It was daughter #2’s 14th Birthday Party today – we had a very traditional children’s party in a local Scout Hall. We had jelly (car and rabbit) ice cream (Neapolitan), cake (home made sponge), little sandwiches, crisps, chocolate fingers, party rings, grapes and veggies cut into strips. I wanted to make cheese cubes and pineapple chunks on cocktail sticks and stick them into a foil-wrapped potato to be truly authentic but daughter #2 wasn’t keen (not old enough).
We played traditional party games – pass the parcel with forfeits etc. – we had winners and losers and, in true traditional British style, no party bags. We put all the wrapped prizes in a lucky dip basket filled with shredded paper. The party was very successful; but, with 20 teenagers and me, I didn’t have any other Mums around to help me set up/clean up like you do when kids are small. I had to cajole the young’ens into helping me at the end without sounding like the wicked witch of the North.
Anyway, a Totoro cake was requested as daughter#2 is a big fan – she wore her Totoro “onesie” and practically all the other party goers wore onesies too! I challenge myself every Birthday to make great looking cakes with only very basic and traditional ingredients – icing sugar and chocolate – we don’t like fondant icing in our house. The cake turned out well and really was very easy.
The cake itself is a classic Victoria sponge (for recipe see Tractor Cake post). It was baked in a rectangular tin. When it was cool, I made a paper template and cut around with a bread knife. I made the ears with bits cut off from the side of his head so as not to waste any cake. I made very thick glace icing (icing sugar and water) and iced his white tummy first. To get it smooth, I dipped the palette knife in hot water. When his tummy was set, we made grey icing and iced the rest of him – you could make him blue/white if you didn’t have black food colouring.
We chose not to do the sides as it’s nearly impossible to do a good glace icing job with cake that’s been cut – you just get a lot of crumbs in the icing. The eyes are two white chocolate buttons and the other features are melted chocolate piped on through a hand-made greaseproof paper piping bag. Nothing special was purchased for this cake – it’s basically the same as every other sponge cake I make but cut up and coloured differently. We did our usual party trick of covering a chopping board in foil for the base – we used assorted candles from our collection. This is just the start of her Birthday celebrations, another cake will be made on the day (Wed) – and because she’s at ballet on Wednesdays, the Birthday tea (takeaway Chinese has been requested) will be on Thursday – phew.