After having lived in London for a couple of months, I decided to finally invite a few friends over for a cupcake and prosecco themed housewarming afternoon on a Saturday. My day turned out to be everything but how I’d planned it. Friday nights are unpredictable. Let me give you a quick summary of what not to do the night before you hold a party:
It started with dinner at the cosmopolitan time of 10.45 pm in Mayfair, including pre-dinner drinks and plenty of alcohol to accompany our meal. After having built up a base with chinese food, the night continued with bottles of prosecco in a place called Novikov for birthday nr.1. By this time it was already about 2am and we hadn’t even properly gotten started (truth is , my initial aim was to head home latest at 1.30, wake up at 9am and start baking my 72 cupcakes. Clearly I had missed the moment). One birthday doesn’t seem enough to celebrate on a night, so we crashed another one in some members club on Jermyn Street. As swanky and nice as this party was, the vibe wasn’t working for our group and no one seemed to be ready to head home. What is left at 3.30am on a Friday night? Raffles in Chelsea with lots and lots and lots of vodka. No more details needed.
By 5 or 5.30am, 4 hours after planned, I managed to stumble up my staircase (5 floors, no biggie when in heels and completely drunk), change into my pj’s and pass out on my bed. Sadly, I forgot to charge my dead iPhone before passing out. My alarm, which had been set for 9am, didn’t go off. When I opened my eyes for the first time the next day they were greeted with sunshine and the clearest blue sky. It was already 11:30am. Damnit. My drunken swiss discipline kicked in and within just over 3 hours I had baked and iced 72 cupcakes (3 different flavors). I have never drunken so much water in such a short period of time without having to pee once. Luckily my housewarming offered the perfect evidence-based cure for my hangover: alcohol 🙂
As for these cupcakes: I wanted to try something new and stumbled across Ferrero Rochers opposite the baking section in my supermarket. In my mind the combination with peanut butter seemed amazing, worth a try. I wasn’t sure if they’d survive the heat of the oven in one piece, but they did!
Peanut Butter Surprise Cupcakes
I have taken this opportunity to make something in the spirit of one of the most divine combination: chocolate and orange. A combination that divides audiences and friendships alike. Without voices in the background going “but its so wrooooong” I have settled for a cake that I believe embodies this match made in heaven in all its’ glory. Well… kind of. I just liked the look of the recipe and knew that I could try it out without anyone moaning about it.
I guess I got a little over-excited with the decoration, and even attempted some chocolate work. While I found out this is not my calling, I am generally pleased with the result and am hoping to convert some non-believers with this beastly yet subtle creation.
The recipe involves four layers of cake with orange syrup, almond cream, chocolate ganache and pâtisserie-quality decorations: challenge accepted!
A day without chocolate is …… non-existent in my life. So maybe you’ve realised I’ve been posting a lot about chocolate. Reason is: a crazy friend decided to sacrifice this essence of life for lent. 46 days without chocolate! INSANE! Hence I am still helping her catch up on what she missed out 🙂
And now for a short medical digression: my mom always makes this chocolate mousse for parties as it is always a hit. Last I remember she made it for a new years dinner. There were lots of pregnant guests who immediately asked: “are there raw eggs in this mousse?” OF COURSE THERE ARE, WHAT IS MOUSSE WITHOUT EGG WHITE?? NOT MOUSSE!!! (I once saw a post of a chocolate mousse, which was made without egg whites. It really, really, really ruined my day). Sadly, the preggers were left without dessert (I didn’t mind: more for me!). During pregnancy raw eggs, raw meat and unpasteurized milk shouldn’t be consumed, as the chance of catching an infection with nasty bugs called toxoplasmosis and listeria are quite high. These two can, when caught in early pregnancy, be lethal for your baby.
So we learn: stuff your face with mousse, tartar and rare filet de boeuf as much as you can before hitting the bedroom with reproduction in mind.
Incredible Chocolate Mousse
Macarons are a gorgeous chocolate delight that proved an absolute nightmare to bake. They require dexterity, time, patience and some more patience. The book I got the recipe from (Ladurée) features pictures of the most sophisticated macarons this planet has ever seen, enough to make you feel bad about how sad yours look in comparison. I found ours had more personality than the uptight pretentious macarons from Ladurée (see pictures below as we attempt to pimp up our macarons with not-so-subtle photography tricks). And out of 30, only one was pure perfection. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when a family member shamelessly ate it before a decent picture was taken, nearly starting WW3. Despite all misfortunes, I kind of enjoyed making these little devils… and more importantly, superficialities aside, found them wholly delicious!
Ladurée’s Macarons Chocolat
Alors! Apres vous faisons c’est orgasme au chocolat, nous etais sure que vous voulais couchez avec nous c’est soir. SACRE BLUE! Nous parlais un petit pois de français e nous somme très orgueilleux.
If you don’t speak French, all of that was absolute hilarity in impeccable grammar.
After careful research into the mystical world of fondants, Two developed this piece de resistence. It is, frankly, sexual.
Chocolate-Chilli-ORGASM aka Fondant
Today we celebrated the birthday of the instigator of 1234cook. We came across this recipe and thought it perfectly embodied the birthday girl: dark, sexy, fabulous and… not for the faint of heart.
We’re not kidding when we say beware of this cake. This is not an easy cake. But if you’re looking to showcase your baking skills – or you’re looking for a way to kill three hours and gain three stone – then this is the cake for you.
Happy Birthday, Cindy. We love you!
Hummingbird’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake