Thursday, 20 March 2014

Sneak preview of this year's cake with a purpose

Last year, Z1 had a beetle cake. It was quite a chocolatey and wondrous thing. This year will also be chocolatey and wondrous as I mostly believe that cakes should be chocolate. We have decided upon a ladybird and I have planned as you can see in the lovely picture below. The party is on Sunday. Baking shall take place on Saturday. I am quite excited. 
On a side note, I was speaking to a friend here who had a book that talked about a ladybird. She thought it was a rather amusing typo or weird mistake. In Ireland and in England, we call them ladybirds but I do accept that the North American version - ladybug - makes more sense.
cake, ladybug, ladybird, cake decorating


Monday, 10 March 2014

A Winter Tea Party

On discovering that the winter festivals in Quebec and Ottawa were finished and we couldn't go, Z1 was rather upset and I, on the spur of the moment, proposed that we have a winter tea party. I suggested she invite two friends and that we could have cupcakes with blue sprinkles. I sent the invitation emails to the parents before I could back out of it, what with her birthday party coming up and the house never being as organised as I'd like.

baking, cake decorating, sugar, blue
Blue sugar
Glazed, cracked, beautiful
Blue sprinkles seemed hard to come by in my usual range of shops (or at least not in reasonable quantities at a reasonable price) so I Googled and found you can just add blue food dye to sugar. Hurrah. I then went on over to Pinterest and found that you can apparently make "edible glitter" by putting dyed sugar in the oven for 10 minutes. Z1 didn't seem too excited about this but I was. However, it didn't really turn much sparklier than the simple sugar + food dye combination. It did change the colour a little to a more turquoise/greenish hue and it also produced a beautiful glazed, cracked mess on my baking tray.

I baked some cupcakes and the Zeds helped by licking the beaters after I had finished (I know about raw eggs and salmonella - we had a lucky escape this time - one of many, many lucky escapes from the perils of post-cake-mixing  bowl and spoon licking). Some were chocolate, some were vanilla. I wisely decided to start icing them just when the Zeds were due to go to bed. Husband got them up to brush their teeth while I squiggled and swirled. I lovingly took photos knowing that they were to be destroyed decorated by the Zeds in the morning. All in all, it was a success  - I got to try new things like the ribbony icing tip that came in a 4 pack of icing tips and also making blue sugar. Z1 had her friends over and got to run around screaming a bit. I got to have my friend over too (one of the mums stayed  - yay!) and there were even leftover cakes to bring into work on Monday. Maybe next year we'll go to Quebec or Ottawa for the winter festivals but our Winter Tea Party was fine for this year.