Thursday, 24 April 2014

Princess Cake Tutorial

Does your little one love princesses, pink and anything girly? If so, this Princess Cake will be perfect for you!

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

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*Not sure what an affiliate link is? – If you click on any of the links in this post and make a purchase I will earn a small percentage of what you have spent, however it will cost you no more than normal! Thanks for your support!*

It was Sprout’s 4th birthday last month and she decreed a few weeks before her party that she wanted a pink princess cake. In fact, she even picked the one she wanted out of one of my recipe books. However, after looking at the recipe and seeing that it consisted of two tiers plus separate turrets as well as a set of new cake tins I decided to come up with my own version! 

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients/equipment - the Victoria Sandwich is a doddle and probably the easiest cake I have ever made. Whilst the sponges are cooking and cooling you can make the icing, the flags, turrets, drawbridge and door.

Ingredients:

200g caster sugar
200g softened butter
200g self-raising flour
4 eggs beaten
1tsp baking powder
2tbsp milk
2x 20 cm sandwich tins
baking paper

Vanilla Icing:

500g icing sugar sifted
160g unsalted butter – room temperature
50ml whole milk
a couple of drop of vanilla extract
pink food colouring - add the colouring as soon as you have made the icing OR use white icing for the filling and the colour the icing for the outside of the cake.

Filling:

340g jar of good quality strawberry jam

Decorations:

4 waffle ice cream cones
20 white sugar cubes
15 small white and pink mini marshmallows
4 ice cream wafers
30-40 iced gems
6 bamboo skewers
1 cake board
Pink tissue paper
Happy Birthday wrapping paper or similar
Time: 2-3 hours (This is an estimate as I had Sprout wrapped around my ankles and I was taking photos too - you can probably do it more quickly!)

1. Make the cake using this simple Victoria Sandwich recipe and wait for the sponges to cool.
2. Make the icing using this recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery.

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

3. Assemble the cake – dab a bit of icing in the centre (but slight towards the back of the cake board so that the drawbridge fits in) and place the first sponge cake on top of it. Spread a layer of icing then a layer of jam before adding the second sponge cake.
4. If you haven’t already done so, add a few drops of pink food colouring to the icing.
5. Ice the cake starting with the sides and finishing with the top. You can crumb coat it if you like, but I found that I didn’t really need to.

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

6. Once the cake is iced, you can get a really smooth finish by dipping the pallet knife into boiling water and gently running it over the entire cake.
7. To make the turrets, take each ice cream cone in turn and carefully snip around the top so that the cone will stand up straight when it's upside down. You may also need to snip a little bit off the tip so that the bamboo skewer will pass through it easily. Arrange the cones upside down on the cake.

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

8.To make the battlements, place the sugar cubes at regular intervals around the outside of the cake.

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House


9.To make the door, take two of the wafers and gently cut into the shape of a door. Carefully, stick to the side of the cake.
10.To make the drawbridge, take two of the wafers, cut to the correct shape if required and lay on the cake board in front on the door. Secure with a dab of icing.

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

11.Thread 5/6 mini marshmallows on to two bamboo skewers. You may need to snip off the excess bamboo. Rest each skewer on the cake so that it appears that the drawbridge is attached to the cake.
12.Place Iced Gems around the bottom of the cake.

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

13.To make the pink flags, cut 8 diamonds out of pink tissue paper. Fold each of the diamonds in half and separate into two piles of four. Wrap one diamond around the end of a skewer and glue in place so that the points match up. Add the other three diamonds one on top of the other, but only glue each one around the skewer so that it looks like the flags are fluttering in the breeze. Repeat with the other pile of diamonds.

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

14.To make the ‘Happy Birthday’ flags, using some left over wrapping paper and cut out rectangles. (I cut rectangles around the words Happy Birthday). Fold each rectangle in half and wrap around the skewers. Match up the short edges of each rectangle and glue in place. Cut a little triangle in the end of each flag.
15.Add the four flags to the cake, pushing each skewer through the hole in the tip of the cone all the way into the cake.

16.  And breathe.... you’re finished!!....

Princess Cake Tutorial by Sprout's House

What cakes have you made for your children's birthdays? For inspiration, read about Sprout's Peppa Pig Cake and Fire Engine Cake.


Sprout’s House
  xox

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial

Hands up who is looking forward to Summer? How about preparing for those long hazy days by making your own herb garden? Surely, it can’t be too long now before we can shed some layers, tuck into some delicious salads and sip a cooling Pimms or two?

