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.

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

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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