Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sneak Peak - Cupcake Bouquet for Mother's Day!

I've started testing out some ideas for my Mother's Day collection, so here's a sneak peak of my first try at a Cupcake Bouquet!

So simple, but cute and effective - and a tasty twist on a classic bunch of roses!

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Does anyone else know what they're planning to give for Mother's Day this year?

- B xx

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Lemon treats and Ruffle Cake

I hope you've all had a lovely Easter break! I had very much hoped to have a post up BEFORE Easter weekend, but even with all my good intentions - it turns out working for a chocolate company the week before Easter is busier than I had intended!

I've been promising the photos from my Cute as a Button Babyshower, and the post is sitting there just ITCHING to leak into the blogosphere, but I figured I'd best share my Easter happiness while the season still lingers. If you really and truly can't wait any longer - you CAN see the Cute as a Button photos on my facebook page here or the flickr album is here - like the page, become a contact, or just share the love at either of those locations while you're visiting!

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We spent our Easter break up at our bach at Waiterere Beach, reading, eating chocolate, and lazing about achieving not much at all! Exactly what I needed. I HAD intended to make a whole bunch of Easter cupcakes, specifically these ones from Bakerella that I've been wanting to make for forever - so cute! Or giant homemade Creme Eggs that I found the recipe for at Pimp That Snack (A must visit site!). But alas, none of that happened. I still plan to make the creme eggs this week - so do let me know if you've tried them before and they worked!

Luckily though, my sister came down for the holiday break, and brought with her the magical - and very secret - recipe for Lemon Tea Cakes...

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YUM. Look at them. Lined up like little lemon soldiers of happiness.

Most importantly, I needed something to put on this ridiculously cute Easter stand that I bought from Cake Stuff, that clearly was far too seasonal to NOT use at this time of year...

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Perfect!

Not even $20 NZD, and they even have little holes to punch out and fit Easter eggs into! Doesn't get any better than that. I strongly recommend getting in and buying one for next year - or maybe for a Spring Celebration party...? Bunny party? Because you like to pretend Easter happens all over again in May...?

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Too cute - thanks Trina for making them for us! And sorry they didn't last more than a few hours....!! To see more of her cute creations visit her blog Musical Butterfly - same place you'll find all the photos of my Magical Apron! Or go back and have a look at my post about it for details.

~~~

I made a ruffle cake last month since they seem to be all the rage! And I wanted to give it a try. Since it was pink and ruffly and happy and cute (even though Mum thinks it looked like a toilet paper holder - not entirely untrue!) I decided it needed a little bunny on top! So here's a preview of that, rounding off the easter theme - and more photos to come! I'll try and round up all the youtube instruction videos I found on how to actually DO the icing - it's much much easier than it looks!

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Stay warm if you're in my half of the world - send us warm thoughts if you're not!

- B xx

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sneak Peak - Winnie the Pooh!


I'm working on putting together the details and photos from a Cute as a Button babyshower I did earlier in the year, but in the meantime - here's a sneak peak of a Winnie the Pooh 2nd birthday I did this morning.

Love the way it turned out - just as well I'm a details-staying up 'til 4am-perfectionist kinda person!

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Lots more photos to come!

- B xx



Monday, April 11, 2011

RECIPE: Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

"Peanut butter [is] the pâté of childhood"
Florence Fabricant, NY Times

So I mentioned in my last blog post that I was hoping to try lots of new recipes and learn some new skills, but while going out into the magical world of the internet to find some exciting new ideas, I was really underwhelmed by the number of recipes that came without photos! I'm a big photo person (clearly) and apprehensive about trying a recipe that doesn't give me some idea of what I'll end up with...

Maybe that explains why I got into reading cook books instead of text books :)

Either way, it inspired me to start sharing some of the recipes I DO use, so that hopefully someone else who has my debilitating photo-less phobia can find some peace!

This recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl I actually found (embarrassingly) while trying to find recipes for a bake sale for Christchurch, and it was the only thing I already had all the ingredients for! Plus it's pretty, and delicious, and easy, and it combines chocolate and peanut butter, arguably one of the best combinations in the world - sorry Nicole, and Matt, this one's for Katie and Jayne!!

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The cake itself was a caramel mud cake with a really rich chocolate ganache that I made for my good friend Katie for her birthday - it's important to note that I once made a very sweet - and very experimental - peanut-butter-cream-cheese-chocolate-slice-concoction for Katie at work, and she literally ate the whole thing... *sugar overload at the thought*

Needless to say, this was perfect for her :)

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Warning : the recipe kinda suggests making this as a slice, but it is REALLY really sweet. I used half the recipe in the same size pan to make the slabs for the side of the cake - and even then it's very sweet! Love how it turned out though - and it went surprisingly well with caramel mud cake! (but then what doesn't :))

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Enjoy it!!! it's absolutely delicious, and really addictive! I promise I'll look into some caramel options for those with an (unhealthy) aversion to the peanut butter :)

I recommend using blocks of chocolate (Cadbury, Dream, Lindt) instead of cooking chocolate for this - it's important that you like the taste of the chocolate since it's pretty much the main component!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

360g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (140g) smooth peanut butter
400g dark chocolate, chopped (I use milk, but it doesn't really matter)

1) Grease 20cm x 30cm lamington pan; line base and sides with baking paper extending 5cm above edges of pan (important, otherwise you can't get it out! trust me!)
2) Stir white chocolate in small heatproof bowl over small saucepan of simmering water until smooth; cool 5 minutes. Add peanut butter, stir until smooth
3) Stir dark chocolate in small heatproof bowl (blah blah - you know how to melt chocolate - I do it in the microwave in 20 second blasts!)
4) Drop alternate spoonfuls into pan. Gently shake the pan to level the mixture. Pull a skewer backwards and forwards to create marbled effect
5) stand at room temperature for 2 hours until set

Easy as pie! Though I recommend running lines gently through it with a knife after about an hour to make cutting slices easier later

Let me know if you try it and love it!

Katie - a very happy birthday! hope you're feeling better

- B xx