Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Dessert Table...

Christmas is fast approaching....how did it creep up so fast???

Back in May this year I was approached by the Editor in Chief of Romantic Homes Magazine to style a Christmas Dessert Table for their Holiday Issue of the magazine!

To say I was excited was an understatement - I only had a week to prepare, shoot and get the images to the editor and my right hand man (AKA Di) was preparing for her son's christening so I was on my own.....Yikes!

Here's how it all turned out....

Christmas is a magical time of year - it's a time to be with family, to take a break from work, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and little ones wait excitedly to see what Santa will bring.

The kids can really get involved with this table and they will have so much fun helping to bring it together from gingerbread men to snowmen meringues and north pole cupcakes it's a feast for the eyes and so much fun!

These Gingerbread Men fill the the house with the most wonderfully heady scent of honey when they are baking you'll just love making them and here's the recipe...

{Honey Gingerbread Men}
(recipe by Kim Coverdale)

150g butter, chopped
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tbls ground ginger, sifted
1 tsp mixed spice, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
3 cups plain flour, sifted

Royal icing to decorate.


1. Place butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Stir in bicarbonate of soda. Transfer to a large, heatproof bowl. Cool.

2. Stir in egg, ginger, mixed spice, baking powder and flour until combined. Divide dough in half. Shape into discs. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (350degrees/320degrees fahrenheit), fan-forced. Grease 3 baking trays. Line with baking paper. Roll 1 dough disc between 2 sheets of baking paper until 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 inch gingerbread man cutter, cut shapes from dough, re-rolling dough scraps. Place, 1 inch apart, on prepared trays. Repeat with remaining pastry disc.

4. Bake, 1 tray at a time, for 8 minutes or until just firm to touch. Stand on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Once cooled decorate with royal icing. You can buy pre-mixed royal icing from cake decorating suppliers - you just add water and beat the mixture.

Another super fun treat that we featured on our table is the adorable

{Meringue Snowmen}

These are a little trickier to make but they are just so cute - you must give them a try!

Basic Meringue Recipe

6 egg whites (at room temperature)
pinch of salt
1.5 cups castor sugar


Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form, add castor sugar a spoonful at a time and beat until the mixture becomes thick and glossy.

Pipe the mixture into "snowmen" using a 3/4 inch tip by piping a mound for the body, "C" shapes for the arms and a smaller mound for the head.

Colour a little left over meringue orange and pipe a "carrot" nose onto the snowmen with a #2 tip.

Bake the Snowmen in a low temperature oven 90-100 degrees celsius (195 degrees fahrenheit) for 2- 2.5 hours, turn the oven off and leave meringues inside to cool.

TIP: If your meringue has a beige tinge once cooked, your oven was too hot, make a new batch and cook on a lower temperature.

Once your snowmen are done decorate them with a little hat made from chocolate fondant using mini round cookie cutters and a strawberry sour strap as a scarf.  Lastly, pipe on little eyes using melted dark chocolate.

We also created a white chocolate truffle tree as our centerpiece to the table - really simple to do, simply paint a cardboard cone the size you want your tree to be in melted white chocolate then using a little melted white chocolate "glue" white chocolate truffles onto the cone....and voila! a gorgeous edible tree!

We thought little "North Pole" cupcakes were just too cute not to have on our table.

The canopy backdrop that we used is quite elaborate, but you can create an equally striking backdrop by simply hanging a panel of fabric on a wall behind your table using 3M hooks or covering pre-stretched art canvasses with fabric - you just need a little imagination.

Oh, and a huge thank you to Toni of Design Dazzle for featuring our Christmas Dessert Table in her 100 ideas of Christmas Wonderful!

Our very best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season.


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