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We have a serious passion for sweets, especially ones that are beautifully packaged. So, today in time for Valentine’s Day we wanted to share some fun treat box ideas including FREE printables and a special DISCOUNT code to shop a wide selection of sweets to help you make your loved ones day super SPECIAL.
we topped them with the special labels designed by our talented friends at Tableau Party. Tableau was kind enough to allow us to share the free printables with you all in order for your sweet Valentines to benefit as well.
Go and explore Tableau’s stationery items, our fave destination for chic custom invitations, envelopes, candy wrappers, and favor packaging for events.
One more thing, our partners of Oh Nuts a leading supplier of premium candy, nuts and dried fruits is offering our followers a special 15% discount. At checkout, use the discount code SweetVal15 from now through February 14, 2014. Happy shopping!
Hope you will be able to use our ideas to make someone’s day super SWEET!
Who is in the mood for a great recipe? If you are looking for a fun, easy to change up or dress up, yummy staple dessert, then meet our Celebration Cupcakes!
This recipe combines some of our fave sweet ingredients: chocolate, nuts, and Swiss meringue buttercream. The chocolate cupcakes are light and not too sweet, creating the perfect foundation for the decadent ganache and toasted hazelnuts. Our choice of buttercream for this recipe might not be the easiest to master, but is so worth the time and effort because it is flavorful and versatile. We recommend following the step-by-step tutorial for the preparation of the Swiss meringue buttercream on the amazing Whisk Kid. Do not allow the steps to intimidate you because this buttercream is the best!
Last but certainly not least, we like topping these cupcakes with the bright and colourful Chocolate Malted Milk Balls. We buy ours from Oh Nuts, our fave candy supplier, where you can find them in a rainbow of colours. We hope you try out the recipe and let us know your thoughts!
Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 24 standard size cupcakes)
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk (at least 2%)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¾ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water
5 oz bittersweet, semisweet, or best dark chocolate
½ cup heavy cream
¾ cup lightly toasted chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 malted milk chocolate balls (optional)
Heat oven to 350F. Line the muffin pans with cupcake liners.
Beat sugar, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat on a medium speed to combine.
Slowly add in boiling water. The result will be a runny batter.
Using a cup with a spout, fill liners ½ full with batter.
Bake cupcakes for about 20-23 minutes.
Cool them completely before proceeding with the ganache.
To make the ganache, break up or chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small pot. Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined and smooth.
If you decide to use the nuts, place them into a bowl or a deep plate.
After the cupcakes cooled completely, dip each one in the ganache and then the nuts. Set them aside to set.
To prepare the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, we recommend following the step-by-step photo instructions from the amazing Whisk Kid. Here is a summary of the steps:
Squeeze some lemon juice onto a piece of paper towel and clean the bowl of the electric mixer.
Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water, whisking constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
With whisk attachment on the mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar mixture until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch. Never add butter until the bottom of the bowl has reached room temperature.
Using a paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until silky smooth consistency.
Add vanilla and salt and beat for another 30 seconds.
To finish assembling the cupcakes, pipe the buttercream onto the ganache dipped cupcakes using your favorite tip. Top the cupcakes with malted milk chocolate balls, if you wish.
No matter the occasion or time of year, we think these cupcakes will make a perfect celebration treat. Enjoy!
One of the parties we planned this summer was an intimate celebration for a little boy who turned 100 days old! The parents wanted to create an elegant event consisting of a sit-down lunch and a desert buffet to mark their special arrival. Held in a private room at the new Westin Wall Centre, this silver, blue, and white party was simply lovely!
We had a blast planning one little girl’s very special 6th birthday party this past March. It was great to see the party featured on two party blogs. Thank you to Hostess With the Mostess and Kara’s Party Ideas for highlighting our work.
The birthday girl, with a special fondness for Cinderella, requested a magical birthday party and maybe a visit from Cinderella herself. We made sure her wishes came true!
The invitation requested for the girls to come dressed in their favourite princess dresses and arrive on time to greet a surprise guest. The mid-afternoon party started with a special fruit snack individually packaged in ice cream cartons with beautiful labels by Loralee Lewis. Following that, Cinderella arrived for a special story time, sing-along songs, and games with the birthday girl and her friends. The girls could not get enough of Cinderella and had so many questions for her and where she came from. After a one-on-one photo opp with Cinderella, the guests enjoyed delicious cake and other treats from the sweet table, which was the centrepiece of the event.
Following the sweets, the little princesses got an opportunity to “shop” in a Princesses R Us shop. Each girl was provided with her own shopping bag to purchase some princess essentials such as a crown, necklace, earrings, ring, and special lipstick (which was really candy “flipstick.”)
We are so delighted to have participated in a photo shoot for The Refinery Magazine’s Summer 2013 issue. The magazine is incredible and the photo shoot itself was so much fun! Here are a few photographs from the issue:
After weeks and weeks of rain, we finally had a couple of sunny days here in Vancouver. The sun is shining, flowers are popping out everywhere, and the birds are chirping. And that makes us want to entertain! One of the easiest and fun ways to party is over brunch. Here is our idea for a spring brunch…
Invite a bunch of friends. Get your guests involved in assembling the salad, baking the tart and the french toast, squeezing some fresh orange juice, and putting on some coffee and tea. You are ready to partay!
We are so delighted to have our work featured in the Winter 2013 issue of Heirloom Magazine – Vintage Goodness for the Modern Bride. If you are a lover of all things vintage, you must check out this online publication! Whether you are in the event planning industry, planning your wedding or just adore all things beautiful, prepare to be truly inspired! Jeanie Ow of [stu-di-o] by jeanie and the Chief Dreamer of Heirloom captured one of our sweet tables for the magazine. For the full feature, see pages 114-118.
We had the pleasure of doing a small dessert bar for a super active gentleman. He runs marathons, climbs mountains such as Mt. Kilimanjaro (no joke! he did), hikes, and golfs. His lovely wife wished for his birthday’s dessert bar to make references to his various active pursuits. Here is a little glimpse at what we called the “Hike, run, & golf!” dessert table.
Over the weekend, we began our week-long Passover celebrations. I hosted a seder (Passover dinner) for family and friends. While the preparations for this holiday are really intense and far from my favorite, due to the amount of work involved, entertaining and having an occasion to create an interesting tablescape is always fun. This year I went with a blue and green colour scheme using natural elements such as rosemary, delicate muscari flowers, and brussel sprouts. This is what I did.
Did you celebrate Passover or Easter over the weekend? Tell us about your tablescape…
Psst, since we are still awaiting our copies of Amy Atlas’ new book “Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It,” we have decided to extend our giveaway for another couple of weeks. Thus, it is still not too late to enter (here) for a chance to win. Good luck!