Food with friends

A 50th birthday barbecue provided the perfect excuse for a little more baking. Well, you can never have too much cake right?

There were a couple of recipes I wanted to try for Andrew’s surprise birthday bash, and basically ran out of time so never got to do them. There was also the Mississippi Mud Cake that I DID do for the surprise birthday party and which my oldest has been begging me to do on a regular basis ever since then – but I’ve shied away from doing another three tier cake until now, wanting to keep the baking simple whilst I recovered from the trauma, sorry, the challenge that catering for 70 guests proved to be !

But, I’m feeling the lurve for baking again….

So, three different cakes seemed to be in order for this summer barbecue. The Mississippi Mud Cake to please our eldest, a Grasshopper Pie, because I’m curious about the great American tradition of sweet pie baking and who could resist something called Grasshopper Pie? And some sticky toffee cupcakes, because I know one of the guests is partial to a sticky toffee pudding and I want to see how these compare.

Hummingbird Bakery was the starting point for all these sweet treats, because looking through their baking books is just too tempting. I cut the amount of frosting as I find their quantities mean that either the cake base is drowned in the icing which is just too sweet for my tastes- or you end up with a load of unused icing. Apart from that (and wimping out on the green food colouring for the Grasshopper Pie which meant my pie was more khaki than Grasshopper Green) I pretty much stuck to the original recipes.

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I was pleased with the Grasshopper Pie, with its gentle hint of mint, and will definitely be trying more American Sweet Pie recipes in the future

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The Sticky Toffee Cupcake cake base was excellent, moist and chewy. The topping however was a little disappointing, it was sweet and slightly gritty but I didn’t feel it was sticky toffee enough. If I do this again I will definitely add more Dulce de Leche to the mix to up the toffee content.

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