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20Aug

Cult cakes: Miss Bunting’s version of Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake

Cult cakes: Miss Bunting’s version of Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake

Rumoured to be the most instagrammed cake in the world,  Sydney’s Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake was one instance where I wanted to have my cake AND eat it. Problem is, I don’t live in Sydney. So when my husbands’ family decided to put on a baby shower breakfast for me, I thought this would be the perfect time to see if I could knock up a homemade version that had the same sentiment, but possibly not the same look and taste. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to find out for real, but for now I was chuffed to find a cake with watermelon  and strawberries in it, I mean, basically it’s a breakfast fruit salad in cake form, right?

Black Star Pastry's cult Watermelon and Strawberry cake.

Black Star Pastry’s cult Watermelon and Strawberry cake.

Not that I can take all the credit though – I’m certainly taking the easy option by using store bought sponge (quelle horreur!) and I’ve actually combined two recipes to create this one here. Firstly, Delicious have a Watermelon & Rose layer cake, which is very similar, but doesn’t have the Almond Dacquoise layer that the Black Star Pastry has. So for this, we’ve borrowed from the King of Desserts himself, Adriano Zumbo and altered his Hazelnut Dacquoise recipe, found here.

Finally, this cake uses rosewater – which I adore, but it is a polarising flavour for many. I couldn’t track down any rose petals and would normally get the ones from Pariya – so here I used some from my garden as I know we don’t used pesticides on them! I also added pomegranate from my garden too, as they suit the middle eastern influence and I just adore their jewel ruby red colour, though mine are a rose colour.

Ingredients

For the Almond Dacquoise: 

  • 150g roast almonds
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 200g egg whites (approx 6 big eggs or 8 small ones)
  • 50g caster sugar

For the rest of the cake: 

  • 1/2 a seedless watermelon
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) rosewater
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  • 500g punnet strawberries, halved
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • Unfilled sponge cake – I used the 450g rectangular version from Coles.
  • Approx. 15 seedless grapes, halved
  • Slivered pistachios and rose petals to serve.
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional) to serve

Method

For the Almond Dacquoise: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. (160°C fan-forced)
  2. Line a large tray with baking paper –  I used 2 lamington trays the same size as the sponge cake.
  3. Finely grind almonds with the icing sugar. (If your almonds aren’t roasted, simply pop them in the oven for 15 minutes)
  4. To make the meringue, place the egg whites and a pinch of caster sugar in the bowl of a food mixer. Beat, on medium speed, until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, one-third at a time. Let each amount clear before adding the next. Continue mixing on medium speed for a stronger and more developed meringue.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently fold in the nuts and sugar mixture until just combined. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Your dacquoise must be crisp on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.
  6. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool completely. Gently remove each of the meringues from the baking paper.
 For the rest of the cake: 
  1. Slice your watermelon into 1cm slices . Arrange on a wire rack in a single layer, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon rosewater and 2 tablespoons sugar, then stand for 30 minutes for flavours to infuse. Pat dry.
  2. Combine strawberries with 1 tablespoon of rosewater in a bowl then stand for 15 minutes to infuse.
  3. Whisk the cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with electric beaters until thickened. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon rosewater and whisk until soft peaks.
  4. If using the Coles rectangular sponge, carefully slice the cake halves in half again, horizontally. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and sprinkle with a little extra rosewater. Spread over one-third of the cream, then using one of the other sponges as a size guide, trim your almond dacquoise to sit on top of the sponge layer.  Repeat layers, then top with a final layer of cake and cream. Press grapes and strawberries into the cream, then garnish with pistachios, dried rose petals and pomegranate seeds.
Tips: 
 This cake looks so much more complicated than it actually is – and it’s a real showstopper! If you were making for a party, get ahead of the game and make the almond dacquoise the night before and chop up your strawberries, watermelon, grapes and even whip your cream and keep it cool. All you need to do then is assemble close to serving!
2May

Mothers Day brunch

Mothers Day brunch

A few weeks ago, we got together with a few of our favourites to style up a gorgeous Mother’s Day brunch. Inspired by new and young mum’s, we wanted bright pinks that would pop against a crisp autumn setting for a feminine, but fresh feel. With the most insanely gorgeous florals by the uber talented Nadia over at Studio Botanic, delicious catering by Stirring the Pot catering, menus by French Navy, and props by Lily & Bramwell, pop on over to the Lenzo edit for the full story, including our tutorial on how to create the Dip Dye Ombre tablecloth.

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1Sep

FREE downloadable watermelon bunting!

FREE downloadable watermelon bunting!

