Birthday Parties

Rainbow Themed Cake

Hi All.

This past week-end we had a wonderful dinner party to celebrate my younger daughter’s birthday. I catered all the food since it was Saturday evening and I didn’t want to pull an all nighter cooking on Friday night. It is summer time here in Chicago, we were all outdoors. The kids had a ton of fun playing in water. The only thing I made was the Cake. A2 has been quite indecisive lately about which characters she likes. One day she likes Peppa Pig and fondly calls me “Mommy Pig” and the next day it’s Little Einstein. I decided to play it safe and made a Rainbow Themed cake. It was actually much simpler to make than some of the other cakes I have made. Total time I spent was about 6 hours or so but I didn’t do all the steps in one go so it was bits and pieces here and there.

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For the cake itself, I used the recipe here.

This recipe makes 2 layers. I doubled the recipe and used 3 8 inch pans. This way I got three separate layers from each separate layer. You have to be careful when dividing the batter so all the layers are of equal height. I recommend using a measuring cup instead of eyeballing it.

Prepare 3 pans 8 inch size for baking with Parchment paper and Baking oil spray. Prepare the batter for first batch and color it Orange, Yellow and third one will be the mixture of Blue and Yellow making it Green. If you have Green color separately, that’s very well. Make sure to use enough color so the cakes come out in vibrant colors. Also, remember that cakes will look more vibrant than the batter when they come out of the oven. Bake these cakes as per instructions. Since your cakes are thinner, they will be done about 3 minutes or so before recommended time. Remove the cakes from pans and onto the cooling racks after about 10 minutes out of the oven. Clean the cake pans by wiping them off and prep them again for the next batch. For this batch, I used Blue, Purple and Red colors. Again if you don’t have Purple, you can make it by mixing Red and Blue. You do not need to mix the colors separately and then add. I usually start adding both colors to the cake batter and then adjust by whichever color is needed more.

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Although the cake is simple to make, it does need lot of bowls and makes a bit of a mess so do not make it on the day of the party unless like me, that’s the only food item you are making. Once this batch is out of the oven, let it cool. I generally freeze my cakes for at least an hour before I put the crumb coat on. If you are doing the same, wrap each cake separately in plastic wrap tightly and place in the freezer. After an hour, take one cake out of the Freezer and level it. Using a cookie cutter, cut out  about 2 inches round from the middle of the cake. Do not cut out the top layer that is the Red color layer. All of them go back in the freezer while you make the Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Use caution when you are handling these layers. They are very fragile and could break and you will have one less layer to use. For Cream Cheese Frosting, I used the recipe below. You will need two batches of this recipe. I made one batch and crumb coated the cake. Then next day, made the second batch and coated the cake from outside. When you stack the cake, stack all but the last layer. Fill the inside with M&Ms and then place the Top Red layer. From outside the cake looks very simple. All I did was put plenty of Rainbow colored sprinkles on it.

Cream Cheese Frosting 

Ingredients
  • Cream cheese at room temperature 12 Oz
  • Butter at room temperature 1 1/2 cups
  • Powdered sugar 5 1/2 cups
  • Vanilla extract 1 Tbsp.
Directions:
  • In a stand mixer using paddle attachment, whip the Butter first.
  • When it has a good consistency, add vanilla Extract and Cream Cheese.
  • Once thoroughly mixed, start adding Powdered Sugar 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Be careful as the Sugar will blow up if you suddenly start the mixer at higher speed.
  • Run the Mixer at medium speed for at least 5 minutes to let everything mix properly. 
  • Use on the cake as directed.

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Celebratory November

November seems like the most busy month of the year in my house. Diwali is just over. A1’s birthday is towards the starting of the month and N’s birthday is right around Thanksgiving and then there is of course Thanksgiving. I also like November because the hectic organizing and cleaning to start the Winter is done and the house is ready to draw the people in in its cozy comfort.

To celebrate N’s birthday this year, we called a few very close friends for dinner. Happy Birthday my dear. N is not only my biggest supporter, he is also a Taste Tester in training. Right now, he can assign points to each recipe I test. I am training him to tell me how I can improvise it. 🙂

I have a few pictures of the table setting. I served Appetizers in the kitchen so people can stand around drinking and chatting and sharing their holiday plans for this year. The kids ate first at the Kitchen table so we didn’t have to worry about feeding them while having dinner.

