Fabulous Friends- Paola Hilla

Today, dear readers, I want to present to you another fabulous friend, Paola Hilla of Unique Party. She is a baker and artist that makes the most delicious cakes and desserts you have tasted. Her cakes are moist, soft, and light, her fillings just right and her decorating skills, well they are out of this world spectacular. We cherish the times we have good reasons to celebrate because we know it will involve having one of Paola's delicious treats.

What can you not live without?
I cannot live without my camera. Capturing moments, places, and faces is one of my favorite hobbies. Photos take you back to that special moment every time you see them. They become part of your memories and of your life. For me, everything comes to life through photography. You can let your imagination run wild and make up stories about everything and anything you capture.

What do you see as the next big trend?
Details! By this I mean all the small things that make life more beautiful. For example, a small delicate treat in a gathering like cute little cupcakes or an unexpected accessory at your table setting making the occasion that much more special. More and more people are taking time to notice and enjoy these small details, which I love, because I think they make all the difference. Let's celebrate the Big Little details in life! This is what we do best at Unique Party.

What is your favorite place in the world?
Los Roques Archipelago in Venezuela. It is a spectacular coral reef off the coast of Venezuela. Its white sand, transparent water that changes from light blue to green, its tall palm trees, and the friendly and humble people that live there makes this heaven on earth. The most special part of Los Roques is the tranquility you feel while enjoying this paradise. Here you have the time to unwind and to forget the rest of world and focus solely on those you are with, be it friends or family with this painting perfect background.

What drives you crazy?
Messiness. I am simply not cut out for messy spaces.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by everything- flowers, colors, photographs- all the little things in life that surround us. But my biggest inspiration is derived from my three wonderful boys!

Here are a couple of Paola's creations. What beautiful and sweet confections!
Cake Photos- Paola Hilla
To pass on some sweetness to you all Paola and I whipped up this delicious Strawberry Trifle (recipe included). Not only is it easy, but so delicious. Your guests will be impressed!

You will need:
6 egg whites
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
The whole peel of half a lime

Preheat oven to 275 degrees
Oil and line with wax paper two pan sheets and set aside

In an electric mixer whip the egg whites until peaks form. While mixing slowly add the sugar and the whole peel of half the lime. Add the vanilla extract. Keep mixing until you can no longer feel the sugar between your fingers and the meringue has a thick consistency. Take the lime peel out and place the meringue in the sheets. Shape it in big circles about 1/4 inch thick and make sure it is spread evenly. Cook for about 25 minutes. Take out and let cool. Set aside until time to assemble. (We made 4 meringue circles because our trifle bowl wasn't that big and had extra meringue to make about 12 individual sized meringues. If you have a larger bowl you may need 6 meringue circles for your layers).

You will need:
2 pounds approx. of strawberries (or any other fruit you would prefer, or you can mix and match)
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons of sugar

Clean your strawberries, pat, and dry very well. Cut them into slices.

Put the heavy whipping cream in an electric mixer, and whip until hardened (about 5 to 7 minutes). Be careful not to over mix. Add the sugar and mix a little more. Place the whipped cream in the fridge until ready to assemble.

Now for the fun part! Assembly!!

Use a glass bowl or trifle container, this way you will be able to appreciate all the colors and layers. If you don't have one you could also do it in any plate you like.
Start by putting some of the whipped cream on the bottom, then add a meringue circle, on top of that add some whipped cream again, and then your fruit (strawberries in this case). Then repeat- meringue circle, cream, and so on. Finish with whipped cream and more strawberries. Refrigerate for 2 or 3 hours before eating. Enjoy!

Please, please let us know if you try the recipe! Its fun, easy, delicious and healthy! If you want to see more of Paola's beautiful cakes please visit her photo gallery here. ANd if you are in the Dallas area count on her for your next celebration!

(photos- Albertina Cisneros)