Monday, 23 July 2012

Chocolate 24th Birthday Giant Cupcake

There's gonna be a few of these giant cupcake posts this week, I haven't done any in what seems like a million years - so I'm happy I've got a few to put up.

Of course I still carried the same theme through and made a chocolate sponge topped with chocolate buttercream, the smell driving it over there was heavenly! 

Now this cake was made before I went on holiday, and for one of my oldest friends 24th birthday, Vici. Last year I made her the chocoholic cake, but it was quite massive and she wasn't able to finish it all! So this year I made a more reasonable sized giant cupcake, still loads left over after our aptly named 'cake o'clock' feast.

I'm really loving the chocolate and pink theme at the moment, if you can tell! I made pink fondant for the bottom and decoration with Claret Sugarflair colouring paste, feeling much braver since my last attempt with the textured rolling pin I gave it another go. And it worked! For decoration I made fondant rolled roses out of ivory fondant with pink leaves using a plunger cutter.

Needing more delicate lettering I decided against the blocked numbers as they looked a bit clunky on a little cake, instead I made them by hand with fondant so I could curl them into a curly font.

I also added some white and pink sugar pearls, white chocolate stars and an insane amount of edilbe cake glitter, you can never have too much!! All tied up with a cute pink bow and it was ready to eat, nom!

Giant cupcakes are a great present to give, although figuring out how to cut them up can sometimes be challenging - we always get the hang of it though :).

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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Just One Cornetto! - Venice, Verona and Lake Garda

As some of you may know, because I've been bombarding you all on twitter about it, I spent the last week in Italy. (Warning - photo post!)

It's been a bit of a rubbish and stressful year so we decided to go away for a week and visit some places we've been wanting to for years - Venice, Verona and Lake Garda!

We were staying a 35min bus ride from Venice so we spent three days there exploring, it was amazing and would love to have a city break there some time. It was everything I had hoped and more, stunning! Crazy hot too. We had a guide for 2/3 days who was from Venice so knew all the little back streets, incidentally his mother is Scottish so he spoke with a Glaswegian accent - very confusing but brilliant!

St Mark's square was filled to the brim with fellow tourists but busy and exciting, don't stop anywhere forms coffee though or it will cost you €15! It's surrounded by beautiful hotels and shops every corner is a Kodak moment. You can't not indulge is some culture there so we took a trip inside the Basillica, I love that it's decorated with stolen loot from Istanbul.

And before you wonder, of course we went in a gondola! The average price for one is €100!!! So we shared one with some other guests we got on with from our hotel so it worked out no more expensive than a punt, again it was everything we had hoped and not too congested compared to some images we'd seen, only in certain places.

Verona as well was beautiful and everything you expect and hope for from an Italian town. Being the ultimate tourists we had to of course check out Julie's balcony, which was insane and you had to fight to climb onto the statue to give her a cheeky grab. We also visited Romeo's which wasn't as impressive but still worth a visit. We also got to check out the impressive amphitheatre, one of the best preserved in Italy.


Lake Garda was simply stunning, hot and blue! I didn't expect it to look so tropical, the water was so clean and again the heat was crazy but I could easily imagine spending a week there.

I think all I ate in the last week was pasta, pizza, tiramisu and gelato. The gelato!! Incredible, high piles of it on every corner with amazing flavours, my favourite being nutella, tiramisu and kinder egg! To be honest I could have stayed just for those... I've also found a new favourite tipple in the form of Aperol Spritz - a typical north Italian drink - yum!


Next I want to go to Florence, Sienna and also Rome, anyone been??


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