When Morgan asked me if I could give her a baking lesson to help her make her little boys birthday cake I was thrilled to help. I thought that my dinosaur cake was the perfect model for him. I pre baked the cakes (one 4pt pudding basin and one 2 pint pudding basin) with a vanilla sponge recipe. (Here’s one I made earlier: http://www.cookiegirl.co.uk/blog/2016/9/20/dinosaur-cake?rq=dinosaur%20cake) . We spent the first part of the cake class assembling the sponged together (securing them with wooden skewers) to make a cute dinosaur shape. Morgan and I then set to work creating the eyes, tail, mouth and teeth out of rolled fondant. We made up a large batch of bright green buttercream and I gave Morgan a demonstration in using a palette knife to cover the cake with a thick layer of icing. We then added the eyes, teeth, mouth and tail to create a cute and friendly edible dinosaur. We managed to finish the whole thing within our 3hr half day private baking lesson. Morgan sent me a video of the cake which was a huge hit and she got lots of great feedback for her work.
I’d had the idea ages ago to do a Hawaiian themed party for Cosy Mae’s 8th birthday party. The combination of palm trees, pineapples and Hula girls just seemed like an inspiring combination for a cake table. Also, being June I thought we were pretty much guaranteed sunshine- ha! In the lead up to the forecast every report I read predicted rain all day which was hardly surprising as it had pretty much rained every day leading up to the party. By some miracle the sun came out and we were blessed with blue sky and temperate weather. It was a big relief as we had 20 kids coming and had recently moved out of a house and into a flat with a huge communal garden. It would have been really depressing (and very claustrophobic) if we’d been rained off and had to be inside. We had some brilliant games; limbo, hula dancing statues, Hawaiian treasure hunt and of course parcel parcel, as my kids call it (when will they grow out of it?!). As usual, like a nutter, I spent weeks planning the cake table and then a couple of weeks prepping and making the contents for the cake table. On it we had; Hula Girl Birthday Cake (Oreo flavour), Tropical flower cupcakes, iced biscuits (Palm tree, Pineapple, Mermaid and Ice cream), Hawaiian Hula Bark, Tiki Cake Pops, Sea and Starfish Meringues. I used an orange cotton fabric to make a sunset colour back drop and table cloth (I finally got a piece of foam board to use as a backdrop base.) I was pretty pleased with the over all effect although I do always wish there was a professional photographer on hand to capture my hard work before it is all devoured and demolished by ravenous kids.
The company Allmeds had been supporting the fantastic work done by Variety children’s charity for a few years. This year they decided to do something more involved than simply donating money. So they had the fantastic idea of creating a fun filled family day to treat a group of deserving children with. They got in touch to ask if we could create a gingerbread decorating workshop for them and we were very happy to do so.The kids had a great time in the biscuit decorating workshop. They did really well with the piping and loved the fact that there were sweets to decorate them with. At the end of the event they took there gingerbread men home to share with their families.
Although Celeste Bickle now lives in Ireland she decided to host her baby shower in Central London. That way all her closest friends could be there. Bryony and the whole team at Entourage Collection had done a fantastic job creating a beautiful space for the baby shower event. They had covered every detail perfectly. Each of the place names at the dining table had a unique portrait of the guest on them. Due to the fact that Celeste had watched my cake making and cake decorating tutorials on YouTube she was really keen that I host the event. Initially I didn’t think I could do his as that week before Christmas was incredibly busy for us with a variety. In the end I managed to move things around so that I could be there for the first hour before handing over the workshop to the lovely Nadia. She was really thrilled that I’d managed to make it as I kept it as a surprise. The cake making activity was a huge hit with her guests. They did a fantastic job and loved all our new sprinkles including rubber duck sprinkles as well a baby elephants and bunnies. It was a great ice breaker for the ladies who didn’t know each other already. All in all the cake making class was just perfect for a fun baby shower activity. Celeste was such a delightful lady and her friends were very warm and relaxed. Attending the event was an absolute pleasure.
As you probably know by know I love cake decorating and there is nothing I like more than creating a cake table. They are a lot of work though so I only do them twice a year. Once for Teddy's birthday and once for Cosy's. Luckily they are six months apart which gives me plenty of time to recover! For some reason my husband always seems to be away in the lead up to Cosy's birthday which is frustrating as it's when I need him most. This year he was at his brothers stag party and didn't get back till the night before the party. That meant that as well as effectively being a working single parent for the week I had to work cake making night and day to get all the treats prepared for the cake table. When I say had to obviously I mean want to but it does always turn into a big commitment on top of everything else. This year I did a couple of things I haven't got round to before. One is I printed off some mermaid themed 'food cards' from Etsy which my talented adult daughter wrote on in calligraphy. I think this really pulled the whole look of the table together and made it look more finished. The other thing is that I set the table up and photographed it before the guests arrived to make sure I got some good picks before everything got mauled. Also, I got a pic of the mermaid birthday cake in situ before whisking it away to bring out as a surprise for the magical moment when everyone sings 'Happy Birthday'. Unfortunately the mischievous birthday girl snuck a good look at whilst I was taking the pics. Next year I may need to arrange someone to take her to the park whilst I do that. Having done all this in advance did mean that I was able to socialise a bit during the party and have a few drinks rather than my usual rushing around like a mad person. I did indulge in a couple of bottles of Corona beer and relaxed whilst the kids did a great job entertaining themselves. In fact I relaxed so much that it wasn't till everyone had left that I realised that I'd totally forgotten to do the Pinata! Still at least I didn't forget the cake! The funny thing was I had thought I was so organised, wrapping the parcel for pass the parcel (or parcel, parcel, as my kids call it) and prepping the party bags in advance. There's still always something I've overlooked!