Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tim Burton Cupcakes

I'm finally getting around to looking at some of the Tim Burton party details a bit more closely. Mostly because I'm basically missing out on Halloween this year! So trying to make the Tim Burton goodies last longer :)

I'm a bit of a knob, having just noticed when I tried to find all the cupcake photos that I didn't actually take a photo of all the different kinds of cupcakes TOGETHER.... and yet I'm pretty sure I took literally thousands on the day. Always the way. Let's blame it on the huge distracting red wig I was wearing at the time.

Moving right along. I had lots and lots of different ideas for Tim Burton cupcakes, ESPECIALLY Alice in Wonderland ones which are all over blogland at the moment, but given that I was trying to incorporate as many TB movies as I could into the spread, it made sense to make a big varied range.

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I had two trays of cupcakes on the table, and one tiered stand on the dessert table. I didn't really take many photos of the trays - epic fail, but you can see above the Charlie and the Chocolate factory one. I made teeny tiny little rainbow fondant lollypops on tooth picks that looked really cute on their own (top, middle, yellow) but didn't love how they looked on the cupcake. Lucky they tasted good!

And below the Beetlejuice cupcake (black and white with the bow tie) and Joker cupcake (yellow and purple with the green bow tie).

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There was a range of normal sized cupcakes and teeny tiny mini ones - not gonna lie, I actually just ran out of patty pans :) Whooops! All in good fun. But actually having the range added quite well to the theme. See. Secretly I planned it that way *cough*

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Actually now that I've let that slip, I don't even have patty pans ON all of them on the stand. What a slacker. Mismatching is all in vogue though right....!

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Moving right along

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The idea for the one above actually came from a photo I saw of the entrance way to the Tim Burton exhibit in Melbourne. Tim Burton always uses jagged swirly patterns, and this one was very his style. It was also one of the easiest to decorate! A pre cut circle of white fondant with black icing gel.

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The five above were my favourites (hence they ended up on the top tier of the stand on the dessert table) ESPECIALLY the Tweedle Dum/Tweedle Dee cupcake on the right - another easy one on a pre-cut circle of fondant.

PLUS, a perfect match for a very important guest

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TOO CUTE!!!!

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I tried to steer clear of most of the Alice in Wonderland ideas I'd seen with top hats and cards since I already had such a lot of inspiration from that movie in other aspects of the table, so went with a simple hard candy in plain vanilla buttercream. Simple and cute!

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Eek! look at Jack Skellington. He's my idol.

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The roses were inspired by Big Fish and Sleepy Hollow. I tried to make them a darkish red and love the way they turned out. Although FYI - if you store these in an airtight container and forget about them, the rose practically MELTS into the icing! not a great look...

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(Just quietly, this post is making me hungry)

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The purdy blue ones were partially for my visiting big sis, partially because I wanted to play with my butterfly plungers, and partially for Corpse Bride. A lot of the Tim Burton inspired cakes I saw when I was planning were purpley blue butterfly Corpse Bride inspired, and this was my simpler version :)

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One of my favourites that really just happened on the day were these Pumpkin King cupcakes that matched the Topsy Turvy cake. I had pumpkins left over after finishing the cake topper, and they turned out perfectly!

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Favourite image from the day - Jack and Sally!! Both done on pre-cut fondant circles that I just placed on the buttercream on the day - HUGE time saver!!

So there they all are! There were others around on the tables that I possibly missed, but these were my favourite ones!

This last weekend I spent making teeny tiny pink and purple polka dot cupcakes to match a 1st birthday cake - how did I ever manage before fondant???

- B xx

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For the love of food and winning


I would say I've been slack with updating, but actually I've just been BUSY. I'm currently in between jobs, booking up flights, planning parties, making 1st birthday cakes, and just generally not having any free time to myself to do anything but sleep!

Oops, that's not entirely true - just had the most relaxing couple of days at our beach house enjoying the sun and our new puppy Wall-E's first adventure to the beach! Look at the little cutie


But that aside, I now have a tonne to update - literally, my first blogging back log. Exciting. The question then is - do I update all in one MONSTER update, or spread it all out over several posts? I'm thinking several posts. So here's an update on some incredibly good food that's been gracing my kitchen and palate in the last few weeks, and the details on some fantastic competitions!

First up, a meal we had at home that was really simple but far too good to be healthy. I'm not much of a recipe person, so these were just created from scratch with a bit of imagination - but it helped to have someone in the house with a slight obsession for feta.... everything tastes good with feta!

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This is a bacon, spinach and pumpkin frittata literally COVERED in feta. Doesn't look especially appetizing in the casserole dish, if I do say so myself. But from THIS angle....

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YUM :D Follow that up with a dessert that is quickly climbing my non-chocolate-dessert favourites list

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Passionfruit cheesecake. Epic (although FYI, really filling and mega dense.)

Onto a New Zealand institution - if you live in Wellington and haven't been to Strawberry Fare, I strongly recommend you walk away from your computer RIGHT NOW and get over there. They're renowned for their desserts and they're far too good.

