Lemon Curd Birthday Cake

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Lemon is one of my most favorite flavor in a cake, so I was very excited to make this, but then this wasn’t my cake to eat, but my friend’s Karen. I searched for a good lemon curd recipe, and the one I eventually made was truly up to my expectations.
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I tried a few variations, like mixing the white chocolate cream with some lemon curd, then just a layer of pure curd, and even lemon curd topped with the white chocolate cream. All good, but my favourite was the last variation when I spread a layer of lemon curd on the cake and then a layer of white chocolate on top of that. The sourness of the lemon meeting the sweet white chocolate cream (not overly sweet) was Heaven. For me, that is.
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Ingredients:
-8 eggs, separated
-8 Tbsp flour
-8 Tbsp sugar
-pinch of salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-300  ml double cream for the white chocolate ganache
-100 g white chocolate
-coral pink and white fondant
-edible silver foil
-edible silver beads
-paper flowers
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Lemon Curd:
-3/4 cup caster sugar
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1 cup water
-2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
-2 Tbsp butter
-1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
-4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil (3-4 minutes). Boil, stirring, for 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat.
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into a small bowl with egg yolks and stir quickly until combined. Continue stirring, while pouring the egg mixture back into the saucepan.
Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the curd is thickened and lemon colored (1-2 min). Remove from heat and stir in the butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Let the lemon curd cool, then press plastic wrap onto the surface, this will prevent a skin from forming on the top. Refrigerate. Makes 1 1/4 cups
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Make the Cake:
Prepare the ganache one day ahead of the cake. Warm 300 ml double cream in a pan adding 100 g of chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts, don’t let it boil. Let it cool down, then place it in the fridge and leave to chill over night.
To bake the cake, separate the eggs first. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the sugar until you get stiff peaks. Add one egg yolk at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
In another bowl, combine the flour with the salt and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg cream, mix on the lowest speed or fold in only with a large spoon, don’t break the cream.
Line your cake pans with baking paper before pouring in the batter. I used disposable paper baking cases to avoid the cutting step before filling the cake. This way you have all your cake layers even, and I like to have as many layers as possible. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool completely.
I used 4 cake dowels and a little cake board in between the 2 tiers when stacking the two cakes.
I covered the cake with white fondant as a first step, then I decorated the bottom part with lots of coral flowers. I used three different shapes of flower cutters.  On the top half of the cake I applied edible silver foil and decorated with some more edible silver beads. I finished off with coral and white paper flowers bought from Hobby Craft.
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Donuts and Pyjamas Birthday Party

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My oldest daughter turned 11 and although we established last year that she will not have a birthday party this year, somehow we ended up inviting her 4 closest friends for a sleepover party. I knew that a sleepover involves more than just a birthday party, and the girls are together for an evening, night and morning, which comes with lots of noise (LOTS of it!) and mess and turning the house upside down, BUT I am so glad I said yes, because it turned out that sleepover party with THIS age girls is NOT trouble, it is actually a lot of FUN! My daughter loved it, her friends loved it, and I loved it too!
We first thought of pancakes and pyjamas, but after I acknowledged that I am no good in pancakes (the American style that is, because I am pretty good in making the French style crepes…), I came up with donuts instead. Much better for a party, I must say. I bought lots of delicious Krispy Kreme donuts (2 dozens…. yeah, told you!), plus more jam donuts, ring donuts and mini donuts. I baked sugar cookies, some in the shape of donuts and iced them to resemble real donuts. The cake was chocolate cake and I made three donuts from fondant to go on the top. My daughter was delighted.
I decorated plain white paper cups with sharpies to match the theme, and printed a donut banner to hang above the party table.
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My daughter prepared a few activities, and the girls were excited to play along. They first played “Spin the bottle” with a set of neon nail paints, The end result was interesting and unique for all of them.
After this they played “Truth of Dare” and “would you rather”. They had a few good laughs during this. They also played music from the computer and danced a lot in the meantime.
We ordered pizza for dinner, then prepared a big mattress on the living room floor. They watched 2-3 movies till very late (or very early in the morning…). For the ultimate home-movie experience, we used the projector on the surface of a whole wall, they absolutely loved it!
I left the girls at 3 am in the morning and went to bed, thinking that surely I can take a picture of them still sleeping around 8 in the morning, but much to my amazement they woke up even earlier than me, so the morning photo in bed didn’t happen.
We only cut the cake after breakfast, because they were so full the night before.
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Chocolate cake:
Ingredients:

5 Tbsp flour
5 Tbsp brown sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp salt
Fondant, to decorate
Cream:
600 double cream
200 g white chocolate
50 g milk chocolate (chopped)
Method:
Note: you need to prepare the filling cream for this cake one day ahead. Warm the double cream in a pan on the stove and stir in the white chocolate broken into pieces. Stir until melts, don’t let the cream boil! When the chocolate is melted, place it on a cool surface to cool, then put it in the fridge for the whole night to chill, but at least 6 hours.
In a large bowl beat the egg whites with the sugar and salt on high speed until you get a shiny and firm consistency. You can hold the bowl upside down and the cream will stay put, that’s the hardness you want to achieve.
Gradually, add the egg yolks one at a time, adjust the mixer to medium speed while beating. Add the vanilla extract, too.
Mix the flour with the cocoa powder, you might need to sift if it has big lumps.
Using only a large spoon, adding one spoon at a time, carefully fold in the flour mixture in the egg cream in a way that it doesn’t brake it. Using the electrical mixer is not recommended at this stage anymore.
I baked 5 separate layers in large paper baking cases. I love using it because it is the right size ( 7 inches in diameter) and it saves me from cutting the cake into layers after baking. Also, it will bake much faster and evenly.
In another bowl, whip the white chocolate cream until you get a smooth, but not too hard consistency. It is hard to describe where to stop beating, your cream should be lightly firm, but not very stiff.
Fill the cake, and before placing the next layer of cake on top of the cream, sprinkle with the chopped milk chocolate first.
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Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

 

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Red hearts, chocolate hearts, roses and raspberries. These would be the keywords to describe my Valentines Cupcakes I made this weekend. So light, so creamy, so dreamy….. I only made a few though, and apparently not enough, because the family was demanding for more.

