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Our celebration for Daddy’s 40th birthday

Although this picture looks like it was taken in 1973, it was actually from last Sunday when we celebrated Daddy’s 40th birthday!! As promised, I organised a surfing dessert table in memory of his surfing adventures.daddy's 40th birthday

 I took the Friday off from work and baked baked baked !!! There was a cake, nope actually two cakes, many cupcakes, cake pops and different cookies: sharks, surfers and surfing boards.

40th cake

 We had a very relaxing day. It was beautiful and sunny outside so while I was finishing the last touches for the table, daddy enjoyed the gorgeous weather and played outside with the kids. In the afternoon we had some friends coming over to make a toast (we had a huge bottle of Taittinger – oh yeah!) and plenty of sweets as you can see!

40th cupcakes

The day before, I organised a piccola surprise. I had two of his best friends flying over from Italy and they surprised him by pretending to be burglars and attempting to steal his beloved motorbike! Imagine his face! I actually made a video which is incredible funny and I might share it with you in the near future…

beach dessert table

cookies

dessert table

happy birthday daddy

You cannot imagine how difficult it was to stick those £$*@ waves on the cake! I spent hours and they kept breaking until my genius husband proposed to place them on a parchment paper and transfer them on the cake, brilliant! It saved my night!

surfing cake beach

shark cookie

shark cookies

surf cookies

surfing board cookies

On a Friday night I started making these beach ball cake pops. I was up until 1 am and at that point I have to admit, I actually started to enjoy making them and could have carried on all night (sick I know lol).

surfing cake pops

surfing cake

surfing sweet table

I had bought two giant balloons to decorate the table but didn’t want to include the full picture as one was bigger than the other.. explanation? They were so big that a full tank of helium wasn’t enough to fill both of them! #fail 🙁

surfing table

Daddy’s 40th birthday was an amazing one and we celebrated the way my husband wanted, low-key surrounded by good friends and good food!

Daddy blowing candles

“Tanti auguri a teeeee, tanti auguri a teeeeee, tanti auguri feliciiii, tanti auguri a teeeeeeee!!”

Buon compleanno Daddy!

 

My frozen cake pop Advent Calendar

Our Christmas countdown has started! Creating an advent calendar has always been a tradition in our family and I’m very keen to carry on with it as I love to see my children’s excitement growing daily!

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This Christmas will be a special one! We are going to be celebrating with my mum and my sister who will come over from Italy! The last time we had Christmas all together in Scotland was more than 10 years ago so you can imagine our happiness!

In the meantime this week we have been very busy baking (and eating) many, many cake pops! I wanted to create a set of Christmas cake pops and then make a few more (well a bit more than a few) to use them for our edible advent calendar.

cake pops

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Last year, for our Christmas countdown, I made my first cake pop advent calendar and it was such a success so I decided to make another one this year.

edible cake pop advent calendarTo make the Advent Calendar I baked 24 cake pops using a cake pop machine (easy!). I coverd them in white chocolate, sprinkled with light blue sugar and placed on each one an edible number which is made out of light blue fondant. My husband helped me to create the actual tree where we inserted all cake pops and voila! A Frozen Advent Calendar was ready!

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Last year we didn’t succeed to make it last till Christmas eve (not even sure if the cake pops last that long outside the fridge lol!) and this year will probably be the same as the kids have already asked to have “one, just one cake pop pleaaaase mummy”.

Christmas countdownTo be honest I  have a backup plan anyway as we’ll actually be filling a second advent calendar, a red wooden one shaped like a house, with little treats and we have a “strict policy” regarding this one: Bee can only open one draw per day and if she opens more than one then the next day she’ll find the draw empty (it happened last year!)

edible frozen advent calendar

I cannot wait for Bee to come home from nursery today and see her face when she finds out that in the middle of her toys, two treats are waiting for her!

surprise advent calendar

Cake pops are well loved in this family so I guess I have started a tradition of edible Advent Calendars that will make it last in the years to come.

frozen advent calendar

 

A special 40th birthday

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Two weeks ago my lovely sister celebrated her 40th birthday!

