chloe looked at her with a less-than-kind expression.

“Let’s not make enemies from the word go if we can help it” Dulce told her friend, very soft.

Adelfa looked at her and nodded. She took her phone out and Dulce got a text-message a few seconds later. She waited a beat before checking.

“I wonder if being tarty will make them any good at baking. ;)”

Whilst all of them were distracted by the spectacle of Pam and Chloe, two guys came into the reception area. Dulce nearly jumped out of her skin when one of them sat on the sofa next to theirs. They were both dressed in combat fatigues, were tall, strong and muscular, one of them African-American and sporting a Mohican-style haircut and the other one with shaved hair and piercing blue eyes.

“We are ‘Guerrilla Cupcakes’. This is Custer and I’m West” the African-American part of the duo asserted, never taking his eyes off Adelfa.

They all nodded and introduced themselves. Dulce took advantage of the noise to tell Adelfa:

“I think you’ve got an admirer.”

She shrugged her shoulders.

“I’m more worried about their cake-making skills. Military-style organization and strategy might help with some of the challenges.”

“That’s true, but you can hardly imagine they’ll be very dainty and delicate with things like decorations, although maybe we should delay any judgments until we’ve seen what they are capable of.”

Two women of a similar age to theirs, early thirties, walked in. They were both brown-haired, middle-height, one a bit plumper than the other, wearing simple flowery dresses and no make-up. They smiled shyly and waited until the noise had quieted down before talking.

“Hi. I’m Candy and this is Trisha. We have a shop called ‘Simple Cupcakes and Desserts’. We like to use organic ingredients, avoid colorants and unneeded chemicals and also cater for people with food allergies and intolerances.”

There was another round of introductions. Dulce had the feeling that the Simple team would be fairly strong competition.

The final two contestants were a young boy (thirteen), called Peter Parker (“Like Spiderman”, he promptly informed them all) and his grandmother Lucy, who was wearing a perm, gray hair, and seemed to have made an effort to look like a harmless old lady, despite not being that old. Although the boy wanted his team to go by the name ‘Superheroes cakes’, it soon became ‘Pete and granny’s’.

As they had all arrived, Dannie came to pick them up and show them the studio where they would be filming the program.

“I don’t think that granny is as old and clueless as she wants to make us think.” Adelfa whispered in Dulce’s ear.

“I was thinking exactly the same.” Dulce turned to Andy who was behind them and asked:

“You never had a chance to tell us the name of your team.”

“We had a heated debate about it. We finally decided to go with ‘Movers and Fixers Baking Team’ because of the engineering theme.”

“I like it.” Adelfa said.

The studio wasn’t exactly how the girls had imagined it. They’d seen it on the TV but it felt quite different once they were there. There were the cables, cameras, lights and what seemed to be a separate room, probably to control everything, but it also looked like a huge kitchen, with plenty of ovens, fridges, working surfaces, sinks, drawers, utensils…

“Wow! I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it’s enormous and very impressive” Adelfa said.

“Here comes Harry” Dannie warned, and Dulce couldn’t help but remember a crazy-looking Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’ coming through the door with an axe saying: ‘Here comes Johnny!’

They all turned to see a man approaching them at speed. He was in his late forties, had a bit of a paunch, was bolding, and had very strong features, with a square jaw and a protruding and straight nose. He had big, intense, green eyes.

“Hi all. I’m Harry Heston. It’s a real pleasure to meet you all. We’ll have time to get to know ourselves better over the next few days. I just wanted you to come, meet each other and the team of the program, have a go at cooking something to familiarize yourselves with the equipment, and then we’ll go for a meal this evening to unwind before the circus starts performing tomorrow. You must be…”

He started throwing names around, shaking hands, smiling, nodding and appearing interested. He introduced them to the four main camera-men, Joe, Preston, Stan and Chris, who just nodded from their cameras, a woman called ‘Minnie’ dressed in a gray suit, with glasses, and holding onto an iPad for dear life. She was the one coordinating where everybody should be and what they should be doing at any given time.

