We've had a crazy-busy old time around here lately - one big reason is that our gorgeous boy had a big birthday.
|The birthday boy before school|
In March our boy turned 5 (that's half of ten as he keeps reminding me!) and this was his first birthday since starting school.
We are very lucky in that the school have a great system whereby you can hire out the hall for parties.
This genius idea allowed us to hold a joint party with two of his classmates directly after school on a Friday - this meant that practically the whole class was able to make it and it suited most parents for convenient pick up etc.
The added extra bonus is that our boy's favourite teacher of all was hired to put on a sports party for the children - I call him the pied piper of children since they all adore him.
We decided on a dinosaur theme - who doesn't love dinosaurs?!
This was probably the easiest and most stress-free children's party we've ever had.
Division of labour was sensible:
One mother on food - mini packed picnics for each child
One mother on party bags - a couple of dinosaur themed mini goodies and a lolly!
One mother on cake - guess who!!!!
We will get to the cake in a moment but I should let you know that I was also on balloons. We made the dash to the balloon shop on the morning of the party and chose purple and green balloons (Joker colours) - this meant driving around a clown car for the rest of the day without being able to see out of any windows!
Now for the cake - one cake for three dinosaur mad boys. I put some serious thought into this cake since it wasn't just my boy's special day and I felt more pressure than I usually would...I decided on a stegosaurus since it was easily recognisable.
Now all I had to do was figure out how on earth I was going to achieve this.....I roughed out some sketches to decide how I would make a cake-jigsaw into something resembling a dinosaur and just how much cake I would need.
I knew that a couple of children don't like chocolate so I decided to make half chocolate sponge and half vanilla.
Then I would cement everything with vanilla buttercream and cover with shop-bought fondant - I'm sorry to admit that this is the one area where I never make my own.
I know I usually bang on about from scratch but putting together a cake like this is enough work already. (Besides which I have made my own in the past so I know how to and am therefore allowed to cheat - k?)
It sounds a bit like I know what I'm doing but please don't be fooled - I baked the cake in advance so it could dry slightly making it easier to carve and then I made a shit load of buttercream (that is a technical term).
I used a half and half semi circle for the body and then winged it for the rest, shaving off bits as I went until I was happy.
With a smooth crumb coat I then left it again to harden slightly before returning to cover with rolled fondant (I can feel Mary Berry's eyes on me as I write this - lest we forget Enwezor). I used white fondant for the claws, teeth and eyes with dots of gel icing for the pupils.
|Excuse the washing basket with carrier bag (wtf?!)|
The biggest challenge was the spines of our stegosaurus, I considered a few options but I had very specific requirements.
My perfect match needed to be: strong enough to retain shape and position; sturdy enough not to go soggy buy absorbing moisture and still tasty enough to eat!!!
I plumped for gingerbread (love me some gingerbread!) I made three different sized templates as I wanted the spines to be graduated in size. Rolled out the gingerbread, cut enough (plus loads of extras just in case) then scored to add detail.
This was what I was most nervous about but I was thrilled with how they turned out and I think they did look authentic.
There you have it - I stabbed them in where I thought they looked good and a dinosaur was born.
The party was a success and the children were very excited and impressed by the cake. Most of all they all said it tasted yummy and there was enough left for all the adults to enjoy too - hoorah!
Have you made a dinosaur cake? I bet you had a better strategy than I did didn't you?! Do share if you have as I'd love to see.
Until the next time, from my Little Stormtrooper and me, "May the Force be With You"