Wednesday, 28 March 2012

the babyshower train that fast-tracked a little baby boy

Yesterday was going to be about Friday's babyshower - only I've been outdone! 

Instead, Kirsty's little boy decided that 33 weeks was long enough inside, and with an impatience I can only imagine he gets from his new momma, he decided yesterday was a jolly good day for a birthday.
He was right. We're delighted that he's here.

Even though his momma hasn't started maternity leave. And notwithstanding the fact that Granny Africa is only scheduled to fly out in a few weeks time and has now had to scramble to get a flight sooner.  I think that we might have a little tyke on our hands.

This is all good news though, since I am already planning drum sets and mudbaths and puddle jumping. The joys of being a superfairygodmother!

So, here you go:
The babyshower that was obviously so much fun that he decided out was better than in!
We built a little town with a Chipolata Choo-Choo of mini hot dogs, along a track that took in Blueberry Bay & the Grape Barrier Reef, complete with jelly sailing boats. 

The track ran along past Cheeseville - a densely populated area of Cheese muffins -  traversed a bridge over Cracker Creek, past the Salad Farm of mini caprese salads on toothpicks. Japantown consisted of a development of sushi buildings, and then the tracks hit the arid Nut Bush City limits, before winding around the Broccoli forest - including elephants, just like the real Knysna forest - and alongside Burger Mountain and suburbs of tomatoes, cheese and gherkins, before looping back behind Cheeseville. 

Bar-Kloof Nature Reserve was inspired by the real life Karkloof Nature Reserve, just down the road from Granny Africa's homestead.

{waiting for the burger patties to complete Burger Mountain set up

The train terminated at Cupcake Castle - a delicious mound of red velvet cupcakes, adorned with icing images of the soon-to-be (no idea just how soon!) momma & poppa, Kirst & Dan.
I can't recommend enough - they turn images into icing. Within 24 hours I had received perfect cupcake toppings of precious little naked Kirsty & Dan from scanned photos where the originals are well over 30 years old! 
That would be the new daddy's bum cheeks in his bare yoga pose, while that happy baba with wide eyes and six neck rolls is now a new mummy!

Absent friends and family played out of their boots too - sending images of themselves as little ones, which were hung as bunting. (Only took a million nagging emails and one or two threats - easy. Two didn't provide baby photos - but Google & I sorted them out.)
 Kirst had to guess who was who - nailing some and not recognising others that she really ought to have! (Like her mum!
Friends also sent messages, wishing Kirst & Dan well on their impending arrival.
And indeed, there's a line from Nikki A, Kirst's sister-in-law, that has been reverberating around my head ever since:

Never a truer word was spoken. 

Welcome little Oliver William - we are so pleased to meet you! 


Big thanks to Lou & Dan for baking & making support & big patience. I know I'm a horrid slave driver - as evidenced by Lou caught telling Dan 'don't ask her if you don't want her to tell you exactly how she wants it!' 

Cheese muffins:
1.5  cups grated cheddar   (375 ml)
2 cups sifted flour   (500 ml)
4 tsp baking powder  (20ml)
0.25 tsp salt
0.25 tsp dry mustard
2 eggs
1 cup milk (250 ml)
sesame seeds / chives
2-3tsp whole grain mustard
Mix cheese into a bowl with all dry ingredients, including chopped chives.  Beat eggs and milk together,and add to dry ingredients . Mix together gently. 3/4 fill greased muffin tin. Top with sesame seeds, bake for 12-15 mins at 200 deg.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have to admit to mixing the food coloring and cocoa, and not much else. I had no idea how much mixing was involved. Kudos to Lou for what were incredible cupcakes. 

Ingredients (makes 12)
·         60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         150g caster sugar
·         1 egg
·         10g cocoa powder
·         20ml red food colouring (we recommend Dr. Oetker's or a paste colouring as red food colourings vary in strength)
·         ½tsp vanilla extract
·         120ml buttermilk
·         150g plain flour
·         ½tsp salt
·         ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
·         1½tsp white wine vinegar
For the cream cheese frosting:
·         300g icing sugar, sifted
·         50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         125g cream cheese, cold
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
Cream butter and the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed.
Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured.
Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated.
Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added.
Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture.
Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched.
Meanwhile for the cream cheese frosting:
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
When the cupcakes are cold, spoon over the cream cheese frosting on top.

To make a red velvet cake instead, double the quantities below, divide between three 20cm cake tins and bake for 25 minutes at the same oven temperature. Frost with 2 quantities of cream cheese frosting and sandwich together.


Nerdgirl said...

Jesus. You went all out!

Sue said...

you are indeed the superestfairygodmother!

Anonymous said...

He's a lucky little blighter!!! x x

Anonymous said...

Awesome Pics! Looks like an amazing day/night? Congrats Kirsty and Dan and welcome Oliver!! ;0)

Gillian said...

Such a clever theme for a blue babyshower! No wonder little Oliver decided it was time to come out and play (bless, he looks tiny!)

Congratulations on becoming a superfairygodmother!

Carly {covet.collect.connect} said...

...I think it's time to start considering his first birthday party.

Knowing Oliver he might decide he fancies that at 9months old!


Lulu Barnes said...

Babe, you did it! You are officially my hostess with the mostest! It's no wonder Oliver decided to make an early appearance, he's clearly just like his momma who's never once missed a party in the 20-odd years we've been friends. By the way, your 'b'unting is spectacular - great job.

Lulu Barnes said...

PS: Tun is a great red velvet cupcake maker for 1st birthday parties.

nicci vdw said...

so sorry to have missed it. looks like you did an absolutely amazing job! wow!

twinsplus3 said...

love it !

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