Now those who know me will know that I’m a bit of a baking fanatic, and that I like things to look nice, and I don’t mind that it might take ages to get things right – but it must be right. I stumbled upon Pinterest when I was researching things for Isabella’s christening, and was immediately hooked (all my sisters are now hooked too, and quite a few of my friends, which is a bit annoying as they no longer think I’m a creative genius as they know I’ve just copied from Pinterest). It was here that I think I first found inspiration for the colour scheme for Isabella’s christening, and found lots of ideas for the dessert table. I have to confess all these treats took up the best part of a week to make, with lots of help from Isabella’s (fairy) Godmother who is also my sister Rosie.
I made a rainbow cake for my Auntie’s 50th, and decided to make one on theme for the table. I used Americolour gel food colours in everything, it’s the first time I’d used them but they are great, really bright colours that don’t run. I made the bunting for the cake by printing out stripes and polka dot designs onto plain paper, cutting it out into diamonds and sticking them (folded in half) onto divine twine. The icing is buttercream (butter, icing sugar and lemon juice), piped on in swirls.
The tablecloth came from Waitrose and the streamers from ebay.
Rosie spent a small fortune on Washi tape (coloured and patterned masking tape) in Canada, and I made the food label flags by sticking it onto food picks and sticking them into marshmallows so they’d stand up. I wrote on the names of the cakes with a sharpie pen.
The cupcakes cases are Paper Eskimo ones from The Cake Decorating Company. I made the chocolate buttons by using Wilton candy melts and a silicone button mould that was about £3 on eBay. The key is to put the melts into a piping bag, melt carefully in the microwave (don’t over heat), and then pipe into the mould being careful not to overfill. Then bang the mould on the worktop several times to get rid of air bubbles.
The biscuit lollipops were pretty easy. The recipe is from Peggy Porschen’s book – both the books have the same recipe. It’s great because the biscuits don’t really spread at all during baking, but the key is to make the dough the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight, or even for a few days. I got paper sticks so that they could go in the oven (the plastic ones can’t). Roll out the mixture quite thickly (I use two bits of dowling and keep the rolling pin on those either side of the dough, so that when you roll it out it’s all perfectly even), cut out your shape and remove the excess, and then with one hand on top of the cut out biscuit, carefully push the stick in about an inch. It’s a bit of a knack, but if you go wrong just roll it out again and have another go.
Then ice them with royal icing (150ml egg whites, 1 kg icing sugar, splash of lemon juice plus more to get to the consistency you need). Morrisons sells piping bags that are perfect, they are plastic which are better than paper as the icing stays moist, so if you get bored or need a break you can have one without the icing going hard and getting ruined.
I found this recipe for the pink smartie cookies a while ago when I was looking for a white chocolate and raspberry recipe. It’s on the carnation milk recipe and these cookies are so yummy, you will want to eat them all. They freeze well, so make up a load and put some in the freezer (a tin of condensed milk makes double the recipe shown), and then you can just get them out and in 10 mins have fresh cookies. A guaranteed way to look like a domestic goddess ;-) The recipe is easily adapted, add cocoa for double chocolate cookies, etc. As I wanted these to fit with the theme I bought a couple of tubes of pink smarties and used those instead of white chocolate, and omitted the raspberries. By the way, the raspberry ones are lovely, but they keep much longer without them.
I’m trying out the new Blogstomp app, which is why there is a watermark on the images. It let’s you put montages like this together easily and quickly.
I have more photos to share of the rest of the christening, but first things first ;-)