We held a party for our Dad on the weekend. We invited family and close friends over to watch the AFL Grand Final and then enjoy a BBQ dinner and a bonfire.
I love planning what to cook for a party and if you follow me on Pinterest you would have seen my boards for 'celebration cakes', 'cupcakes' and 'Dad's 60th BBQ' getting a good workout!
We put together a little cake and lollie buffet:
Cupcake One: Nutella Swirl Cupcake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting
I did a bit of cupcake research and found people tend to get the best vanilla cupcake by using oil instead of butter and buttermilk instead of milk. Glory at Glorious Treats has done a great post about her quest for the perfect vanilla cupcake and found the same thing so I used her vanilla cupcake recipe as the base. I finished them by melting some nutella in the microwave and swirling it through the batter on the top of each cupcake before baking. This is the recipe for the nutella frosting. It's really hard to go past Sally's Baking Addiction when you are planning a party. It tends to be my default site when looking for cake recipes.
Cupcake Two: Cookies and Cream Cupcake with White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Icing
I used this fudgy chocolate recipe for the base but added an Oreo on the bottom and made a white chocolate and cream cheese icing. Overall the icing was a great consistency for piping however I did have some small clumps of seized white chocolate in the icing which kept clogging up my icing tip. I may have needed to cool the chocolate for a bit longer before adding it to the cream cheese mixture.
This cupcake was my favourite, mainly for the icing. I always prefer a cream cheese icing. The icing looked more creamy than yellow in real life.
Cupcake Three: White Chocolate Mud Cake with Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl Frosting
Again Sally showed me how to make the swirl icing. You fill half the bag with chocolate and half with vanilla and away you go. It wasn't as hard to fill the bag as I thought it might be. (Again, the icing didn't look as yellow in real life.)
The mud cake recipe is from Exclusively Food and I've used it before as a cake. It works well both ways.
And finally, the birthday cake:
I used my favourite Mud Cake Recipe. I've used it for many cakes including MJ's Spiderman and Train cakes. Covered with Maltesers and surrounded by biscuits all tied up with a bow. I placed a few Maltesers on florist wire to add a little interest.
250 grams of unsalted butter, chopped
200 grams of dark eating chocolate
440 grams of caster sugar
330 mls of water
110 grams of plain flour
110 grams of self-raising flour
25 grams of cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten lightly
200 grams of dark eating chocolate
160 mls of thickened cream
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees celsius (130 fan forced)
Grease and line your selected tin. (This will work in a number of different sized tins, just adjust cooking time accordingly).
Combine the butter, chocolate, sugar, water and coffee in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until butter is melted and the mixture can be stirred smooth.
Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for at least ten minutes.
Combine the flours and cocoa powder. Whisk into the chocolate mixture in two batches.
Whisk in the eggs.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, depending on your oven. Start checking on it from around the hour mark.
Let it cool completely in the tin. Before you tip it onto your plate/cakeboard/breadboard/bench get a good sharp breadknife and slice off the risen bit so that it will be sit steadily to be iced and sliced.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat. Let it cool for 10 minutes before icing. Don't let it cool too long as it will thicken and become difficult to spread.
Happy birthday Dad, we love you!