Rocky Road

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I received this message on my Facebook wall from my little sister Olivia the other day.

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That kid makes me giggle. Mainly because the rocky road she was referring to was not something I had made especially for her and her mates. I had made the crunchy chocolate treat for our Father’s Day lunch the previous week, and she had been lucky enough to stash some away and take to her share house to enjoy over the next few days. I don’t blame her, the rocky road was bloody tasty!

My sister is the life of the party.   She is loud and proud and the similarities between her personality and my daughter, Lucy are uncanny. I often catch myself calling Lucy, ‘Liv’ and having strange instances of Deja Vu when caring for Lucy that transport me straight back to our childhood in the country town of Pinjarra.

Liv and Lucy at Lucy's first birthday party

Liv and Lucy at Lucy’s first birthday party

It isn’t so much that they look the same- yes the both have brown hair and yes they both have an incredible tan – but it is more their mannerisms and the way they speak their mind. It is the way they give you the disapproving side eye when they don’t like what you have just said, the scream in frustration when they don’t get their way (thankfully at 21 Olivia is well past this stage!) and roaring laughter when they find something humorous. When Lucy and Liv are together they are like two peas in a pod. Lucy adores her Aunty Liv. And I don’t blame her!

So, just for my little sister, here is the recipe for rocky road. D I S C L A I M E R – this recipe is in fact our mum’s recipe, which I have stolen from her. Thank our mum for your new rocky road addiction and subsequent larger pant size.

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You can basically put anything you like in rocky road and there are not set quanities, but in our family there are a few rules!

  1. THERE MUST BE NUTS. PEANUTS. SALTED PEANUTS.
  2. NO BISCUIT – this is a deceptive filler.
  3. DON’T USE CHEAP CHOCOLATE. ONLY CADBURY MILK CHOCOLATE WILL DO.

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Slab of chocolate heaven

Rocky Road

INGREDIENTS

800g Cadbury Milk Chocolate

4 Turkish Delight chocolate bars

350g Salted Peanuts

1 bag of Allens marshmallows

2 Cherry Ripe bars (not included in this example – I forgot to buy them!!)

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Method 

Line a baking tin with baking paper. I used an 18x28cm lamington tray.

Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt over a low heat, stirring often. Don’t let the chocolate burn. Once melted leave to cool slightly.

Chop Turkish Delight and Cherry Ripe.

Add Turkish Delight, Cherry Ripe, marshmallows and peanuts to the chocolate. Stir until well combined.

Pour into the lined tin, ensuring that the rocky road in somewhat level and reaches all four sides and corners.

Refrigerate until set completely.IMG_2583

Once set, chop up and try not to make yourself sick by having too many ‘taste testers’.

Finger lickin’ gooooood!

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Spiky Slice

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Until recently, I have never really had lessons in cooking. Cooking, and the love of food for that matter, was a big part of our day-to-day life. From as far back as I can remember I would be perched upon the kitchen bench watching my mum chop up vegetables and weigh out ingredients. I observed methods of folding flour carefully through cake batter, whipping up egg whites and tossing meat in a hot wok. Most of the time I was munching on any of the ingredients I could get my hands on, like a seagull after a hot chip. Or if I was super lucky, I was able to lick the bowl of the sweet deliciousness that was once inside. Cooking was something that was almost absorbed via osmosis as I watched and chatted with my mum about the events of our day.

Mmm cream...

I have always loved cream.

Now I have a daughter of my own, I see the excitement in her eyes as I pick her up and pop her on to the bench to help me cook. I will never forget the look of wonderment in her deep brown eyes as she watched me a crack an egg into a stainless steel bowl for the very first time. She was so fascinated in what was inside that hard, light brown shell. Like me, she cannot wait to get her chubby little hands on the spatula and devour all of its contents and she often chirps, ‘More? More? More?’ once it has been licked clean.

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Like mother, like daughter.

The first cookbook I ever owned was a yellow spiral bound kids cookery book, produced by Family Circle magazine. To be honest, I can’t remember who gave it to me or when I received it. I’m assuming I was seven or eight years old when it was gifted to me. What I do remember though, is trawling through its stiff cardboard pages examining and studying each of the recipes. Most nights, I would take the book to bed with me and read it cover to cover, choosing what I wanted to cook and for what occasion it would be for, imagining how I would do it and the look on my family’s faces as I presented it to them to eat.

My first cookery book.

My first cookery book. ‘Kate’s book’ incase anyone ever forgot.

