The Party Emporium
16Apr

DIY Sharpie Eggs!

DIY Sharpie Eggs!

This really is so simple it’s stupid. If you want to keep these eggs as decorations around the house after Easter I would suggest you ‘blow out’ the eggs (tutorial here), but if you’re holding Easter lunch and need a last minute something to finish the table off, just hard boil the eggs like we did! Pick white eggs for a modern monochrome look or brown eggs for a rustic finish. Once the eggs have boiled get your trusty sharpie pen and draw away…. Voila! there you have it. Try displaying in glass vases or small bowls around the table. Suggestion: use a couple different thicknesses of Sharpies to create contrasting patterns for each egg. Explore in using a different technique and weight for each egg. Don’t worry about being a stickler for neatness either, they’re not supposed to be perfect!

13Apr

Easter bunny cupcakes

Easter bunny cupcakes

Last Easter, we went overboard on the chocolate, making this easter egg covered chocolate cake and these super simple and super cute chocolate easter nests. After a stint in chocoholics anonymous, we thought we’d try something vanilla based, meaning there’s plenty of room for chocolate Easter eggs – and how darling are these bunny ear cupcakes? The best thing, they’re a show-stopper and a complete cinch to make. Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes – there just ain’t enough hours in the day, so don’t be feeling bad about grabbing a packet mix of cupcakes. Seriously, don’t. Guilt is a wasted emotion, so bear that in mind when you’ve scoffed three of these with afternoon tea!

Read these instructions well ahead, as these are best made in stages.

You need:

1 packet of cupcake mix

500g white Pettinice

Red or pink food colouring

4 egg whites

2 cups caster sugar

Cold water

Piping bag

Bunny ear template

The night before you want to present your cupcakes, grab yourself some ready to roll Pettinice fondant icing from your local cake supply shop and channel your inner toddler – this stuff is to adults what playdough is for kids.  Grab about 500g of the white stuff and if you have a little red food colouring, use a droplet to turn 200g of it pink (literally just knead and massage the fondant, a little bit of colour at time until you get your desired shade). Otherwise, grab another pack of pink Pettinice. This is enough for about 6 -8 sets of bunny ears. Print out a bunny ear template – we found ours here. You want your ears to be around 10 – 12cm long, bearing in mind you need to push them right into the cupcake and you don’t want them too thick or they become top heavy and fall over. Roll out one layer of fondant about 2mm thick and using your template and a sharp knife, cut out your sets of bunny ears – the bigger section in white, and repeat the process for the inner ear, using the pink fondant. Using just a finger dipped in water or a paintbrush, moisten the back of the pink ear and place directly where you want it to go on the big white ear shape. Once it’s there, don’t move it or the pink colour will smudge along the white fondant. Bend one of your ears over and slightly outward to create one floppy ear. Leave these out overnight to dry out hard. Hint, if your fondant sticks to your work surface, use a really light dusting of icing suger. Not too much or you’ll change the consistency of the fondant!

Bunny ears

These are best assembled close to serving, so make your cupcakes ahead and leave to cool. When they are baking, make your meringue icing using the double boiler method like this recipe. Place in your piping bag and pop in the fridge to keep cool. Essentially you want super thick and glossy icing to help support your ears. Hint: make sure you use caster sugar – this is really refined and dissolves so you have smooth icing.

Pipe your icing onto your cupcakes and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve and simple push your ears right into the cupcake. The ears should have dried out and hold straight.

To create our setting shown, shop our cupcake wrappers, lace placemats, placecards, spoons and tissue poms here. Try using tissue paper poms as a table runner instead, and hide easter eggs throughout for a cute take on a classic!

FullSizeRender

 

 

 

17Mar

Black beauty: Guinness laced black velvet baby cakes

Black beauty: Guinness laced black velvet baby cakes

Top of the morning to you all! It’s St Patrick’s Day, so what better excuse than to find any recipe with Guinness in it? We road-tested these Black Velvet Baby Cakes….totally and utterly delicious. What’s even better, they’re a one pan wonder – just chuck it in one bowl and mix! Just be warned – they are super crumbly and moist, more like a pud’ and less like a cupcake, so can be a little messy. If you are cavalier in your measuring department, go easy on the liquids – too much moisture and these just fall apart.