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Like this ^^^

Literally a TOWER of chocolate black forest goodness. Or better yet, if you're like me, this is the aptly named Chocolate Madness dessert

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A culmination of all the chocolatey goodness they have on offer. I'm still not entirely sure of what it all is... but I know it included chocolate ice cream, chocolate brownie, white chocolate mousse, some other kind of other chocolatey thing.... who cares. Chocolate = happiness.

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Last but not least, a very grown up - and delicious - dinner with some of my best ladies. Starting with a divine risotto that I for some reason forgot to take a photo of... Sorry Chelle, it was yum :)

Then pesto-stuffed chicken wrapped in prosciutto on kumara mash from Jaynee

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Definitely as good as it looks, I assure you!

Then my personal favourite course for the night - Caramello PIES.
Yes.
Caramello + pie. Biscuit base, plus a chocolate puddingy layer of goodness with a caramellowy chocolate moussey topping on top.... EEK. I didn't even finish mine - THAT'S how good it was.

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And my teeny tiny contribution to the meal (since one can hardly turn up empty handed) was truffles. Lots of colour-coded truffles

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The white ones are white-chocolate coated oreo truffles (as seen in lots of places, but I originally discovered on Bakerella)

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and then a variation on my Baileys truffles that I've made before - I didn't have quite enough wafers to make them work properly, so these ones ALSO have crushed up Malteasers (basically a food group all on their own). Let's call them Milk-chocolate-baileys-malteaser-crunch truffles.

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So there's my month in food. Thank you to all my good friends and family who entertain my food issues.

I thought I should also highlight some competitions that are running/have been running recently.

Christine over at Following Phubie had a link party with a prize of Halloween printables from Monkey Moo Moo that I was stoked to win! Can't wait to get them printed and have a bit of fun with it, although I can already tell it will be a bit late for actual Halloween, oops! Thank you Donna for sending them through - they're adorable!

Then a competition from fellow Wellingtonian Mrs Cake where I won a whole lot of coloured candy melts (which I for some reason have never been able to track down for myself, fail). Can't wait to get into them! I mean melt them and use them... *cough*. Thanks Rosa!

If you haven't visited her site before, now's a good time - she has tim tam truffle bouquets and custard squares! YUM!! You can find her here

I've also entered my Tim Burton Tea Party into the Handmade Halloween competition over at Entertain Exchange

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There's lots there to see! so I recommend checking it out.

Over and out for todays huge update!

And coming soon: details of my Topsy Turvy Tim Burton cake, Tim Burton cupcakes, Murder Mystery party, upcoming book-club party plans, and a very big tiered birthday cake with matching smash cake and cupcakes for a very special 1st birthday!

- B xx

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tim Burton Tea Party

So we finally had the Tim Burton Tea Party!

And it was great fun. Lots of work - a lot of it last minute, whoops - and I just today (one week later) discovered some bits and pieces I'd bought for decorating and completely forgotten.... but there was enough colour and spiders and swirls and fingers around the table to get the look I was going for.

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I tried to incorporate as many of Tim Burtons films as possible - not all, unfortunately - and as many of his common themes, including big chocolate fish for Big Fish, giant peaches for James and the Giant Peach

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Lots of beetles, bugs and spiders for Beetle Juice

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Some very special "Mrs Lovetts meat pies" from Sweeney Todd

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And of course lots of touches from Alice in Wonderland

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Jack Skellington inspired vintage candy and chocolate hearts and Jack Skellington chocolate mud truffle pops

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Pumpkin king cupcakes and a Corpse Bride/Nightmare Before Christmas inspired topsy turvy cake
(and moreish chocolate-dipped marshmallows with peanuts, multi-coloured sprinkles or red/pink/white hearts)

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Mini-sized 100s and 1000s biscuits, wafers and slice, and lots of candy and Willy-Wonka style lollypops

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Flowers, tea pots and toadstools

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Nightmare Before Christmas candy canes

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The white rabbit!

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More details to come on the topsy turvy cake, cupcakes and "Jack" pops, but in the meantime here's a photo of my amazing friends and family who put so much effort into their costumes - couldn't have done it without them!

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Back from left - Matt as Willy Wonka from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Steph as Katerina Van Tassel from Sleepy Hollow, Domi as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, Trina and Andrew as Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd from Sweeney Todd, Simon as Edward Scissorhands from Edward Scissorhands, Jo as the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland

Front row from left - Jayne as Lydia from Beetle Juice, Me as Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, and Mum and Dad as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee from Alice in Wonderland

Special thanks to Domi and Jo for the extra sugary treats they brought, Matt for the extra candy, Simon, Jayne, Trina, Andrew & Mum and Dad for helping with colouring, baking and taste testing 'til the wee hours, and to Steph the Quiz Queen for keeping everyone guessing for a good half hour

And something new for this week - If you haven't been there yet, go and visit Meg over at Life of Meg for Mingle Mondays! Great way to see some new creative blogs.

- B xx