Did the Easter bunny bring you lots of chocolatey goodness?
Our house is practically bursting at the seams, as are my jeans, due to both me and the house being stuffed to the brim with Easter eggs, leftover birthday cakes, more Easter eggs, jars full of M&Ms (Regular, not Emergency) and did I mention the Easter eggs?
I decided to hold a little get-together yesterday as a pre-birthday celebration because I figured it was the perfect opportunity to combine four of my favourite things- cake, friends, treasure hunting and chocolate. Essentially, my dream job is to be a pirate who also owns a bakery. We organised an Easter egg hunt around the house and garden (although the garden eggs had to be hastily rescued and re-hidden indoors due to a sudden flurry of snow)- which was a rather sneaky request on my part because I like finding the un-discovered eggs during the week after the egg hunt whilst cleaning the house. To be honest, I think our house would be a lot cleaner if Tom promised to start hiding chocolate around the house once a week.
I spent the morning in the kitchen whipping up some baked goodies. I decided to try amalgamating my signature lemon meringue cupcakes with my rainbow cupcakes, and dyed the lemony batter blue, green, red, yellow and lilac before dropping it into glass ramekins with the lemon curd and smothering it in fluffy white meringue. We had to eat them with spoons, but I think the effect was worth it.
|Rainbow lemon meringue cakes- before and after topping|
For my main birthday cake I decided to attempt something I'd spotted on Pinterest and been reminded about after seeing Floral and Feather's version. The base cake choice for this can be anything you like, so I opted to try out the Divine Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe from my recently gifted copy of Mary Berry's Baking Bible. It's a flourless cake with ground almonds and a LOT of plain chocolate forming the cake and then a lot more chocolate for the icing. It was basically already a coronary on a plate before I started getting creative with the Kit Kats... Ah well. This is what I ended up with:
To make this cake you will need*...
- a large cake of your choice
- lots of Kit Kats in whatever flavour you like- I went for milk chocolate
- M&Ms of your choice. I used three family sized bags of peanut M&Ms, for their Eastery shape
- chocolate icing to stick the Kit Kats to the cake.
-Unwrap lots of Kit Kats from their foil before you spread the sides and top of cake with chocolate icing.
- Start sticking the Kit Kats around the circumference of the cake. Feel pleased that it is going well.
- Continue sticking Kit Kats around the edge in sections. Watch as the first ones you stuck on begin to fall off the cake and get chocolate icing everywhere.
- Re-stick the first ones, whilst the next ones you stuck on start falling off the cake too. Do lots of swearing.
- Wait for your boyfriend to come in to save you/see what all the swearing is about. Get really cross at him too for no good reason except that you have a sneaking suspicion gravity has somehow gotten worse since he came in to help.
- Slap on loads more chocolate icing and re-adhere the Kit Kats, getting your boyfriend to hold them on whilst you complete the entire circle. Optional- shout something along the lines of "WHY am I even BOTHERING with this?! My whole birthday is basically RUINED!"
- Twist some silver foil into a long strip and use it to hold all the Kit Kats together around the cake whilst the icing sets. N.B. It's probably best to get the foil ready before you start decorating the cake, so you don't end up covering half the kitchen cupboards in chocolate icing whilst looking for the foil.
- Take five minutes with a cup of tea to recover from your traumatic experience.
- Once the icing has dried, replace the silver foil with a strip of ribbon, secured with double-sided sellotape, and fill the middle with M&Ms.
- Stop being a she-Hulk, and apologise to your boyfriend for being such a cranky mare. Proffer the leftover icing as a much tastier olive branch.
Despite the fact I'm a cranky mare who doesn't really deserve presents, I was still the recipient of a whole teetering pile of wonderful, thoughtful gifts- which I opened yesterday despite the fact it's not my birthday until Wednesday. Breaking ALL the Birthday Rules.
My friend Holly has recently developed a crack-like addiction for porcelain paints and presented me with The Most Amazing Teapot In The Whole World, Ever, which she had decorated herself. Isn't it BEAUTIFUL? :)
Fran bought me a whole bunch of awesome goodies including an Operation pen(!!!), polar bear clips, egg cups, bird pegs (if these don't make doing the washing fun, I don't know what will), a gorgeous polka-dot teapot tea infuser, and a brooch from Designosaur! Eeeep! *does a happy dance*
My lovely friend Lucy bought me a gorgeous Katie Alice mug (modelled below with my new tea infuser), some amazing earrings shaped like owls and Day of the Dead skulls, and a square, tiered cake stand specifically for me to draw on with my porcelain pens.
I am feeling like a very spoilt girl this weekend, and it's not even my birthday yet! And I've got half of the M&M cake leftover in the kitchen, along with a jar of back-up M&Ms to keep me going when that runs out. I think I might have to spend my birthday money on bigger jeans....
* If you genuinely want the recipe I used for this cake, let me know in the comments section and I'll gladly send it to you.