Ingredients

100g softened butter, plus extra for greasing

175g light brown soft sugar

1 egg

100g self-raising flour

50g ground almonds

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

5 tbsp cocoa, plus a little extra for decorating

150ml Guinness

 

Method

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the bases of 6 dariole moulds with baking parchment. Put the butter, sugar, egg, flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate, cocoa and Guinness in a mixing bowl. Beat together until lump-free. Divide between the tins then bake for 20-25 mins until risen and a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool for 15 mins, then remove from tins and cool completely.

Whip cream with the icing sugar and splash of Champagne, if using, until thick. Spoon a dollop onto the top of each cake and dust with a touch of cocoa.

 

10Feb

Valentines Day DIY

Valentines Day DIY

This is so embarrassingly simple, it’s barely a DIY – but combine our love of doilies and fairy lights for this super-sweet Valentines Day decoration. Using our new pink and metallic gold doilies, cut a small slit through the patterned edge in which you simply push the fairy light bulb through. Repeat, angling the hearts at different directions for a whimsical effect. Perfect about the bed, or around your favourite print – just remember never to leave your lights unattended!

8Feb

Sprinkles of fun

Sprinkles of fun

I’m one of those people who actually like those American style ‘cookies’ – those chewy, soft baked biscuits only they seem to do so well. So for Valentines, we thought these sprinkle-laden funfetti biscuits originally seen here on Sally’s Baking Addiction would be the perfect way to bake your way into your loved one’s heart.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g)  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (cannot be omitted)
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles, plus more for sprinkle on top before baking

Method

In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed until it gets creamy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add the dry ingredients slowly, into the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough gets thick and you may find it easier to take it off the mixer and stir the rest by hand. Once combined, fold in 1/2 cup sprinkles.

Scoop a large sections of dough (about 2 tbsp of dough) and roll into balls. Make sure the balls are taller, rather than wide. Add a few more sprinkles on top of each ball dough.

Chill the balls of dough for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. This step is essential as it will prevent spreading in the oven. Because it was for Valentines Day, I flattened the balls and cut them into love heart shapes, bearing in mind they spread, so ensure the love heart shape is definitive.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Bake chilled cookie dough for 8 minutes, no more. The cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes and move to wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies stay soft & fresh for up to 1 week at room temperature. Cookies freeze well. Cookies may be rolled into balls and frozen up to 3 months to bake at a later date. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

2Feb

The sweetest ice cream party

The sweetest ice cream party

We were so inspired by one of our customer’s creative parties, we just had to share! Forget the kid’s party – we’d quite fancy one of these ourselves – especially if it involves an epic ice-cream cake like this! Re-create Rachelle’s ice-cream cake, seen here via One Charming Party by taking a ready made ice-cream cake, topping with a cone and chocolate ganache to look like melted chocolate and covering with sprinkles. Then give everyone a spoon and dig in! Check out our shop for sweet and inspired ice cream party goods and see all of the pictures from Rachelle’s party in our gallery here.

22Jan

Australia Day, the stylish way

Australia Day, the stylish way

Green & gold – not always a winning colour combination if not done well! Go for cooler, lighter shades of green when pairing with yellow – sometimes forest green can look a bit drab. Here are our picks from the Miss Bunting shop – our favourite? Our giant yellow balloons with mint & yellow tassels of course. And try this cheats recipes for the cutest Green Grass Lamington Recipe – simple and super easy (it’s okay to cheat every now and then). Happy Australia Day!

 

Green Grass Lamingtons

  • 130 grams (1 1/2 cups) dessicated coconut
  • 20 drops food colouring
  • 175 g store bought lamington
  • 425 g (2 3/4 cup)  icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) hot water
  • 5 drops food colouring, extra

Method

Place the coconut in a plastic bag. Add the food colouring and shake and rub until well combined. Transfer to a plate.

