Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween Birthday cake

My sister's friend Orla was celebrating her 21st birthday the weekend before Halloween. She wanted something to celebrate her 21st but also to fit in her "Halloween-fancy dress" themed party! We played around with a few ideas and with a few last minute changes here and there, we came up with this.

We had originally decided to have ghost and all sorts surrounding the "21" but I think it may have looked a bit "too much". A few pumpkins and bats here and there with the chosen colours pretty much screams Halloween anyway and it also didn't take from the actual 21.

She was happy therefore I was happy!

This was a fairly tricky cake to ice but it was my first time trying to ice unusual shapes and there proximity didn't make my life any easier. The "2" was a chocolate fudge cake and the "1" was a Victoria sponge. There was soooooo much waste with these cakes, luckily my family are cakey people and there wasn't a scrap left the next day.

We celebrated Halloween by taking Callum Trick or Treating for his very first time. He went as superman and was delighted with himself to be receiving free sweets.

Aishling decided to dress up as a lion for the trick or treating fun with Callum. Jacqueline and I also got in on the action and dressed up as cats, I don't know who enjoyed themselves more, him or us :)

After our trick or treating venture, we headed home, I whipped up a few (eight to be precise...phew!) homemade pizzas and wedges. We stuffed ourselves with food and sweets and it was honestly a great Halloween.

Hope everyone had a fantastic and safe Halloween!

Shirley x

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


So as Dad was making his Spaghetti With Herby Pork Meatballs, I decided I would make a dessert. With it being spaghetti and all, I stuck with the "Italian" theme and went for Tiramisu. I've had Tiramisu a few times and only seem to like certain ones. The best I have ever tasted was in an Italian restaurant in Turkey and, ironically, the worst I have ever tasted was in a restaurant in Venice.

This is a creamy and rich dessert and it is simple to put together. It went down well with my family, who are fast becoming my tasting jury and not afraid to say if it's......well......yuck! There are sooooo many versions of tiramisu out there, I'm not claiming this to be the best but I would definitely whip it up again. On my recent purchase of Nigella's "nigellissma", I noticed she does her version served in a martini glass, which I thought looked cute, perfect for dinner parties.

Recipe for Tiramisu



  • 150ml Strong black coffee or espresso
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 250g boudoir biscuits
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 100g whipped double cream or plain yoghurt
  • 100g ricotta cheese
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large free-range egg whites
  • Grated chocolate for sprinkling


  1. Make the coffee, put into a shallow dish. Add brandy, allow to cool. Dip half of the biscuits quickly one by one in the coffee to moisten and use to line the bottom of the dish. Do this quickly or the biscuits will become soggy and break up.
  2. Beat Mascarpone,cream (I used cream for a richer dessert), ricotta, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Separate eggs. Whisk egg whites stiffly. Fold into the cheese mixture. Spoon half of this over the layer of soaked sponge fingers.
  4. Moisten remaining sponge fingers with the remaining coffee and make a second layer over the cheese. Cover with the cheese mixture. If you are using a smaller dish just continue the layering.
  5. Sprinkle with grated chocolate or cocoa if you prefer and leave chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.

I actually ended up using a larger dish so my biscuits were quite spaced apart but I don't think you can go wrong with this dessert whatever the dish size!


Shirley x