First Birthday Party!

Although this post is not necessarily relevant anymore I haven’t posted about Amelia’s first birthday party yet and thought I would just do a brief post mostly including photos!

So you know those crazy party planners that turn into complete psychos on the day…well that was me! I had a vision of how I wanted it to be and how I wanted it to go and there wasn’t going to be anything getting in the way of that. So I apologise again to anyone who was involved and experienced this! But the birthday and the party were a huge success and definitely an amazing way to spend and celebrate Amelia’s first year of life. We were really fortunate that all important family and friends could make the event and as you can imagine Amelia was spoilt rotten by everyone that loves her.

invites

These were Amelia’s birthday party invites, all completely different and handmade. Took a while so probably won’t be doing that again!! Half got the idea from Pinterest and then a trip to Hobbycraft got the rest of it going.

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This was Amelia’s first birthday cake. Made by myself and a close friend of mine who is very talented and did the really hard bit (covering the cake). I was so happy to be able to say that Amelia’s first birthday cake was homemade to a design that I chose and very lucky to have a friend who has a steady enough hand to cover it!! It was just a vanilla sponge with buttercream and jam inside. I was worried making this a few days before if it would still taste yummy by her party but it did and the two weeks later that we were still eating it!

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There was so much food! Went a tad overboard with the food; a sweet table and a savoury table. There was a huge variety; I didn’t just want to do sandwiches etc so we had chicken skewers, sausages in rolls, cheese scones then nibbly bits like crisps, cheese and pineapple, vegetables and dips and lots of other bits. The sweet table was my favourite as it included some really yummy deserts most of which are my favourite; brownies, mini keylime pies, strawberry tarts and loads of cupcakes! Pretty much everything that could be homemade was and there wasn’t too much left over so the guests obviously appreciated it too.

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It wasn’t the sunniest of days but thank goodness it did not rain so it was an inside/outside kind of affair which was really nice. The party had a few different groups of people ranging from family, family friends, girls I went to school with and mummy and baby friends so having a large space meant there was plenty of room for everyone to mingle but not be on top of one another.

Decoration wise there was lots of balloons and cute bunting that I had found at various places in the lead up to the party. I managed to get some really lovely cardboard cake stands, plates and napkins all in a pink spotty floral pattern from Asda and I had cute striped straws from eBay. I made a ‘Happy Birthday Amelia’ birthday banner which I can see still getting cracked out for Amelia’s 18th birthday or something! I also got some of the honeycomb balls from Sainsburys which came in a pack of three and perfectly fitted the kind of colour scheme I was going for. These again have been packed away ready for the next party!

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Amelia’s birthday was on the Friday and we had the party on the Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm! It was a really close call but everything was done just in time for a glass of Pimms before the first guests arrived. I know that a first birthday isn’t going to be something Amelia will remember and it was probably more for me but it was such a nice day to spend with everyone in her life and will be great for her to see these photos when she is older!

Here are a few more photos:

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Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you did for your little ones first birthday!

xxx

Treats Tuesday

Another baking recipe for you! Absolutely loving incorporating lots of nice things to make one delicious cake!

These are Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes; a base of strawberries soften the sponge and the cream cheese frosting with the digestives sprinkled on top make it taste as though you are eating strawberry cheesecake and not a cupcake.

They are so simple (thanks to the Hummingbird Bakery) and are perfect for the nice sunny weather we are getting. Light, fresh cupcakes and so tasty.

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For the cakes you will need:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 40g butter if unsalted add a pinch of salt
  • 120ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 12 strawberries chopped into small pieces

1. Preheat your oven to 170C /Gas3/325F and lay 12 cake cases onto a baking tray.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter either in a mixer or by hand.

3. Pour in the the milk and vanilla extract and mix together well.

4. Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

5. Add a spoonful of the chopped strawberries to the bottom of each cake case.

6. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until around two thirds full.

7. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

For the decoration:

  • 100g digestive biscuits
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 125g cream cheese

1. Put the digestives into a freezer bag and break up until crumbs/blitz in a blender.

2. Beat the icing sugar and butter together either with a mixer or by hand until the mixture has come together.

3. Add all the cream cheese and beat until incorporated.

4. Do not overmix as it can become runny, pop into the fridge to thicken.

5. Once the cupcakes have cooled, decorate with the cream cheese frosting.

6. Sprinkle the broken digestives over the top.

Keep these cupcakes in the fridge! 

Hope you enjoy!! xx

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Foodie Friday

As you may have seen from other posts of mine I LOVE baking and trying out new cake recipes. So today I wanted to share this recipe with you; Black Bottom Cupcakes. It is from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook and is basically a chocolate sponge and cheesecake combined (I know!! Incredible right!!!)

This is a recipe for 24 cakes; mine only made 22 but that’s because I ate mixture and overfilled a couple of cases!

It’s super simple and would love for you to give it a go!

For the chocolate sponge base:

  • 380g plain flour
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 3 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract

 

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas3 and line your baking trays!

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2.  Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and bicarb in a large bowl and mix until all the dry ingredients are combined.

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3. Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and 250ml of water in a hug and whisk to combine.

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4. Slowly add this to the dry ingredients if using a electric whisk increase the speed.

5. This mixture will not be like a normal cake mixture it is super thick as it just acts as a chocolate base!

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6.  Spoon the mixture into the cases until about 2/3 full! Don’t overfill early on like I did and run out! And don’t eat too much of the mixture again like I did…oops!!

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7. Set these aside and get started on the cheesecake filling.

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 300g cream cheese
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g milk chocolate chips

1. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt.

