Magical Unicorn Party

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10 years old!

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I feel like I need an intro here, like I need to explain the whole Unicorn Party thing for my 10 year old daughter. I feel this because last year she had a “Taylor Swift” Birthday Party , which sounds more grown up, and it looks like we have had a step back this year. Looking back to the last year, I see lot of growing up in every aspect of life. She is definitely not a little girl anymore, and the fact that she is so tall, doesn’t help either 🙂 But, I wanted for her to have one more, (probably the last) childish birthday party, with all that comes with it. Oh, and she wanted the same thing, too!

 

 

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You would think they are too old for stuff like this. Like Unicorns and magic, and all the glitter and shine, but the truth is they’re not. Really NOT! Let me tell you, that these 10 year old girls LOVED all the glitter and shine and Unicorns and magic 🙂 They loved their little soft unicorns they got to build themselves and named, because, in case you didn’t know everybody has a Unicorn name, even you, my friend 🙂 They named their little Unicorns as follows: Sassy Happy-Feet, Happy Floating-Bubbles, Dashing Sugar-Socks, Sassy Tickled-Pink and Sunshine Happy-Feet.
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They started with watching an old movie called Legend, which features a couple of “real” Unicorns and Tom Cruise is the main star  (hello! I said Tom Cruise!!), but eventually they got bored with it, which I don’t blame them for, because the film was not the typical Hollywood Best of…(although it may have been back in 1985, I wouldn’t know…), and Tom Cruise was just a kid basically. Anyway, let’s just say that the movie was not the hit of the party, but the Unicorns looked real and beautiful, nonetheless.
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The girls sat down afterwards and stuffed their own Unicorns and chose their names and their Unicorn Magic Powder. They loved this and they had lots of fun doing it.
They applied jeans tattoos on their denim shorts, back and front pockets, they loved these, too. Well, of course, they were Unicorn tattoos in rainbow colors after all, what’s not to like there, right?
I spray painted white plastic unicorns in gold and glued them on jar lids, then filled the jars with candy. The mini bottles are made of glass, we put the labels on and filled with glitter, ehm…I mean Unicorn Magic, of course.
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They had a little fun outside running and jumping with the gold and pink confetti balloons before they got back to the dessert table for cake. During the whole party, they also got a laptop near them and they played their favourite music on You Tube, so there was some dancing, too.
We served rainbow pizza, Unicorn horn pastry filled with vegetable salad, sandwiches, Unicorn chocolate bark, white chocolate cake, donuts coated in chocolate melts and sprinkles, sugar cookies in shape of unicorns and magic wands (ah, those skinny unicorn legs were a pain to make…), cupcakes, etc…
The wooden sign which I placed outside to greet the party guests I made myself few weeks ago. I found this treasure lying in a ditch not far from the house about a year ago, and now I had the chance to do a makeover. I painted in rainbow colors and wrote the message ” Dance with Fairies, Ride a Unicorn, Swim with Mermaids, Chase Rainbows”.
Also, I bought the brown paper mache Unicorn head from Hobby Craft weeks ago, and I worked on it in secret, while my daughter was at school and hid it in the loft until her birthday.
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Tweet Tweet Little Bird -3rd Birthday Party

 

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My little one turns 3 within a week and we invited her closest friends to celebrate her birthday this last Saturday. They were little, they were sweet, they were chit-chatting, tweeting just like little birds, a delight to have them in the house for a couple of hours.
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We made small bird houses from cardboard paper and little fluffy birds from pompoms and colourful feathers. I found a free bird house template online which worked perfectly and was just the right size. The only fault is that there was no roof top to this template but was no trouble to make one. I made like 20 little bird houses to hang on our decorative tree before the party. During this activity we were listening to real bird songs which made us feel like we are in the middle of an enchanted forest with lots and lots of species of birds.
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After this the girls had a snack and we cut the birthday cake at the end as well.
I tried to make everything to resemble the birthday theme. Made white chocolate cookies in shape of birds and No.3. This time I iced the cookies with royal icing. It is much easier to work on cookies with royal icing than last time when I used a different icing (sugar and milk), and the final result is pretty but when it comes to eat these cookies, I think that royal icing is a bit too hard.
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My Mum is visiting as at the moment, so she and my older daughter joined me to make the little wafer bird houses. It was much fun to do them. I even tried to draw faces with edible ink on the tiny jelly bean birds, but I gave up eventually 🙂 We glued the wafer pieces together with melted white candy chocolate.
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Speaking of candy melts, I made each girl a chocolate flower and wrapped them individually in little cellophane bags. We gave them the chocolate flowers before they left home together with their party bags.
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We served small ham and cheese sandwiches, sweetcorn, tiny bite size pastry canapeés filled with tuna, salted hula hops -just to have something savory along the sweet deserts.
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Finally they had vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate cream, topped with cute birds cupcake toppers, and the chocolate birthday cake.
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The cake first had a layer of marzipan, then white fondant, covered all around with various colours, styles and size of tiny bird houses, which I made from fondant. I absolutely loved making them.
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Pistachio Pudding Cupcake with White Chocolate Cream

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I had few packs of American Jell-O pistachio pudding in my cupboard for a while, and I bought them specifically to bake them into cupcakes or some sort of cake. I used one pack now to make a small batch of cupcakes. They didn’t turned out as green as I thought they were, but then I haven’t used any food colour. Anyway, even though they were not so green, but at least they tasted wonderfully, so overall I was happy with the result, and so was my husband, who loved them!