Use a large serrated knife to trim the crusts from the top and bottom of the cake. Cut the cake into 3 even portions, then cut each portion into 6 squares. Place the icing sugar mixture into a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Add the hot water and extra food colouring and use a whisk to stir for 5 minutes or until smooth and runny.

Use 2 forks to dip each cake square in the icing mixture to coat. Shake off excess. Roll the cake in the coconut mixture to evenly coat. Transfer to a wire rack to set.

Recipe via taste.com.au

Images via Miss Bunting and Tuck & Bonte.

 

 

 

7Jan

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

Move over Emerald! 2014 is all about a pinky, purply, pretty hue that’s as fresh as it is fun. Take inspiration for your next party and put purple on your palette. Not too girly, give your next garden party a purple haze with vintage bunting and our purple honeycomb balls.

27Dec

Hello 2014!

Hello 2014!

Can you believe another year is nearly over? You know what that means – another reason to celebrate and party like it’s 1999. Except it’s nearly 2014, but that’s all just details. From bbq to soiree, pull on a party dress and pretty up your pad and get ready to ring in the new year. Check out my top tips for fuss free fun on myfoodblog.com.au and get ready to fiesta with these top buys from missbunting.com.au

So here’s to 2014 – thank you for your support during the past year – it’s been a ball! While we clear the decks for new product and go hunting for treasures, please note that orders placed from 1 – 13 Jan 2014 won’t be dispatched until the 14th. We’ve got BIG BARBIE DREAM HOUSE type plans, so stay tuned for more fun and fabulousness to come!

Images L-R Pinterest, Tuck & Bonte, Sucre Shop. Product available missbunting.com.au

21Dec

The night before Christmas: a fuss-free make ahead menu

The night before Christmas: a fuss-free make ahead menu

Christmas with my family has always been a largely fun-loving, free-spirited affair. Not bound by any particular traditions, my half European half Asian background means the Christmas table is a UN convention of flavours and dishes, and we love it that way – the only thing that’s a sure bet is kilo’s of fresh, fat prawns, cooked on the BBQ. Heaven!

One thing I’ve learned over the years is to plan your menu and then halve it! I’ve made so many canapés and starters before that barely any mains were touched, leaving me disappointed at the hours labouring over the menu and cooking everything – right down to the condiments, from scratch.

So here are a few recipes I thought I’d share with you – tried & tested over the years so they’re pretty much foolproof, or can be made the night before which means more time for you kicking back with a glass of bubbles instead of sweating the small stuff in the kitchen.

I discovered Nigella’s Eton Mess quite by accident when I had a Pavlova that completely flopped, and no amount of cream and fruit could cement it back together and cover the cracks. This can literally be pulled together 10 minutes before serving – and feel free to use store bought meringue nests – it really won’t matter at all!

Delia’s Vanilla Terrine and the River Café’s Boca Negra are both perfect dinner party desserts – made the night before, all you’re required to do is slice and serve. They look seriously impressive and are also easy to transport if you’re ever asked to bring a dessert. The vanilla terrine is one of my all-time favourite recipes – it’s like a healthier version of a pannacotta as it’s made with greek yoghurt and you can almost kid yourself that it’s good for you!

The Quinoa with Brussel Sprouts and Almonds is a genius way of getting some traditional vegetables in the mix, but in a lighter way more suited to an Australian Christmas. If you’ve got any pomegranate left over from the Eton Mess, add some of those ruby jewels and it takes it to another level.

Alongside these dishes, I would have a few kilos of prawns (obviously!) and another meat dish: a ham or some butterflied lamb, also cooked on the BBQ, keeping all the heat outside where it belongs.

Adjust quantities according to your guest list and enjoy!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! x  

 

Quinoa with Brussels Sprouts & Almonds

Serves 4-6. Can be made the night before.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tblsps olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 8 green spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 115g slivered almonds, (1 cup) toasted
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

 Method

Cook quinoa in a large saucepan of boiling water about 15 to 17 minutes, or until tender and grains split. Drain well. Spread out onto a large tray. Referigerate until cold.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sprouts. Cook, stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant and sprouts are still crunchy.

