As I’ve mentioned before, its my youngest daughter’s birthday this week and she will be 5! Today was her first (of many) birthday party, which we had at Pizza Hut. She enjoyed the party (I did not, though perhaps that will save for another post) and everyone else seemed to enjoy it too.
|Lily just before we set off for her party|
|Everyone saying “cheese” while eating ice cream|
As much as I love my children (and honestly I must), I do sometimes wonder why we go to so much effort for birthday parties they will barely remember when they’re older. I can’t honestly tell you a thing about my birthdays when I was younger, to be honest I can barely remember last year. Sometimes I think we remember more because we were told about them in later years, backed up with photographs, than from actually remembering that day ourselves… anyway, I digress.
Lily’s birthday isn’t till Tuesday, but I feel like I’ve been building up to it for weeks – and then suddenly, this week (and especially this weekend) is suddenly turning out to be crazy. Along with the usual hassle of making sure she has all the presents she would like (delegating to friends and relatives from a huge list left over from Christmas…), getting wrapping paper and a card, of course the organisation of the party today – dating at least 4 or 5 weeks back from the point we decided on what she wanted to do and so on and so forth, I have also ended up doing a ton of baking.
I’m pretty sure I mentioned in my last post, I’m not much of a baker, or cook and definitely not a chef. I can get by and I’ll happily cook an evening meal every evening, but its not something I do for pleasure or as a hobby or even a time waster on the weekend. When I do decide to bake with the kids, its usually a packet mix, some Disney Princess or Moshi Monster decorating pack, over and done with in about an hour.
However this birthday I have landed myself in all sorts of palava… that’s palava, not pavlova. Wasn’t a typo!
For the party today I made cupcakes. I’m not a big fan of party bags (because mostly you get junk in them that just ends up getting tossed away) and I don’t really like slices of cake coming home in napkins. Maybe I’m just fussy, I’m not sure. But either way, this is what I did for Lily’s birthday.
The basic concept is a reusable, attractive looking cup, filled with sweets (yes its unhealthy but it gets eaten rather than plastic toys that get broken or thrown away!) with an individual cupcake (in a case no less!) on top. I’ve then wrapped it all up in a cellophane bag and tada! The cupcakes were vanilla with chocolate biscuit bits, topped with pink icing (or in the boys case, chocolate) then princess rice papers (we had these in the drawer from previous baking) and white chocolate sprinkles (or for the boys, multicoloured sugar stars).
This is just ONE of the things I have to bake this week/weekend.
Task two is of course the Alice in Wonderland cake. Thank you to everyone who volunteered a comment or help, but as with most things – I steamed ahead and did my own thing (I’m sorry, its just the way I am!). I’ve made all the cakes now – bottom and middle sections were yesterday, the top layer I completed today. The bottom and middle sections are also iced, I still have the top one to do. I have to admit its not been AS tricky as I expected so far, but it has definitely been a learning curve. The bottom (being my first cake) is by far the worst looking, the middle has room for improvement, but at the moment I’m most impressed with the top layer.
Please do not judge me, I am well aware these aren’t great! Bottom layer, which is chocolate with vanilla filling, I didn’t trim down the sides at all, as you can see in the middle picture (very clearly). Middle layer, which is pink and purple striped vanilla sponge with buttercream filling, still didn’t turn out great and I figured I’m just not that good with royal icing. HOWEVER, I have since googled and realised I need to put a layer of buttercream all over the edges of the cake, to create a smooth finish. Top layer, which is green peppermint sponge with chocolate peppermint filling, I am most proud of. So far its only trimmed down, but now I know about the buttercream edging, I have high hopes! Tomorrow all will be revealed, one way or another I guess. So cross your fingers for me, especially as I am yet to decorate!
This still leaves me with more cupcakes to make however, something I need to fit in tomorrow too. Lily has asked that I bake cupcakes for all her classmates, which is apparently 22 students on a full day. I plan to send 24, for all the kids, the teacher and the teaching assistants (Lily not included). I’ve even bought cupcake boxes to make sure they don’t all end up damaged and squashed.
Anyway I should either head to bed, or go and ice the top layer of my cake. I think honestly it will be bed and deal with everything else tomorrow. Goodnight for now!