Monday, June 18, 2012

Julia's Olivia style 2nd birthday

Our precious girl is 2. Life is going by wayyyyy too fast,one day she is obsessed with Elmo the next it's Curious George. Now it is Fancy Nancy but a week ago it was Olivia the pig. I capitalized on her fly by night obsession and made an Olivia style dessert party. This was my first "themed" party attempt and all was home baked and created. I think it was a pretty decent job considering the fact I have a nursing 4 week old baby and have never had any training in pastry arts aside from a 4 week Wilton cake decorating class I took almost a year ago. Not too shabby

 First up was red velvet cupcakes with something called "cake batter icing" it's rich and unlike anything you've tasted but goes perfectly with the muted sweetness of red velvet. For the Olivia face cupcake toppers I free handed the faces with melted colored chocolates and then drew on noses and detailed the ears after it had hardened a little. I hand drew the red bows also and let them refrigerate. The day of the party I used prepared black icing and the smallest pastry tip I could find to make the little eye slots,mouth and nostrils. This picture makes them appear larger but in reality these little heads were roughly an inch and a half.
           On the table were also colored chocolate covered marshmallows, fruit kabobs, yogurt parfait, candied apples and French style macarons. The macarons came out dark pink no matter how hard I tried for red, if I added any more food coloring the taste would have been compromised, and the whole point of dessert is the taste right? So I gave up on my dream of jungle red macaroons and called it a day. I must admit macarons are temperamental little buggers but with the chocolate ganache filling they were outrageously delicious. I put them in a tinted red vase because, well, I was obsessed with the red factor. The letter banner on the table cloth was a last ditch effort at decorations and was really easy. I bought red polka dot craft paper and cut out some bubble letters And glued it on the table cloth with a non toxic glue stick.

           Next time I have a few changes I'd incorporate for the candied apples and parfait if I decide on those particular desserts again but all in all everything came along really well. Especially my Olivia cake for Julia. 
             It was a Tres Leches cake with whipped cream frosting. The borders were a prepared icing with the flowering pastry tip and the Olivia was a simple buttercream icing in white pink red and black. I freehanded the Olivia off of a picture I had found and then traced my own drawing onto parchment paper and filled in the lines with icing- this was a y make ahead piece of the cake because the buttercream has to freeze for 16 hours and then be carefully placed attop the cake. The bordering and lettering I did the day of the party. I'm getting better at writing in icing but it is for sure the hardest part. I also freehanded a little bow with icing and red glitter just for an extra little pizazz! 


 Julia really appreciated her party and even said "thank you for piggy cake momma"...That little sentence made it all worth it and makes me want to do an even better job next year.

*tres leches & red velvet cupcakes adapted from ""

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