Sunday, February 27, 2011

Babushka 1st birthday cake for twins

This weekend I had the pleasure to work on a babushka birthday cake for twin girls. Although I've made this cake before I must say this cake was different, for one it was HUGE, well 43cm tall and 29cm wide in my book is huge lol and the design was fun to do. I was given the above invite as inspiration and this is what I came up with.....

I loved doing all the love hearts, the cape was handpainted while the apron was heart cutouts.

This is the finished product, isn't she cute? I hope the twins like her ;-) I used red satin/vanilla fondant for the red dress (best tasting red fondant I've ever tasted!) and white chocolate fondant coloured pink for the cape and white for the apron.

I know she tastes lovely, caramel mudcake with caramel fudge buttercream icing (I had some off cuts lol) but I am fretting if she will be enough to feed 80 or so people, yikes! Fingers crossed xx


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Annike's tea party - Kate Landers competition entry

Hello everyone, it is with great pleasure that I finally share the pics of my daughter Annike's 6th birthday tea party that I created back in November 2010. As some of you may remember, I entered a written party design/concept competition back in September on Kate Landers's blog, Kate asked contestants to submit a written party design for a 1930-1960 children's birthday and I received 2nd runner up (yay). Kate has just revealed her vintage doll tea party shoot which incorporates the designs and ideas from the winner and 4 runner ups and Kate has done an INCREDIBLE job of pulling togehter this utterly DEVINE party. Please hop over to Kate Landers's blog to have a read, it has the most amazing details and gorgeous pics, I am sure you will love it as much as I do.
For my design entry I actually decided to re-create the tea party for Annike's birthday on the 6th November 2010 seeing as I went to all that trouble to "dream" it up. So here it is.......

This is the invitation by Style me Gorgeous we sent out to Annike's friends, folded in pink envelopes and topped with a yellow paper doily, I purchased mine from Details, Details! Back in August if you purchased the party ware from the "The Beauty Full Collection" before the end of the month 100% of the sales would be donated to Paradise Kids.

For my submission I did a 1950's vintage tea party, most of my items were handmade or 2nd hand as I did not have a large budget to work with. After doing some initial sketches in my ideas book I chose pink, white and yellow as my colour scheme as I fell in love with the fabric Verna Mosquera ROSES AND HYDRANGEAS Lemon that I saw on Etsy. I ordered several yards along with some co-ordinating fabrics so I could make my ruffle table cloth, cover and old chair and do other crafty items for the birthday party. A couple of weeks before the party I started collecting all the chairs for the party, all were bought 2nd hand from Ebay some for only $5!! Bargain! I didn't touch them as I liked the shabby chic mixed feel the chairs evoked. My eldest daughter Anya and I made the doily bunting from cheap white dollar shop doilies ($2 for 72 various sized doilies) hand dyed and then stapled onto some twine, easy peasy, idea from Martha Stewart

I also collected all the mis-matching 2nd hand china from Ebay, they had some gorgeous pastels for sale at the time I was buying so I snapped them up. I used left over paper doilies as placemats and to dress up some of my serving plates. Scones, jam and cream were homemade by me, white cake plates are from Provincial Living.

Here you can see the birthday girl and her friends enjoying the tea party.

I bought this lovely 2nd hand tea trolley from Ebay, once again I didn't touch it as it was already painted white and looked shabby enough to my liking. I decided to do a biscuit/cookie dessert trolley rather than lolly table for this party, I bought some glass jars (Provincial living, but the dollar shop also sells them) and asked my eldest daughter Anya to label some doilies which we then tied to the jars with twine. We had double choc cookies, Anzac cookies (An Australian/New Zealand treat), Macadamia cookies and short bread cookies. I also made some raspberry flavoured Macarons, a plate of high tea sandwitches and bought some tea pot shaped cookies from Dolls at the Mount, they were delicious! To cover the windows I covered them in black cardboard and wrote the verse "I am a little teapot short and stout, ......" in chalk, it looked really cute.

Here is part of the birthday cake, I wanted a teapot and Annike wanted a fairy teapot cake so we compromised and I made a fairy teapot house complete with fairy sitting on the handle. The cake was raspberry sponge filled with raspberry buttercream icing covered in white chocolate fondant, Annike's favourite.

This is the 2nd part of the birthday cake, since Annike also wanted a rainbow cake, its a rainbow coloured sponge cake (strawberry, orange, lemon, raspberry and chocolate) filled with vanilla bean frosting. I made the teacup, saucer, No 6 topper and fairy from modelling paste, edible chalks, gold lustre dust and Wilton pastes, so it was all edible.

Here is how the two cakes looked together. Vintage white cake stand from Domayne, crystals were later added by me.