“I’ll just call you by your team names. I have very bad memory, or rather; I have too many things to think about so I focus on matters important for the program. And I prefer not to get too attached to any contestants. Otherwise it can be heartbreaking when people leave.”

Adelfa and Dulce looked at each other and shrugged. Oh well.

Dannie showed them where other necessary things were, like the toilets, the canteen, a little shop, the changing rooms, make-up…

“There are plenty more people involved in the program, but most of them come and go and aren’t permanent fixtures, so you’ll meet them as they appear. If you need anything you can always ask me. Or Harry. And remember, today you’re here to have fun. Don’t worry about anything. This is not the competition yet. Enjoy!”

Dulce and Adelfa went to the toilet and took the chance to exchange a few thoughts.

“What do you think?” Dulce asked. Adelfa had always been good at summarizing and briefings.

“I don’t think Barbie and Cindy or the two Andrews are going to be too hard. The military guys could be a wild-card. I have no idea. The two in-your-face women…I could be wrong but think what you see is what you get. I am very suspicious of the granny.”

“I know what you mean. I am too. I like the girls of ‘Simple Cakes’. We do some cakes for people with allergies and intollerances but I’d like to learn from them. They could be a good team to get friendly with, at least after the competition.” Dulce said.

“Good minds think alike. Yes, they could be invaluable.”

“Let’s go and play” Dulce said.

And that’s what they did. They had a few hours to try ovens, implements, check ingredients and in general have fun and get used to the equipment. They also kept a close eye on the competition, although they knew what they saw that day might have very little to do with their real performances.


Just to prove you that I’m not good at the visual side of things and in case you missed it, I leave you the video I created:

If you’re interested in the book, it’s available in a variety of places (and I hope in paper soon). I leave you some links:



Nook (Barnes and Noble):

Apple (i-Tunes):

In case you’re thirsty after all these cakes, I thought I’d share something pretty special I found in Florence:

Donna Olga wine. And there were three different types!

Donna Olga wine. And there were three different types!

Thanks everybody for reading (and the patience), and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK! 

Ah, and I’m looking for blogs, pages, and recipe books dedicated to cookery, and baking and cakes in particular, so if you have any favourites, let me know, I’m interested! Thanks!

Hi all:

As you’ll know if you follow my blog, recently I’ve published a romantic novel (I Love Your Cupcakes).

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

A big part of the action takes place during a TV cookery game show. Or, to be more precise, a baking contest. Last week I did mention some of the best known contests of this type (and even one of the winners), but my true inspiration came from watching sometimes (mostly when I went to visit my parents) a couple of programs, Cucake Wars and a reality TV program set in a Baltimore bakery, Charm City Cakes (the program is called Ace of Cakes and it is truly amazing).

I leave you links to the programs in case you fancy a peek:

Cupcake Wars:

Ace of Cakes:

And this is the link to the shop itself:

And as I don’t want you complaining that I’m only leaving you links, here is one of the recipes I share in the book (there aren’t many because it’s strictly a work of fiction and what the teams create during the contest has all come from my head…so beware!).

Crema catalana (cibo360)

Crema catalana (cibo360)

(Image from:

Crème Catalane


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200g sugar
  • 3/4 litre milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of lemon peel
  • 3 tbsp corn flour


  1. Beat the egg yolks until light then whisk in 150g of the sugar
  2. Place the milk in a saucepan together with the cinnamon and lemon peel – bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and strain.
  3. Whisk the milk with the egg mixture
  4. Dissolve the corn flour with a little milk and whisk into the mixture
  5. Place the mixture over a low heat and cook, stirring constantly until it begins to boil
  6. Put the custard into a pudding bowl or smaller individual bowls and allow to cool before placing in the fridge
  7. Before serving sprinkle a little sugar on top and caramelize it by placing under a hot grill briefly until the sugar melts and turns brown(or using a kitchen torch or an iron burner).

Just in case you fancy more pictures, here is the link to my Pinterest board on cupcakes, sweets and other nice things:

And I also leave you a video I created (but I must warn you my style creation videos is…well, mine):

Thanks to you all for reading, to the various blogs for lending me their recipes, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment, and of course, get CLICKING!

