home made cakes for special days and elevenses

Monday, 23 June 2014

A Macaron Tower for a Special Birthday

My husband, Pete, reached the grand old age of 40 a few weeks ago. Pete is a keen cricketer and still plays every Saturday (despite his old age and aching bones), so we celebrated with a cricket match. We hired a beautiful local cricket pitch, prepared a special tea and invited lots of friends and family. Luckily the rain held off and the although there was a last minute pitch inspection, the match did go ahead. Pete's Dad took on the role of umpire and two of his brothers were team captains. It was a fantastic afternoon.



The birthday boy.




Even the non-cricketers rustled up some whites, although
there was some questionable footwear on show.


Pete's mum largely took care of the tea, with some popular retro dishes on the menu, such as coronation chicken and poached salmon. Lots of us chipped in with different salads and plenty of sandwiches and sausage rolls for the kids. Another friend made a huge, delicious pavlova. My priority was the cakes of course, and we had plenty. There were brownies, cupcakes and scones with lashings of clotted cream.

The birthday cake was a bit more problematic. Pete is unfortunately not a huge fan of cake, so I didn't want to make him a traditional birthday cake. He loves macarons though, so thought I would have a go at a little macaron tower, and sit it on top of a cake for the rest of us to eat. I had to take extra care to try and get all the macarons pretty much the same size, and took some time trying to work out how many I would need. I went for chocolate and pistachio in the end as I know Pete likes these flavours, but actually I think that some brighter colours may have been better. 




I ordered a polystyrene cone from an an online florist supplier and covered this with dark brown paper. The macarons are secured with cocktail sticks. This worked well, with only one macaron falling off! I think that next time I will chill the macarons first to firm up the filling a little more, then this shouldn't be a problem. 


Monday, 16 June 2014

Minecraft - Cakes for the Latest Craze

It hasn't hit our house yet, but I think it's only a matter of time, as all the slightly older boys at school (and some of the girls too), seem to be obsessed with Minecraft. Dubbed 'virtual Lego' by many, Minecraft is now one of the biggest selling computer games in the world. It features various human characters as well as giant spiders, animals, zombies and plenty of building blocks. There was an interesting article in the Guardian magazine on Saturday about its enormous popularity.

Not surprisingly then, Minecraft birthday cakes have been very popular this year, and I have just made a batch of Minecraft cupcakes too. I'm sure my knowledge of the game and its many characters will increase if my children succumb to the Minecraft bug, but for now it's all about Steve, the Creeper and the animals.






Tuesday, 10 June 2014

World Cup Cupcakes

World Cup fever has set in at Vanilla Frost HQ. My son's first words when he opened his eyes this morning were "Only two days until the World Cup starts!". The wall chart is up, the Panini sticker albums are starting to look full and we are all getting excited. So it was lovely to have a World Cup themed cake commission last week. 

Premier Oil celebrated their 80th anniversary with a fabulous party at Kensington Roof Gardens. There were Brazilian singers and dancers, flags, footballs and fantastic food (and a couple of flamingoes!). I made this tower of cake and cupcakes, featuring flags from some of the competing nations.