Cheryl’s Bridal Shower

Blogging philosophical question of the day: if something happened over a year ago, am I still allowed to post it?

I’m not sure what you think, but I say if it’s still relevant, why not? So what Cheryl and Joe were married last September, and so what her bridal shower happened last summer? It was a really great shower (and a really great wedding, which will be another post), and I still want to share it with you. Perhaps some of you are planning your own themed parties, and I welcome you to borrow any ideas you see on this site.đŸ™‚

As much as Cheryl would have wanted to plan her own shower, her bridesmaids gave her one task only: choosing the theme. She chose the horse race scene from My Fair Lady as a design cue for the bridal shower, which was loosely translated as a “black and white” theme. The bridal party did a great job decorating the space, and I was tasked with baking some black and white items. How did we do? See the rest of the pictures after the jump.

Lots of black and white decor.

Black and white foods included: Peking duck, sushi, cheese, crackers, olives, figs, fruit (we cheated a little), black sesame shortbread cookies, Nutella cupcakes with vanilla frosting, whoopie pies, grass jelly and almond jello, nonpareils, marshmallows and macarons.

Black and white cookie favors with hand-made fabric rosette hairclips!

Black and white presents!

The happy bride was also donned in black and white. It really was a fun shower, and just wait until you see the wedding!

Chocolate Honey Cake

I’ve been driving in the Fast Lane the past couple of weeks. Literally, I mean just that. After helping with Tina’s bridal shower, I’ve been sent to Marlborough, MA twice for work and have driving back and forth on the MassPike in the Fast Lane. Amidst the work trips, throw in helping coordinate Tina and David’s wedding, gathering over wine and cheese, and hosting friends, and you’ve got busy me. I love doing all of it, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In my previous post, I said I would go into more detail about the different desserts I made for Tina’s bridal shower, so I will stay true to my word. The bridal shower had a prominent theme and even the dessert fell in line. If you were tasked with finding yellow, white, and circle desserts, what would you come up with? Well, here’s what we had at the bridal shower:

Lemon and vanilla macarons from LadurĂ©e. If you bring these back from Paris or elsewhere, just keep them in an airtight container in the freezer, and they’ll last for weeks.

“Yellow and White” cookies, a version of the Black and White cookie, a recipe I tried a while back.

Mini profiteroles with fresh whipped cream. I used the same choux recipe as my matcha profiteroles.

Mini dan ta, or Chinese egg tarts. I’ll save this recipe for my next post.

A polka dot chocolate honey cake. “This isn’t yellow!” you may say, but just hush. I could have made a yellow fruit tart, but I felt the need to vary the flavors. I knew Tina loves honey and chocolate, so it still fit in terms of her favorite things. Drizzling honey over the cake while warm would increase the amount of moisture in this cake, but to better fit the theme, I wanted circles of powdered sugar to top the cake. I had Cheryl make a template out of parchment paper with a circle paper cutter. It was tricky keeping the parchment paper steady, but it worked. The cake itself was easy to bake and was really moist; join me in welcoming a great addition to my list of cake recipes.

Honey Chocolate Cake
adapted from Super Food Ideas, April 2005

Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons baking power
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and sift cocoa powder covering a 9-inch round cake pan.
2. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Slowly add in eggs, one at a time. Add in honey, and beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
4. Whisk together milk and vanilla in a small bowl.
5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, then add in milk mixture. Alternatively add in until well mixed.
6. Pour into greased pan and bake at for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Let cake cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Invert cake and sift powdered sugar on top of the cake, using any desired template.