Well it was, but it was also a lot more work. Because I just couldn't get the photo I wanted the way I wanted it, which of course meant spending an evening shooting a string of red Christmas lights in bokeh with various Christmassy type decorations in the foreground. Using my macro lens I got the shots I wanted, nice bokeh with
I think they turned out pretty, but half the people who got them didn't realise they were 'handmade' by me. *sigh*
The following year I didn't bother sending any cards.
As it turned out the fondant was really dead easy. I let the syrup cool on a cookie sheet and then started the slow folding movement that turned the syrup from sticky and clear to stiff bright white. Then I dumped it onto a table with some icing sugar and kneaded it until it was smooth although it
I wasn't sure how long the chocolates would last and as I wanted them for a party on Saturday I made them up on Thursday evening. Using a makeshift bain marie out of my 'does everything' pot and a ceramic bowl I melted half the chocolate and half filled the molds. Then I melted a lump of fondant down adding some lemon juice for flavour and stirring constantly. The fondant melted down to a smooth cream which I spooned into the molds and then filled the rest of the way with the chocolate.
But the crafters of Dublin were out in force that Saturday and showing off their talents and produce. It was a really brilliant day with lots of classes, crafts, cakes (of course!) and cups and cups of coffee. At the end of it all over 5,000 euro had been raised for Oxfam Ireland to go towards helping the victims of the famine in Somalia.
All of the photos from the day can be found over at the main HandmAid Craft website.
My friends and I all love cake - it's like crack to us. So when I and D announced they were having a welcome party for their new baby it was a perfect opportunity for some baking and messing around with buttercreams. I didn't have time to get down to the shops so really the only food colour I had in the house was a couple of bottles of Squires Kitchen, one navy and one yellow. Which was handy as I had some navy and yellow cupcake papers.
I made up a batch of vanilla sponge - although I was a bit apprehensive about the recipe because I was using a gluten-free flour blend that I hadn't used before. But beginners luck or whatever it was the cupcakes baked beautifully soft and light. I'd made up the buttercream a couple of days previous and let it sit in the fridge to amalgamate or whatever - buttercream always seems to work better when it's been in the fridge overnight or for a couple of days. Piped onto the cakes it actually worked well, previous to this I'd used a syringe for piping and that always just results in the frosting spilling over the top of the syringe and all over my clothes. This time I tried a piping bag which was stiff and a pain in the arse to clean but it was easier to control. I dyed some fondant navy, cut out some stars from and waalaa some lovely cupcakes fit for a welcoming party for a little boy.