Turning Three: Emma's party at ScallywagsSunday, July 03, 2011
Emma, my mother's other daughter, turned three last week. She's my half-sister; we're 23 years apart.
And, as no three-year-old's party is complete without the essential baked goods, we got stuck into the kitchen! Cue: a giant two-layered moist chocolate cake covered in buttercream.
The problem with a cake like this is that it simply does not appeal to small children. If I were making it for adults I'd finish it off with white chocolate shaving rolls or chopped up chocolate whispers, but this is no ordinary cake: it's for a three-year old.
You need Astros and edible glitter and icing and marshmallows. Astros, by the way UK, are the most amazing things ever! They're tiny little biscuit balls covered in chocolate and coated in candy. We stuck them into the cake around the outside to make it a bit more colourful and appealing.
This is the top-view of the cake. That's Barney, by the way. It took us a really long time to make this cake and I was completely relieved when Emma screeched with delight, pointed and said, 'Narney!'. Job done.
There were mini cupcakes too, of course, decorated with edible pearl glimmer balls, smarties, and edible stars. We baked them in edible cases (like ice-cream cones) and iced them with plain purple and yellow buttercream frosting.
Isn't it festive? This year we had the party at Scallywags - a play place in Claremont filled with children's play things and a nice, big seating area for the parents too. It meant that we simply arrived with our things, set up, and let the staff serve coffee, tea and cakes and clean up afterwards too.
This area is more for the smaller children, but, behind me is a jumping castle, a giant 'doll house' for the girls and a play castle for the boys. There are also heaps of dress-up things and the kids can help themselves (creating a lot of mess that you don't have to clean up).
There was a lot of dressing up and running and playing and balloons and laughing. All good things. That's Emma on the left in purple with the butterfly face-painting. I'll show you a close-up soon. The face-painting wasn't great - a bit wonky and in all the wrong colours, but the children loved the novelty!
... and any party where two Spidermans (they can't possibly be Spidermen because there is only one Spiderman, you see), a dragon and a geisha get together and ride on a smiling giant bug - well, it's bound to be magical, isn't it?
Here's Emma again, looking extra cute and hard at play dressing up like a butterfly/geisha/birthday girl. It's tough being three.
The adults also had their own treats set aside in the chic little 'coffee shop' section of the play place where parents can sit down and have a latte while their kids become princesses and dragons and fire-fighters. I don't particularly enjoy scones (gasp, horror, I'm fully aware of what I'm saying!) but there were some anyway, purchased from the Scallywags bakery.
Yesterday I wrote about my wedding-dress-making-expert-baking-aunt Robyn. She baked this beeyootiful carrot cake that features all sorts of interesting bits and pieces inside including nuts and Turkish apricots. The icing is a sort of cream cheese frosting flavoured with a hint of lemon. It's delicious. I'm going to ask extra nicely if I can have the recipe before I go back to my kitchen in London.
The adults were also invited to eat from the children's table, if they liked, where they could eat crisps (Simba Twistees are amazing), cupcakes, small sweets, orange quarters and vienna cubes with rosa tomatoes.
Needless to say it all went down very well! Emma was delighted with her Barney party, her cake, her friends and her purple balloon. The jumping castle was fantastic and the dress-up items were great too.
It makes me wonder - when do we stop having parties like these? Is it because our role models change? Our interests? Our friends? What if I want a Jane Austen themed party next year, with a Jane cake, bonnets and writing desks? Do they even make Jane Austen themed jumping castles?
My dear friend Lauriane has very kindly informed me of the existence of the hilarious and must-have Jane Austen action figure:
We're on the right path! Now, what would a Jane Austen cake look like?