Still to this day, I love to read cookbooks- the ones with loads of pictures are my favourite. I could spend many hours flipping through the pages, gazing at the photographs of the beautifully styled meals. And just as I did as a child, I imagine who I would cook it for and the look on their face as I presented it to them to eat.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking through my cookbooks and I spotted my worn Family Circle kids cookery book. With eagerness I quickly grabbed it off the shelf, sat on the carpet next to my daughter, Lucy, and flicked through the pages. Memories of my love for this book came flooding back and I smiled fondly as I remembered making some of the recipes, particularly, the microwave fudge recipe with my Nan.

Lucy was quite intrigued by a photograph of a slice that was located in the ‘Microwave Miracles’ section of the book. Thinking it looked pretty tasty myself, I decided I would give it ago. However as it was so sickly sweet, I have changed up the ingredients slightly, along with its method (it is no longer a microwave miracle!) and it inspires this recipe.

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Spiky slice is super morish and it is really hard to stop at one piece. It is a simple to whip up party food for both kids and adults alike and is perfect for afternoon tea or chopped up through vanilla ice-cream for dessert. The base is made from melted creamy jersey caramel lollies, dark chocolate and the snap, crackle and pop of crispy Rice Bubbles. The top is the perfect blend of salty dark chocolate and crunchy toasted slivered almonds. My mouth is watering as I type… whoops, I just drooled. Seriously.

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Spiky Slice

INGREDIENTS

Base

250g packet jersey caramels, chopped

1 tablespoon golden syrup

60g butter

125g dark chocolate, chopped

3 cups Rice Bubbles.

Top

125g dark chocolate, chopped

30g butter

Salt to taste

1/3 toasted slivered almonds

 

Method

Base-  Line a 3cm-deep, 18x18cm (or there abouts) square tin with cling film.

Melt jersey caramels, golden syrup, butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until smooth.

Remove from heat and pour over Rice Bubbles in a separate bowl. Once combined, press into the tin and place into the freezer.

Top-  Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until smooth. Add salt to taste. (The salt cuts through the sweetness and is the factor that makes it super morish. Begin with good pinch of salt. Mix through, taste and add a little more if needed.)

Pour over base and add almonds while it is still wet. Place into the fridge to set.

Cut into slices and try not to eat it all at once.

Yummmmmmm!

Every good baker needs a 17 month old assistant.

Every good baker needs a 17 month old assistant.

Marvellous Macaroons

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Oh hi there! How are you? Remember me? Yes, it’s me Kate, the author of this blog. Sorry I haven’t been around lately. I’ve been kinda busy. I was, promise!! I was very preoccupied! In fact, I was so preoccupied that baking, let alone blogging was the last thing on my mind… for a while. And then I just got lazy… (and we have all read about how lazy I can be.)

Well the truth is I’m pregnant (YIPEEEEE!) and we are super excited for our little family to grow from three to four. This pregnancy came as a bit of a surprise, but we are thrilled nonetheless. What’s even more exciting is that our little girl, Lucy, will have a baby brother to play with. Life really couldn’t get more perfect.

Our baby announcement that we sent out to family and friends.

Our baby announcement that we sent out to family and friends.

It’s been a pretty smooth sailing pregnancy so far (touch wood) and a part from feeling like I was swaying back and forth on the high seas for the first three months or so, and becoming very good friends with my toilet bowl, I am feeling pretty fabulous.

I am just shy of being 27 weeks along and the reality of having a newborn as well as a 20-month-old toddler is just starting to sink in. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little nervous about the whole thing. But as my mum likes to remind me, “You’re not the first woman in the world to have two children.” Which brings me back to reality and puts everything in perspective. Thanks mum 🙂

So to get me back into the blogging swing of things, here is a terrifically easy little recipe that I like to whip up for afternoon tea – Choc-dipped Almond Macaroons. These petit bikkies have got a gorgeous almond marzipan flavour and only really have a few ingredients. Better still these babies are gluten free, making them nice and chewy in the center. Now guys, please don’t mistake these for the delicate biscuit sandwich that is the french macaron. Because clearly they’re not! They are a bit more rough and ready, rustic and fool proof, really. Just how I like them.

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Choc-dipped Almond Macaroons

INGREDIENTS

2 egg whites

½ cup caster sugar

1 ½ cups almond meal

½ teaspoon almond extract

flaked or whole almonds to top

150g dark chocolate

 

Method

Preheat oven to 150°C. Line oven trays with baking paper.

