This past week Berlin hosted one helluva party. For this one joyous weekend film collages on several locations across the city, guided and so-called discovery tours along the former course of the Berlin Wall, a Wall Stories exhibition, special guests and live music reminded of the boundless joy of 1989 when the Berlin Wall finally came down, all those 25 years ago. It was a celebration of East and West joining together; of two becoming one.
(Am I the only one stuck with the Spice Girls in their head now?
Candle light and soul forever
A dream of you and me together
It was all very well planned, looked beautiful and was absolutely bloody crowded. Seriously, I am surprised I could even get one foot in front of the other in those masses.
(Come a little bit closer baby
Get it on, get it on
‘Cause tonight is the night when 2 become 1)
I believe the only thing missing was the cake. I mean seriously. Who plans a party and forgets to bring the cake??...
(I need some love like I never needed love before
Wanna make love to ya baby
I had a little love now I’m back for more
Wanna make love to ya baby
Set your spirit free, it’s the only way to be)
One thing is for sure though, there was no shortage of balloons! In fact, the balloons were the main attraction.
Thousands of illuminated balloons formed what was termed the Lichtgrenze, a symbolic frontier of lights tracing a 15km long segment of the former course of the Berlin Wall along streets, houses, bridges and paths that were once separated by stone and barbwire.
The citywide balloon ascent to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony formed the highlight of the event and served as a symbol of hope for a world without walls. It celebrated the ending of a division, the 25-year anniversary of the fall of the Wall and a creative, exciting future.
It sure was an exciting night. So shiny.
I like shiny things.
Conveniently, it was also my birthday last week. All the more reason to get out the sparkle!
I had found these happy birthday candles at the 1€-store and decided to give them a bedazzling makeover.
Once covered in paint, glue and glitter, these candles should no longer be lit! Trust me, they will go. up. in. flames! – a little too luminous if you ask me…
I recommend using them only as a decorative addition to actual candles. To be sure no accidents happen I also advise cutting off the wicks. I kept mine attached simply because I enjoyed the candle-look of the end product.
After covering the candles in a thin coat of white acrylic paint, I got out my mod podge and got to gluing anything sparkly onto the letters that I could find.
Make sure your glue isn’t too strong so you don’t ruin your gems and sequins. When dusting the letters with glitter, remember to undelay with a sheet of paper to catch and reuse any excess. My candles came with a block of styrofoam which was very convenient; Place your candles back onto the styrofoam for drying.
My favorite are the ones covered in glitter. So simple, but so glistening.
Add some cupcakes and twinkle away!
(It’s the only way to be
It’s the only way to be)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- ‘Happy Birthday’ candles
- white acrylic paint
- glue (for example mod podge)
- anything that sparkles: glitter, sequins, gems
- paint brush
- scissors (to cut off the wicks)
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH COCOA MASCARPONE FROSTING:
makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup / 200g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 / 120ml cup fat-free milk
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/8 cups / 140g all-purpose flour
1/4 cup / 30g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. / 170° Celsius.
In a bowl or stand mixer, whisk egg and sugar until smooth. Add milk, cream and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet mixture, mix until batter is smooth. Add in melted butter and stir until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Line a muffin tin with liners and add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 ounces / 220g mascarpone
1 cup / 125g powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk, as needed
Combine the butter, mascarpone, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and milk and mix until smooth. Add milk to thin the frosting as needed. Frost the cupcakes when cooled.
SPICED APPLE PIE CUPCAKES & VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Spiced Apple Pie Cupcakes:
makes 12 cupcakes
4 Tbsp brown sugar
½ cup / 100g granulated sugar
½ cup / 120g applesauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup / 125g flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Apple Pie Filling:
8 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit / 170° Celsius.
Peel, core and chop apples into small pieces. Toss with brown sugar and cinnamon to coat well. Add to baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together sugars, applesauce and vegetable oil. Mix in egg and vanilla, and the remaining ingredients. Mix just until all ingredients are combined. Line a muffin tin with liners and add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted only has a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely.
Remove the center of the cupcake with a knife and fill with apple pie filling. Slice off the dome of the cored piece and replace over the filling.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
½ cup / 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup / 100g powdered sugar
1 block / 250g Philadelphia cream cheese, cold
½ tsp vanilla sugar
In a bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the softened butter with half the icing sugar. The mixture will be crumbly. Add all the cream cheese and the vanilla at once and beat it in. Add the remaining icing sugar to sweeten/loosen up the frosting as needed.