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Finding the Perfect Cake for a Birthday Party

Hello, last year was my husband's 50th birthday. To celebrate, I started making plans to hire a venue so we could put on a bit of a party. I even thought I would surprise him with a lovely homemade cake. Unfortunately, my baking skills are not as good as I thought they might be. The day before my husband's birthday, I opened the oven door to discover a complete mess of a cake. Thankfully, my friend had the address of an excellent bakery. The staff there baked a perfect birthday cake and even supplied cupcakes and jam tarts. I wanted to start this blog to encourage others to use their local barkery.

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Finding the Perfect Cake for a Birthday Party

Tasting South American pastries

by Kristen Bailey

While European culture is traditionally associated with pastries, there are some great South American pastries that build on the basis of these pastries to create delicious treats. Here are some treats that you can try next time you visit a bakery with a South American theme. 

Medialuna

The classic croissant takes on a new identity in South America as a medialuna (literally translated as 'half-moon'). In South America this can also be created with margarine or lard rather than butter, which is known as a 'medialuna de grasa', and the traditionally buttery medialuna is known as a 'medialuna de manteca'.

South American inspired medialunas are also glazed with a sugar syrup which tends to make them sweeter than traditional Australian croissants, which makes them a great base for many sweet toppings such as jams or fruit preserves. In Australian bakeries with a South American theme, you can often order a medialuna with your choice of jam or preserve. 

The 'bola de fragile'

The 'jelly' doughnut (a.k.a. 'bola de fragile') is a classic in South America but tends to be filled with dulce con leche rather than jam or fruit preserves. This is a classic mid-morning snack and is perfect for fulfilling a sweet craving as it is very sweet and filling. These tend to taste best when just out of the oven and piping hot, so if you can call ahead and let the bakery know that you are on your way, they can make sure that you have a fresh treat.

Pastel de nata

Brazil and other countries in the 'Lusosphere' (countries that have had a colonial Portuguese influence) also have some Portuguese influence on the cuisine. This includes the delicious pastel de natas, which are a cinnamon laced egg custard tart. These tarts are extremely filling so they can be great for people looking to maximise their protein intake. You can often smell these yummy tarts from down the block due to the spice mix, so you'll be very popular if you bring them into the office or to a party. 

If you love pastries but want to try something a little bit different, it can be worth hunting out a local bakery with a South American influence. These pastries are very similar to the traditonal European pastries but often have a unique topping or filling to make them just a little bit special for your next event. 

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