Pink (Fluffy) Unicorn Baby Cake

nieve baby name cake pink fluffy unicorn silver outlines and edible glitter

Today we finally got chance to visit friends of ours who had their second baby girl about a month ago. And she was absolutely worth the wait – spending the whole afternoon asleep on my arm! Ah!

I wanted to make them a cake to celebrate and was struggling for inspiration so asked Rob. After a few nonsensical responses he came onto a Fluffy Unicorn (from the much-loved Despicable Me films), fluffy perhaps not in cake form, but unicorn I could definitely do!

I printed a template out from the internet – just some clipart – trying to make sure it didn’t have too thin legs, else they would break when the cake was carved.

unicorn cartoon paper template in adjustable cake tin

For the inside of the cake – keeping with a girlie theme – a strawberry and vanilla marble, using a madeira cake recipe as the base.

strawberry and vanilla marble swirl cake batter for unicorn cake

Once cut and carved, great not only to check the marbling but also plenty to taste test!

trimming cake into shape strawberry and vanilla pink and white marble unicorn shape

To decorate I basically used 3 ‘ingredients’ – 500g of white fondant, some pink food colouring, and an edible ink pen in silver (the one I have is a click-twist brush by Rainbow Dust).

After covering the whole cake in white fondant, I coloured the remainder into four progressive shades of pink. These were used both on the mane and the tail – graduated stripes tucked in together then outlined in silver.

four shades of pink unicorn tail for baby name cake silver edible ink outlining

For the face – simply some more silver pen to follow the outline, and a little of the lightest pink fondant for the eye and nose.

unicorn face sparkly horn pink mane silver eyes nose and smile details on baby name cake

And of course no unicorn is complete without a horn, and this one was as sparkly as they come! After experimenting for a while trying to twist the fondant around itself, I caved and just rolled a cone, creating the markings with a sharp knife. For the extra sparkle I painted it silver before finishing with some holographic edible glitter.

unicorn cake sparkly silver horn with edible silver pen and edible glitter

And to finish – the baby’s name in matching pink fondant. I cut small pieces of each colour, lightly ‘stuck’ them to the board with water, pressed in the letter stencil then carefully peeled away the excess.

baby names nieve personalised cake lettering in fondant icing with edible glitter pink

I’m really pleased with this cake – although have to say it seemed to take me much longer than imagined! The silver outlining was quite painstaking as it was so fine, but well worth it to emphasise the details and the cartoon-like effect.

pink fluffy unicorn cake baby nieve baby name cake nieve pink white and silver unicorn

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Celebratory Baileys Cheesecake

celebratory baileys cheesecake easy dessert baked recipe and method chocolate topping extra alcohol baileys irish cream

I’d originally planned this cheesecake after Christmas, but this weekend a perfect occasion sprung up – Rob and I got engaged! In the middle of a snow field on a glacier in Iceland, with a big sparkly ring, of course we are very happy 🙂

engagement ring snowmobiling iceland engagement ring black sapphire and diamonds

Rob asked what he would get out of the engagement, I had a shiny new ring, could he have… a guitar? Not really seeing the romance in a guitar I offered to make us a celebratory cheesecake on our return home, one of his favourite desserts.

I looked online for quite a few recipes but was quite disappointed by the lack of alcohol in most of them! 25ml of Baileys? It would barely even touch the sides, let alone add a good flavour to the cheesecake! So this recipe is of my own making, it was perfect in an 8 inch square tin, you could easily use a round or slightly smaller square as long as it had high sides.

Ingredients250g digestive biscuits, crushed
100g butter, melted
300g cream cheese
200g creme fraiche
100ml Baileys irish cream
20g sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs

Chocolate and edible glitter to decorate, if required

Method– Mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter, and press firmly and evenly into the bottom of a loose-bottomed or springform tin
– Beat together the cream cheese, creme fraiche, Baileys, vanilla and sugar until completely smooth
– Add the the eggs and stir in until just mixed – don’t over-mix at this stage.
– Pour the mixture over the top of the biscuit base
– Bake at 180 degrees for around half an hour, until the top is set, and not liquid. It should still have a slight wobble, like jelly
– Run a knife all the way round the edge, so the cheesecake can ease away as it sets. Leave to cool in the tin.
– When cool, top with grated chocolate and edible glitter, if required

grated chocolate topping and edible glitter on baileys cheesecake

baileys cheesecake with chocolate heart topping recipe baked method

And to taste…  I’m not sure if it was the use of creme fraiche instead of yoghurt, or the Baileys, or some special engagement magic, but this was one of the lightest, fluffiest cheesecakes I have ever tasted! Yum!

