Cake, Sweet

Alice’s Party cake – In the Night Garden

I created two first birthday cakes for my daughter, the first was a small zebra cake to take with us to the Safari Park (as seen in my last post) then the second one I made was a lot larger for her birthday party.

Alice isn’t really into much at the moment, being only 12 months old so far, but she will stop everything she is doing to sit down and watch an episode of In the Night Garden.  It is also a great theme for a cake as there are loads of colours and simple characters to make.

I decided to be brave and have a go at making a figure for on the cake – Maka Paka!

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I have only ever made one figure before and that was a rather sad looking teddy bear which was far too fat and sunk down after a few weeks.  It wasn’t my finest cake decorating moment so I don’t know what possessed me to try again but I did.  I think he actually came out ok, not perfect by a long way but he had the general appearance, though his eyes were quite big giving him a ‘chibi’* look.  He managed to make it to the party without his head or any other limb falling off so I think that was a bonus!

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Sorry for the poor photo, it was late at night when I finished.

I also made circles of icing of the other characters and places them around.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a clear image in my head of what the final piece would look like but I hoped that when I started to put it together I would get an idea.  The cake board I bought was too large, the cake didn’t seem high enough and the green colour icing I made was a little too bright but I thought that I had come this far… I was going to finish the cake!

So this is it, my final In the Night Garden cake.  There are lots of little bits that I would have changed on it but for my first time trying to do something like this I was happy with it and so were the family and friends who came along.In the Night Garden Cake

The cake itself was a simple sponge filled with seedless raspberry jam and a buttercream.  It is strange how when you put these ingredients together and use fondant icing then it always tastes shop bought?  It was soft and moist and held together well when cut so I am pleased with how it tasted as well as looked.  Next year I guess I am going to be doing this again, I wonder what she will like next time.

*as in the Manga meaning of Chibi – cute, small, big eyes.

Food Ramblings

Getting ready for a 1st birthday

It doesn’t seem long ago that I was sitting at home eating my cake that I’d made myself to pass the time and waiting for my little girl to be born; but fast forward almost a year and I’m suddenly planning her first birthday cake! 

On the 11th October Alice will be a whole year old.  Wow.

It’s been a very eventful time and although I haven’t baked as much as I though I might have whilst I was on maternity leave it’s something I wouldn’t have missed for the world. 

For her birthday I am planning on making 2 birthday cakes, the first will be a small cake which will be for her actual birthday.  We are celebrating by taking her to a safari park along with her grandparents. I think this cake will be quite simple with plenty of number 1s all over it.

The second birthday cake is taking a lot more planning as it’s for her party in which most of the family are invited! 

I’m having a little difficulty in planning this cake because I am not yet fully sure on the theme of it.  The party is going to be a little mad hatter’s tea party but her favourite thing at the moment is the show In the Night Garden.
So my brain is working overtime trying to pin it down!  Now in my excited parent delirium I am considering making fondant figures for the cake.  Oh dear, I might have ideas beyond my skill level but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. 

It might not be perfect but it’ll be home made, with love… and we can always stick a candle in.

Biscuit, Sweet

In the Night Garden Cookies

In less than 3 months it is my little daughters first birthday! Its scary reminiscing about her being this tiny helpless little thing I bought home to only 9 months later having a very active little madam who wants to be everywhere and eat everything.

So I decided that I had best start thinking about her first birthday cake and how to decorate it. She doesn’t have any interest in TV at all (just wasted time she could spend exploring I guess), she won’t sit still for any books (see TV issue) so she doesn’t have a favourite character in that way.
After a little think I’ve decided to make an “In the Night Garden” cake and cupcakes. This is because my brother in law used to work on the programme making it and we have toys, books, DVDs and clothes for her. It also seems to be very popular with other young children.

My cake decorating skills are fairly none existent but I saw a way with icing that seemed to make it look easier than normal – flat shapes cut out and layered.

Please let me introduce – Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka, Upsey Daisy and 3 Tomliboos. No, I haven’t gone mad, that’s their names. Anyone with young children will probably be able to sing the song to.

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I made the circles of icing as a practice and then because I was quite pleased with myself I made some basic shortbread cookies for them to go on.

Now all I will have to do is try and make them again, at night, in 3 months time whilst being back at work full time. Hmm.