strawberries and cream birthday cake

He had said he wanted strawberries on it…and cream. Oh, and licorice.

Anything else little fella? 

Strawberries, cream and licorice cake please!

It was Little Monkey’s birthday and the food requests had come in. The other food to be eaten were minor details, the cake was where it was at.

Happy to oblige, I had an image in my head, and just hoped that I could cut the picture out of my mind and transpose it to a cake plate.

Basic cake recipe I used the same as the Pink Cupcakes, but doubled the recipe and baked it in a large spring form pan. The yogurt in it, really does give the cake a lasting quality, that seems to only taste better in the next few days, not going stale at all.

Cake was then sliced in half when cold, spreading bottom layer with some Summer Loving Jam, and half half mixture of home made vanilla bean mascarpone, and whipped cream.

Top layer on, and a thin crumb layer of the mascarpone mixture goes over all the cake, then smoothing over the final layer. Place strips of licorice and line up  strawberries.

Next, candles lit and birthday presents safely clutched in small fingers. Line up birthday diners, for an enthusiastic chorus of Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday Little Monkey.

songs to make cupcakes to

Cupcakes were on the menu.

Nothing fancy, just simple little numbers to be eaten after dinner. Mr Chocolate’s parents were coming over. A special dinner to celebrate my father-in-laws birthday and to also celebrate the fact that he and Mr Chocolate’s mother had been in the country for 40 years.  I was thinking a pavlova with a few typical Australian flavours thrown in, however Mr Chocolate seemed to think vanilla cupcakes would be better. Needing a tiny excuse to make mascarpone, I agreed.

The boys were out, and I had myself a little mama time. Time to get the oven cranked and perhaps some music to.

What songs to make cupcakes to?…

I used the Strawberry Vanilla Cake recipe, and just changed it to mini cupcakes.

Now how to make your own mascarpone?

Thanks to my trusty The Real Food Companion book, I wanted to have a go at making it. Mascarpone is soft and mild Italian cheese. It’s usually quite expensive to buy, but well worth it to be used in desserts, such as Tiramisu or my birthday meringue cake last year. I also use it diligently instead of a butter frosting for cakes. I had tried to make it late last year, but wasn’t bowled over with the results. So I wanted to redeem myself. Now where was that mascarpone love?


300mls cream

2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a pot bring the cream to a simmer, adding the lemon juice and cook for about 1 and half minutes. Allow the cream to cool completely in the pot, and then pour into a muslin lined strainer and leave for 1-2 days in the fridge. For this one I popped in a vanilla bean directly after I had turned the pot off and allowed the bean to infuse with the cream for about 15 minutes. I then gently squeezed the tiny vanilla specks out, and into the fridge the whole lot went for at least 24 hours.

Result, is a speckled mascarpone, with a lovely real vanilla flavour. Just cream, lemon juice and vanilla bean.

It came out thick, smelling lovely and tasted like mascarpone.  You have to plan a little a head of time but it beats buying it.

Quickly whisked it up a little, and then adding 1/2 cup of icing sugar to the mixture. Slap it on to the cupcakes and decorate with strawberries.

Optional Australian flag.


…but the songs, what about the songs to make cupcakes to?…

Boy and Bear