It’s the best time of the year, so you better your bottom that I’m living up everything and anything fall. The cool weather, the change of color in the trees, all the spices, the layering of clothes…I AM JUST SO READY FOR IT.
Okay, sorry about that, it has been the most insanely hot summer this year and I just need some better weather. Also, fall last year was when I first started to love St. Louis. Everyone I know that’s a transplant to this city has had the same problem…trouble falling in love at first sight. St. Louis has a LOT to offer, but if you move in the heat of the nasty summer, have trouble meeting new people, issues finding the coolest things to do…it can be tough. Good news is that fall comes and makes this city magical. And thankfully in this last year, I’ve made some incredible new friends and found the coolest things to do here…so I’m set. I’m in love. FALL IS MAGIC IN THIS CITY!
So, now that you know I’m not friendless, let me introduce you to some of them: Alex from Delish Knowledge, Anna from Urban Apron, and Julia from My Lavender Blues. These ladies are kicking butt in the food blogger world and are some of my dear friends in St. Louis. Being in the “same field” as your friends or fellow strong women can be intimidating for some or make them catty or vicious. However, I’ve been lucky enough to have found an incredible group of ladies who not only support and raise each other up, but also come together and make visions come true!
This month these ladies and I came together to make a fall cocktail party dream come true. It was filled with spiced drinks, apps, and desserts. You can go across each of our blogs to find our recipes. Our little menu included:
Ginger Snap Cocktail- Delish Knowledge
Brie with Thyme Roasted Pears and Grapes- Delish Knowledge
Maple and Rosemarry Roasted Nuts & Spiced Chickpeas- Urban Apron
Coconut & Thyme Roasted Cauliflower with Croutons- My Lavender Blues
Roasted Heirlooms- My Lavender Blues
Brown Butter Apple Tart- Urban Apron
Chai Spiced Fig Cake- Feed Me with Amanda
Place cards- My Lavender Blues
Flowers- Feed Me with Amanda
The "recipe" for these flowers...
1) Go to Trader Joe's, your local farmers market, or whichever grocery store is best for you.
2) Get the following:
- 3 different types of eucalyptus branches
-maroon spray roses
3) Clip and stick. Literally just clip the bottoms of each flower and branch and place them on the table. Loop the branches around the placed food. Then take the rose, clipped with about a 4 inch stem and stick them in where the branches hit the table! Play with it until it works for you.
4) After your meal be sure to get all ends of flowers into water!
Please keep your eyes out for many many more collaboration dinners, cocktail partays, holiday bashes…Thank you ladies again for this magical day...and for being my hand models!
3 cups flour
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1½ Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoon nutmeg
1½ teaspoon all spice
1½ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cloves
3 sticks butter, softened
3 cups brown sugar
1½ Tablespoons vanilla extract
1½ cups milk
1 ½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3 ½ cups powdered sugar (one 16 oz box), sifted 1-2 times
¼ cup whole milk (or heavy cream)
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
fresh figs (sliced for layering)
Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare three 9-inch cake round pans with grease and flour. I also add a layer or parchment paper on the bottom of each pan.
In a large mixing bowl mix your dry ingredients for the cake, except for the sugar (flour, cornstarch, baking powder and spices).
In an electric mixer beat your butter and brown sugar for about 2-3 minutes on medium, or until fluffy. One at a time add in your eggs, then add your vanilla and milk.
In 3 batches add in your dry mixture into the wet mixture on a lower speed until just mixed.
Pour the batter evenly across the 3 pans. Lightly slam the cake pans on the counter to try to get rid of any major air bubbles.
Bake each for about 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick until clean. Pull cakes out with completely bakes and let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then remove to a cooling rack.
Using your mixer and the paddle attachment again, whip the butter for 8 minutes on medium/low speed. The butter will become very creamy!
Pour the milk into the butter as well as the maple syrup. Stir for 30 seconds.
Add the powdered sugar in 3 batches. The frosting should become very light and fluffy.
Once cakes are completely cooled trim off the top of the cakes to make a nice even layer.
Place the first layer down on your cake stand. Create a barrier of frosting around the edge of the cake, pour caramel in the center of this and create a thin layer. On top of the caramel cover with sliced figs.
Repeat with the next layer.
Top with the third layer and cover with icing. Feel free to decorate with extra figs and florals, I decided to use eucalyptus leaves.