This is my gingerbread house.
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.
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.
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.
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…. 🙂 )
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.
To make the filling I made a white chocolate ganache using 600 ml of double cream + 300 g of white chocolate + pink gel colour.
I covered the cake first with a layer of delicious almond marzipan then finally with white fondant.
I made the butterfly on top from royal icing with the technique called Australian Lace.
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 🙂
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.
I made these pompoms from tissue paper and hanged them above the birthday table.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I used salsa jars and decorated with doilies and foam roses to present some of the cake pops.
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.
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.
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.
My birthday girl and I 🙂
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.
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…
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.
My photo version, but I couldn’t apply my watermark on this one, that’s only available on my husband computer.
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.