Using an electric whisk beat egg whites until soft peaks have formed. Gradually add sugar and beat until dissolved.

Fold in ground almonds and extract. Place into a piping bag and pipe 50c size biscuits onto the tray. Top each with a few flaked almonds.

Bake for 20 minutes or until you smell the delicious scent of macaroon through your house and the biscuits a firm to the touch. (You may need more or less time depending on how big you piped your biscuits.)

Allow to cool.

Melt dark chocolate. Dip the base of each biscuit into the chocolate. Place straight on to a baking paper lined tray and put into the freezer for a couple of minutes to set.

Enjoy with a cup of tea and a gossip with some fab friends.

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Yummo Yoyos

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Soon after our baby, Lucy, was born I suggested to my husband that we become members of the Perth Wildcats. This wasn’t because I particularly liked sport, but mainly because, unlike me, Ed had become a bit of a hermit and needed to regain a social life.  While I spent most of my days exploring this fine city of Perth, and drinking creamy cups of coffee in parks and beaches with my other mummy friends, Ed was going to work and coming home and not doing much else. I felt sorry for the poor bloke! Being the sport-mad fanatic that he is, he excitedly agreed and we became a part of the Red Army.

We were lucky enough to get some fantastic seats, close to centre court, and about 8 rows up. Better still, we were placed next to the most wonderful family – A mum, dad and their four grown-up children. Each fortnight we would arrive and they would greet us with smiles and always happily chat away about the plays of the game or the cheerleaders’ latest ‘dance moves’.

As a thank you for their company throughout the season Ed asked if I could make them some of my Nan’s Yoyo biscuits. These classic fork indented little babies have been quite a favourite within our family for many, many years and there hasn’t been a Christmas or Easter Holiday in which Nan has not made them for us.  So much so, they have definitely become one of my most adored biscuit recipes and I love to bake them for my nearest and dearest. There was a period of about 8 or 9 years where, each Christmas, I made and individually wrapped them for my high school/university/work friends – much to their delight!

Not only are they completely delicious and ridiculously moorish, but they are so EASY to whip up. Better still, the biscuits themselves only contain five ingredients. Yes, that’s right.  FIVE. Wham bam, thank you ma’am!

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Also known as melting moments, these little beauties can be baked up to a week in advance, and as long as they’re in an air-tight container and in the fridge, they’ll last for ages. Not that they ever last more than a couple of days in my house!!  Many recipes call for corn flour as one of the ingredients, but the secret is to omit that and replace it with custard powder. This gives them their yellow colouring and distinct creamy flavour.  You can be as creative as you like with the buttercream filling. In this recipe I have made a light cappuccino buttercream, but classic vanilla is divine, lemon is simply delish and passion fruit is oh-my-GOD good.  The way my Nan makes the buttercream though, is together with a good tablespoon of strawberry jam (without the bits) a classic country favourite.

 

Yoyo Biscuits

INGREDIENTS

250g butter, softened

½ cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 ½ cups plain flour

½ cup custard powder

 

Method

Preheat oven to 160°C.  Line oven trays with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, with a paddle attachment, beat butter, vanilla extract and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.

On a low speed, add the flour and custard powder until combined.

 

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With slightly wet hands roll teaspoons of the yoyo dough mixture into balls. Place on the lined trays, leaving about an inch gap between. Use a fork dusted in custard powder to gently flatten and make an indent.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just cooked through. These little guys should not go brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

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Cappuccino Buttercream

INGREDIENTS

200g salted butter

400g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon to instant coffee granules that have been dissolved in a drop of water.

 

METHOD

Using an electric mixer with a balloon whisk attachment beat the butter and vanilla at a high speed until light a creamy.

Add the icing sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add coffee and mix until well combined.

To ice your bikkies, lay them out on your bench, up side down and try to match them up in pairs of a similar size. Pop your buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a dollop or small swirl in the centre of every second biscuit. Sandwich together and place in the fridge for a couple of minutes to set.

 

 

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Best eaten at room temperature with a cup of tea, while watching the Real Housewives of … (wherever, really!!)

Enjoy!

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Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cupcakes

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Now that I’m not working full time and staying home to look after my baby, I love that I have the freedom to pick and choose what work I do.  Last year I had the opportunity to be employed by Kitchen Warehouse to do a couple of cake demonstrations and I had an absolute blast. Combining my passion for baking with my teaching degree… gold! I couldn’t think of a better job!

This year they asked me to come back, along with my dynamite cake extraordinaire mum to judge the Easter Cupcake Bakeoff. Today was the first round at their Cockburn store and -phwoar!- there was some tough competition!!

