Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Mum's 50th Birthday

I know what you're going to say, 'WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING THE LAST 2 MONTHS?!?!' Well, to be honest, I've been going through a bit of change...

...I turned 23 last month...I got a new job...and I moved back to the country (and closer to my parents YAY!)...

So, I apologise for my absence but finally things have settled down and I believe that this is the beginning of wonderful things to come. 

But I digress....

My Mum and Dad at their engagement party...almost 30 years ago!!

Amongst settling into my new life, my wonderful, creative, fabulous, ever wise mother turned the big 50 last month. And to celebrate, she decided to go out with bang and have TWO parties. A nice afternoon tea party, with plenty of cakes, tea, coffee...or for the fashionably late...a few bubbles. And of course a party, full of wine, beer, dancing and even more cake. 

Now my mum is a bit like me (or I'm a bit like my mum) in that we are cake snobs. There is no point in denying it. If it's anything less than perfection, well, lets not even go there. So, naturally all the cakes where handmade. I, of course, willingly volunteered to help out....completely unaware that I wouldn't leave the kitchen for two days. 

Having already made most of the bases, all that was really left was to frost, decorate and put together all these scrumptious treats (with a little help from my sister for the Birthday cake). 

I have supplied some of the recipes but my main objective for this post is to showcase some of my decorating skills that I hope you will all enjoy. But believe me, they were as tasty as they look. 
This Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Mousse Frosting was the Birthday Cake. My sister and I were left in charge of this which involved banishing Mum from coming anywhere near the kitchen for a few hours. Which, by the way, was no easy feet. 

We used real roses, that are obviously scarce at this time of year, but you can buy them from any florist. I was originally going to pipe around the bottom of the cake, but I was fiddling around with the leaves and we decided it looked much better. The fresh raspberries were a no brainer and instead of standard candles, a single tea light completes the look. 

My sister putting on some final touches 

Up until the party, I always thought my piping skills were pretty average. I have never really done much before, but I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of these Lemon and Blueberry Cupcakes. 
This is me putting the Lemon and Blueberry Cupcakes together. 

These little bundles of amazingness are just cupcake versions of the Lemon and Blueberry Cake which can be found through the link below: 

The centre of the cupcake has been cored out, just with an apple corer, and filled with the lemon curd. Finish with the lemon frosting and garnish with some lemon zest. OR even a fresh blueberry would look pretty. 

My Mum recently discovered that she has an intolerance to wheat, not gluten, wheat! Which means she can still have some types of flours, such as rye, but just not your standard supermarket variety. 

This cake is an Apple and Walnut rye flour cake, topped with my brown sugar frosting, which can be found here: 

To get the squiggle on top of the cake, you need to use a jagged edged plastic scraper (that's the best way I can describe it). If you don't have this tool, you may also be able to get the same effect using a fork...but don't quote me on that. Simple star piping finishes off the edge. 
Here are my simple Dark Chocolate and Coconut Macaroons. These are completely gluten free and a nice dainty treat for any tea party. Clearly, not much decorating required here :)

If there is anything from the party that I'm most proud of, it would have to be these Turtle Cupcakes. They are a chocolate cupcake, topped with chocolate frosting, a nut of your choice (we used crushed hazelnuts and pecan quarters) and finally drizzled with homemade caramel. 

I used a large star nozzle to pipe the frosting onto the Turtle Cupcakes and I was most impressed that I was able to get them all looking relatively the same. Not to toot my own horn, but I believe they could be put in a shop tomorrow. 

They were sooooooooo cute that it was hard to stop at just once. But the fact that they were so small allowed for, some, guilt-free indulgence.