Pavlova and Peas

There was a rather significant birthday in our house this week and last night we hosted a party.  This was to be the last of the kids parties, for my daughter, the non alcoholic kind.  For the party, my daughter had high expectations.  It was not allowed to be lame and her friend with her murder mystery theme a few months back had set the bar high.  My husband had heard a bit of office gossip about a mystery menu party and we presented this idea to my daughter.  She was a little skeptical, not quite sure how her friends would react to eating pavlova with peas and soup without utensils.  The idea is that you make your choices about what you are going to choose at the start of the evening and your choices are made by reading cryptic clues.  You have to solve clues to get even your utensils.  Courteney had 11 guests and some were quite shocked when they realised their evening was starting with a test.  Once the starter came out, they had well and truly got into the spirit of the game and those that had ordered all of their utensils were laughed at just as much as those that had all food and no utensils, not to mention some of the strange food combinations!  The evening ended with the birthday cake above which was created by Courteney herself. For years she has watched me make her cakes but since learning how to make fondant icing from scratch at Christmas, her play dough playing formative years have come back to her and she now enjoys the challenge of creating cakes.  This particular one was obviously a soccer ball, but was draped in a Chelsea football scarf complete with insignia. 

Over the years there have been many cakes created for her

This was the first.  I hired the tin and very ambitiously created two cakes over the course of a weekend while holding down a full time job.  One cake was destined for her birthday party, the second was for preschool.  I hope the staff enjoyed it, because the effort was lost on the preschool kids.  The dress Courteney is wearing in the photo above is also me made.  It was a lovely cream cotton with pink teddy bears printed on it and yes, that is me with the big hair,  blowing out the candles.

Tigger here, was also made with a hire tin.  The black stripes were made of licorice.  This cake was for her third birthday party and when she actually began appreciating her cool cakes.  Incidentally, the dress she is wearing was also made by me.  It is a gorgeous red cotton with white spots and printed bows with a navy cord collar.

For this particular cake Barbie was the sacrificial lamb.  Well, not really, but she did have her clothes and legs removed temporarily for the occasion.  The dress is made using Nana's steam pudding basin and covered in marshmallows....yum!  This particular cake used maximum kid impact for minimal effort.  With two kids under  four years old, I was taking the easy way out!

For her fifth birthday, marshmallows were still part of the theme.  This time I hired a tin again, of course, number 5.  I iced it with pink icing, of course because that is every five year old girls favourite colour and split marshmallows in half and liberally sprinkled the cut side with jelly crystals before assembling them into flowers.  Courteney is shown here with her best friend at the time, her little 2 year old brother.  She is wearing another me made dress.  This one was a printed floral cord pinafore.

We are still going through the whole pink phase here but this time we have miss piggy created with a regular cake tin and a tinned fish can, more marshmallow flowers, some lolly snakes, pebbles and licorice.  This one was really simple but remains one of my favourites.

For this particular party, her 10th, the theme was mid winter Christmas.  She had a friend attending who had Ceoliacs disease so we had a gluten free cake made of meringues to represent a Christmas tree.

For her 13th birthday pink was back in favour but not quite to the extent it used to be.  Once again marshmallow flowers were used but this time with 100's and 1000's.  Can you tell, I love these flowers!  They look effective and are so easy to create.

We are getting much more current here. For her fourteenth birthday we were in chocolate heaven with a gateau with more calories than I care to think about but boy did it taste good!  Which brings us back to last nights cake photo.  I haven't tasted it yet, but I am told it is good.  I will reserve a piece to have with my coffee tomorrow morning when the kids are all back at school.


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