Here is the birthday girl Annike, the very talented Maureen from MKsNeedlemania at Esty made Annike's matching birthday dress, isn't it gorgeous? Thank you Maureen, I love it!

I picked up this lovely wrought iron chandelier from Ebay, it went perfectly with my table. All the flowers were generously donated by my friend Sara, her lovely garden was overflowing with roses and I was allowed to just pick whatever I needed (thank you Sara xxx). White teapot is from Provincial living, pink teapot vase (I used some vintage teapots as vases lol) is a 2nd's buy from Ebay.

Ofcourse what is a tea party without yummy cupcakes, so here is a pic of some yummy vanilla and strawberry cupcakes topped with fondant flowers. The gorgeous damask cupcake wrappers are from Kat and Nat from The Cupcake Wrapper Co. Love your products ladies, absolutely LOVE them xxx Cupcake stand is from...yep you guessed it, Ebay lol, once again I added the crystals afterwards to add some bling ;-) (Annike begged me for some "daimonds" because she wanted her party sparkly lol)

Close up of the teapot cookies from Dolls at the Mount, Gingerbread covered in icing sugar, they tasted homemade so super yummy. Hope you enjoyed looking at this party as much as I had hosting it. Thank you Kate Landers for allowing me to be part of such an incredible experience, I loved every minute of creating this party!
Please also say hello on my Facebook page, Just call me Martha, I would love to hear from you.



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wine and Cheese themed table - Guest Feature

Serena from Rylie Boo Events sent me this clever wine and cheese party she recently hosted. Who says a party has to only be sweets and cake? Not me! Being a Dutchie myself by birth I LOVE cheese so wanted to share some of the clever elements Serena used on her table. So have a look at the next couple of pics.

Love the cork placecard holders, very clever.

Ooooo wine bottle and cheese pops! Yummmmm

How cute are those cupcake toppers?

For those of you who are looking at keeping your guests "busy" at your wedding while you nip away and have your photos taken this would be the way to do it. You could dress up an old dresser with empty wine bottles and pop in some single flowers for colour, I've also seen bottles suspended by lace and ribbon for a vintage feel. Ebay also sells those old wooden wine kegs, they would make a great prop to display your cheese or wine.
Well done Serena, I am sure you had a ball at your wine and cheese party, thank you for sharing.
Party styling, Party Printables and FavorBoxes – Rylie Boo Events
Cupcake Toppers – Lynlee Petite Cakes
Cake Pops – Boxed Pops
Cookies – The Cookie Jar
Cork Placecard Holders – Gallery 360
Banner, drink me tags and Twine – Pig Castle
Bunting – Jaime Mancilla

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Hands up if you love Kikki K, me too!!! So for Valentine's day what's more appropriate than a Kikki K inspired dessert table and that is exactly what I did after I fell in LOVE with their Valentine's Sweet Heart range. They had the cutest cards, wrapping paper and stickers, so based on the above items this is what I came up with.

First I wanted a backdrop and for this table I went with envelopes stuck to the wall, I saw this idea at one of Cheree Berry's shows for Kate Spade and loved it. It was also appropriate since my husband used to be at sea when we first started going out and we wrote love letters to eachother while he was at sea (still have them stashed away in a box somewhere ;-)) It was also cheap, I bought about 40 envelopes for $2 at the dollar shop AND I can re-use them afterwards.

The cake was inspired by the gorgeous heart bunting pattern on the Kikki K wrapping paper and the heart pattern found on most of their Valentine cards. It is actually a very simple cake, I used a clay extruder to create the red "string" and edible paper to create the hearts.

Gorgeous card I bought for hubby, anything with polkadots on it has my stamp of approval ;-)

I also bought the Kikki K sticker book and used most of the stickers to create all my paper goods for the table. Labels for the desserts, cupcake toppers and flags for the drinks are just some of the items I made using the stickers.

These cute cards came from the Kikki mini note set, aren't they adorable? Mini heart pegs are also from Kikki K.

Here is the cupcake toppers I made using the Kikki K stickers, loved them!

My 4 daughters were very excited that I was doing a dessert table for Valentine's day since they knew they would get to eat all the goodies afterwards. My hubby's heart is also through his stomach so I knew he'd be happy with any food I was to make.

Close up of one of the drinks flags I made using the Kikki K stickers.

Love letter sugar cookies with edible paper stamp (stamp design from Kikki K)

Some of the things I made were mini raspberry trifles, mini cheesecake bites, coconut & pineapple milkshake, raspberry and coconut mini cupcakes, chocolate hearts, love letter cookies and heart cookies.

Close up of the heart cookies I made, I copied the Kikki K heart design in their sticker book. Excuse the piping, I still need to learn how to do that properly lol.

