1 Nov 2014

The Birthday - Part 2

The reason I've held off on posting my second post on Thursday is because I wanted to post about my party that I had last night (double birthday posts, whaaaaa?)! My girlfriends and I had dinner at Criniti's, a lovely Italian restaurant where we shared a 0.5 m pizza and a bowl of cheesy gnocchi goodness; if you're ever at Darling Harbour, Sydney they've got a restaurant there so you should check it out! 

Afterwards, we went back to my house and we drank, gorged on cupcakes, and caught up. The five of us go to two different universities, but we never get a chance to see each other during the semester, so this was a great reason to catch up. My friends gave me some lovely presents; chocolates (Lindt Strawberries & Cream), perfume (Versace Yellow Diamond), and Grace Helbig's new book (which is so appropriate…)! I honestly had such a wonderful time catching up with my girls. 

For the baked goods, I decided on two crowd pleasers: chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and Nutella-filled chocolate chip cookies. I used this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction for the chocolate cupcakes, using Dutch cocoa instead of unsweetened cocoa for a richer, darker, chocolate taste, and I just did a simple vanilla buttercream using 750g of unsalted butter, icing sugar (amount depends on the degree to which you want the frosting to crust), and a buttload of vanilla extract/paste. The buttercream crusted ever so slightly on the outside, and extra light and fluffy on the inside (mom was impressed! Score!). I baked 2 dozen cupcakes as the girls demanded wanted to take home some. I am honestly proud of these cupcakes, I think they turned out very well! 

I used this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod which I have made before, some with white chocolate chips and some with milk chocolate chips. My family agreed on the white chocolate chips being a winner, as it stood out from the Nutella; the milk chocolate chips didn't really add anything new to the cookie and just blended in. Because it's been an oven where I live, the butter in the dough went soft really quickly and it was just a pain trying to make the cookies (as you need to really use your hands), I refrigerated the dough for about 45 minutes. The way I make these cookies is I take a little ball of dough in my hand, flatten it so that it's about 5mm in thickness (or the thinnest the chocolate chips allow you to make it), add a little dollop of Nutella in the centre, make another disc of dough and place it on top and seal the edges. Afterwards, just slowly roll the cookie into a ball, ensuring the Nutella doesn't poop out from the seals or from a hole. 

It took me about four and a half hours to get the baked goods all sorted and I had to rush into the shower and get ready for dinner! I had a splendid time and ended the night with some photos. 

What have you guys done for your birthdays? 

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