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House

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*Not sure what an affiliate link is? – If you click on any of the links in this post and make a purchase I will earn a small percentage of what you have spent, however it will cost you no more than normal! Thanks for your support!*

Ingredients/Equipment:
5x different herbs either potted or packets of seeds – I used coriander, basil, flat-leaf parsley, thyme and rosemary
1x wicker herb wheel
1x small bag of soil or just use some from your garden!
Time: 20 minutes

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House

Option 1 – Instant Herb Garden

Take the herb wheel and arrange your herb pots around the outside. As you arrange the pots think about how your herb garden will eventually look – take into account the height, texture, density and leaf shape of each of the plants. Once you’re happy, start with largest herb, remove its pot and very gently tease the roots out a little bit to encourage them to spread out once they are planted. Then place the plant into the herb wheel. Repeat with the other 4 plants ensuring that they are evenly spaced out. Fill in the gaps with the extra soil and gently pat down. Water the plants and leave to bed in for a day.

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House

Option 2 – Less Instant Herb Garden (4-6 weeks)

Fill the herb wheel about three quarters full with soil. Taking each packet in turn sprinkle a small handful of seeds in the soil. Again ensure your plants are evenly spaced. Once all the seeds are sown, top up the herb wheel with some more soil to cover the seeds and gently press down. Water and cover with cling film so the soil retains its moisture. Place in a sunny spot and water if needed. When the seedlings start to emerge remove the cling film and continue to water as needed. Although this option takes longer to produce results, it would be a great project to do with kids. They could be in charge of watering and measuring the plants growth, as well as keeping a log of which herb is growing the fastest.

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House


We enjoyed the first taste of our herbs for Easter lunch. I cut a small selection from each plant, finely chopped them and forked them into some couscous along with a drizzle of olive oil. Delicious!



Who's got some great salad recipes? Drop me a line below and let me know how you get on with making your own Herb Gardens!

Sprout’s House
  xox

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Mom Lovin Hop no. 44

Morning All! As you may have noticed, I’m doing something very exciting and a little bit different today…. I’m co-hosting the Mom Lovin Hop along with all these lovely ladies – Hannah, Lena and Amy!! So dive in, link up and make some new friends!!


Guest Co-Host this week, V from Sprout's House


V is a teacher, wife and mother to a very girly little four year old! She blogs about restoring their victorian cottage to its former glory, DIY, recipes and the moments of life! Thanks for co-hosting this week V! 

If you are interested in co-hosting FOR FREE shoot Hannah an email at hannahsjoyfullife (at) gmail.com to get on the list, growing your followers couldn't be easier! 

Our featured mama this week is Meg from Me With the Three


First off, I just want to hop in and live in Megs' blog, so chic! She is mama to two boys and married to her best friend. She blogs about the essentials- photography, food, crafts, family and Jesus. She loves photography and you can see that in her space, looking through her photos makes your feel like you're living those moments right along side her family.

Here we go! Don't forget to... 
**grab out button and display it proud for other mama's to get in on this action! 
**read the rules, link up and socialize!

Joyful Life



Please, if you are new to the hop or have been here but haven't left a comment, please let us know on our own respected blogs that you are a new follower (be sure to say HOW you are following) so we can follow you back! 







Sprout’s House
xox

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

Are you entertaining family and friends over the Easter weekend? Do you need a quick recipe that will feed the masses, taste delicious and even better the kids can make it?!....


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

This post contains affiliate links.
*Not sure what an affiliate link is? – If you click on any of the links in this post and make a purchase I will earn a small percentage of what you have spent, however it will cost you no more than normal! Thanks for your support!*

Ingredients:
400g milk chocolate
160g shredded wheat
1 bag of mini eggs
plus a selection of pretty cupcake/muffin cases
Makes 14-16 nests

Break up the chocolate and place in a pyrex bowl. Place this bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl or the chocolate may seize.


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

While the chocolate is melting, crush the shredded wheat by putting it into a plastic food bag. Seal and hit with a rolling pin until all the ‘pillows’ are completely destroyed!!


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

Add the shredded wheat to the melted chocolate and stir well so that the shredded wheat is completely covered! Spoon this mixture into cake cases and then press the back of a teaspoon into each case to create the basket shape.


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

Add 3 mini eggs to each nest plus any other decorations that take your fancy! (For UK readers, our decorations are from Waitrose!) Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to harden. Take out 15 minutes before eating. Enjoy!


What are you cooking over Easter? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Sprout’s House
xox

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