Christmas Cake with White Chocolate Butter Cream

My usual Christmas cake wasn’t so usual this year because I changed the filling from white chocolate ganache to white chocolate butter cream. Even though I intended to stick to my traditional Christmas cake, I had to improvise with the cream because we travelled to Hungary for the winter holidays and I couldn’t transport my usual double cream across countries. So, I made a butter cream base and added melted white chocolate to it.

A few years ago I’ve seen a similar cake in a Hobby Craft magazine, I thought it looked very pretty. It turned out it was also very easy to make the little green fondant trees. The only problem was that I had to be careful when sticking the pretzel sticks into the trees and then into the cake because they broke too easy.

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My youngest daughter was eager to help, so she made a few little trees herself which she eat shortly after finishing them.

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Jawsome Shark Cake… for my shark obsessed boy

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So, I’ve got this 6 year old funny little guy in the house who has developed a huge shark obsession during the spring and summer this year, and apparently this isn’t over yet, not even close! I must admit that I quiet like it, too 🙂 I bought him several picture books and educational books from Usborne and National Geographic (which he really loves, by the way), we went to watch the big sharks at a big aquarium in Italy, and I even bought myself a pair of shark earrings for the summer to show my ultimate support. I haven’t introduced him to the movie Jaws though….not there yet!

His favourite species are the Great White and the Hammerhead Shark for some reason, and by now he knows lots of types of sharks, what’s more his 3 year old sister learned them from him as well.

I made him a special potato print Shark T-shirt before the summer (and before his haircut 🙂 ), and I must say I was very pleased how it turned out. He loves it too!

 

 

So, we’re all into sharks these days, and having a shark theme cake for his birthday in August in Italy made by the local bakery was not enough. Just not enough, and he made me promise that I’ll make him one too. Of course!

 

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Here we are few months later, and here is the little Shark Cake. I tried to make a sugarpaste shark topping, which looks quite funny without any teeth! Must be a very old (and fat!) shark, even though apparently sharks don’t loose their teeth, or if they do, they will grow it back at once, …so my son tells me….

 

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I did not bake the cake, I used ready baked cake sheets, which I bought in Hungary this summer. They are honey based, thin cake sheets, and I cut out small circles to make 6 layers.

 

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For frosting I made white chocolate ganache and tinted with blue food colour. It turned more like aqua blue because the white chocolate and cream were a bit yellowish, but then I guess aqua is good, considering that sharks live in water/aqua after all.

 

 

Ps.While I wrote this post I was listening to the song “Baby Shark, do do do do….” because that’s what my son is watching on YouTube right now.
And every day.
Since spring or so…
And we all like it! 🙂

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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“Taylor Swift” Birthday Party

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It was my oldest daughter’s 9th birthday on Saturday, and we decided to celebrate it in STYLE of Taylor Swift. We went for Taylor’s famous RED lips and for her also famous “Not a lot going on at the moment” outfit from the clip 22. The girls (my girl and her two best friends) are not even half the age, but they’re sure feeling 22… 🙂

She dressed up and we made a few photos a weak before the party to make a suitable invitation for her friends.

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It was fun putting together this little party, and it was great fun being around and watching them. My daughter has two very good friends, who couldn’t have more different personalities, yet they got along together so well during the day, and they certainly enjoyed every minute of it.

 

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They first did a little dancing and singing, then they solved a puzzle. They had to put the words in order to get the correct song titles. After this we went out for lunch, but then got back to the house to attack the desert table.

 

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After having some cake and sweets, the girls decorated white canvas trainers with fabric markers. Naturally, they got to keep the trainers as a party favour along with a Taylor Swift CD and a bright red lipstick each. They were thrilled!

 

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My daughter wanted a chocolate cake with a little puppy -which is totally non-Taylor Swift, but hey, that’s what she asked for, and that’s what she got. So, here is my very first marzipan puppy.