Hello September! It’s been a long, cold  winter down under – so we’re super excited that spring has sprung and summer is all but a few months away. To celebrate what will bea summer of parties, fiestas, weddings and birthdays, we’ve created this super cute watermelon bunting! Simply print on a standard colour printer, fold the flap over some twin and HEY PRESTO, you are ready to party. Perfect for bbq’s to garden parties, nothing says summer sun than wedges of juicy watermelon. photoEnjoy! x

FREE Printable Watermelon Bunting

 

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!

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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!

6Feb

DIY Sugar Ombre Hearts

DIY Sugar Ombre Hearts

Hola Lovers! Even if you’re not the type for soft toys and romantic gestures, we thought Valentines Day would still be the perfect opportunity to learn a little DIY that you can bust out at anytime to embellish your baked goods and impress pretty much everyone. I’m of course talking about making sugared shapes, and here we show you how to make ombre sugar hearts, which we sprinkled on top of some cupcakes for Mr Bunting. Bagged up in our glassine bags, these would even make the sweetest retro gift to give the sweet-tooth in your life.

You’ll need from the pantry:
2 cups of sugar
One egg white
Paste or gel food colouring

And from the cupboard:
A small and medium bowl
Measuring spoons & cups
Baking Paper
Wooden spoon
Rolling Pin
Baking Tray lined with baking paper
Mini cookie cutter – we used a small love heart from a cake supply store

2. Start with half a cup of sugar and a small amount of the colouring. We used a good few drops of gel, remembering that once you add the egg white, it will darken. This will be your darkest colour.

3 & 4.  Mix thoroughly and add one teaspoon of the egg white until the mixture resembles wet sand.

5. Pour out onto a sheet of baking paper, pressing down with the back of the wooden spoon. Roll over with the rolling pin, but you will still need to be gentle – the idea is to compact the mixture and make it level – to about half a centimeter. Then, using your cutter, cut shapes and place them on the baking tray. Repeat until you get as many as desired. If the shapes aren’t holding, adjust the mixture with a little more egg white, or sugar if too wet.

6. Place leftover mixture back into the mixing bowl and add another half cup of sugar and teaspoon of egg white and repeat the process. If the shade is not as light as you would like, simply add more sugar and egg whites in the same ratio. We think it looks best if you repeat the process to achieve 3- 4 different shades, unless you want to use one block colour.

7. Bake your shapes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes and allow to harden overnight. These should be the firmness of sugarcubes the next day.

8. Here are ours decorated on some cupcakes we baked for Valentines Day, complete with Glitter Cupcake wrappers and love heart doilies from Miss Bunting’s shop.

 

23Nov

Grace under pressure: Emma & Chris’s wedding

Everyone’s got one. The friend that is always so glamorous, stylish and put together – y’know, without even trying. Actually, I’ve got a few, and if I didn’t have such solid self-esteem, I’d be in a perpetual state of anxiety. One of them is Emma from Scanlan PR – my firecracker friend and resident crazy lady, Em is as close to my heart as family and one of Miss Bunting’s biggest supporters. Fiercely loyal, feisty and funny, Em is always cheering me on from the sidelines while she juggles a successful career with motherhood to beautiful baby Leo. Blessed with model looks, an innate sense of style and a finely tuned radar for what’s new and chic before anyone else does; it goes without saying she’s my soundboard for all of Miss Bunting’s product ideas.

Dressed in a stunningly simple Vera Wang gown, Emma married her dashing hubby Chris in 2010, against the picturesque background of Clairault winery in Dunsborough, near Margaret River, Western Australia. Unflappable under pressure, Em demonstrated anything but bridezilla qualities when faced with a delivery of wilted flowers from her appointed florist. Instead of carrying out what I would consider to be a well-warranted diva tantrum, Em delegated her most trusted hit squad to scour the entire southwest. Their brief? To find an eclectic array of flowers in varying colours and buy up what was in stock. Roadside, service station, florist and supermarket were duly emptied of flora, and while this sounds excessive – that was pretty much the entire roll call of retail outlets in the rural southwest. The groom’s father stopped off at a rose farm en route (and also provided a gorgeous cane-cut viognier from their vineyard for guests to take home), and family picked flowers from their own gardens in Perth and packed them carefully for the 3 hour drive down south. And while this deviated from the planned colour palette, what she ended up with was a dreamy collection of flowers in a celebration of colours, and a romantic, relaxed, effortlessly chic vibe to which most were none the wiser to what had just happened a mere 12 hours ago. The lesson? No pressure, no diamonds – and this diamond day proved some disasters can turn into happy accidents; it just depends on how you approach them. See more pictures from Emma’s wedding here.