Hi all:

As I’ m sure you’ll remember, I’ve been talking about the new romance I was working on for a while. I asked for suggestions of names, recipes, and more recently I shared the beginning of the novel. I can give you the news. It’s now seen the light (or in its case, come out of the oven!).

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

If you are nuts about TV cookery programs and think chocolate is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, keep reading…

I Love Your Cupcakes is a “sweet” romance, a virtual fantasy high in calories and a fun adventure. Dare to give it a bite!

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections.

Her cakes. That’s all the men who meet Dulce talk about and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love?

With dogs, fire trucks, London double-decker and school buses, artists, chemists, engineers, architects, intrigue, scandals, bigamy, and lots and lots of desserts… I Love Your Cupcakes is a romantic comedy with a sweet heart. You will find baddies, crooks, goodies, odd balls and flawed but endearing characters. More than anything I can promise you good humor, friendship, smiles, sense of community and plenty of cakes. Try it! I’m sure you won’t be able to stop once you give it a bite!

I hope you come to love Dulce, Adelfa, Storm and their friends as much as I do. And if that is the case, please let me know. I wouldn’t mind writing some more adventures about them and baking more cakes!

I hope it will become available in a variety of place. I’ll keep you posted. So far is already available in e-format (we’re working on the paper version):

In Amazon (all stores):

For Kobo:

In Apple store (i-Tunes):

And if you use Scribd:

Just in case I’ve managed to wet your appetite, I leave you the previous post where I shared the first chapter of the novel:

And if you fancy a no-calories treat, I leave you the link to my board in Pinterest where I have cupcakes, cakes, and a variety of tasty stuff.

Thanks very much for reading, and if you’re interested, you know…like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Hi all:

I’m not sure how many of you will remember that a few months back I was asking for suggestions of titles, images, names of characters, well, most of everything, for a romantic novel I was planning on writing. And recently I talked about it as part of a blog hop where writers were talking about his characters. Guess what! I’ve written it!

‘I Love Your Cupcakes’ (the blame for the title is all mine) is in the process of being edited, corrected, translated, polished and made-up. But I thought I’d leave you with the beginning (and the likely cover):

Prologue. Now

‘Camera, Action!’

Dulcinea (Dulce for her friends) was frozen in place. She could see the producer talking but her mind was on overdrive and nothing went in. “Oh my God! How did I ever get into this situation! What have I let myself into!” she thought. Adelfa’s elbow on her side made her wake up:

“Come on! We have 45 minutes to create the Killer Cupcake to end all Killer Cupcakes!”

“Well, if that’s what we have to do, let’s do it!”



Chapter 1. Beginnings (Three years ago)

Dulcinea loved her name. She had always felt it suited her to a T. So much so, that if she hadn’t been called that she was convinced she would have changed her name to Dulcinea. OK, it wasn’t the most typical name for an American girl, but her mother, Carmen, was Spanish and she always thought that the imaginary lady/love of Don Quijote deserved a second chance and a bigger role than she had ever been given. She also adored the fact that if it was shortened to Dulce, its meaning was ‘Sweet’ in Spanish. And if there was something her mother had loved was everything sweet. Carmen was the best amateur baker amongst all her friends’ mothers and she doubted that many professionals of baking and desserts could have competed with her. Her culinary skills got so popular and so many people asked her to give them their recipes or teach them how to bake that she ran a course on desserts and cooking at the local adult college until her death. It was only fair and fitting that even her daughter was Dulce.

“What do you say, then? You’ve been fighting against fate long enough. How many careers and jobs have you tried?” Adelfa, her best friend, had always been supportive of all her ideas, but was nothing if not opinionated. “Let me count…”

“…the ways?” Dulce joked.

“Don’t get Shakespearean on me.”

“Elizabeth Browning not Shakespeare.”

