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Life is a beach

I hardly find anytime to bake cakes these days so I was so happy when my friend asked me to make a beach themed cake for her mother. She found a picture of a lovely cake online and she asked me to make something similar.

The only time  I made a beach theme cake was for my husband’s 40th birthday but this one was a bit different. This time I had to challenge myself and make something I’ve never done before: an edible palm and a beach chair.

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I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal… wrong! For the palm the leaves would just not stay put and no matter what I was using to make them, they kept breaking… until I found the simple solution to support them from underneath with cocktails sticks and it worked! The palm was made out of modelling chocolate and the leaves were sugar paste.

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For the sand I used light brown sugar and to make the seashells I used fondant and a plastic mould. I started making them about a week in advance because they needed to be firm and dry by the time I had to put them on a cake.

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Making the chair took me an incredible amount of hours! Honestly it was so difficult to cut all the little pieces and combining them together. I had to make sure they were perfectly glued (sugar glued!) one to another to make the chair stay put.

This was my first time making edible flower and although they were very simple I thought they looked good.

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Here the cake, ready to be collected. My friend loved it and her mum too!

What should I bake next?

beach cake

Back with a bang

The last 10 or so months have passed by in a blink of an eye! When someone, only few weeks ago, asked me if i was still writing my blog, my reply was ” yeah, I only stopped for a couple of months because I got hacked but I’ll soon be online again”

A couple of months!?!

It has been AAAGES and I didn’t even realise I neglected my blog for so long, too long..

Anyway the good news is that i’m still alive and kicking and what’s best is that we are starting with a new blog post about…. parties and cakes!

Many things have changed but my passion for creating parties and baking is still the same. Recently I have organised my daughter’s 6th birthday party and I felt back in the game!

This year’s theme was Cinderella.  My daughter (ok, it was me too!) fell in love with the latest movie and desperately wanted to have a princess party so she could wear her fab dress.

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I was keen to bake a different cake so after spending hours on Pinterest I found the one i wanted: a Cinderella carriage cake! Don’t even let me start with how difficult it was to get those $%&£ wheels not to break and to stand up!

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But overall I thought it would have been more challenging creating this cake and I was pleased to discover that my baking mojo was not all lost after all.

We set up a table with colourful Cinderella party plates, napkins and cups which I got online from the Partyrama website (have a look because they are definitely the cheapest on the market!).

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I then set up a different table where I put all the “party goodies” for the kids to take home once the party ended. I made some Cinderella cupcakes…

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Cinderella cookies…

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Button cookies (my lovely mamma kindly spent ages trying to get the ribbon through the tiny holes!)

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And then we (obviously) had some magic wands and on each one of them, there was a little star glass bottle filled with Magic dust

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We hired a hall at our local church so it wasn’t a great setting to get good pictures..

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If you are wondering what a Minion cake has to do with Cinderella.. well .. few weeks ago it was Leo’s birthday and because I knew many of his friends were coming to Bee’s party, I thought to bake a cake and sing a happy birthday song for him too! Next year he’s going to have his own party too.

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The room was filled with laugh, love and fun! What I love the most about these parties is that year after year Beatrice is still very fond to have what they have become her truly best-friends throughout the years.

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These amazing girls who she met when she was only a baby at her nursery and who she still has an amazing bond with. That’s truly magic!

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The tricky bit about the parties (at least for me) is finding a good way to entertain the kids.

This year we decided to give someone else the task to make the kids having a couple of hours of great fun. And thank God we did as the person who was supposed to open the hall doors arrived late so I was late myself setting up the whole party but the ladies from “It’s in the bag” came to the rescue!

As soon as the kids arrived they were there, ready to shout their lungs out and make sure the kids had a blast!

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They gathered all kids together and starting singing and entertaining the children with stories, rhyme and creative games.

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They were fab!

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It was a lovely birthday party and although mummy organised it all, who got to have a picture with the birthday girl!??!? Daddy!!! Oh well…

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Buon compleanno amore mio!

Bee’s 5th birthday – My Little Pony fun party

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It took me ages to go through the million pictures we took at Beatrice’s birthday party but I finally made it!

The 11th of April we threw a fun colourful party for Bee’s 5th birthday. I decided that being so fortunate to live in such a big house, it’d have been lovely to celebrate it here, having a big garden and many rooms where the children could play and have fun.

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We had 17 chidren coming so I knew I had to get organised and not only prepare delicious fun food but get together some games to play.