 

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I found recipes on the Internet using pistachio pudding, but they also used boxed cake mixture. I aim to bake every time from scratch, so only use boxed cake when I see one in the store that look appealing and calls my name to try it. So, since I don’t keep any cake box in the house, I made up my own recipe.

 

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Ingredients:
-1 cup flour
-3/4 cup caster sugar (I usually bake with brown sugar, but this time I used white)
-3 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup milk
-60 ml sunflower oil
-1 pack Jell-O pistachio instant pudding
-1 tsp baking powder
-salt
Icing:
-600 ml double cream
-200 gr white chocolate
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Method:
To make the white chocolate cream, you need to warm the cream and melt the chocolate in the warm double cream, then let it cool and keep it in the fridge for overnight. Beat the cream next day, before icing the cupcakes.
Preheat the oven, and line the cupcake pan with the baking cases.
Using a big bowl, first I stirred the eggs with the vanilla, sugar, then I put everything else into the bowl and gave a good stir until was well combined, kind of how you would do with a boxed cake mix.
Divide the batter evenly in the baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Let them cool before icing. I decorated mine with pink and purple chocolate shavings.
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Christmas Tree Cupcakes for the Preschool Christmas Party

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“Last Christmas I gave you my heart…….” No, but I gave away more than 40 mini cupcakes for my daughter’s preschool Christmas party.
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I enjoyed making the little green pine trees from Wilton candy melts, even the kids jumped in to make some for themselves in the end.
For this occasion I baked a box of Carrot Cupcakes, I wanted to try the taste for a while. Not too bad, but doesn’t come even close to my carrot cupcakes recipe. I sprinkled coconut shred on top of the icing for the snowy effect.
My little Darling at her very first Christmas Party 🙂
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Belgian Chocolate Cupcakes -with chocolates from Belgium

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Is it chocolate o’clock? Yes, always!

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I bought these Belgian chocolates from Belgium when we had a family getaway last Christmas. I made these cupcakes shortly after that, but completely forgot about them, I just found these pictures on my computer.

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These were simple vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate and mascarpone cream cheese frosting. Each chocolate on the top was a different kind, and I remember that my favourite was the cherry chocolate, the one with the rose print.

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 2nd Birthday

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My little baby girl turned 2 years old! So hard to believe…Finally I got a little time to post about her second birthday.

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She is all about the little star twinkling in the well known nursery song. My girl doesn’t really talk (well she does, but on a special language that only she can understand and use, and I can confirm that is not Hungarian nor English 🙂 …) yet she started to sing this Twinkle Twinkle song a long time ago. I am certain that she will be a pretty good singer because she seems to get the music tunes very well.

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Anyway, I was happy that even though she couldn’t tell me with words what she would like for her birthday, but hearing her sing all day, in the house, sitting in the buggy, or at dinner her favourite song about the little star, this gave me the idea to make her 2nd birthday based on this theme. It was fun and pretty easy. I wanted to keep it simple so I chose the gold -which is sort of given, and pure white. I think that gold and white are a good match, kind of elegant, too.

Cake Pops with gold and glitter

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We didn’t have a birthday party for her, but I still wanted to celebrate this special day with style, adding a little sparkle and magic. My daughter loved it, and so the rest of the family.

Orange juice (I removed the original labels after keeping the bottles in warm water for about 2-3 minutes and sticked my own labels)

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Ham and cheese mini sandwiches

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Chocolate and nuts cupcakes with white chocolate stars (ah, those stars were NOT easy to make… 🙂 )

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I made a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star t-shirt for her using a plain white cotton top and a large gold sequin iron on fabric star.

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White chocolate cake

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Chocolate Beehive Cupcakes

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…or more like Busy Bees on top of Walnut Whip chocolates from Nestle.

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I saw the pack of this chocolate in the store some time ago and I thought it would look great on cupcakes with just a little personal touch from me. Which was that I chopped off the walnut from the top of the chocolate and I placed (with food glue) a tiny bumble bee instead which I made in like 5 minutes from fondant. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

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Here is some trivia about this chocolate for you that I found on Google…

“The Walnut Whip really is a long serving confectionery classic – it was launched in 1910 and is Nestle’s oldest brand. Here is some trivia for you; more than a million walnuts are used every week in the production of Walnuts Whips.