Before the bakeoff I was feeling all cupcakey and decided to whip up some cupcakes of my own.  Now, I wasn’t in the mood for fondant and glitter, so these little morsels of chocolate decadence unfortunately don’t have the wow factor in terms of appearance, but OMG they taste ammmaaazzze…the perfect dessert cupcake. Rich chocolate cake, piped with an ooey gooey salted caramel filling and topped with a whipped dark chocolate ganache. WINNER.

IMG_1967Now I’d love to give you the recipe, so I am. Well, maybe not the whole recipe… Sorry guys, the recipe for the actual cupcake part is top secret.  Being the first born (and favourite) child of a whiz bang cake decorator I am privy to some pretty fab family recipes and boy, would I love to share them! But unfortunately this is part of what mum’s whole business is based on and it would be cake suicide to give them all away willy nilly! She needs to keep her business running at top notch, and, like any loving child, I need her to keep working hard so I have a large inheritance!

You can use any good chocolate cupcake recipe... this one is top secret. Sorry guys!

You can use any good chocolate cupcake recipe… this one is top secret. Sorry guys!

 

Dark Chocolate Ganache (to ice 16 cupcakes)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup cream

400g dark eating chocolate, chopped

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METHOD

Bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan; remove from the heat. When bubbles subside, add chocolate and stir until smooth.  Transfer into a container and refrigerate.  When completely cool whip in a stand mixer until fluffy.

 

Easiest Salted Caramel on Earth

INGREDIENTS

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup thickened cream

50g butter

salt to taste

METHOD

Add sugar and cream to a small saucepan and stir continuously over heat until thickened.  Remove from heat and add butter.  Mix. Add salt to taste. Transfer to a container and cool completely. Once cool, pipe into the centre of cold cupcakes. (Served hot, this makes an awesome topping for icecream!!)

Pipe whipped ganache on the top of the filled cupcakes.

Use a piping nozzle to make a hole in each of your cupcakes for the filling to be piped in.

Use a piping nozzle to make a hole in each of your cupcakes for the filling to be piped in.

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Luscious Lemon Slice

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Lets face it. I’m a pretty lazy person.  Even my husband would agree.  Actually, he would most definitely agree. I hate doing the dishes. I only wash my hair when it is completely necessary – and that is only once or twice a week- because it takes too much effort to blow dry and style. I will do whatever it takes to get out doing exercise (Marianne, I promise that all my excuses have been genuine!) and I am quite happy to leave a basket full of clean washing in the living room for a whole week until I finally give in to folding it and putting it away. Ironing? Ha! You’ve got to be joking!

When it comes to cooking I am pretty lazy too.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cooking.  But when it comes to fussy recipes with a bazillion ingredients I usually give them a miss.  Hence, why I love my recipe for Lemon Slice so much.  Amazing results for limited effort, always a winner in my book.

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I came across a recipe for lemon slice a few years ago.  It was pre marriage and baby and I was working full time as primary school teacher.  Contrary to popular belief, term time for a teacher can get a little hectic and I was after a dish that I could take for morning tea that wouldn’t leave me slaving away in the kitchen for hours.  My lemon slice as it is today, it an adaptation of the one found on taste.com.au.  That original recipe requires you to follow a few more steps, melt butter on the stove, use a food processor and a few bowls etc etc… Who has time for that? Washing a pot as well as a food processor?  No, thank you. As we have already established that I am incredibly lazy, I changed it to suit my lazy needs, and dumbed it down so it can ALL be done in the food processor.  It is my sweet treat one pot wonder. Limited dish washing required.

So here it is… my 2013 Perth Royal Show award winning (I lie, it came third) Lemon Slice…

Lemon Slice

INGREDIENTS

Base

¾ can of sweetened condensed milk.

100g butter

1 packet of Granita biscuits

1 cup of shredded coconut

½ cup of rolled oats

1 lemon, zest.

 

Icing 

150g butter, room temperature

300g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 lemon, juice and zest.

Extra shredded coconut to sprinkle on top.

 

METHOD

Line a 3cm-deep, 18x18cm (or there abouts) square tin with cling film. Allow for a large overlap.

Make the icing FIRST. In a food processor, place icing sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon zest and juice (to taste).  Blitz until smooth and creamy.  If you are using a Thermomix use your butterfly attachment.  Scrape out of food processor and place to one side.

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Don’t bother cleaning the food processor.  Place biscuits, oats and coconut straight in.   Blitz until you have a sand consistency.

