Sunday, May 26, 2013

Carnival Kids Birthday Party

Ok lets get to some detail, no more teasing! We had a Carnival Birthday Party for Amelia. There were 12 guests and mum focused on the games and some hot food while I decorated and baked!

So a Carnival Theme has to be red and white stripes right? We centered the decorations around red and white stripes, with a hint of blue to break it up a little.

We focused on what you would expect from a kids carnival and tried to present it in a birthday edible fashion. I did warn Mum that we did not cover dentist bills! So lets think Carnival, what springs to mind first? It has to be Toffee Apples!

     I still feel like I am teasing, here is a picture of our overall design! There were two tables. One the main table with Candy and Desserts, the other a beverage table, that had more sweets and desserts! (Please excuse the brick wall, I have decided I need another a canopy now!) Fitting everything on one table doesn't really work unless you are feeding 6! I often look at other people's fabulous photos and then think, hold on there is not enough food and isn't this what it is all about, gorgeous eye dropping food for all!
Cake details are coming...

 The lollies were Giant Jaffas, Blue Fairy Floss, Gumballs, Raspberry White Chocolate Bullets, Swirl Lollipops, Ice Cream Lollipops, red, white and blue Jelly Beans and red and blue Sour Clouds. We had a fabulous Ferris Wheel cupcake stand with Berry Cupcakes and a swirl of cream for the adults.
The desserts were scrumptious, Vanilla 'A' shaped red and white striped cookies, layered Jelly Push-Up Pops and Cake Pops.

The cake was presented as a circus tent with a figurine of the birthday girl at the entrance. 
The Cake was  Rainbow Vanilla Cake.
Beneath the cake was a layer of Hamburger Cupcakes, Popcorn Cupcakes and Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes. The Hamburger Cupcakes had a Chocolate cupcake patty in the middle. Popcorn cupcakes were made with mini marshmallows and the Sundae ones are a bit obvious!

 Little details are always what add that golden touch. The little food tents, glass bottle labels, ribbons. fantastic Beehive drink dispenser and beautiful glass apothecary lolly jars.  Whilst they take time to set up and decorate, they make such a  difference. The printable design was supplied by the Pinkadotshop on Etsy.

 The outside area was decorated with matching lanterns, a red table cover and blue and white striped table runner. Our kids table and chairs added extra color. All throughout the decorations was the letter A for Amelia, no one could forget whose party it was! 
                               We hope you enjoyed our Chic 'n Sweet Carnival Candy and Dessert Buffet Design! Don't forget our website link below and facebook!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Double Vision Dots!

I may need saving from multi colored dots! Please help me! No seriously, just piped 16 sheets of Homemade Candy Buttons. I so hope the kids like them at our next party on the weekend. There are dots, chevron stripes you name it at our craft party. Can't wait for the pictures!
Here is a link to the recipe I used for the Candy Buttons. I take no credit and just followed the lead of sandytoesandpopsicles!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cake expectations of the unrealistic kind...

This week I had a work function where we were all bringing in a plate of food to share. I thought I would try those cupcakes that I have been looking at for over 18months, in my over used Women's Weekly, Cupcakes Cheesecakes Cookies cookbook. I use this book all the time and have just admired these cupcakes but needed a bit more confidence, so trying them out on my work colleagues who are not as critical as me or a paying customer was worth a try!

So what are the long desires cupcakes? Toffee Tumble Cupcakes and Coconut Cupcake Kisses. Late on a weeknight I gathered my ingredients and followed the instructions to a t!


I was so disappointed! Here is why, on the left is the image from the cookbook, on the right is my paling into insignificance cupcake. I thought I was in love with them to be totally deflated when they didn't meet my huge expectations.

 Now lets talk about the Coconut Kisses (1st cupcake) It looks amazing in the photo, the cupcake and frosting is exceptional, just melts in your mouth. But it does not look like the picture! I was sitting in my kitchen in the early hours of the morning after working all day trying to figure out how they put that many Raffaello balls on one cupcake! Now the balls are about 3cms wide each, my cupcake was about 7cms (can you guess that I did not do the maths about the size of the Raffaello balls?) I could barely fit 4 balls on the bottom! Their cupcake fitted 6 and then a tier of 3! That cupcake had to be huge, at least 9-10cms. Now I love cupcakes but I don't like them the size of huge muffins. I don't think you enjoy them as much. So now I ponder how to make Raffaello balls in a smaller size or what I can substitute with! (slight tear in my eye with the sadness...)

Mmm Caramel kisses, they were the best tasting cupcakes I have had in a while, the vanilla custard in the middle, oh it is just heaven, they were gone in a flash! The little hint of toffee, divine. Sigh, they are deflated...... The instructions said to make 300 choux balls, that's a lot of balls! The extra special hint says, "Holding piping bag vertical to baking paper lined oven tray, quickly pivot wrist, piping tiny dollops (equal to1/4 teaspoon) of choux pastry" Now I am not sure what the pivot wrist is, but I am thinking I may need to stand on my head with a leg in the air and do a 360 pivot independent of my wrist! Seriously you just had to touch the baking paper and there was already 1/4 of a tsp and it didn't like to stop! So I think my choux pasty balls were slightly bigger than theirs, but I don't think it it was my bad acrobatic dancing that is the main culprit. Me thinks that the cupcakes were huge!

I am now on a mission. I feel betrayed and tricked. From now on all pictures of cupcakes should be taken with a photo of something familiar like a coin (mmm might not help if it is from another country though ;) ) or maybe a bic pen so that people like me who dream of making the perfect cupcake are not left in shreds on the kitchen floor weeping in the early hours of the morning.

Below is the picture of the cupcakes taken to my work function, they all tasted amazing and no one  but me thought that they looked premature to their cookbook counterparts.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Carnival Party Sneek Peak!

We had a fabulous Carnival Party for nine year old Amelia on the weekend. We are waiting for some wonderful photos to come through, but wanted to share a sneak peak beforehand!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How do you do it all?

"How do you do it all?" is the most common question I am asked when I create my Candy and Dessert Buffets. I have 11 year old twins and work full time as well!

I guess the first thing is I would rather an evening in the kitchen than sitting on the couch watching tv! I find it relaxing and I don't get hassled from the family while I am in the kitchen either!

Secondly I am very conscious of the time needed for my Candy and Dessert Buffets. I plan then specifically with items that can be make 3 days in advance. There might be some macaroons, yo yos, cookies, jellies or some other dessert that can be totally or partially made a few days earlier.

I like to leave my cakes and cupcakes to the night before so they are fresh and light and that gives me the morning to redo any disasters (yes we all have them!)

For the special occasion this weekend I have already made one layer of jelly in push up pop containers, created a figurine for the cake and baked the cookies that will be iced tomorrow.

So I guess it's all about planning for the time you have to do everything so it is all not in a rush and gives you some extra time in case something goes wrong!