There are two things that you should notice about the photo above, most importantly, the sun is shining (check out the shadows) – hoorah , and secondly the sponge in the cake is ‘Pink’ – perfect for my daughters first birthday party. In her short life she has been exposed to a vast quantity of diggers, tractors and little boys toys, so just for one day I thought it very important to have a very girly tea party. With the cupcake revolution well under way, picking up pretty cake cases is no problem, plates, napkins and balloons likewise. Actually there are so many people making good ‘tea party’ fare it is hard to choose what theme to go for. ‘Meri Meri’ –http://www.shopmerimeri.co.uk do a breathtaking line of party goods, their ‘Animal Parade’ is charming (I used it for my sons first party) as is their ‘Big Rig’ range – ideal for tractor/ digger obsessed toddlers. Jane Asher on Chelsea Green, http://www.janeasher.com/ is fabulous, particularly for the enthusiastic cake baker.
Moving on from party hardware – what should one cook? Well, lets face it a 1-year-old is not going to eat much, but still requires feeding and of course as do the siblings who also pitch up for a bit of party action. We opted for the carpet picnic which was a good compromise after all we don’t have (thankfully) half a dozen high chairs littered around the house for the darlings to sit at a table on. Hence, finger food – carpet picnic it was! Little sausages, chicken and apple balls, mini philadelphia sandwiches, hula hoops, mini fruit cups – you get the idea, and of course the ‘pretty pink’ cupcakes with 2 different types of icing for the very discerning – some had a butter icing on laced with cream cheese, and some had the classic icing of my own childhood – a simple glace icing- made simply with lemon juice and icing sugar.
Running around my tiny kitchen like a mad hatter, I ‘googled’ (is that really a verb?) a simple victoria sponge recipe and then cut it in half. It was really easy, really good. I don’t have a massive sweet tooth, but this was light and airy and everything a cake should be. I added in some shocking pink food coloring, ‘Sugarflair – Claret’, and ended up with the pink creations above.
Pretty in Pink Cupcakes
Makes at least 12 cakes
Set the oven 180
110 g of butter at room temperature
110g of caster sugar
110g of self raising flour
Cream the butter and sugar together to a very light and creamy consistency(ideally in a kenwood with the beater on the highest setting), slowly crack in the eggs and whizz to combine and then very slowly add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Now add in a little milk till you have a dropping consistency.
Fill the cupcake cases and straight in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes – till light and fluffy. Leave to cool and then ice accordingly.
Glace icing – lemon juice and icing sugar -mix together till you have a spreading consistency.
Butter icing – my trick with this is to add some cream cheese – it really is good and takes out the richness but not the ‘yummyness’!