I know that a lot of people have panned the new Sex and the City 2 movie so it was with great interest and a little apprehension that I went to see it a couple of weeks ago. Granted I would be seeing it in the best possible way at a Gold Class cinema as a guest of Lindt chocolates. There was a definite feeling of unease borne of people telling me that what I was about to see was in fact a blight on the series or a complete let down. That evening, I wore the requisite gold bolero (something that I think Carrie would have approved of) and despite the very vocal howling of the critics throwing popcorn I found myself getting excited.
I sat back and watched it. It was long at 2.5 hours and it was showy and outrageously excessive and it was also entertaining. There were some cheesy lines but also some clever ones like when Carrie and Big are stuck in a bedroom with Charlotte's crying baby on one side and Samantha crying out in pleasure on the other.
Mr Big: "I don't know which his worse"
Carrie (drily): "Samantha. At least the baby will tire eventually."
There were also a few bits of fashion highlights (and mostly on Miranda IMHO) although not as many as I would have liked or lusted after. I also thought that they could have been more sensitive to the Abu Dhabi culture. I thought Mr Big looked great but Carrie less so (SJP, you're too skinny!) and I am always glad that a shirtless Smith comes on screen. And I know so many people hated the karaoke scene but I teared up as these were my gals.
Obviously Sex And The City means a lot more to women than it does to men (check out the male audience in the cinema... exactly, what male audience?). Also a lot of the critics that hated it never watched an episode of the series itself which they would boast that in their reviews so did they really understand the appeal of it? As avid series watchers my friends and I can all can recognise a bit of ourselves in each of the four leads, some more at times than at others and sometimes we all feel like Samantha. When people asked me afterwards what I thought, I said that I felt that was it was like seeing a bunch of girlfriends that I hadn't seen in years. Sure they weren't at their best but I still loved seeing them and finding out what they were up to.
And as for my favourite piece of fashion it was probably the gold Louboutin Pigalle heels that Carrie wore in one of the opening scenes and in the poster. I even went to DJs to buy a pair (either sold out or they haven't made it here, the sales assistant had no idea) so I did the next best thing I could while biding my time for them to appear somewhere in a store here. I immortalised them via cupcake. I know they aren't perfect, far from it but having attempted these many times I can say with confidence that nice shoes are extraordinarily difficult to make in fondant! For the cupcake I used the Magnolia cupcake bakery's recipe as Sex And The City had of course kicked off the whole cupcake craze with Carrie and Miranda's visit to Magnolia Bakery. And of course I had to have the shoe treading a red carpet!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you seen the movie and if so, what did you think of it?
Carrie Bradshaw's Gold Louboutin Shoe Cupcakes
Makes 12-14 full sized cupcakes. I made 8 large and 8 mini cupcakes from this batter.
3/4 cup self-rising flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used Queens vanilla bean paste)
Chocolate ganache* (see recipe below)
Red coloured fondant for red carpet
White fondant for shoes
Red colouring for sole of shoe
Gold lustre dust
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180c.
Step 2 - Line a (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
Step 3 - In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
Step 4 - In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Step 5 - Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Step 6 - Pour batter into measuring jug and pour into liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
Step 7 - Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
First make shoes as they will need a day or two to dry.
Step 1 - Take a small oval ball of white fondant and press down to elongate gently. You want to make the sole of the shoe.
Gently make it longer by thinning it out.
Drape it over a small rolling pin about 1.5cms in diameter.
Gently shape the front into a pointy toe and build up the sides slightly.
And press down the front gently to flatten.
Attach a small triangle of fondant at the front.
Soften the edges by gently rubbing and shaping it into place. Shape a heel and allow it to dry completely. Make a few extra heels as they can break easily.
When the shoes are dry, paint the underside red (like Louboutins that have a red sole) and when the red colouring has dried paint the outside with gold lustre paint. You can use the lustre paint wet (by mixing with a little vodka) or dry but I found it easier to use dry as I didn't want to wet the fondant too wet.
Once the shoes are ready, with a small palette knife, smooth some ganache over the top of a cupcake. Then roll out the red fondant and cut into circles to fit the top of the cupcake with a round cookie cutter. With a little water, adhere the shoes. These shoes are not ideal for transporting as they are very delicate. If you do need to transport them, I'd assemble them at the final destination.