inside super smooth baileys cheesecake recipe simple baked

In answer to the many questions we’ve had since getting back… no we haven’t set a date yet, or found a venue, or even thought about a cake! For now we are happy to celebrate in our own sweet time 🙂

DSCN0755

Strawberry Swirl Meringues

strawberry swirl meringue nests perfect for afternoon tea cake stand topper

Here is the second recipe from my Birthday Afternoon Tea – I can’t believe it was two weeks ago already!

These little meringues are so easy to make, perfectly bite-sized and a great light little addition to any afternoon tea.

A perfect outing for my KitchenAid Christmas present, (I’m still totally in love!), which whipped up the meringue mixture in no time. I used a simple recipe of 2 egg whites and 110g caster sugar, having always had great success without adding extras (cream of tartar etc.) that some recipes suggest.

The KitchenAid foamed up the egg whites in no time:

black kitchenaid easy to mix meringues recipe

Before slowly adding the sugar to a thick, glossy mixture.

meringue mixture glossy soft peaks black kitchenaid stand mixer

To get the swirl effect in the meringue nests, I simply painted a few thick stripes of gel food colouring down the insides of my piping bag, before filling with the meringue mixture.
Using a round nozzle I then piped thick swirls of the mixture onto a baking sheet. I’d highly recommend a silicon baking sheet for meringues as they have such a tendency to stick to anything else.

red swirl meringues recipe and method piping colour stripes nests

red swirl striped colour meringue recpie

Just before baking I pressed the top peaks down with a wet finger, creating the well that strawberries would eventually sit in.

I prefer dry, crunchy meringue, so baked mine at 130 degrees for about 40 minutes. Turning the oven off, I then left them overnight to completely dry out.

red swirl meringue nests for strawberry base easy dessert recipe

The next day they were ready to use straight away – and looked perfect atop one of the many cake stands for afternoon tea.

red piped swirl meringue nests on top of cake stand afternoon tea easy recipe

A simple half-strawberry in each (cut-side up, so the moisture didn’t ruin the meringue), and they were the perfect addition to the tea table!

home afternoon tea birthday party chocolate brownie bites strawberry swirl meringues finger sandwiches

And whilst my birthday may be over for another year, there are lots of exciting plans in place for friends and family celebrations in the next couple of months. All accompanied by cake, of course!

Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Bites

gluten free mini brownie bites heart shaped with white chocolate zig zag topping

As promised, the first of the recipes from my lovely Afternoon Tea Birthday Party last weekend. This one is quick, easy, gluten (and flour) -free, and best of all, full of chocolate. What’s not to love!

Ingredients
100g bar of dark chocolate
100g butter
120g light brown sugar
2 medium eggs
30g cocoa powder

White chocolate to top

Method

– Melt the dark chocolate, butter and sugar in a saucepan, over a low heat. Stir often to avoid burning and sticking- Once everything is melted together, turn off the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes (or transfer to another bowl if you’re in a hurry)
– Beat the eggs together, and stir into the chocolate mixture along with the cocoa. Beat well until everything is combined
– Spoon into individual cases about 2/3 full. You could also bake a big pan and chop into brownie squares, but would need to adjust cooking time
– Bake at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the top is crisp and firm to the touch
– Allow to cool before piping over with melted white chocolate

The cases I used are these lovely little petit four cases from Dotcomgiftshop, in four co-ordinating red and white patterns. Aren’t they cute!!

heart shaped petit four cases foil dotcomgiftshop recipe and how to use easy and quick red white valentines polka dot heart

When making such small brownies the recipe does make quite a lot – I used whole pack of 40 cases and still had a little batter left over.

mini heart shaped brownies gluten free recipe in individual foil cases pola dot

Cases should only be filled about two-thirds full as the mixture does rise up during baking!

individual gluten free brownie bites heart shaped gingham and polka dot red white cases

Piping matching zigzags looks incredibly effective but takes next to no time.

art food photo gluten free brownie bites heart shaped individual cakes recipe ane method

Et voila! Gluten free means healthy… right? So you can eat more! Hurrah!

gluten free mini brownie bites recipe topped with white chocolate