This past weekend my Auntie Andrea and Gran hosted a bridal shower for my sister Laura. I was in charge of bringing desserts. It was my biggest baking project yet, but it all turned out really well. I made three-dozen cupcakes and three-dozen mini strawberry tarts. The cupcakes I made in advance and then put them in the freezer, so the day before the shower all I had to do was make the buttercream icing, and fondant daisies. The cheesecake tarts were also made the day before and were really easy to make.
Earlier in the week we decorated my Grandma’s house, so the day of the bridal shower everything was perfect. Victoria, Sarah and I went to Michael’s Craft Store and Party Packagers to find the perfect decorations. The two grandmothers were smiling ear to ear throughout the bridal shower. Gran spent a great deal of time planning the party – we all told her that she throws the BEST parties. I hope to be throwing parties still at age 83!
Many of Laura’s close friends from elementary school and the University of Guelph were in attendance. It’s really a wonderful thing when you have kept up with friends from elementary school. Two of my Mom’s best friends from high school came to the shower. Weddings are such a wonderful time for close friends, family and celebration.
I am so happy for my sister Laura – and I’m thrilled to be her Maid of Honour. Chris and her will have such an amazing life together!
Red Velvet Cupcakes – from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Gel-paste food color is much more concentrated than the supermarket liquid variety; if you substitute the liquid, you may need to add an entire bottle (1.5 ounces) to achieve the desired shade.
Mini Strawberry Cheese cake – Mom’s Recipe
2 cups cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 package Nilla (vanilla wafer cookies)
*These are a great instant crust, but if you can’t find them in the grocery store, you can make your own graham cracker crust.
- In you Cuisinart food processor blend cream cheese and sugar. Blend until the cream cheese begins to soften.
- Add in vanilla extract and eggs.
- Blend until nice creamy consistency.
- Fill the cupcake pan until ¾ full.
- Bake at 350 F for 11 minutes. (Do not over bake or it will be dry.)
- Let cool and then garnish with fresh fruit or jams. Place in the refrigerator until it is time to serve the cheesecakes.
Strawberry Puree Daisy Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup pureed strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set out cupcake papers and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a food processor puree one cup of strawberries that will be reduced to about ½ a cup. With a strainer, strain the puree to get ride of the seeds.
4. In your mixer combine the sugar, canola oil, vanilla extract and eggs. Then add in the buttermilk and strawberry puree. Add lemon zest. Slowly add in the flour mixture.
5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake pans and bake until the cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center.
6. Cool before icing.
Buttercream Icing – from Canadian Living Website
In large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making 2 additions of sugar. Beat in vanilla. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours; let come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Beat slightly before using.)