Hi! I’m home!
I’ve been trying desperately to avoid the fact that I’m home. But I think it happened?? Maybe if I just click my heels a couple times… few times? for 5 minutes?? I’ll wake back up in sunny California….
Nope. I don’t know what Dorothy’s got that I don’t. I even picked up a Yorky this week (I’m dog sitting for one of my friend’s for the next few months! SO. freaking. cute.) But that’s ok, I’ve actually been going through some serious kitchen withdrawal, I cannot wait to share my next post’s recipe with you guys!
(more vacation pics in next week’s post!)
So in the meantime while I settle back home, I want to brag all about the fabulous wedding shower I helped host last weekend! It was so much fun and so so pretty! I swear we should have had a “Party by Pinterest” disclaimer at the door – we found some of the CUTEST ideas and kind of went wild… its in my blood…. I can’t help it…
Sorry in advance for the endless photo album you’re about to scroll through, but it was too fun not to share!
So you’ll see a bunch of these “Chalkboard Signs” I drew! They are so EASY. I didn’t even use chalkboard paint. I literally just drew chalk and pastels directly onto a black foam core board. The downside is that you can’t really erase, but the plus side is that its so incredibly quick and simple! If you’re worried about messing up just lightly trace with pencil first.
Sign for the guest book :)
GORGEOUS flower arrangements from Twisted Stem! I wish I would have taken more pictures because the other arrangements were incredible!
Posing during prep time! This is my new favorite necklace – had to show it off :)
The “Appetizer Bar” with bruschetta bar and more chalkboard signs.
Here’s the “Bruschetta Bar“! This was one of my favorites. We made the tray by lining up little square bowls inside a wooden tray – super easy. We found them all at Home Goods and Hobby Lobby.
Thank you Pinterest! Cute veggie and dip display.
Booze. Yes please.
Its too bad the lighting was so horrible by the end of the night, but the spread really looked very pretty! We set up the dinner bar in the dining room.
Made my Caprese Sandwiches with Balsamic Vinaigrette again.. sooo yummy!
And my #1 favorite part!! The Dessert Bar! The Chocolate Hazelnut cake was soooo good! I’m sharing the recipe below, it’s not mine but so incredibly worth sharing!
I had a hard time getting a good pick in the dark but you get the gist! The dessert Chalkboard sign was my favorite :)
We all had such a great time! Very happy bride and groom :) All that’s left to show you guys is the recipe to the Hazelnut Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting! I found it in my Sono Baking Company cookbook – if you don’t have it you NEED this one. Best baking book ever.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Yields 12 Servings
For The Hazelnut Sponge Cake:
- 1/4 cup whole hazelnuts (or about 2 tablespoons chopped)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 9 tablespoons cake flour
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
For The Milk Chocolate Buttercream:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 1 pound unsalted butter, firm but not chilled, cut into cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 16 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- Make the Cake - Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan with vegetable spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat; set aside.
- Make the sponge cake: Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor with 1/4 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, and hazelnut mixture; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whole eggs, the yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and almond extract on high speed until thick and pale yellow in color, and mixture holds a thick ribbon when whisk is lifted from bowl, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer; gently and quickly fold in flour mixture. Gradually drizzle in oil, while folding.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Set on prepared baking sheet, and bake until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn cake out immediately onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 1 hour.
- Make the buttercream - In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over (but not touching) simmering water, whisk egg whites, sugar, and salt until warm to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually beat in butter, piece by piece. When all the butter has been added, mixture will break but it will become smooth as you continue to beat. Beat in vanilla.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Slowly beat into buttercream in mixer. Add cocoa mixture and beat until buttercream is cooled; set aside.
- Using a serrated knife, trim top of cake to make level. Cut cake horizontally in half. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate and top with a 1/3- to 1/2-inch layer of buttercream. Place second layer on top; top with remaining buttercream.