This should look like fine breadcrumbs

Melt butter in the microwave.  Add to biscuits with sweetened condensed milk and lemon zest. Pulse until well combined.

Blitz the butter, lemon zest and sweetened condensed milk together with the biscuit mixture

Press biscuit mixture into prepared pan. Ensure it is level. Place in freezer until firm (15 mins or so).

 Pop the base mixture into the tin

Ensure the base is even

Ensure the base is even

Spread icing over slice. Add shredded coconut. Cover and place into the fridge or freezer until set.

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When completely set and the icing is hard cut into pieces.  For presentation purposes cut off the sides and keep the slices on the small side.  Cut into 32 pieces.

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Recipe: Broccoli Nuggets

I imagine most parents have tried to convince their little ones to eat broccoli through the ‘little trees’ trick.  I know my mum did.  You know the one, that little white lie where they would tell you that the green alien-looking specimen sitting on your dinner plate, next to your mashed potato was, in fact, a miniature tree.

Love it or hate it, broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables, containing vitamins A and E as well as folate, calcium and iron.  With a higher vitamin C content than oranges it sure is a must have food during the cold and flu season.Tasty lunch or snack!

Thankfully, like me, Lucy is not a fussy eater (she clearly has my garbage disposal – eat everything in sight- gene) and I have not had to start using this white lie… yet.  My little angel bear will quite happily munch on some freshly steamed broccoli florets as apart of her dinner. But of course, broccoli is such a versatile vegetable, it seems such a waste to eat it only one way! Earlier this week I was looking for a broccoli recipe for toddlers and I came across this one – broccoli nuggets.  Super easy, Lucy and (Daddy!) loved them and they froze really well. Tick. Tick. Tick.

-This recipe requires you to use a Thermomix to make the mixture.  However, it can easily be done using a saucepan and a food processor and I have added notes for that. It has been adapted slightly from Louise Fulton Keats book, Thermomix Cooking for your Baby and Toddler and also featured on the Thermomix Recipe Community.

INGREDIENTS

160g Cheddar cheese (grated)

40g Parmesan cheese (grated)

120 grams/ 3 slices wholemeal bread

400 grams broccoli – I use the stalk (peeled) and all. Why waste?

600g hot water

1 small brown onion

1 garlic glove

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large free range eggs

50g wholemeal plain flour

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Place bread and cheeses into bowl and chop 8 sec/speed 8.  Set aside. (NON-THERMOMIX- Blitz bread and cheese together so you have ‘breadcrumbs’.)

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Place hot water into bowl, and then place broccoli into TM basket and cook 15 min/Varoma/speed 2. Set aside. (NON-THERMOMIX- Steam Broccoli until tender.)

Place onion and garlic into bowl and chop for 3 sec/ speed 7.  Scrape down sides and add olive oil.  Cook 3 mins/100°C/ speed 1. (NON-THERMOMIX- Cook chopped onion and garlic in olive oil on the stove until translucent.)

Add cooked broccoli bowl and chop on 10 sec/speed 4. (NON-THERMOMIX- Pulse together cooked onion and garlic and steamed broccoli in food processor until it looks finely chopped together.)

Add breadcrumb and cheese mixture, flour, eggs, and cheese and mix until all combined.

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Pour mixture out onto a baking tray and place into the freezer for 5 mins or until the mixture has cooled completely.

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With wet hands roll between 20-25 tablespoons of mixture into balls, flatten and place on trays. After baking for 13 minutes turn nuggets and bake for a further 13 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

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Lucy turns ONE!

It was such a joy to celebrate our baby girl’s first birthday.  And, thankfully, it wasn’t as hard as what I thought it was going to be. I had visions of me as an emotional wreck, blubbering all day, sobbing at the fact my baby was now officially a toddler, no longer my smooshy little ball of fluff.  But to my surprise I was super calm about the whole thing.  Well, maybe calm isn’t the right adjective there. I was completely happy about Lucy’s actual birthday day, but I was stressed to the max about Lucy’s party that was to follow.  To the point where my beloved husband said I had become the equivalent of a 1st birthday party bridezilla.

Yes, you read correctly.

Bridezilla.

I just wanted the party to be a super special event. I put my heart and soul into hand making as many things as I could from the food to the decorations, to Lucy’s birthday party dress to the bow she wore in her hair. I had borrowed my friend’s polaroid camera for our makeshift photo booth and created a time capsule for people to leave their words of wisdom for Lucy to open on her 13th birthday. So much went into the planning and my mum and I met on numerous occasions to discuss the cake and dessert buffet.  For me, this party was a huge ‘thank you’ to all of our loved ones for all of their support over the last 12 months.

