my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

February 20, 2011

my baby is a princess and she's got the cake to prove it

yesterday we had take two of fishie's first birthday party. being that all the sides of my family live so far away from each other, it was necessary to have a party with my in-laws last weekend and a party with my family this weekend. and being that i was away from my kitchen and all my required equipment, for the uptown version of the party we went with a bought cake. it was very cute and yummy, with pink and black roses to match the decorations perfectly. but since i was home for yesterday's party, i decided i needed to make the cake myself, as i've done with my boys' cakes whenever we have the party around here.

and so, i made fishie her first birthday cake. it was a three tier affair, covered in baby pink frosting and decorated (to the best of my abilities) with dark purple accents. because i wasn't sure how to write on the sides of the tiers, i formed a dark chocolate disk that i wrote happy birthday on, and then stuck onto the top of the bottom tier so it was supported by the second. and because i was already playing with chocolate, i made a little three inch chocolate crown to put on the very top of the cake, with i also decorated with some of the leftover purple icing.

my fish, being the birthday girl, and being that it was her first birthday, got to eat the very top tier all by herself. chocolate crown included. by the end, she was a very happy messy sugared-up baby.

now please don't think i'm insane and gave a little baby a huge amount of cake. you can think i'm insane for other things, but with sugar consumption, i try to keep my head. the very top tier was what i called "the pixie tier." it was made with a cute little three inch round by two inch high pan. though i did split the layer in half and put a chocolate filling in the middle. and still covered it all in baby pink frosting. and there was still the cute little chocolate crown on top.

the rest of the cake was left for everyone else to enjoy. and being that it left two tiers for twelve people, i was able to enjoy some yummy cake for breakfast this morning.

the actual cake part was from a box mix. it wasn't that i was lazy, but i wanted something that would stay fresh for a few days, and i knew that box cake would. also, though i do make my own cake now and again, name brand cake mix is actually very good. and nothing screams a party like a funfetti cake (and pillsbury is my mix of choice), so that had to be the kind i made.

now, though i use box cake mix, the icing that comes in a tub is awful stuff. so even when i don't make a cake from scratch, i always make my own icing. or frosting. i've never really understood the difference, if there even is one. anyway, i usually use wilton's basic buttercream recipe, because not only is it easy to spread, it pipes well and can handle sitting around on the side of a cake for a few days. if made ahead, you need to keep it in the fridge, but once on a cake, i just leave the whole cake sit out and it's still yummy.

i had the cake and i had the icing, but i really wanted to take this cake over the top. so after i baked up the bottom tier in two nine inch pans and the second tier in two six in pans and the cute little pixie tier for the top in my three inch pan, i split all the layers in half and filled them all with this chocolate fudge frosting recipe i had. so the two big tiers were actually for layers of cake. it made for a very pretty presentation, even if i do need more practice splitting cake layers evenly.

all in all, it was a delicious cake. i made it look as nice as possible, though i need to work on my piping skills. guess i'll just have to make a few practices cakes next time, just to help ensure everything comes out looking how i want it to. and i was very pleased with myself for the size of this cake, it's the first time any of my cakes reached two feet tall. though i have made some pretty sweet looking cakes for other celebrations. every new cake i make seems to be my new favorite. and now that i have a girl, i can flex my creative muscle and make more than just land of the dinosaurs or construction sites or monster trucks. my hubby wants me to try and make a castle next time, for his pretty pretty princess. i'm thinking i just might. though i do have a year to decide.

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