 

 

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The desert table was all pretty colourful with a touch of vintage retro, which suited Taylor Swift style very well. I baked sugar cookies in the shape of large lips and number 9. I also made candy pops, which literally were candies and not cake pops. I covered candy lolly pops in melted chocolate and sprinkled over colourful thousands sprinkles. They just went for it like crazy. I know they would like these better than cake pops.
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I bought small bottles with cranberry and orange juice and washed off the original labels to put little pictures of my daughter dressed like Taylor Swift. I used the same small photos to wrap tiny chocolates.
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Full Chocolate Cupcakes

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I was trying to compose the title for these cupcakes, but it’s easier to just call it simply full chocolate cupcakes, because it’s literally full with chocolates.
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I added dark chocolate chunks to the batter and the ganache cream on top is full with chocolate flakes, too.
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Initially I made them to give it away, but I can never make just a few, so we could keep some for ourselves, too.
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This time I also made few sugarpaste roses to decorate my cupcakes.
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Ingredients:
1 cup water

5 Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2,5 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 little natural yogurt (without any flavour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
200 gr butter (unsalted)
1 tsp almond extract
juice squeezed from 1/4 orange
100 gr dark chocolate roughly chopped
salt
Topping cream:
600 ml heavy cream
150 gr dark chocolate
You need to prepare the cream on the previous day of baking. In order to do this you need to pour the cream into a pan, put it on the stove. Chop the chocolate in small pieces and stir in the cream until its melted. Make sure it’s not boiling, it only needs to get warm enough until the chocolate melts in. When it’s done, put it aside to cool completely, then put it in the fridge for the night or at least 6 hours.
This is a very delicious cupcake topping, and I often use this method with white chocolate as well, and also it can be coloured well with food colour.
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Baking the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven and line your cupcake tin with the cupcake cases.
2. Put the water, cocoa powder and butter in a pan and stirring it, bring it to boil on the stove, then put it aside to cool down.
3. Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking soda and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the water with the butter and chocolate, add the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange juice, yogurt, and finally the chopped chocolate. Stir everything just only until all is combined.
4. Scoop the batter 3/4 of the way into the lined cupcake tin and bake for about 20 minutes. Leave them cool in the tin for 5 more minutes before taking the cakes out on a tray. Let them cool completely.
5. In a mixing bowl beat the chocolate cream to a relatively hard consistency if you want to pipe a swirl on top of your cupcakes.
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Ping-Pong Birthday Cake

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My ordering client is a 9 year old boy, and I have been making his birthday cakes for the past 3 years. So far he had a Robot cake, then a Minecraft cake last year, and this time he asked for a cake with Ping-Pong theme.
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So, here it is. I’m not very happy about how the ping-pong bats turned out, but I maneged to make a perfectly round ping-pong ball, which then got a bit smashed during transfer to the birthday party.
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Alexandru always wants a chocolate cake, so I made my favourite recipe. I usually make this cake for our family on Christmas with a white chocolate cream filling, but for this birthday cake I made milk chocolate filling.
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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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Triple Chocolate Cake With White Rose

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I made this slim and tall chocolate cake for my friend as a birthday gift. It has lots of chocolate inside and outside. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo from inside but this has four layers and is filled generously with chocolate cream.

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I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe and filled the cake with my favourite ganache cream, finally I covered the cake with chocolate fondant layers. I finished with a real rose.

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I have to say I like the real flowers as well as non edible decorations on my cakes and cupcakes more and more. Not only it is time consuming to make sugarpaste decorations but also a healthier option simply by NOT eating cake decorations since there aren’t any to eat 🙂

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To make this cake I used two small 4,5 inch cake tins. The batter in the recipe is more than enough so I also made 12 smaller cupcakes which are now in the freezer until next week when my older daughter will turn 8 years old.

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Ingredients:
1 cup water
5 Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2,5 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 little natural yogurt (without any flavour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
200 gr butter (unsalted)
1 tsp almond extract
juice squeezed from 1/4 orange
100 gr good quality dark chocolate roughly chopped
salt
Ganache cream:
600 ml heavy cream
150 gr chocolate (this time I used milk chocolate)
You need to prepare the cream on the previous day of baking. In order to do this you need to pour the cream into a pan, put it on the stove. Chop the chocolate in small pieces and stir in the cream until its melted. Make sure it’s not boiling, it only needs to get warm enough until the chocolate melts in. When it’s done, put it aside to cool completely, then put it in the fridge for the night or at least 6 hours.
 
 
Method:
Preheat your oven. Put the water, cocoa powder and butter in a pan and stirring it, bring it to boil on the stove, then put it aside to cool down.
Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the water with the butter and chocolate, add the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange juice, yogurt, and finally the chopped chocolate. Stir everything just only until all is combined.
Pour the batter 3/4 of the way into the cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes. Take it out from the oven ten leave to cool in the tin completely before cutting the layers.
To cover the cake I used one pack of 250 g chocolate fondant.
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Update:
I got a photo of the cake from my friend after she has cut it, so I am happy to share it.
Thank you Flori 🙂
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