Close up of the cheesecake bites I made, I piped on some red chocolate and popped in a red choc heart. So what do you think?

Happy Valentine's day everyone,



Friday, February 11, 2011

Thank you

I woke up this morning to see this sweet feature of my back to school party on Bird's Party blog, to say I was thrilled would be an understatement. I LOVE Bird's work, she is incredibly talented and has the most unique and adorable designs in her Bird's Party Shop, you must have a look when you get a chance. So thank you Bird for the lovely feature, what a nice start to the weekend for me ;-)

In fact it has been a fab year for me so far, 1st to be featured on Hostess with the Mostess who featured my birdie party back in January , I LOVE Hostess with the Mostess, its my design bible and I always go there to sample all the visual goodies,

then on Amy Atlas's blog earlier this month, who's work I admire and respect and who is my idol in the Dessert table world, and then Bird's blog, whom I equally admire and respect.
I am actually a little overwhelmed by it all, thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments, emails, features on your blogs and shared links on Facebook, they truly made my year!!



Friday, February 4, 2011

Pencil crayon mini cake tutorial

STEP 1: Gather your ingredients, you'll need some mini swiss rolls (mine are Italian choc mini swiss rolls) you could use twinkies or tootsie rolls, some mini ice cream cones and some coloured fondant.

STEP 2: Lay out your pencil so you can see how much of the mini ice cream cone you need to cut off. I've cut about 1/3 off the bottom of mine.

STEP 3: For the wooden nib parts of the "pencils" I've coloured some fondant skin tone, you could colour it light peach or light brown to represent the timber nib of the pencil. I then rolled the skin toned fondant flat and made a rough template so it would fit around the ice cream cone neatly. Cover the tip of your cone in the colour your pencil is meant to be (mine is red) and brush some buttercream around your cone to act as glue, now drape and smooth the fondant around the cone, slightly over lapping at the bottom of the red fondant to hide the jagged seam. Tuck the over hanging skin tone fondant at the bottom of the cone in, this will help anchor the fondant and smooth out any lumps and bumps.

STEP 4: Measure how tall your swiss roll is and add another 2cm overhang, also check the circumfrenche of your roll as you want the fondant to go all the way around with a nice sharp finish/seam, now cut a rectangle from your coloured fondant (mine is red) (My rectangle was 12cm tall x 14cm wide). Ice the swiss roll in buttercream, (don't forget to put some icing on the tip of the swiss roll so your cone can adhere to it and be more secure), and cut a circle the size of the bottom of your swiss roll, stick the circle to the bottom of your swiss roll, smoothing down the edges. Stick the "nib/cone" to the top of your swiss roll.

Now gently pop your swiss roll on the rectangle fondant and roll it up till the seams meet up, cut away any excess with scissors and close the seam. Cut out a smaller red circle and stick this to the skin tone circle at the bottom of your "pencil" (this is the coloured lead you see when you look at the bottom of a pencil)

STEP 5: Gently smooth the top part of your coloured fondant to the skin tone nib, you may need to use some sugar glue or water to make the fondants adhere. Don't wet it too much or your colours will smudge and run onto your skin tone nibs. If there is any overlapping fondant don't panic, just cut it off with some scissors and smooth it. Let it dry for an hour before moving it around, I find if I pop it on baking paper as soon as I've made one it won't stick and break when I try to move them.

Have fun making them ;-)


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Caramel mudcake recipe

Image courtesy from

Anne from Norway asked me to share my mudcake recipe since these cakes weren't common where she was from and she wanted to try and make one, so Anne, this is for you. Obviously you can make them in dark and white chocolate too but this is a favourite amongst my family.



250g butter

150g white cooking chocolate

2 cups of brown sugar

1 cup of buttermilk

1 1/2 cups of plain flour

1/2 cup self raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

3 eggs (at room temperature)


1) Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (Mine is a gas oven and no fan) Grease a 20cm round cake tin (mine is also 8cm high), line base and sides with baking paper.

2) Combine butter, chocolate, sugar and milk in a saucepan and stir over low heat (don't boil) untill smooth and melted. Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature (about 20 min)

3) Using a wisk add the sifted plain + self raising flour, then vanilla essence then eggs. Make sure you do not over mix or your batter will become tough.

4)Pour mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 50 minutes. After the 1 hour mark I usually turn my tin around in the oven and loosely cover the top with some tinfoil, I then bake it for a further 50 min till cooked. I check the cake with a serrated knife put in at an angle.

5) Keep the cake in the pan while it cools, I usually cover the top with a thick towel while it cools, it keeps the moisture in the cake. Once cool I pop it on a plate to ice, but you could also eat it plain with some whipped cream.