“See what I was saying? I know how much you love books, but…if you could do anything practical with it maybe, but as it is…So, back to what we were talking about before the literary interruption. Hairdressing…” Adelfa counted one with her fingers.

Now if this was a movie it would show a montage of a few less than graceful and chic haircuts, a burnt perm to the point of loss of clumps of hair, although Dulce’s crowning disaster had always been coloring. A full palette of unintentional bright oranges, greens, and even tri-color effects had come out of her hands and sealed her exit from hairdressing school.

“Air stewardess…” Two.

The movie would now show Dulce dropping the bags when trying to secure them in the overhead locker, pushing the trolley over somebody’s foot, dropping hot coffee on another passenger’s lap, and falling seated repeatedly on several passengers. She’d never been any good wearing heels and decided the continuous traveling didn’t suit her either. At least she wasn’t sick on anybody.

“Horticulture and ornamental gardening…” Three.

This could now get scary, especially if you’re fond of flowers and vegetables. Green fingers was something nobody could accuse Dulce of. Other than rock gardens with no plants, nothing survived her attempts at gardening. And her garden designs looked like something out of El Bosco. Adelfa used to joke that she might be OK if she specialized on gardens for Goths. Not that Goths liked fresh-air that much.

“Business Studies…” Four.

Actually, the studies had been OK. Although Dulce preferred fiction and literature, she didn’t mind numbers or studying in general. So the theoretical part had been fine. Once it came to applying it to real-life situations, she was too soft and not enough of a risk-taker, didn’t like cutthroat competition and wasn’t aggressive so she never made it. Although she considered teaching it, the most engaging teachers were always those who had plenty of personal anecdotes to tell. And she wanted something more hands on.

“Photography…” Five.

Now, wouldn’t you think that with digital cameras it is impossible to take a terrible picture? Well, if you knew Dulce and saw her pictures you’d know that’s wrong. Bad lights, bad angles, body parts instead of the whole. Not even a proper top model would look good in her hands.


“OK, OK. If you’re just trying to make me feel better, you’re doing a great job. And nothing bad happened to any of the babies. I’m just not cut out for it. Not everybody is as lucky as you, Adelfa. You’ve always liked mixing things and analyzing things. You’re a born Chemist and have always known it.”

Adelfa had been good at Chemistry since she was very young and had awed teachers and later professors with her skills. When she finished university she had several of the biggest Pharmaceutical companies fighting for her, although she’d chosen to teach at the local university and work on her own research. But her professional success did not seem to be enough for her. And despite her looks (beautiful café-au-lait color, kissable mouth, curves in all the right places, and a bum Beyoncé would be happy to call her own) she was once again mourning another failed relationship.

“Yes, but I’m yet to find a formula that applied to men will make the idiots and losers fluorescent.”

Dulce could not help but visualize the results of such a preparation. It would be worth billions!

“Maybe you’d need to train in magic rather than Chemistry for that. From my very limited experience on the subject I’d say that science and the best minds have failed miserably when trying to find a formula for the perfect relationship.”

“It’s probably not the guys’ fault. It’s me. I can ruin the nicest guy it seems.”

Dulce hated seeing her friend that way. First she wasn’t right. Second, she was her friend and she’d back her up no matter what. And third, her latest boyfriend, Melvin, was not the nicest guy. She’d had worse, but Melvin was one of these guys who seemed to think collecting women was a worthy hobby and the better the women, the higher their value for him. He’d pursue them, use every trick in the romantic book, and then, once they were secured, move on to another, to the next challenge, to the next jewel in the collection.

“I’m sure if you wanted you could ruin somebody, but no, it isn’t your fault. You’re right; he was an idiot and a loser. And OK, you’re also right about me. Nothing I’ve done so far has worked out. And yes, it’s true, I’m good at baking, but how am I going to make a living out of that?” Dulce’s baking skills had been the subject of many conversations between the friends for many years, but recently Adelfa had been badgering Dulce more than usual about it.

“Let’s bake something and then we can talk. One of your mother’s recipes. What about that cake that had chocolate, toasted almonds, eggs, butter, milk, flour and baking powder?”

