Fairy Gingerbread House

dsc_8830

 

This is my gingerbread house.

dsc_8831

 

It’s the second time that I venture myself in doing a gingerbread house ……and there might be a good few years until I get myself into doing one again. Why? Because it’s not as simple and straightforward as it seems, at least not for me, I will admit.

dsc_8840

 

I was searching for a good recipe with good reviews and feedbacks and I thought I found the right one, but in the end it prove me wrong. It didn’t work for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong it is delicious, tasted very good, but it’s way too soft to hold a house. And, let me tell you my friend, you need a hard base to build a house, whilst my gingerbread recipe was soft and I did struggle a lot. A whole lot, and I even had to ask my husband to help. Eventually, we put the house together, but I happily said yes to the kids when they asked permission to get inside with their hands to demolish it for eating.

dsc_8839

Well, at least it was delicious 🙂 And, let’s not forget, that I loved, LOVED decorating it with fondant, all the pretty little details, to make an enchanted Fairy House opposed to a regular candy gingerbread house.

dsc_8846

Tweet Tweet Little Bird -3rd Birthday Party

 

DSC_7594-001

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.
DSC_7574
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.
DSC_7596
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.
DSC_7597
DSC_7569
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.
DSC_7572
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.
DSC_7599
DSC_7588
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.
DSC_7570
Finally they had vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate cream, topped with cute birds cupcake toppers, and the chocolate birthday cake.
DSC_7571
DSC_7582
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.
DSC_7585
DSC_7596-2

 

DSC_7605

Maria’s Christening Cake

Image

I made this cake as a gift for a 2 months old little girl called Maria. She is the daughter of our friends, and we were invited to her christening in Cambridge on Easter Sunday. (By the way, no cakes and cupcakes made for this Easter, because I literally had no time to do anything else surrounded with my 3 kids…. 🙂 ) 

Image

 

 

I baked two round cakes of two different sizes and stacked them on top of each other. I used an old sponge cake recipe, using only 8 eggs + 8 full table spoon of plain flour + 8 full spoon of brown sugar, and that’s it for the cake.

 

 

 

Image

 

 

To make the filling I made a white chocolate ganache using 600 ml of double cream + 300 g of white chocolate + pink gel colour.

 

 

Image

I covered the cake first with a layer of delicious almond marzipan then finally with white fondant.

 

Image

I made the butterfly on top from royal icing with the technique called Australian Lace. 

 

Szonja’s 6th Birthday: Butterflies and Pink Roses…

Image

I am ever so happy to post my big girl’s Birthday table, she turned 6 on 30 of April. We celebrated on 4th of May, small party but with lot of style 🙂

Image

I made everything and enjoyed it so much! She asked for Butterfly theme this year, so that’s exactly what she got. I found it easy to fulfill her wish because there are so many bits and bobs you can add to a table to make it pretty, girlie, flowery and of course PINK. I chose light green to compliment the pink, so the main colour of the table was pink and green and lots of different size butterflies and roses.

Since my unborn baby keeps me awake most of the nights with all the wriggling and tummy kicking I had plenty of time to plan and to make all the decorations and the food.

There were cake pops, macaroons, cupcakes, decorated biscuits, sandwiches, nachos with salsa dip, crisps, fruits, vegetables, and of course the Birthday Cake. For drink I served apple juice and non alcoholic strawberry champagne for the kids, non alcoholic beer for me since I’m pregnant, and cocktails for our adult friends.

The party was not so much of a party really, but more like a play-date for my daughter with her two best friends and her little brother, so they were only 4 kids, which was very relaxing for me especially that their Mums were invited too and I had the chance to have a nice, chatty afternoon accompanied with drinks and food.

Image

I made these pompoms from tissue paper and hanged them above the birthday table.

Image

Image

Bottom tier has marshmallows and brownies, in the middle I put little milk chocolates. I took the original Easter themed wrapping off and made new wraps from doilies and decorated them with green butterfly stickers.

On the upper tier I put my macaroons….Ahh, those macaroons! It was my first time ever to make macaroons and I honestly believe it was my last time, too. Too much disappointment with these. There were few that came out nice, and I used those, but there were far too many which were a disaster and had to throw it out.

Image.

Beautiful roses which I think were so beautiful because they were over a week old! Honestly. I used jam jars as vases and sliced up 4 small limes and put it in the water to add some green to the pink. Also I decorated the flowers with paper butterflies.