N4

I made all the food at home including this heavenly Pistachio Cake. The menu is below and in case you are wondering, I haven’t posted these recipes on the blog but at I will at some point in the future.

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Appetizers:

Dahiwada

Harabhara Kabab (Spinach and Green Pea fritters)

Chips and dips

Dinner

Paneer and Capcicum Curry

Aloo Mutter

Classic Chicken Curry

Vegetarian Pulav

Simple Salad of Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Gulab Jamun

We played games and watched a movie post dinner.

I couldn’t take a lot of pictures but whatever I could, I posted them here.

N6

 

Frozen Themed Two Tiered Cake

cake 3Hi Everyone. How is the summer going so far? I was missing from the blogging world a bit last week and I wanted to share this beautiful reason of a cake I made for a client’s daughter. The birthday theme was “Frozen” which is almost every girl’s wish these days. I used an 8 inch Vanilla cake and 2 layers of 6 inch White Chocolate cake. The entire cake was covered in Vanilla flavored buttercream and then covered with Frozen theme colored fondant. The characters were bought online. I have some pictures of the cake and then if you scroll down, there is a recipe for White chocolate cake. The birthday girl decided to add on couple of things and changed up the character setting to her liking 🙂

White Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Self rising Flour

Butter unsalted 6 Tbsp

Egg Yolks 3

Sugar 3/4 cup

Salt a pinch

Whipping Cream 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp

Vanilla Extract 1 tsp

White Chocolate 3 Oz

Baking Powder 1/2 Tbsp

cake1

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Line two 6 inch pans with parchment paper at the bottom and on the sides. Melt the While Chocolate in the microwave oven and set aside. I usually turn on the Microwave at 50% power and melt with 45 second intervals so I have a control over the melting. Mix Flour, Baking Powder and Salt and keep aside.

In a bowl of Stand Mixer, place the butter and beat on high speed, Add sugar and mix for another two minutes at medium speed. Then add the Egg Yolks, Vanilla extract and White Chocolate. Mix on low to medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Now on low speed, add Flour and Milk alternating in 3 batches. Make sure you do not beat at high speed otherwise you will aerate it too much.

Divide this mixture in two equal parts and pour in prepared cake pan. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Adapted from The cake blog

 

 

My Little one’s Curious George Birthday

My younger baby turned two this week. Completely took me by surprize. Wasn’t she born like yesterday? This little bundle of joy has made our life complete is so many ways. I look at both my children and wonder how life has changed now to revolve only around the two of them. Now when I make my schedule, they have a place of priority over everything else.

A2 likes to watch only Curious George and reads only Curious George books(absolutely refuses to watch anything else). Not only that but if she is in trouble (like taking a bath) she actually calls out to George for help. 🙂 I couldn’t think of any other theme for this naughty bundle.

I have a few pictures below of the theme and some description. The weather was a nice 80 degrees so all of us spent time outdoors.

If you have any questions about the theme or would like help in planning your little one’s birthday, drop me a line on my email and we can chat. If you live around Chicago, I would be happy to help you out.

The event table was made up in colors that are in Curious George theme. I picked out the tablecloth in blue because the cake was going to be in Chocolate color. I added yellow to give it more color. It would be just a perfect to switch out the colors.table 1The cake was almost all edible. Cake is strawberry flavored cake with buttercream icing and covered in fondant. I made the balloons which were surprisingly super easy to make. The number 2 is a cookie with royal icing.  I will post the recipe for the cake soon.

cake

 

cake 2

The kiddos got apple juice in mason jars that were again decorated in theme colors.

monkey juice 2

 

monkey juice

I couldn’t find the color coordinated favor bags so I decided to go with this neutral color. For favors, I had made cookies with monkey face and packed them up.

favors 1

 

cookie favor 1

There was a candy and a cookie  bar which all the kids absolutely enjoyed. Leftover candy was sent with the kids in their favor bags. I made the cookies and candy was store bought.

candy bar 2

 

cookies 1

candy bar 1

 

I made some of the food that you can see here.

food 1

 

 

food 2

Kids had a grand time playing out in the backyard and enjoying the good weather. Adults enjoyed a game of Volleyball.

volleyxoxo!!

Pictures are by Abhijit Bhatwadekar

 

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