Monday, March 16, 2015

A Fairy Nice Birthday Party

The Girl is 12 years old today, and yesterday we had a grand birthday party for her, with a fairy theme.

We had lots of finger food "because fairies are little."  The Girl made fairy sandwiches with cocoa almond spread and sprinkles.

We also had "mushrooms" made of string cheese and cherry tomatoes.

The cake.. the cake I am amazingly proud of.  I made a side-by-side tiered chocolate cake with cookie dough filling, with Swiss Meringue buttercream, and decorations made out of piped chocolate (fairies and ferns), marzipan (roses and the fairy door), and meringue mushrooms.  The base of the cake plate (I just used a cutting board) was covered with graham crackers crushed up and colored green to look like moss.

The cake itself was made using a modified Duncan Hines mix.  I mixed one cake mix with 1/2 c oil, 1/2 c water, 1 c sour cream, 3 eggs, and one box pudding mix.  For the size cake that I made, I used 2 cake mixes.

The cookie dough filling I found on Instructables.  I made a double batch, but it wasn't all needed... oh dear, what shall I do with leftover cookie dough filling?  I'm sure I'll come up with something... I refrigerated it overnight, and it was a little stiff in the morning - but this actually worked out, because I was able to roll the filling out into circles to fit exactly on the layers.  I rolled the filling out between layers of parchment paper, and then added to the layers of cake with a border of buttercream.

The buttercream I used was Swiss Meringue buttercream.  This is my favorite buttercream to make - it is simpler than French, requiring less whisking and heating, then subsequent cooling.  It is very forgiving and comes together in less than 30 minutes (whereas French Meringue buttercream took me abut an hour and a half to make - it was amazing, and I'd eat it with a spoon, but this is much easier).

To pipe the chocolate fairies, I traced some fairy silhouettes I found online onto parchment paper, and then used melted chocolate in a piping bag with the smallest possible hole cut into the tip to pipe the shapes.  I dusted them with edible gold shimmer dust when they were dry.

For the marzipan roses, we pressed out tiny balls of colored marzipan between layers of plastic wrap with our thumbs, then lined them up and rolled into roses, folding down the edges and dusting with gold shimmer dust.  The Girl helped with these.  The marzipan fairy door was just made with marzipan - no special technique there.

I've made meringue mushrooms before.  I made some with long skinny stems and some with short stems.  I piped them, but The Girl put them together.

The Girl was very happy with her party and with her cake.  I was thrilled that what I had sketched out was not that different than what ended up coming together in the end product. 

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