M y little daughter helped me making the red roses from sugar paste, she made one just by herself after watching me closely. Like mother like daughter! She definitely takes after me, but to be fair, my older daughter loves crafting just the same.
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To make these beauties, I baked feather-light raspberry cupcakes and frosted with cream cheese icing. Really, really yummy! I wanted my cake to be red-and-white, like really popping red and bright white, but I just learned a lesson, which I kinda knew already, that you can not bake WHITE cake. Not in a natural way, anyway. I put white sugar instead of brown (and if you know me, you know that I use brown sugar like 99% of the time), and I put white food color in the batter (like a lot), and I baked on very low heat, and for a shorter amount of time, and my cake were still not white enough. And they never will be, I will just have to except it. I used some white food color in the icing too, and that actually worked, so at least the topping was nice and bright white.
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Ingredients:
125 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white caster sugar
1+1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup whole milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 gr fresh raspberries
pinch of salt
For the icing:
250 gr Mascarpone cream cheese
300 ml double cream
powder sugar, depending on your personal taste (I only used 1/2 cup)
white food color, optional
Method:
Preheat your oven. In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt and baking powder. Divide the baking cases in the baking pan.
In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla, mix well, then add in the flour mixture and the milk. Mix on low speed only until everything is incorporated. Throw in the raspberries and fold using only a large spoon. I didn’t want to crush the raspberries, so I mixed it very gently and only for few seconds.
Divide the batter evenly in the cupcake pan using an ice cream scoop only 3/4 way. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, then remove from the oven and let them cool a little before you transfer the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
In a bowl, cream the cream cheese with the powder sugar gradually adding the double cream too. If you have more raspberries, you can add some to the icing, it will make it pink and will taste very good!
P.S..I am very excited to announce that now I have my own App  which you can find on Play Store under the name Beautiful Cakes on your phone. I would appreciate any comments on this, weather you could find it easy or not and of course what do you think about it. I will probably come back to this post and edit this section should I have to change anything in the App (…well, that would be my husband, he designed the app and made it work…). Thank you!
Here’s the link:
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Fairy House Cake

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I mentioned in my previous post that we had a Fairy and Elves party at the preschool end of May, but haven’t had the chance to share my Fairy Log Cake on the blog earlier. You know, with the house moving, and all the refurbishing and decorating work going on ever since….it’s taking longer than anticipated unfortunately, but we’re getting there slowly but surely.

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This is a 6 layer chocolate ganche cake covered on the sides with chocolate flakes. I did order chocolate flavour fondant originally, but eventually changed my mind and used the flakes and I’m so pleased I did!
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The rest of the decoration I made from fondant, like fairy door, mushrooms, stones in front of the door, the flowers on the top of the log.
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The children loved it, it fitted perfectly at the Fairies and Elves party, as well as the giant paper flowers, which were also made by me.
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Ombre Violet Cake with Wild Blueberry Buttercream for Mothers Day

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Violet or purple? Purple or violet???  I had to look up to see the difference in definition, but couldn’t say that I know better. I think the colour of my cake is violet though, as seems that purple is more red-ish, so I go for violet, but correct me if I’m wrong.

 

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I made this tiny cake using violet food colour. I baked the three layers separately, and tinted the batter in different proportions to get the ombre effect. First, I thought that the darker shade would be too dark, it looked more black at some point, and only when I cut into it I started to relax seeing the nice, deep violet colour, and it was not black.

 

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The cake is not a sponge cake, is my yummy vanilla cake recipe with French butter and vanilla extract, only this time I used white sugar instead of brown, because I wanted to have a light coloured batter which can be tinted to the desired colour.

 

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I made buttercream this time, which is also not my usual cake filling, but I wanted different. I mixed Wild Blueberry jam in my buttercream to add flavour, but I applied a layer of jam on top of each cake layer, too -which, Hello! -it really isn’t my style of making cake, but as I said, I wanted different 🙂

 

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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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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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Rain Cupcakes

 

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Rain, rain, go away,

Come again another day,

Little Johnny wants to play,
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again.
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No, I don’t wish for all the rain we are having to go to Spain, because I love Spanish people and I absolutely love, love Spain, but I do wish for all the rain that we are having to just go away for good!
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So, this is my protest against nature, and this is how I object against all the rain. Now there, I said it!  Let’s see what happens. Oh, but wait….it HAS stopped raining, the magic spell works, people!
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Now, bring on the snow, I hear it’s winter after all!
These are leftover chocolate cupcakes from a previous batch (kept in the freezer), and I made the clouds from white sugarpaste and sprinkled silver sugar sprinkles on them. I frosted the cupcakes with vanilla flavoured double cream. I used a very small piping tip to make the small, pointy finish, although not very visible, then sprinkled some more silver on them.
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