Historically there have been variations of flavour, including maple and coffee flavours, but in the modern age the only flavour available is the best – classic vanilla.

Walnut Whips comprise a soft and fluffy walnut centre that is protected by an outer shell of milk chocolate, all topped off with a delicious walnut.”

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Luxurious Chocolate Mascarpone Cupcake

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I didn’t know what name to pick for these cupcakes…they are everything a chocolate lover would wish for. I’m thinking…thinking, but all that comes to my mind is chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, mascarpone cream cheese, whipped cream, milk chocolate…. mix it all up and you get THIS sheer luxury on your plate.

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I found these chocolate triangles at the store and bought it right away with the vision of a very chocolaty cupcake in my mind. I also had the Belgian chocolate sauce and the Hazelnut spread from a previous shopping. I baked my favourite vanilla cupcakes (Laura Vitale’s recipe) and started improvising.

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I scooped about a teaspoon of cake out from each cupcake and filled the holes with a teaspoon of Hazelnut chocolate spread (I realized later that we didn’t take any pictures of the inside…). Since I had leftover mascarpone in my fridge I whipped that too with the double cream and Belgian chocolate sauce.

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I saved some double cream and whipped it naturally without sugar to balance the sweetness of the chocolate cream, although it was not too sweet fortunately.

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Gerbaud Cupcakes – Authentic Hungarian Zserbo transferred into cupcakes

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Hmm… this cake, THIS cake is my top nr.1 of ALL the cakes I have ever had in my life. No kidding here, honestly the Gerbaud (Zserbo) is my all times favourite. I know it from ever, my Mum makes it every year, for every special occasion, and sometime she just makes is because I ask her 🙂 It’s moist, it’s full of flavours, it’s the best! Unfortunately not everybody can make it right, I had tasted here and there the Gerbaud which did not come even close to what I was used to, but it’s not a difficult cake to make. I think the secret to a really good Gerbaud is quality ingredients and generosity. So, if anyone fancy to have a go, please take my advise and don’t try to be cheap on this cake, because you will end up disappointed.

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I made these weeks ago in June, when my Mum was visiting us. I couldn’t post it sooner though for several reasons. One is that my laptop broke down, and for the time being we share another computer with the family. Then it’s summer holiday, and we’ve been away for weeks. Also the old oven broke down, we replaced it with a new one, but so far I’m not too happy with it…..

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So, the original Gerbaud is a tray bake cake. But, since I’m into cupcakes most of the time I was planing to try to make it as individual mini cake for a long time. You can find lots of Gerbaud cupcakes on the Internet (well actually you will find Zserbo Muffins), as this is a traditional Hungarian cake and many had tried to bake a cupcake from it, but I must say these attempts doesn’t even come close to the original recipe. You can not bake Gerbaud by mixing few ingredients into a bowl then pour it in the cupcake cases. You just can’t! Trust me on this.
You need to make a daugh first adding yeast and let it rise in a warm place. Then roll out and make the layers. I used cookie cutters to make my mini cake layers, and I put 3 layers in each cupcake. Between these layers you add the filling, which is a generous amount of ground walnut and apricot jam! The top layer stayes naked and you finish the cupcakes with melted dark chocolate. Yeah….good guess, it took me some time (but my Mum was helping me)!
Ingredients:
To make the daugh:
-500 g flour
-200 g vaj butter (cold, from the fridge)
-2 egg yolks
-1 full egg
-2 g of fresh yeast
-2 tbls of lukewarm milk
-pinch of salt
-2 tbls of sugar
 
To make the filling:
-250 g ground walnuts
-2 tbls of sugar
-zest of 1 lemon 
apricot jam (at least 1 jar)
-200 g of dark chocolate on top
 
 
Method:
 
Make the daugh by cutting the butter into small cubes and work it into the flour. 
Dissolve the yeast with 2 tbls of sugar and milk, and let it rise. Then add it to the flour together with the eggs. Knead it then place it in a bowl and cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise for about 30 minutes. In the meantime mix the walnuts with the sugar and add some lemon zest. This is optional, but in my opinion lemon zest works like magic here! (As a matter of fact you can add vanilla or raisins to the walnuts too, if you like.)
 
When it’s done divide the daugh into 3 equal parts. Take the first part, roll it and cut the circles with a cookie cutter. Place the first layers into the cupcake cases. 
Spread the first layer of jam, then sprinkle the first layer of walnuts too. Remember to be generous with the jam and the walnuts.
You follow with the second layers of daugh, jam and walnuts, then put the last layer of daugh.
Bake it, then let it cool completely before coting with melted dark chocolate.
I actually made step-by-step photos to this cake, but my laptop has broken down since, and I have no access to the content at the moment, but I hope I can add them later.
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