Thursday 2 September 2010

Children's Book Tea Party

A few weeks ago, mum decided to have a children's book party where people could come and get English books for kids as it's hard to get them here. My first thought was (of course) that we needed some tea and cakes.

It turned out to be a very hot day so it was more cakes and raspberry lemonade (juice of a couple of lemons, strained raspberry puree, sugar to taste, a mixture of sparkling and still water and a dash of maple syrup = yummy).

We had absolutely no idea how many of the invited people would come, so I decided to go for excess. In the end, it was about right - we have some leftovers, but nothing crazy. 

I was pleased that I didn't really feel too rushed. I made several bits for the main cake the day before (post to come on that next) and the brownies the night before. I baked for most of the morning but it was really quite comfortable. I decided to make the pastry circles about two hours before the party started, but they came together in time too.

I was really pleased with the chocolate cake recipe I used with the chocolate-caramel icing - I'll definitely use this recipe to go with the other components of the Butterfly Fleur de Sel Caramel Cake another time. They were one of the real hits of the party.

Instead of writing out all the recipes, I've just pointed out what I've changed to my old post recipes etc below. 

Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Chocolate Caramel Icing

I used the my best chocolate cake recipe but just spooned it into mini cupcake cases. I then iced them with the leftover icing from this cake.

Meringue Gems as posted before here.

Mini Pecan Brownies
(Adapted from Nigella's Domestic Goddess)

190g butter
190g dark chocolate
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
250g sugar (I used a combination of light brown and caster)
110g plain flour
pinch salt
150g pecans (or other nuts)

Preheat oven to 180C. Toast the nuts in the oven then chop them into small pieces. If using a big tin, line with foil or parchment. For little moulds, butter well then flour. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pan. Beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar together in another bowl. Measure out the flour, nuts and salt into another. When the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, beat in the egg mixture. Finally beat in the dry ingredients. Pour or spoon into tin/moulds. Bake until the top has just solidified if you like squishy brownies (my little ones took about 15 minutes - larger tins can take more like 20-25) or a bit longer if you like them drier.

(this mix made 24 mini brownies and a 9" square tin)

Pastry Discs topped with Caramel Marscarpone and Raspberries

I made up a batch of this simple shortcrust, then rolled it out pretty thin. I then cut small discs out and placed them on a lined baking sheet, then brushed them with a little milk and sprinkled brown sugar on them. I baked them at 180C for about 15 minutes until golden brown.  For the caramel marscarpone, I beat 3 tbsp of this fleur de sel caramel sauce into 150g marscarpone. To assemble, I spread a dollop of the marscarpone onto each disc and then arranged one or two raspberries on top.


  1. Seems like you have a good time baking for the event! I am sure it was a big success!

    And congratulations for winning DMBLGIT August! Beautiful picture :-)

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  2. I came to the party. My favourite one was the cup cake with chocolate on top because it was so chocolately tasting!

  3. thanks for posting this! i love your site! i also love mini cupcakes and those meringue gems :-)


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