Transfer to bowl. Add quinoa, onions, almonds, parsley & mint. Season with pepper to taste.

 

Fennel, Pear & Parmesan Salad

Serves 4. Best made close to serving, but with so few ingredients, this one’s a cinch!

  • 2 baby fennel, trimmed, fronds reserved
  • 2 firm but ripe green skinned pears
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 70g  piece parmesan or pecorino
  • 2 tbs walnuts, toasted, roughly chopped

Method

Thinly slice the fennel across the bulb with a sharp with a sharp knife or mandoline. To slice the pears, hold upright on the bench and thinly slice down each cheek to keep the natural shape. Place the fennel and the pear in a bowl.

Whisk oil and lemon juice in a bowl, season, then lighten with a dash of water. Toss with fennel and pear, divide among plates then scatter with chunks of parmesan, walnuts and fennel fronds.

 

Maggie Beer’s Cured Salmon with Horseradish Crème

Serves 10. Prepare the night before.

  • 1 lemon
  • To taste freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ tspn lemon juice
  • 2 ½ tbspn horseradish minced
  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • 1 cup dill chopped
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 150g salt flakes
  • 1.2kg fresh skinless salmon fillets

Method 

Using tweezers, remove the line of bones visible in the salmon.

Combine the sea salt, sugar and dill in a mixing bowl and stir together.

Choose two large non-reactive trays the length of the salmon (I use plastic butcher’s trays), then spread half of the salt mixture over the base of one of the trays, put the salmon on top and then cover with the remaining amount of salt mixture.

Cover tightly with cling film, then place the second tray on top of the fish and place weights into the tray. Transfer the salmon to the refrigerator and allow to cure for 8 hours. *How long you decide to cure the fish for will depend on how moist you want to serve it. I cure mine for about 8 hours on average, but once I forgot and left it for 20 hours! At this stage it is much drier but the positive was that it was less challenging for people unsure about the rawness of salmon cured for a shorter time.

Meanwhile, place the crème fraiche, horseradish and lemon juice into a mixing bowl and stir together well – the volume of horseradish you add will depend on how strong you like it and the quality that you buy. Season with a pinch of freshly ground white pepper. Place into a serving dish, cover with cling film and place into fridge until ready to serve.

Wipe the salt mixture from the salmon with a wet clean cloth, some of the dill will remain adhered to the salmon. Carve the salmon into thin slices, across the grain and serve with slices of fresh lemon and the horseradish crème.

 

Matt Moran’s Roast Duck with Lentils, Pumpkin and Orange

Serves 4-6. Prepare ahead except for the duck breasts. On the day, just cook these and assemble.

  • 200g (1 cup) French-style green lentils (I have cheated and used tinned lentils before – do this if short on time!)
  • 400 g (approx 1/4 ) butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 orange, zested, juiced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 duck breasts
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 cloves gloves, finely chopped
  • 250g Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbs sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 125ml red wine
  • 125 chicken consomme (or stock!)
  • 1 tbs wholegrain mustard

Method

Preheat oven to 200C. Line 2 oven trays with foil. Place 1 tray on bottom shelf to preheat. Cook lentils in a large saucepan until al dente and then drain.

Meanwhile, place pumpkin, orange zest and oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread pumpkin in a single layer over remaining tray. Roast, stirring halfway through for 20 minutes or until tender and golden.

Score the skin of the duck breasts with a knife, 1 cm apart on the diagonal. Place them skin-side down in a cold fry pan, and cook over medium heat for about 8 mins, until the skin is golden and crisp, and the fat is rendered. Place the duck breasts on the pre-heated oven tray into the oven for about 5 – 6 mins (cooked to medium). Rest, covered in foil until ready to slice and serve.