My sister Barbara is a sophisticated, smart, elegant and beautiful woman and somehow I really wanted this table to represent her. Unfortunately we could not be together as she lives in Italy and she could not make it over here to see what I have planned for her but it was a lovely surprise that we shared through Skype: she was thrilled to see what I made for her! Such a pity she could not taste any of it.

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I decided to keep everything black and white and give a touch of color only by adding a bunch of white roses.

The centre piece was a two tiers vanilla cake with a double layer of crème patissiere and forest fruit coulis. The cake was covered in white fondant and decorated with fondant sugar butterflies and edible diamonds.

Bee and I prepared the sugar butterflies well in advance so by the time we had to apply them to the cake, they were dry and took the desired shape. My husband helped me to stick the diamonds to the cake because at one point I got really annoyed as the diamonds kept falling down on the table! See what husbands are for? They remain calm during a baking crisis.

The white rose cupcakes had a vanilla chocolate base and they were covered with simple frosting made of icing sugar and butter.

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To make these white chocolate cake pops I actually didn’t use the cakepop maker I recently bought but I followed the instructions from the book “Bake my I’m yours” therefore I baked a cake, crubled it and then added frosting to it. By doing this, the shape of the cake pops is rounder and looks kind of perfect!

To make these flower cake pops I followed the same recipe I used for the butterfly cake pops and I covered them with sugar flowers . Each one was decorated with an edible pearl.

I used Martini glasses to serve these mini Oreo’s cheesecakes. This is a recipe that you can find on my Pinterest.

The taste is pretty sweet but absolutely yummy!

This sugar white rose was my husband’s first attempt at creating a fondant white rose! Pretty good eh?

I ordered some party invitations from the Tiny Prints website. These were a perfect match for this dessert table. The quality of the paper is just amazing and hopefully, through the pictures, you can see that the invitations had a pearlescent finish. Just fab!

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I used few apothecary jars which I absolutely love and filled one with meringues, a couple with liquorice and mint candy, one with Oreos and another one with mint candy. I think they look really good on the table.

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My husband, who is a graphic designer, was kind enough to create these lovely food cards to place on the table and to hang on the jars. I think they give a classy touch to the table.

I was looking to use a canvas or a print of Audrey Hepburn. Then I decided to use a baroque framed mirror where I stuck an Audrey Hepburn vinyl I bought online. I was quite pleased with the result!

Paper straws! My obsession!

Buon compleanno Bambi!

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Mother’s day – Festa della mamma!

Although in Italy Mother’s day is not until May, I still would like to dedicate this post to my lovely Mamma who not only is the best mother but also best mother-in-law! (go on, check with my husband if you don’t believe me! :))

So to celebrate, I once again found an excuse to bake some cupcakes and I made my first attempt at cake pops.

I cannot wait to show these pictures to Mamma! She definitely has a sweet tooth but unfortunately this time she will only be able to look at the pictures.

However  as both my mom and my sister will come at the end of the month for the birth of my baby boy, I will soon have another excuse to bake… well I will be 9 months pregnant but I’m sure I will manage my bump around the kitchen 🙂

To make the cake pops I cheated a bit as this time I actually bought a cake, crumbled it and added some frosting. To cover the cakepops I melted some white chocolate and added some food colouring to give it a light pink shade. Then I remembered in the cupboard I had some “Barbie sugar decorations” I bought some time before and I just sprinkled them on the cake pops before the chocolate got dry.

To make the cupcakes I just followed a basic Vanilla cupcake recipe.

The frosting I used to cover the cupcakes is special though! I found a recipe called Marshmallow fondant which allows you to make in just few minutes, a smooth creamy fondant which tastes exactly like marshamallow (duh!) and has a fine texture that will melt in your mouth!

Due to the fact that I started to bake a bit late in the day, by the time I had to take pictures, the light in the kitchen wasn’t ideal, I’m still hoping though you can appreciate the shiny colours of these sweets.

 

And obvioulsy once again, I used my lovely cake stand and replaced the green ribbon with a pink one (found in a remote box where we stored it after my daughter was born).

  Ti voglio bene Mamma!