“Queen of Saba? But will we have all the ingredients around?” Dulce asked.

Adelfa laughed picking up the car keys.

“Let’s go shopping! We’ll need a few other things too!”

“Ice-cream, cream…”

“And some salty snacks too, to even things out. At least the wanker left me before we ever moved in together and I won’t have to spend any time moving stuff. Quickly! Let’s not waste any baking time!”

Once back at their apartment (in reality the ground floor of a house that had been converted to a couple of apartments, with the advantage that they had the patio and an old but still zesty lemon-tree all to themselves) they unpacked, put their aprons on and got on with their baking. Adelfa had also stocked on drinks and served herself a glass of red wine and lemonade for Dulce.

“One of these days we’ll have to get you drinking alcohol. It’s too prim and proper this non-alcohol stance of yours.”

“You know full well how I feel about alcohol, Adelfa. It’s not a religious thing, or even a moral thing, although I can’t say I like what it can do to people. It’s…”

“A taste thing. I know, I know.”

“And I don’t mind it for cooking. I must admit it does help with some recipes. A lot.”

“You know what I think about it. As the saying goes: I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food!”

Dulce shrugged and they both laughed and got on with the cooking. The two friends peeled almonds, mixed butter and sugar, mashed the almonds into tiny bits, separated the egg-yolks from the whites, melted the chocolate with a little bit of milk and then added all the ingredients (plus the flour and the baking powder). They put the mix in a baking mold in a warm oven and went out in the patio after washing the implements, to wait for the oven to do its magic. They had recently bought a double swing chair and they both jumped on it moving backwards and forwards at a slow pace.

“So…any ideas? How could we turn my baking skills into a business? Actually, I should say “our” baking skills, as you’re the one who can work out the right combination and amount of ingredients to make the cakes or pastry do what it should” Dulce said.

“OK, you’re the Goddess of Flavors and I’m the Queen of Chemistry and calculating measurements and oven temperature. I wasn’t planning on leaving my job, especially the research bit, although I could always work fewer hours, but we could experiment after my work and I could come up with precise instructions that could be followed by other staff who’d help with the baking” Adelfa said.

“Staff? Goodness! If we’re going to have detailed methodology and recipes, maybe I could write a cookery book. Or a baking and sweets book. They are always popular and I love books, although have never written anything long. However, I guess writing a recipe book isn’t quite like writing other kinds of books.”

Adelfa chewed her bottom-lip, a habit she’d had from childhood and she’d go back to when she was thinking, especially when alone.

“A Cookery book. It isn’t a bad idea, but as a business proposition…For what I’ve seen the books of that kind that sell well are usually either written by celebrities, people who are well-known chefs (because they have a program on the TV), or books associated with a famous restaurant or location. I think we should keep it in mind for when our bakery/coffee shop becomes a success. Then we can branch out and produce all kinds of marketable products, not only books, but maybe a range of cookery utensils, maybe join in with some organic flour and flavorings distributors and rubber-stamp our label on them, aprons, children’s cookery books, videos, TV programs…”

Dulce felt as she did at times of panic. She had the vivid sensation that her freckles were growing and taking over the whole of her face, her green eyes were about to be power-ejected from their orbits and her ginger (or strawberry blonde according to Adelfa) hair was standing on end. Surprisingly enough, at times such at this when she’d managed to get to a mirror, she only looked scared and pale, but she wasn’t truly convinced the mirror wasn’t just playing a trick on her. She knew what she felt.

“Breathe Adelfa! Breathe! Maybe we should start at the beginning. Are we talking about a bakery, a coffee shop, or…?”

“And why not a mix of the two?”

Yes, why not?


I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

 Thanks for reading, and you know if you’ve enjoyed it, like it, share, and comment. I’ll keep you updated and make a big announcement when it is published, of course! (I hope it should be in a few weeks!) Any ideas to promote are welcome!

Ah, and as I told you, I’ve started reviewing books for BTS-e Magazine and one of my reviews is published in the current number. Check it out here! (And of course, check all the rest of the content)


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