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Home Guru, Alison Cork, on Kitchen Design, Cooking and the new Cupcake

Home Guru, Alison Cork, on Kitchen Design, Cooking and the new Cupcake
Home guru and founder of the online interiors store,, Alison Cork, has been selected by The Great Retail Revivial Foundation to showcase her company's products at a Pop Up this May, hosted by House of Fraser.
Helen Hokin catches up with Alison for her stylish take on kitchen design, cooking and summer recipes.
HH: What are the current trends in kitchen design?
AC: Thankfully, current trends are all about personalisation and reflect the consumer's desire to have a space that tells who they are. Identikit kitchens are one of my pet hates! Our free standing workstation reflects this.
HH: For the rest of us with average sized-kitchens and budgets, what can we do to maximise functionality and cut out clutter while keeping things beautiful?
AC: Create as much working surface area as you can, which means storing non-essential items away; use shallower wall units on the floor to create more circulation space; avoid fussy tiles and lots of different colours, as this will make the space seem smaller that it is.
HH: Do you cook? If so what is your solution for a fast and delicious mid-week supper?
AC: I love to cook but currently do very little of it. My quick fix would be a tuna and egg pie with a crisp green salad - bullet proof recipe and very nutritious.
HH: What about a stylish summery recipe for our readers?  
AC: Sure! Even though we all love cupcakes, they seem to have had their time in the limelight. Now, it’s all about the meringue - the mini meringue or meringue ‘kiss’ to be precise. They are unashamedly easy to make, yet look so vibrant and beautiful piled onto a plate or cake stand. Serve them to friends after dinner or in large batches at a party. This recipe makes 24, but you’re bound to need more so just double up the quantities and you’re away!
Mini Meringues (pictured above)
What You Need
(Makes 24)
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of food colouring)
1. Preheat oven to 150 C.
2. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
3. In a large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.
4. Gradually beat in sugar until a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger feels smooth, not gritty.
5. Stir in vanilla extract/food colouring.
6. Pipe or spoon small portions onto tray and bake for 35 minutes, or until dry but not browned.
7. Turn off the oven but leave meringues to cool down completely inside it.
8. If you like, sprinkle with some edible gold dust etc
9. Serve on one of our cake stands for a really dramatic effect.
Pop at Hof will run from 12th to 26 May at House of Fraser's flagship store on Oxford Street.
Alison Cork has a reputation as a trusted homes and interiors expert. Passionate about beautiful and affordable design, she founded the online interiors store, which also offers a wealth of inspiration to help readers make the most of their homes. Alison broadcasts regularly on TV and radio and writes columns for national newspapers.   
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12 May 2014
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