2. If you are using an electric whisk be careful not to overmix as this can cause the cream cheese to separate!

3. Stir through the chocolate chips. This mixture is quite thin and annoyingly the chocolate chips seem to just sink to the bottom!

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4. Add about 1 tablespoon of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture that is already in the cases.

5. Place into the preheated oven for about 20-25minutes.

6. You want the cheesecake to be starting to firm and then set once they are out of the oven and cooled! Be careful not to overcook as they will be super dry and crumbly!

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And there you go!!

This is a completely different recipe to anything I have used before. Putting vinegar in the cake mixture and no eggs/butter seemed really strange but it tastes sooo good! Me and my parents actually had them warm for a pudding just as they came out of the oven which was delicious!

Have you ever experimented with cupcakes??

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Thanks for reading! xx

Chocolate Malteser Cupcakes

I love baking and my latest creation were Chocolate Malteser Cupcakes- really simple recipe but they taste incredible!

Firs things first you need your kitchen aid…

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This was mine; she wasn’t actually very helpful at all and just sat eating spoons and throwing them at me. But always handy to have yourself a sous chef.

But seriously for the cakes you will need:

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  1. Preheat the oven Gas3/170C/325F
  2. Put flour, cocoa powder, butter, salt, baking powder and sugar into mixer and combine until like sand (this can be done by hand too)
  3. Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla together in a jug then pour in about half into the flour mixture.
  4. Beat to combine (high speed if you are using a mixer)
  5. Add the rest of the milk mixture (slower speed if you are using a mixture)
  6. Mix until smooth and until there aren’t any lumps!
  7. Spoon the mixture into 12 cases about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25minutes
  9. Check with a skewer or a knife that they are cooked (should come out clean)
  10. Leave these to cool for as long as possible before decoration.

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For the butter cream:

125g butter

250g icing sugar

60g crushed Maltesers

2 drops vanilla extract.

10ml milk

  1. I find the easiest way to crush Maltesers is by putting them into a bag and hitting them with a rolling pin until broken up so do this first.
  2. Combine the butter, sifted icing sugar, milk and vanilla until creating a buttery yummy mixture- this again can be done by hand or in a mixer.
  3. Add most of the crushed Maltesers leaving a small amount to be sprinkled on top of the cakes.
  4. Leave this in the mixer for about 10minutes or continue to mix until it is thick and frosting-like. (I find using a mixer/handheld mixer works best for butter cream).
  5. Add to cakes once they are completely cool (otherwise icing melts) -this can be done with a piping bag or just a spoon!
  6. Finally sprinkle the remaining crushed Maltesers over the top of the butter cream for decoration

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Finally sit down and eat one…or two!

Enjoy xx

First Christmas Party of the Season…

Today was my first Christmas party of 2013…the under1’s club Christmas Party.

Still a party though! 

Me and Amelia, well mainly me, no just me made some cakes with us to take to the party. I like to use the Hummingbird Bakery recipe for vanilla cupcakes and buttercream frosting so we set to work to do those yesterday.

Baking Necessities

Baking Necessities

Obviously I was baking alone and Amelia sat in her little seat on the table watching/crying/sleeping. Had to do a kind of elaborate baking method that involved a lot more moving around a bit of singing and showing Amelia the ingredients to take her mind of the fact that she did not want to be sat in her chair. Eventually I bored her so much she fell asleep. Baked the cakes and left them to cool then decorated them with what was meant to be red icing that went pink-ish and some silver balls and little holly leaves. Sadly I didn’t take a picture of the finished product before they were munched down at the party today.

Baking became my “thing” I guess a couple of years ago, probably the time I got the Hummingbird book. I love baking not so much for the eating of the cakes but I love decorating them and making the frosting to go on top etc. I don’t like to just bake cakes like to do other deserts, bakes and treats; a family fave is key-lime pie. As you can probably guess The Great British Bake Off is one of my fave tv shows!! *cry* its over! So since having Amelia I haven’t had the time to do as much baking as I’d like too but looking forward to being able to make things like cakes etc for occasions such as parties!

Chocolate Oreo Cupcake

Chocolate Oreo Cupcake

Rocky Road

Rocky Road

Victoria Sponge-Fresh Cream & Strawberries

Victoria Sponge-Fresh Cream & Strawberries

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

Brownies

Brownies

Key-lime Pie

Key-lime Pie

Chocolate Fondant

Chocolate Fondant

Blondies

Blondies

We both got ready for the party I dressed Amelia in a little jumper dress and pink tights (from Sainsbury’s)  as she was allowed her Pavlik harness off for 8 hours today. You may have seen in my previous posts that Amelia has shallow hips so she has been in a soft-fitting harness to encourage the ball into the socket for 16 weeks. We have started the weening process with it so starting today she was out of it for 8 hours which is so exciting!

Everyone had brought some bits to nibble on; bread sticks, crisps, flapjacks and of course my cakes and we all sat around and did lots of christmassy songs. The nursery nurse who runs the under1s session brought some little reindeer finger puppets which Amelia absolutely loved she was going crazy trying to grab it off my hand (great news considering I bought a finger puppet book as a Christmas present). We also played with a bubble machine, some little maracas and some bells with Christmas music in the background.

Felt really weird saying to the mums like have a good Christmas see you in the New Year, feels far to early to be saying all that but that is our last session before Christmas! Its such a nice atmosphere at under1’s because everyone who is there wants to be there; everyone talks about not only their baby but they are genuinely interested to listen to what you have to say in the hope of gaining any tips for themselves.

First party of the Winter 2013 Season gets a 10/10 from me and definitely a 10/10 from Amelia. 

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