Leave about 60mL (1/4 cup) of the duck fat in the fry pan and add the thinly sliced red onion and the garlic cloves. Cook over low heat for 10 mins, until lightly caramelised. Trim bases of the brussels sprouts and place in colander in sink. Pour over boiling water to lightly wilt, then refresh in cold water, and drain well. They will then be bright green and looking like mini lettuce cups! Add the juice of the orange you zested earlier and the red wine vinegar to the onions, simmer and cook for 2 mins until nearly evaporated. Add the red wine, chicken consommé (or stock, don’t tell Matt Moran!) and the mustard to the onions. Simmer and cook for 8 mins or until syrupy and reduced. Add lentils, pumpkin and Brussels sprout leaves, simmer for 1 minute to warm through. Slice duck on the diagonal and serve on top of the lentil mixture.

 

Nigella’s Eton Mess

Serves 4. Best made close to serving, bit it will only take you 10 minutes! 

  • 500 grams strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  •  teaspoons pomegranate juice (or 1 pomegranate if you can)
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 4 meringue nests

Method

Hull and chop the strawberries and put into a bowl. Add the sugar and pomegranate juice and leave to macerate while you whip the cream. If using a real pomegranate, simply cut in half and bash the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon until the seeds fall out along with the natural juice.

Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft.

Roughly crumble in 4 meringues nests – you will need chunks for texture, as well as a little fine dust.

Take out a ladleful, or about 100g / ½ cup, of the chopped strawberries, and fold the meringued cream and rest of the fruit mixture together.

Arrange on four serving plates or glasses, or in a mound, and top each one with some of the remaining macerated strawberries.

 

Boca Negra (flourless chocolate cake)

Serves up to 10. Make the night before and use a hot knife to slice – don’t cut too thickly – this is richer than Bill Gates.

  • 340g dark choclate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 5 organic eggs
  • 210g caster sugar
  • Crème fraiche, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 120C. Grease and line a 25cm cake pan (not springform).

Melt the chocolate and putter in a pan over simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water).

Beat the eggs with 70g of the sugar for 8 minutes in an electric mixer  until the volume triples. In a pan, stir in the remaining 140g sugar with 100ml of water on medium heat until dissolved. Add to melted chocolate and cool slightly.

Add chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat slowly to combine. Pout into cake pan.

Put a folded tea towel in a large roasting pan. Place cake on top and add enough hot water to come three-quarters up the side of the cake pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until set. Cool completely in the water before serving with cream or leave overnight in the fridge.

 

Delia’s Vanilla Cream Terrine with Raspberries and Blackcurrant Coulis

Serves 6. This is one of my favourites and is made the night before. 

  •  425ml double cream
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 7g leaf gelatine
  • 425g greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (use the real-deal, not the imitation essence here!)

For the coulis: (I’ve made this just with raspberries if you can’t get a hold of blackcurrants)

  • 225g blackcurrants
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 175g raspberries
  • fresh mint leaves

Method

Begin by placing the gelatine leaves in cold water and leave them to soften for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place the cream in a saucepan with the sugar and heat gently till the sugar has dissolved (it’s important not to overheat the cream). Next, remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze out the excess liquid. Then add the gelatine to the warm cream and whisk everything over the heat for a few seconds.

Now remove the cream mixture from the heat. In a mixing-bowl, stir the yogurt and vanilla together, then pour in the gelatine cream mixture. Whisk very thoroughly and pour the whole lot into the plastic box, allow to cool, then cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4–6 hours or preferably overnight until it’s set.

Meanwhile, make the blackcurrant coulis by first de-stalking the blackcurrants and then sprinkling them with the sugar in a bowl. Leave to soak for 30 minutes, and then you can either sieve them directly back into the bowl or, to make the sieving easier, process them first, then sieve into the bowl. Taste to check that you have 
added enough sugar, then pour into a jug and chill until you’re ready to serve the terrine.

To serve, turn the terrine out on to a board, first sliding a palette knife around the edges to loosen it, then give it a hefty shake to turn it out and cut into six slices. Arrange each slice on a serving plate, spoon a little blackcurrant coulis over the top right-hand corner and the bottom left-hand corner of each one and decorate with the fresh raspberries and mint leaves.