Oliver & Rami’s Pirate Birthday Party

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After a long, hot summer holiday where I haven’t bake at all, I am back into my kitchen at last.

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I will start with my son’s 5th birthday party. We joined in with his best friend, and held a double party, because their birthdays are one month apart…..although Rami is 11 months older then Oliver, so whilst my Oliver turned 5 this year, his best buddy Rami turned 6.

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We found a great outdoor place called The Wild Place, situated within the Milton Country park in Cambridge. It turned out to be the  perfect location for the boys pirate party. The best thing of all was the good, sunny weather, which was a risky call, but we were extremely lucky, considering that it was all wet in the morning.

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For this party I made a two tiered chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes with mascarpone and white chocolate frosting, and marshmallow pops dipped in chocolate and coated with sugar sprinkles. Besides the cakes, each child got a food box filled with sandwiches, fruits, yogurt, crisps, soft drink….

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We played the treasure hunting game which is a must on a pirate party, and we rewarded the treasure hunters with chocolate coins. Then there was another game which they seemed to  love, the Stick the Parrot, which means, they had to stick a sticker on the Parrot blindfolded. The winners also got some chocolate coins.

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Lots more chocolate coins were hidden inside balloons, and they had to find a way how to pop the balloons in order to get those chocolates. They had so much fun!

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There was a fireplace with burning fire, and some parents were roasting marshmallows with the kids.

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Other children were playing in the boat, yet others were having tattoos on their hands and arms, because a good old pirate isn’t a real pirate without at least one tattoo, right?

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There was a wooden tent  (well, undressed, because time was too short to put the canvas), but all the pirates enjoyed to gather under the tent to have a marshmallow break.

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Eating around the fire

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Cake time

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At the end of the party, we gave them a Certificate saying how great a pirate they were, as well as a party bag filled with pirates related goodies, like telescope, bandanna, eye patch, pirate ring, bookmarks with pirates, and of course more chocolate coins.

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All in all, everyone seemed to have fun, including the adults, who stayed. Me personally loved every bit, and I loved that even though I became more experienced in throwing a girls party, I proved to myself, that a boy can have a party which is just as fun as a girly one, if not better! 🙂

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After the party, I made individual photo collages for all the kids invited as a thank you card. Well, my plan all along was to have a nice group photo with them all, but this just didn’t happen. They were all over the place all the time, and never at one place at the same time, so that would’ve been a real mission impossible.

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The funniest thing ever was one of the little guests. A boy, who came dressed as a Star Wars character 🙂 He was the sweetest element of this party, really! His dad couldn’t believe the confusion he got into seeing all those pirates around his little white Stormtrooper 🙂 Way to go Jenson!

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Happy 5th Birthday My Sweet Boy!

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Little Johnny in the making 🙂

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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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Carrot Cupcakes With Brazilian Nuts And Indian Alphonso Mango Whipped Cream

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Tomorrow is Halloween, Boo Hoooo! My kids are so waiting for this every year! They love to dress up and go Trick or Treat. Me? Not so much. Way too many sweets……

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I made carrot cupcakes for this occasion. I use my same recipe to bake this which you can find in my archive, but this time I didn’t put Pecan nuts, but Brazilian nuts for a change.

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To make the frosting I whipped the double cream and slowly I add few spoons of liquid Alphonso Mango coulis to it.

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The cupcake toppings are NOT edible 🙂 They are plastic sculls, but if I would have a silicone scull mould I would have made few myself.

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The cupcake wrappers are once again made by me from cardboard paper.

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Pecan and Chocolate Cupcakes With Spicy-Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting

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I made one of my favourite recipe this weekend: cupcakes with lots of crunchy pecan nuts and milk chocolate chips generously frosted with cream cheese icing full with finely chopped pecan nuts and spices. Without exaggeration, they were all gone in an hour, they didn’t even cool down completely 🙂 The kids and my husband just came home from the park when I finished them and they could not resist it. And me neither, of course!

