Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sweet hearts and wishing trees

Here are some photos from my little sister’s birthday – flower arrangements and a wishing tree that I made for her (my partner did the blue leaves – my first effort looked more like a giant teardrop!) and baked treats that I spent the day before making. The flowers are guelder rose, blue hydrangea and purple limonium. The arrangements were inspired by the birthday cake my sister had for her first birthday in the 80s, with pastel fondant icing on top and hundreds and thousands around the side. The huge heads of hydrangea were the fondant icing and the fairydust-like limonium was the hundreds and thousands!

The sweet treats were heart and butterfly-shaped chocolate biscuits, Earl Grey cupcakes, and a chocolate and vanilla marble cake. I tried to tie in the colours of the flowers, so the cakes and biscuits were various combinations of purple, green, yellow, blue and white. The biscuits and big cake were painstaking to decorate, and the big cake went wrong – the royal icing was too runny! But as it was my first attempt to ice stripes down a big cake, I was pretty pleased with it. And the marble ‘worked’ when it was cut and tasted pretty good, which was a big relief! I was happy with the biscuits though. I can see why handmade iced biscuits are so expensive – it’s the time it takes to make the dough, cut them, bake and cool them,  do the outline, flood the inside with icing, then decorate. They’re fun to make but pretty fiddly, especially when you are using different colours of icing.

It was one of the few times I wished I had a dishwasher!