Image

Image

Cupcakes. These are plain vanilla cakes but I cored them and filled with raspberry sauce then frosted with white chocolate ganache cream. I put just a little of green colouring to the cream then topped with two different kind of fondant roses that I made previously.Image

These are simple digestive biscuits but sandwiched them together with Nutella and covered with fondant. I really loved making the personalized fondant decorations for these biscuits and my daughter was also delighted!

Image

Cake pops, lots of cake pops…. As usual I made them from left over cakes kept in the freezer. I made three kind of cake pops. Plain vanilla, then cake pops with chestnut puree and finally same with chestnut puree but with added rum for the adults. Image

I used salsa jars and decorated with doilies and foam roses to present some of the cake pops.

Image

Image

Image

These are ham and cheese sandwiches and of course I cut them with a butterfly shaped cookie cutter.Image

I don’t even remember what kind of jars are these (although I think it’s Sacla sauce…), but I was looking for something that can be used as a cup. Kids loved it and loved the straws with butterflies on them, too.

Image

Image

These mini jars originally kept salmon paste and I transformed them to put the little candles which ended on the cake eventually.Image

Plastic, disposable champagne glasses. They looked so pretty with the added decorations and we all loved to drink the pink, non alcoholic champagne from it 🙂Image

Image

And finally the birthday cake. I have to tell you this was my favourite of all. I am very proud of this. The flower on top was a nightmare to make, I had to throw out the first one, and then the second was ok, but I just learned that regular fondant or sugar paste it’s just not suitable to make a flower like this. Next time I will need flower gum paste or whatever it is called but I think that is something more specific for this purpose. Image

I made the butterflies from royal icing and used a piping technique called Australian lace.

The green grass took me ages to make, little piece by piece, but it worth the trouble.

Image

Image

It was a white chocolate cake filled with white chocolate ganache cream.Image

Image

My birthday girl and I 🙂

Image

Us…Image

Finally I show you the birthday invitation which I edited with Picassa. It looked like this before I finalized with the text message about the party.

Image

Brush Embroidery Cookies

Image

As I mentioned in my previous post (Australian Lace Butterfly Cupcakes) I had lots of left over royal icing from making the lace butterflies the other day. Didn’t want to throw it out, or should I say not all anyway, because after painting these biscuits I still had a lot left. It was my first time to make royal icing, next time I will probably know that one egg and less sugar is more than enough for a small project…

Image

I had Digestive Biscuits in my cupboard so there was no need to actually bake this time. I covered few with 3 different shades of pink fondant and using a small PME piping tip (nr 2) I started to pipe on the fondant then with a fine paint brush I finished the design.

Image

 

 

My photo version, but I couldn’t apply my watermark on this one, that’s only available on my husband computer.

Image

Australian Lace Butterfly Cupcakes

Image

My daughter’s birthday is coming in April and we talked about having a butterfly themed birthday for her. This is how I came across a youtube video about how to make Australian Lace butterflies piped from Royal Icing. Very beautiful and very easy!

Image

I made these cupcakes for a farewell party of my son’s preschool teacher. She was also my daughter’s teacher and she will be very much missed and thought I make her something special as a thank you gift.

Image

For this occasion I baked my so loved chocolate cake recipe and for the frosting I made pink ganache cream from double cream and pink strawberry flavored chocolate buttons.
Sadly I must admit that my cupcakes didn’t come out as usually. I really don’t know why…..or maybe because this time I only made a half batch using half of the quantity of everything. Could this be the reason it didn’t come out as good as always? That’s just too bad especially that I was confident with this recipe and expected the best, and never failed with it before.
To pipe the butterflies I made Royal Icing from 2 egg whites and 500 gr of icing sugar and juice squeezed from half of lemon. To be honest I ended up with a large amount of royal icing, far more than I needed (that’s why you will find cookies decorated with left over royal icing using brush embroidery in my next post 🙂 .
Before I was a total virgin when it comes to royal icing, this was my first attempt. It is easy to make it, I used my electric mixer fitted with a stand. I let it make the hard work for about 30-40 minutes or so, my only task was to add the sugar with a spoon for time to time. Easy but messy! My kitchen was covered with sugar dust after this in spite of being careful. But all in all it was worth the trouble, my butterflies were fine, delicate and not one has broken, so I was pleased in the end.
Image
My husband shoots the photos for me but sometimes I make few photos too 🙂
This is a good close up from a lace butterfly.
Image
The cupcakes are ready to be delivered 🙂
Image