I do love to bake. Mostly I love it when people eat my creations and are like 'HOLY CRAP SARAH THAT'S AMAZING'. It feels good, you know? So I had all these grand plans of baking I was going to do for my party. I ended up taking on far too much and it meant that I had a mad rush to get it all ready, which has made me vow to not bake for a while. Also, it'll take months to de-sugar the kitchen. So. Goddamn. Sticky.
Big Top Birthday Cake
I made the rainbow cake from Claire's lovely blog which was really easy (but I think using gel colours is the way forward) but chucked a bunch of coconut in. I made coconut cream cheese icing from here, and then made it in a giant cupcake mould (these are really dense so you have to make a double quantity, and cook for about an hour). I then cut out stripes of red and white fondant - rectangular at the bottom, elongated triangles at the top - and laid it on the icing, added a little flag (from my cake stands) and some sprinkles - done! It wasn't too difficult, thankfully.
Ice Cream Cupcakes
I didn't actually have one of these in the end, but people told me they were good. I went by Charlene's recipe, but instead of vanilla, I made them coconut with coconut cream cheese icing as above. The icing wasn't quite thick enough to peak but I think that the flavour of the icing is what made them good. Sadly they were scruffy - it's so hard to get the mixture into the cups without spilling it, and if you do spill it, it burns. BOO.
These were chocolate cupcakes (the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book) with salted caramel icing. I made the Hummingbird cream cheese icing and then dolloped in a huge chunk of the amazing salted caramel that Hayley made me as my birthday gift. They were awesome, if a touch deformed.
These were simple chocolate again - the same batch as the Lion Cupcakes - with Baileys icing coloured red. The icing recipe is here. They were fricking awesome. My moustache and top hat icing work was less so.
These are my famous maraschino cupcakes. I could have made them more clowny, but it was like 6pm on Saturday by this point. So they are bald.
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
I accidentally made grey icing last year when I was making Sha's penguin cupcakes, and decided to turn this to my advantage and make elephant cupcakes. Except a key part of that was black food colouring, which I forgot to buy, so instead we just made peanut butter cupcakes. The cakes themselves had a peanut butter cream cheese filling, and the icing was a simple chocolate buttercream with a shedload of crunchy peanut butter chucked in. They couldn't have been more peanut buttery if they had just been cups of peanut butter.
I took this recipe from Claire's blog again and they were CRAZY easy and went down a storm. Everyone was like 'These things! What are these things? They are good!' That, my friends, is what you want to hear. Especially when they took about ten minutes to make.
Peanut Butter Bars
This is my ultimate favourite recipe in the world because it is incredibly easy and I don't even need a recipe any more. If you mess up the quantities it doesn't matter. I've put the recipe on here before, but I'll reproduce it here in about three lines because it is THAT EASY. Make them. Make them now.
Crush about 20 digestive biscuits into crumbs (I normally put them in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin) and then bung them in a food processor with about 500g icing sugar (like a box), a jar of peanut butter (it says 250g but I quite often use a 340g jar) and a block of melted butter. If you haven't got a food processor a bowl and your hands would work, but it's messier. When it's all combined, put in a foil-lined baking tray and press down to create a firm cheesecake style base. Melt a bunch of chocolate and pour over the top. When cooled, plonk in fridge for a couple of hours. Chop up and eat. Nom nom nom.
I also bought a ton of popcorn, crisps, monkey nuts and other yummy things and my work friends bought some nuggets, sausages and pizzas because they're awesome. Aaaand I didn't eat anything all night and felt like death the next day. Always eat, kids. Always eat.