Baking up a storm!

by Lany

All three of us have a lot of friends in common, which is what brought us together in the first place!

Both Sophie and I live in Ireland full-time (at the moment!) and since we have the aforementioned large amount of mutual friends, it’s no surprise when we get invited to a lot of the same parties!

One of our friends, a really awesome girl named Jen is leaving for a while to work in Japan, we’re all going to really miss her….and we’re all (not-so) secretly jealous of her well deserved opportunity!! A few weekends ago a goodbye party was thrown for her! I decided to bake some cupcakes and duely told Sophie of my plan. She approved and since both of us are somewhat of baking fiends we went a biiiiiit overboard when we got together in the kitchen….maybe it was all the sugar in the air or the effect of hyperness bouncing off hyperness to create a super hyperful mood…..

This isn’t even everything that was baked!! 😀
It was a glorious afternoon, the tantalising smell of cakes and cookies and other sweet treats filling the air!

When I was in the shop buying all that needed to be bought for a baking extravaganza I came across the essence selection; and I decided that another pot of vanilla essence wouldn’t go astray. I was taken by surprise when, instead of the rudimentary selection that had been there the week before  I came across a much improved selection!!  Being easily overexcited I started to imagine what I could do with all these delightful flavours!
However I have the misfortune of also being a realist, so I decided to only go a little over budget and pick up two new flavours; peppermint and strawberry!
Of course then I also had to pick up food colourings and toppings to go with these flavours!! ;D

Hence the flavoured cake and icing was born!

These buns were faintly vanilla flavoured, so I decided to put the flavourings in the icing. Man the strawberry essence smelled (and tasted!) delicious and it was hard to only add two drops to the icing sugar! The things on top of the icing were all just shapes made from coloured sugar, and I thought they were a nice decorative touch!

For the peppermint flavoured icing I chose a “honeycomb” topping! I got Sophies opinion and she also thought that peppermint and honeycomb go together surprisingly well! It was fun combining different flavours and seeing what happened!

The final batch of cupcakes were covered in vanilla icing and I decided instead of leaving the icing white I’d give it a splash of colour and make it blue instead…and sprinkle mini smarties on top! =D
As you can see these weren’t anything like professionally finished cupcakes!

In the end I made about 50 cupcakes!! ….I did say we had gone a bit overboard….

I also made a sponge cake, with the sponge itself being strawberry and vanilla flavoured!! (I got a bit carried away with strawberry flavouring!) When it came out of the oven, it had a slightly different texture to sponge cake with no flavours or only vanilla essence in it, a slightly “denser” texture? It was baked through though, which was the important part!!

When it came time to decorate the cooled cake I decided to go with what Jen loves, and one of the things she really likes is cream! I personally dislike the texture of cream but I adore strawberries…who doesn’t love strawberries? Strawberries decorated the top and were in the middle of the cake to give people a nice surprise when they bit into a slice! I may hate cream but Sophie definitely loves cream, as when I was finished with it she decided to help herself to the left overs!! xD

Our fridge is small, so I didn’t have space to shove the decorated cake inside, so part of the cream started to slide off the back of the cake taking with it most of the strawberries!! However some “ingenious” phptography later (i.e. I pushed everything back on top, turned it around and hoped for the best!) and it LOOKS as good as new!

While I was struggling with melting Sophie was having her way with the oven! She made awesome Oatmeal cookies! They were really good, so tasty and we were hoping that the idea that there was oats in them that they could be considered “good for you”…..but the sugar and butter content quickly negated that idea!!

She also made unusual brownies! Unlike brownies that I make that are laden with sugar and butter, Sophie had found and tried a recipe for not-so-bad for you brownies! They had sweetpotatoe and dark chocolate and a small bit of sugar and butter! I didn’t get a picture because by the time they were out of the oven they had to be whisked straight off to the party!

….there was a lot of cleaning up to be done also ;~;
Always the worst part of baking!!

I didn’t go to the party in the end because I started coming down with a horrible cold and I didn’t want to give it to Jen just before she left!
Sophie reported that the party was a great success and that everyone had a great time hanging out with each other for the evening!! 🙂


All of our love!

P.S. Happy International Womens Day!!