We decided the theme of the party ages ago. To be honest I was quite firm that it would have not been a Frozen party!! Bee was not too disappointed as she’s been into My Little pony for a while now so I only needed to enphasize that the party would have been very colourful with a rainbow cake and she was pretty excited.

First of all  I was desperate to find a tutorial to make a pinata.  On youtube I could only find complicated tutorials so I decided to make one out of cardboard boxes which was easy to make, perhaps a bit time consuming but overall the outcome was quite pretty! I filled it with different sweets, paper flowers and lollipops. I made it cloud shape as this is the cutie mark that the mini pony called Rainbow dash has got on his side.

 

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Then it was the food. I wanted everything to be colourful and fun. So not only a Rainbow cake was a must but cupcakes, jellies, fruits and home made meringues had to match the colours of the rainbow.

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To make the bottles of water go along with the theme, I added just a drop of edible colour in each bottle and they looked so pretty!

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I wasn’t sure how to decorate these vanilla cookies so at the last minute I put these mini pony plastic toppers on top and voila’

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Can you see that there is something missing on this cake? The reason behind it is that (obviously) when we went to place the Rainbow dash made out of fondant, it literally fell apart! 🙁

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Broken pony…

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So we took a few pictures of the cake with no ponies on it and then used plastic ones.

IMG_0572Here again my obsession with paper straws,  I decorated them with pretty happy birthday straw flags.

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If you remember in my previous post I was attempting to make meringues for the first time, here they are again. These little kisses meringue tasted delicious, were light, plus very pretty to look at.

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These were plain vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream and rainbow toppers made out of edible coloured fondant.

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After making these rainbow skewers I decided that this is the solution to get kids to eat more fruit. All children wanted one and there was none left!

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I made these homemade lollipops using corn syrup and decorated them with sugar sprinkles. I think they look fun!

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These were chocolate pyramids which I made using a plastic mould

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I underestimated how long it’d take to make this cake. I took me almost a day between baking the different layers, fill it, making the rainbow on top and making the swiss meringue buttercream in 6 different colours to match the outside with every layer of the inside. And when it was ready and I showed it to my husband guess what his reaction was? “Oh, this one, I was expecting something different…” URGH!

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One of the activities I had planned for the day was decorating cupcakes. I had previously baked one cupcakes and one pony cookie for each child. Then I had prepared a fondant layer shaped like a pony that the children had to decorate with all the different colourful sprinkles I put on the table.

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For the cupcakes they had pieces of fondant (each one was a different colour) which they had to roll and make a rainbow to recreate the cupcakes I made for the dessert table.

I have to say the imagination these kids had to create their own pieces of art left me speechless!

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Each child had a My Little pony name tag  so at the end of the party they could recognize their own creations and take them home.

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Then it was the table were all the kids ate their food. I had covered the water bottles with lovely rainbow printables and all plates, and table covers along with the bunting, the gorgeous balloons for the rainbow arch and the other foil balloons were from Partyrama. Great to find the whole themed party decorations in one place!

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The night before the party I found myself making lots of rainbow jellies. I’ve never been a big fun of jelly as we don’t really give it to kids in Italy but after this party I was left with quite a few jellies so my mom and myself started to have one after lunch just to try it (yes I’m not kidding I never had one before!) one after dinner and now we love it too!

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On the big table we had a platter full of colourful vegetables, more fruits, panini, crisps and crackers. Then my husband prepared pizza for the kids and for the parents who were pleased to be offered a beer or two too 🙂

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I spent every evening of the week before the party creating paper tails made out of crepe paper, for the kids to stick on this poster and cut 34 pony ears out of felt so the kids could put them on their head with little clips I had prepared.

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One of the best moments was when daddy started making candy floss! All the kids lined up to get one and went crazy about it!

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Each child took home a piece of the rainbow cake but still we were left with lots of cake, didn’t realised I made such a big one!

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The chilly wind didn’t stop the children going outside and playing in the garden

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And that pinata just didn’t want to break. After a while I just asked the kids to jump on it! lol

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It was the end of the party and I had prepared some goodie bags to give to the children. Each bag was filled with a different My little pony soft toys and the kids faces when I started to throw the bags in the air for them to catch, was priceless!

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After waving goodbye to the children, we suddenly look up and realised that in the sky there was a real rainbow!

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 What a perfect day it was, full of fun, friends, cake and many memories to keep forever.

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