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13Jul

A baby shower for Miss Bunting!

A baby shower for Miss Bunting!

Well, its been a while between drinks here on the blog – quite literally – as I’m excited to share that I am expecting my first in September! To celebrate, my gorgeous friends in my hometown of Perth threw the most divine baby shower when I came home to visit. And not only are they the funniest, smart, supportive, gorgeous, laugh-a-minute types (seriously, just spend one night in an empty room with just a helium can and lose 6 hours of your life in hysterics #truestory), clearly they are uber talented, creative and also very, very good to yours truly.

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We were lucky enough to have one of those stunning, warm winter days – that golden glow casting a magical light over a pretty verandah overlooking the vineyards at Entopia Wines in the picturesque Swan Valley on the outskirts of Perth. The girls went with a citrus and fruit theme – based on those funny fruit comparisons they give you when you’re expecting – the ‘this week, your baby is the size of a lemon!’ to help you visualise just how tiny your bub is, despite feeling like you’re the size of a house and that surely there must be triplets in there. I digress. Knowing how much I adore a good tablescape, the girls set up an afternoon high tea set up – with the glossiest lemons for place settings, vintage napkins and delicious teas to enjoy in between a cheeky tipple. The girls strung 100’s of pears through the beams so they were suspended over the tables and around the balustrading, while our Miss Bunting Big Balloons added an element of fun. And then there was the food – there was no outside catering for this motley girl gang of control freaks – no, no they made it all. Including those perfectly symmetrical macarons and delicious naked cake, made by Nat. I mean really – talk about setting the bar pretty high! Cue a glorious, relaxing afternoon just yabbering away and catching up – it was absolutely perfect, and just what I would have planned for myself.

For more pics, jump on over to the gallery, right here.

Thank you to my girls Nat, Ivana and Stacey for making me feel so loved and special and creating a perfect afternoon I’ll never forget! xx

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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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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.

14Jul

Bastille Day (or an excuse to eat a plate of Macarons)

Bastille Day (or an excuse to eat a plate of Macarons)

A French national holiday, Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille which took place on 14 July 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. While it symbolises the birth of the Republic, it’s also the perfect excuse to indulge our love of Macarons. Cake Pops and Whoopie Pies may have come and gone and replaced by a Cronut, but for us Francophiles, a Macaron is no passing fad . A crisp meringue shell that gives way to a preferably fruit based filling, like most things French – it’s a classic.

Like anything worth doing, Macarons can be a labour of love. If you don’t have a Ladurée down the road, here’s one of our favourite recipes from an old issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. Failing that, there’s always our gorgeous porcelain Macaron Trinket Holders from the shop – and they’re totally guilt-free! 

And please. A Macaroon is not a Macaron. Anges de Sucre, artisan Macaron specialists in London, describe the difference: a Macaron is made from angels tears and almond meal by unicorn foals, while Macaroons are made with dessicated coconut by your grandmother. Enough said.

Merci Beaucoup.

 

Macarons with White Chocolate & Rasberry Ganache                       

Ingredients

130 gm pure icing sugar

110 gm almond meal

105 gm eggwhite (about 2), at room temperature, left out overnight

65 gm caster sugar

4-5 drops rose food colouring

White chocolate and raspberry ganache

50 ml pouring cream

100 gm white chocolate

45 gm raspberries, coarsely chopped

Method

Process icing sugar and almond meal in a food processor until finely ground, triple-sift into a large bowl and set aside. Whisk 90gm egg white in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes). Add caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously until incorporated and mixture is thick and glossy (2- 3 minutes), then add food colouring. Stir in almond mixture in batches until incorporated and mixture slowly slides down sides of bowl when bowl is tilted. Add remaining eggwhite to loosen mixture, spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle, pipe 3cm- diameter rounds of mixture onto heavy baking-paper-lined oven trays, stand until a crust begins to form (4-5 hours).

Preheat oven to 140C. Bake macarons until firm but not coloured, swapping trays halfway through cooking (10-12 minutes), set aside, cool completely on trays.

Meanwhile, for white chocolate and raspberry ganache, bring cream just to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stand until melted (5 minutes), stir until smooth and glossy. Refrigerate until firm yet still pliable (45 minutes-1 hour) then stir until smooth. Add raspberries, stir to form a ripple effect, then spoon a teaspoon of ganache onto half the macarons. Sandwich with remaining macarons and refrigerate until set. Macarons will keep for 1-2 days refrigerated in an airtight container.

Note:  If fresh raspberries are unavailable, substitute defrosted frozen raspberries.

This recipe (and image) appeared in the July 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

21Jun

Royally good baby gifts

Royally good baby gifts

With Kate Middleton due anytime soon, we take a peek around the web for baby gifts fit for a royal. New or expectant mums will also love Romy & The Bunnies. Launched earlier in the year by Julia Restoin Roitfeld, daughter of ex-Vogue Paris editor, Carine Roitfeld, this blog is named after her daughter, Romy Nicole and is dedicated to all things motherhood.

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.