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Valentine’s day

All you need is Family love

On Sunday we are going to have a big celebration for my husband’s 40th birthday (eeeekk) and obviously we’ll have many cakes and sweet treats.

Because of this,  I thought I would bake a cake for Valentines’ day few days earlier.  This year I wanted to celebrate what I believe is the biggest love you can have: a family!

Valentine's family love

During the endless hours spent at night on Pinterest (I know I should be sleeping!), I often see these sweet little love birds on cakes and cupcakes so I got the idea to create a cute family of 4 birds which would represent us.

love cake

I first baked some cookies shaped like birds, decorated with royal icing and set them aside. With the rest of the dough I made mini cookie hearts and coloured them with royal icing too.

I then baked a super moist sponge cake, prepared a Nutella and ricotta filling and assemble it all together. I covered the cake in lilac fondant and placed the birds on top by using some toothpicks. At last I attached the cookie hearts all around like a garland.

Valentine's day cake

The result is not perfect but I literally did in less than a day while the kids were nappy or playing so I guess it’s not too bad (self pat-pat on my back :))

love birds cake

Whatever you do, however you celebrate,  I hope this Valentine’s day will bring you much love … and cake!

My Sweet Valentine dessert table

My husband and I have been together for 8 years and we have NEVER celebrated Valentine’s day. This year, inspired by some amazing pictures I found on Pinterest (yes again Pinterest!) I wanted to create a dessert table for Valentine’s day to inspire people who do celebrate it! The same dessert table could be created for your loved ones birthday too so no need to wait for Valentine’s day!

For the first time I attempted to make a ruffle cake using Swiss Meringue Buttercream which I love! Swiss meringue buttercream has a silk consistency, its texture is light and the taste is just amazing! You really need to give it a go. I have to admit, it’s not the easiest buttercream to make but I’m glad I found the perfect recipe plus some tips and trick to prepare it.

The cake itself is a simple vanilla sponge cut in two with a layer or swiss meringue buttercream in the middle.

I then made some square and round vanilla cookies filled with strawberry jam. To make the jam look less lumpy I first heated it with some water to get a smooth consistency. Please before filling the cookies, make sure you let the jam cool otherwise your biscuit will go all soggy.

I liked the idea to have a second cake on the side. This is a vanilla sponge filled with a layer of creme patissiere and rasperries coulis covered in vanilla fondant. The heart on the top is made out of red vanilla fondant.

As soon as I saw this chalk board on the shop shelf I fell in love with it!! I looked like the perfect background for my dessert table. Luckily I have a creative husband so I asked him to write the message on the board. I think it looks fab!

I’d like to explain the messy ruffles on the top of the cake (promise it’s not an excuse). Very rarely I’ve got free time to do things without my kids. On Sunday when I decided to create this ruffle cake I asked my husband to take both my kids away playing in another room as I had to concentrate on the ruffles. I did the sides well then when I was approching the ruffles on the top my daughter came into the kitchen…

“Mummy, what you doing?”

“Making a cake…”

“Oh  mummy it’s lovely! Why are you making a cake?”

“For my dessert table and then we can eat it all together”

“Why are you covering the top… ?!? Why are you using the red colour…?!? Why are your hands all red…??!!? Why…. (endless questions) ”

For every “why” my hand was taking speed so that’s why the ruffles look a bit rough!

I found these lovely free printables on the Thetomkatstudio website. I just adore their work and these simples Valentine’s cards gave a lovely touch to my desser table.

For this Valentine’s table I’m using again (yeah I know but I love them!) my milk bottles decorated with some heart straws and silk ribbon.

These Vanilla cupcakes are covered with cream cheese buttercrem and red chocolate hearts. I made the chocolate hearts by melting some red candy melt chocolate then I filled a mini piping bag made out of parchment paper and tried to pipe little heart shapes. They don’t look perfect and I like that.

Red tulips… love this flower.

Little vanilla heart cookies and small meringues.

When I had finished to take pictures and cleared the dessert table, I put all cookies and bits and pieces on this wooden board and made a picture of it, just because.. I loved it so much that despite not being part of the table I wanted to add it to this post.

 

You rock, Mint rocks!

 

I was struggling to find the perfect drink to fill the champagne flutes. I knew I wanted something sparkling but the colour was never right. To cut a long story short, I ended up buying some Pink Lucozade and adding  few drops of red food colouring lol!  In need of energy, this morning when I woke up I gulped the drink down… wondering if someone saw me drinking from a champagne flute at 7 o’clock in the morning!

Please note the glass cloche with a heart on the top, isn’t it cute?

 

Sweet Valentine’s day everyone!