Monday, October 10, 2011

An irish shindig with a few cupcakes for good measure

David and I arrived home from Sydney yesterday afternoon after a delightfully warm and indulgent trip.  The reality of work is with me in my lacklustre office on this chilly Monday morning hurry up summertime but my memories of the glorious engagement party we attended on Saturday are getting me through the day. 
We flew to Sydney on Thursday and grabbed a quick bite in Chinatown before heading over to several spots around Sydney to catch up with family.  David and I headed to Manly on the ferry on Friday; it was a perfectly lazy day which started off at the Guylian Belgian Chocolate café right beside the Sydney Opera House.  Check out my JUG of praline hot chocolate.  My first experience of praline hot chocolate certainly hit the mark. Ten out of ten Guylian – I’ll be back for more.
The JUG of Praline Hot Chocolate

My sugar fix for the day

The sunshine was all the encouragement we needed to have fish and chips by the beach so we caved in and munched our way through grilled barramundi and chips, I would have eaten all of the chips except for the damn seagull that swooped and took my first chip straight off my fork cheeky gull. Seriously, the seagulls are tyrants in Manly.
After arriving in Coogee we had a few drinks and a dinner of beef stroganoff to catch up.  Then with wine in hand I started baking.  The cupcakes baked perfectly and here is the end result.
Engagement party cupcakes
12 Jaffa Choc and 12 Vanilla and Lemon.  I was pleasantly surprised by the consistency of each cake after they had been left to cool.  It’s always a worry when you are using an oven you haven’t cooked in before and the hotspots and best temperatures are unknown.
The Jaffa choc icing turned out brilliantly and the colour was perfect.   I mixed the grated chocolate into the orange icing instead of sprinkling it on top as I did with my trial batch.  Not only did it look more appetising but the chocolate flavour was more evenly mixed with the zestyness of the orange.  It was the first time I had made the lemon icing and it had a subtle lemon flavour without being sour.

In between rain showers on Saturday we helped Myles and Carol set up for the engagement party.  Carol’s decorations were garden party perfect.  The finishing touches with the flowers and candles were sensational and I seriously think these two should plan parties for a living.

As the night crept over us I looked around and simply thought WOW.  The trees were filled with fairy lights and lanterns. The spit crackled and cooked and filled the air with delicious aromas whilst we sipped our way through the evening.  The atmosphere was beautiful; Myles and Carol have some great friends.   I regret not taking a picture of the lamb, pork and chicken that had been cooking on the spit after it had been carved, it was without a doubt, the most succulent selection of meat I have eaten in a long time. 

Congratulations to Myles and Carol on their engagement.  I wish them every happiness in their future together and look forward to more parties with great food, lots of laughter and who could forget – cupcakes!.


  1. Sounds like u had a blast! I am wishing for that jug of hot choco!

  2. Candles and lanterns make everything better:) When I lived in Germany I would often use candles when eating. It was so nice:)
    Will keep in mind the great hot chocolate. They're so hard to find. A lot of the time all you get is milk foam...and a TINY bit of chocolate.