Monday, June 12, 2006

Cooking for Children 2: Birthday Party Food Roundup

My house looks like a herd of bison just ran through it. And in case you can't guess, I have just hosted a birthday party for a small child. 30 adults and children trekked out to the countryside for afternoon tea (with dinner for the last ones standing). At a certain point, I thought "what on earth possessed me to DO this?" But everyone had a good time and it's another year before we'll do this again. And by then I'll have picked up some tips from these other bloggers and perhaps, it'll be a piece of cake!

Hannah's Mum at No Eggs Or Nuts has the additional challenge of cooking without (you guessed it) eggs or nuts, but she came up with this charming Bob the Builder cake. With so many parents having to be careful of allergies these days, this is an excellent cake to have in the repetoire for the small ones!

Gabriella True from My Life As A Reluctant Housewife has TWIN BOYS (yes I think something like that needs to go in capitals!) and this is the Safari Cake which celebrated their first birthday. She also made them a smash cake each, which is an excellent idea when they are tiny.

Ramya at Cascading Flavours made this lovely Carrot Cake for a birthday treat. Aren't those icing carrots cute? As a child I loved carrot cake, but I must admit, I loved the cream cheese frosting the best!

Fellow Melburnian tankeduptaco at Food for Thought also went for Flourless Chocolate Cake, but it looks considerably bigger than mine which was a little on the small side. Let's face it, you don't want to run out of cake at a party! And don't miss his musings on birthday party food here and here.

Laura Rebecca of Laura Rebecca's Kitchen dreamed up this Hawaiian Island Cake for Sadie's Hawaiian Luau-themed birthday. Check out the gummy fish and the hula dancers! It reminds me of summer pool parties.

I enjoyed reading Alanna's reminiscences about childhood birthday parties over at Kitchen Parade. And I picked up a couple of handy tips for the cake I baked, after carefully reading her recipe for Chocolate Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cake. I must try that Whipped Cream Cocoa Icing when I make a layer cake!

Now my birthday boy is fairly indifferent to cake. At other children's parties, he takes a bite of cake and then hands it back to me, going off in search of something more exciting ... like sultanas? But he adores chocolate. So I decided on a cake that was more chocolately than cakey - one from Matthew Evans' column "Any Fool Can Cook" in the weekend Good Living liftout. I am a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to flourless chocolate cakes and I have to admit that I adore this one. It's simply eggs, chocolate and butter, with a little bit of vinegar thrown in. And entirely suitable for these kiddies in that there was no alcohol or other flavouring. I slicked some all-fruit raspberry jam over the sunken surface when it had cooled, and then filled the crater with whipped cream. Some chopped chocolate helped provide contrasting background for the Happy Birthday sign and also a crunchy texture to offset the soft sweetness of the cake. And was it popular? Was it ever! It's a cake that needs eating with a fork, so perhaps not entirely suitable for all parties, but there were plenty of parents on hand to supervise here.

I tried to be a little less in the kitchen during this party and decided to do less and socialise more. I ordered large turkish breads with garlic and cheese toppings and served them warm and sliced. Bowls of flavoured rice crisps. I baked a tray of chippolatas for miniature do-it-yourself-hot dogs - tiny buns and a choice of ketchup, mustard, chutney and fried onions. Anyone who hung around for dinner was served up Nigella's Rigatoni Al Forno, but that's another post altogether.

Thanks to everyone for participating! There were technical difficulties with a couple of entries, so please contact me if yours isn't up here. And Happy Birthday to all your little ones!


At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Ellie said...

congratulations on successfully pulling off the little one's birthday party - glad to hear it was a success!

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like it was a great Birthday Party

At 5:56 AM, Blogger JMC designs said...

Yes that is quite the challenge to create food with a list ingredients the children are allergic to.



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