Monday, March 28, 2011
By definition, a blessingway is a women-centered ceremony emphasizing a women's strength, dignity and her metamorphisis as she goes through the process of bringing new life into the world.
A blessingway is nothing like a baby shower. Instead of focusing on the soon-to-come baby, you focus on the mother-to-be. All the guests were asked to bring a bead or a charm and include a note that reminds Natasha what the meaning of the bead is. The beads are then made into a bracelet which Natasha will wear when she gives birth (which could be any day now!).
The champagne cupcakes were made for the blessingway. I know Natasha likes champagne, but obviously hasn't been able to enjoy it for the past 9 months. The cupcakes give the slightest hint of champagne flavor, as it is both in the cake and in the frosting. Don't worry, all the alchohol is cooked out of the champagne. I loved how moist the cake is and how light and fluffy and champagne buttercream is. These are a must-try!
The blessingway had a springtime theme and had lovely paper and real flowers everywhere. The baby bump above is a mold of Natasha at 8 months.
My cupcakes in action. I was thrilled that the mom-to-be loved them.
Delicious goat cheese and tomato baguettes.
LeAnn and Angie (the hosts) thought of everything, including photos of Natasha's mom and sister, who live in Russia and were unable to attend the blessingway. They also asked Natasha's mom and sister to write letters to Natasha, which were read out-loud during the event. Things got a bit emotional, to say the least.
As you can see, Natasha is a beautiful pregnant woman. Her belly is adorable! Part of the blessingway included pampering the mom-to-be.
I couldn't resist snapping a couple maternity photos as the lighting was lovely (as well as Natasha, obviously).
Champagne cupcakes (recipe adapted from Sprinkles Bakes blog)
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne, prosecco or your choice of sparkling wine (I used Prosecco)
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne or prosecco
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. in a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little). Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick.
Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Set aside.
To make the frosting, Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together. Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus 1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well.
To embellish I used blue cupcake liners (Natasha is expecting a boy) and added white nonpareils. Pretty!
I hope you all have a happy Monday!