Artistic Talent

Paint by Number

 

Photo Courtesy of Nadia Chaudhury

Make it easy for your guests to get artistically involved with a paint by number wall or mural. Give guests a color and number and let them fill in the blanks. When you’re done you’ll have a custom installation that will look professionally painted.

Painted Sky

 

Photo Courtesy of Tastemade

This sunset cake takes its inspiration from a watercolor palette. The citrus flavors will have your guests feel as if they are tasting the sunshine.

Ingredients

Cake
858g all-purpose flour
530g caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tsp baking powder
750ml of milk
250ml vegetable oil
250g unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp Greek yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lime
400g lemon curd

Frosting
1kg softened unsalted butter (room temperature)
1.5kg soft icing sugar mixture (sifted after it’s weighed)
4 tbsp milk (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 drops yellow food dye + 1 tbsp lemon curd
3 drops pink food dye + 1 tbsp lemon curd
3 drops orange food dye + 1 tbsp lemon curd
3 drops red food dye + 1 tbsp lemon curd
3 drops purple food dye + 1 tbsp lemon curd

Let’s get Cooking…

Frosting
Please note: You may need to make the frosting in two batches unless you have a large mixing bowl. Frosting can be made with a hand mixer or stand mixer
Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to soften butter in a large bowl and mix for 5 minutes so it gains some volume and goes pale in colour.
Add half the icing sugar mixture and mix until it’s mixed into the butter, then add the rest of the icing sugar along with 2 tbsp of milk and a tbsp of vanilla extract.

Cake batter
Please note: You may need to make the batter in two batches unless you have a large mixing bowl. Batter can be made with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C (320F) or 180C (356F) for a conventional oven. Line x 3 8 inch cake tins with baking paper. Set aside
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter and let it mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.
Next, add milk, eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract in a large jug and whisk well.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl, add lime and orange zest, and mix for another 20 seconds.
Evenly divide batter amongst three cake tins. Bake for 40 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
Trim the tops of the cooled cake off using a large serrated knife. Discard the tops.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a large round tip and add a little dab of frosting on an 8″ a cake board. Place first layer of cake on top and press firmly to help it stick to the cake board.
Frost a perimeter of frosting around the outside of the top of the cake layer. Add 1/2 lemon curd and use an offset spatula to spread on cake layer, ensuring it’s spread evenly.
Repeat with second layer.
Use the piping bag to frost an even layer of buttercream all around the cake including the sides and top. Use a large offset spatula to spread the frosting around evenly taking care to ensure the sides of the cake are straight. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This is only the crumb coat which helps lock in the cake crumbs so they don’t appear in the second coating of buttercream.
To colour the frosting split the rest into 5 separate mixing bowls Add 1 tbsp lemon curd to each one and add food gel colouring. Mix until well combined. Transfer each colour to a separate piping bag.
Start by piping a 2 inch high layer of the yellow buttercream to the bottom of the cake working your way up the cake with the pink, orange, red and lastly purple. You’ll also need to pipe purple on top of the cake. Use a small offset spatula to spread evenly across the cake carefully and roughly blending the colours a little ensuring they don’t mix too much.

 

Alluring Artful Sangria

Photo Courtesy of Kelly Carambula
Sangria picks up on the watercolor feel with muted and mixed colors combining for a sensual sangria drink.

INGREDIENTS
For the Strawberry Syrup:
1 cup sliced ripe strawberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
For the Sangria:
2 lemons, thinly sliced
2 oranges, thinly sliced
4 ounces strawberry syrup along with reserved strawberries from syrup
2 ounces Cointreau
2 fresh strawberries, sliced, for garnish
1 bottle cava or other dry sparkling wine
DIRECTIONS

For the Syrup: Combine strawberries, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat until boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until for about 10 minutes-the syrup should be pink and the berries soft. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the strawberries for the sangria. Strawberry syrup will keep for one week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

For the Sangria: Add 1 sliced lemon, 1 sliced orange, and the reserved strawberries from the syrup to the bottom of the pitcher. Add the strawberry syrup and Cointreau and muddle. Add the cava and stir. Serve immediately, pouring into glasses garnished with a slice of lemon, a slice of orange, sliced strawberries, and ice.

Robotic Artistry

Photo Courtesy of Joe Scarnici

To celebrate Albert Einstein, National Geographic recently did robotic chalkboard art using quotes, symbols and equations from the renowned scientist. Guest sent images to the robotic arm via a specific twitter handle and hashtag. This high tech artist is fun to watch, and sparks conversation.

Tip Courtesy of Biz Bash

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