I'm not going to call myself a bad blogger, just an absent one - life takes over like that sometimes! Apart from my daughter's upcoming wedding on June 22nd, the other event that took a lot of planning and work was her bridal shower on April 28th. Baking was only part of all the work, which started with *what* I wanted to bake.
Megan's favourite fruit is the cherry, so I wanted to incorporate it into one of the desserts. My first thought was a variation of Black Forest Cherry cake. Most people I know love it - I'm not one of them. When I was younger my mother made it a LOT. As I got older, I was surprised with more than one bakery version of this cake, which was too much for my liking! It's not just the whole combo that I dislike, but I also can't stand whipped cream. Pretty strange for a baker to admit that, but we all have our preferences and it's never been one of mine. So I kept Googling for a chocolate cherry combo and I found this recipe at The Cupcake Project blog - the link will take you directly to the recipe.
I made the cupcakes (on the red 2-tiered stand) in a mini size, so that everyone could sample lots of the goodies we made. They are a very dense, rich chocolate with the flavour of cherry added by using Maraschino cherry liquid. Boy, were they a hit, especially with our bride-to-be!
The icing was pretty, light pink since cherry preserves are used in the frosting. I cheated completely with the frosting and didn't make it from scratch. Betty Crocker came to my rescue with prepared cream cheese frosting and I added only the jelly portion of the preserves (I think some small cherry bits snuck in too) and mixed up a full container of the frosting. As a combo, there was no cloying sweetness to them, just a nice balance of rich chocolate with cherry.
My lovely daughter Sarah, the Maid of Honour at the upcoming wedding, baked the Martha Stewart gluten free brownies pictured above and I made mini meringues with vanilla chips inside and pink pearl dragees as a decoration. We had guests with dietary restrictions at the shower, so everything was labelled to avoid any confusion.
The shower was a blast and I sent lots of goodies home with everyone so that I can fit into my Mother of the Bride dress in under three weeks!