It was an AMAZING day.  The weather was absolute perfection. The skies were blue and the sun was shining. We are so utterly blessed with the most phenomenal friends and family, who all came dressed to match the theme in their nautical finest. Lucy was completely spoilt with love and gifts and we all felt really special.

Thankfully all of the styling and decorations came together and the dessert buffet looked divine. The navy, white, coral and gold colour scheme set the tone for the girly nautical theme.  I had a large backdrop designed by Elise at Sweet Scarlet Designs.  She is amazing and oh so helpful– make sure you check her out for your all your party printable needs!

The nautical dessert buffet in all its glory

The nautical dessert buffet in all its glory

My mum, Sandy and I made most of the desserts on the table; though I was fortunate enough to have some talented family members contribute to the sweets table.  My master chef step-dad, Paul whipped up some dreamy, decadent miniature cheesecakes, my gorgeous friend Alana baked her moreish chocolate and raspberry brownies and my fabulous Nan made her heavenly hedgehog slice.

Paul's cheesecakes were a definite hit!

Paul’s cheesecakes were a definite hit!

Alana's chocolate and raspberry brownie

Alana’s chocolate and raspberry brownie

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Now I can’t forget those marvellous coral ombre macarons.  I ordered them from master macaron extraordinaire, Tania from Le Petit Macaron. White chocolate, lemon and salted caramel.  Just thinking about those morsels of sweet heaven is still making me drool.

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Macarons by Le Petit Macaron

THE CAKE.  Wasn’t it just amazing? As I mentioned before, my mum, Sandy made it.  I am still in love. My mum is so talented.  Each tier flowed seamlessly into the next, creating the perfect balance so each element could ‘pop’ in its own way.  The cake was the perfect centerpiece to the table.  The other desserts included cake pops, cupcakes, my Perth Royal Show award winning lemon slice and the latest trend in party desserts – cookie stacks.

The CAKE

The CAKE

My award winning lemon slice. A real crowd favourite

My award winning lemon slice. A real crowd favourite

Drool worthy

Drool worthy

My mum made the cake pops

My mum made the cake pops

Chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream

Cookie Stacks - the newest trend in party desserts

Cookie Stacks – the newest trend in party desserts

Nautical gloriousness

Nautical gloriousness

Lucy’s first birthday was such a joy to plan and hold for all of our family and friends, and while the bridezilla horns MAY have shown their way through my blonde tresses,  I was so happy with the end result.

Fairytale Romance

Our gorgeous friends, Chloe and Ziggy recently decided to tie the knot. We are so utterly happy for them! As our wedding gift to this beautiful couple I made their wedding ‘top cake’.  Now this wasn’t just any ol’ cake. It was designed by the bride and needed to be specifically constructed in order to hold their very sentimental (and heavy!!) cake topper.

You see, Chloe is the ultimate fan of Disney’s classic film, Beauty and the Beast and she and her husband-to-be purchased a ceramic statue from the United States to go on top of their wedding cake.  Unfortunately they were unable to find a cake decorator to make a cake that could withstand the weight of the statue. That’s where I came in!

‘No problem!’ I said.  And it was really no stress at all. In order to comfortably fit the topper the cake was 8 inches in diameter. Inside were four layers of moist vanilla cake covered in sweet, rich buttercream rosettes. ‘In yellow, to match Belle’s dress,’ Chloe requested. To stop the statue from sinking into the sponge, wooden dowelling was used underneath to reinforce the cake. Voila!

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“…rich buttercream rosettes. ‘In yellow, to match Belle’s dress,’ Chloe requested. “

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Unfortunately I was unable to make the cupcakes this time. These beauties were made by Kustom Cupcakes

Getting Crafty…

The best thing about party planning is creating the decorations to go around the room.  I’ve hit the party shops and bought loads of paper fans and garlands. As my mum says, more is more!

Spray paint has become my new best friend and I have spray painted everything from photo frames to the shoes that I’m going to wear.

Frames and a paper mache 1 prior to spray paint

Frames and a paper mache 1 prior to spray paint

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Navy blue, glossy deliciousness

Now you can’t have a party these days without beautiful glass bottles and paper straws.  I customised these gorgeous coral straws with some gold glitter tape.  Lush!

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DIY gold glitter tape flags