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Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
200 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
5 tbsp walnuts (chopped)
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100 g chocolate (chopped)
Frosting cream:
250 g Mascarpone, soft cream-cheese
5 tbsp powder sugar (icing sugar)
300 ml milk
40 g custard powder
300 ml double cream
1 tsp Schwartz Mixed Spice (optional but it definitely gives an exclusive character to the cream)
3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts (using an electric grinder)
salt
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line your cupcake tin with the cupcake cases and put it aside.
2.Stir the flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside.
3.Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and cream together until you get a smooth mixture. Add the honey and chopped walnuts, give it a stir then add the flour and the milk and mix it but only until everything is combined. Finally stir in the chocolate.
I used milk chocolate, but you can use dark chocolate if you like, and also ready made chocolate chips will do.
Before chopping the walnuts I put them on a baking tray and roast it for about 10 minutes. When cooled, chop the walnuts in pieces with a knife. It’s up to you how small or big you chop them, I like them at the size of the chocolate chips so it’s crunchy after baking.
4.Scoop the batter into the cupcake cases, filling only 3/4 way up. Bake for around 20 minutes. Don’t open your oven in the first 10 minutes, but after that you can turn the baking tray if necessary. When they’re done, let them cool for about 5 minutes in the baking tin before taking out on a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting cream, you have to prepare a thick custard cream and let it cool completely.
So, stir the 40 g (must be about 2 tbsp) of custard powder with 3 tbsp of icing sugar, add 300 ml of milk and bring it to boil until you get a thick custard cream. Let it cool completely.
In a mixing bowl cream together the Mascarpone cream cheese and 2 tbsp of icing sugar, add the fine walnuts and the cold custard cream gradually. Gradually pour the double cream and beat with the cream cheese. This will make it softer and lighter. In the end stir in about 1 tsp of Mixed Spice and a pinch of salt, it only makes it better!
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The cupcake wrappers are handmade by me. The toppings are not, I got them from Hobby Craft. I thought they look pretty for this season. Lately I don’t have time to make fondant toppers, my baby girl does not allow me time for this, so I take the easy way and use alternatives where possible.
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Key Lime Cheese Cake in recycled baby food jars

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I love to make deserts which need no baking, and I also like to use my baby’s empty baby food jars. What’s more, if I make the cheese cakes into these little jars and put them in the fridge they will stay more fresh and definitely odor free because of the lid. Also you can stack them which means it will save some space.
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I also made a few in cupcake cases to compare the amount, and now I can say that when using the smallest baby jar you get a larger quantity of cake opposite the cupcake size.
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I have saved quite a few jars, because I was preparing to my daughter’s first birthday, but in the meantime I thought I will make the Key Lime cheese cakes, which I had in mind for a while.
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Not my first time to make cheese cakes in jars, and surely not the last!
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Ballerina Cupcakes

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Girly, feminine, romantic, delicate, subtle…..this is how we could describe a ballerina. 

 

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I had these little ballerina stickers, well my daughter had them from Hobby Craft, and since she had played with only a few, I put the rest away to use them as cupcake toppers.

 

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I think these would look great on a Ballerina Birthday Party of any little girl, and I may actually use the theme and the idea later when my youngest girl will get to the stage of liking ballet. 

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Little Jars of Heaven – Strawberry and Chocolate Cakes in Jars

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Not much to say here really…leftover chocolate cake crumbles + fresh strawberries + double cream and whatever little jars. Could be baby food jars or yogurt jars.

 

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I had the cake in my freezer, left from the Christmas chocolate cake. First I put the cake in a bowl, I let to defrost then I add 2 spoon of cream, to make it a little moist. I evenly divided a layer of cake in the jars, then put the diced strawberries, more cake, finally the whipped cream.

To make the whipped cream a bit more special, I add 2 teaspoon of icing sugar and 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

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