Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Having a Party

Party, party, party- that is the theme for the month.  Many birthdays, many parties. 

I did a theme of carnival for my daughters birthday party.  It was a lot of fun.  However, it was a major pain finding stuff out there.  I went everywhere looking for carnival theme stuff.  I ended up making a bunch of things because I just couldn't find much.  Everything is commercial stuff- shows on tv, etc.  And really truthfully carnival stuff and circus stuff seems to be a thing of the past.  Maybe it will do a resurgence some time soon but for now, people, it's just not out there.
Yes, Birthday is there too.
I made this banner out of some material my Mothers friend gave me along with some scraps that I had.

The cake was amazing.  I found the recipe on Epicurious and really, honestly, it's the best chocolate cake I ever had.  It has rich chocolatey flavor, it's moist and the crumb is so tender.  All the things that make a cake great.  I really loved it. 
We had it for her birthday party in sliceable form.  I used two of the four layers that I made.  It is a big cake recipe.  The other two halves I used to make cake pops. And here is my big DUH moment.  I always wondered why the cake pops I make kind of look so gloppy.  Yeah, uh, you are suppose to add some shortening to the mix to make them more liquidy.  Thus you would have smoother looking pops, like Miss Bakerella.  You know it would help if I would read the directions better.
I am a stingy person when it comes to treat bags/goodie bags.  I don't know whoever got that ball rolling but it drives me crazy.  Some parties that my daughters go to, they give so many gifts to the children that come that they look more like the birthday person.  It's just not my thing.  I dont like them coming home with all those treats.  The kids have too much stuff. I will stop my rant but I just can not stand it.  It would be so refreshing to see my daughter go to a birthday party and just come home with some good memories instead of more stuff!

These are what the kids were sent home with from the party- popcorn, animal crackers, and a light stick.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

3 ounces semisweet chocolate 
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease four 9 inch pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. 

In a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between four pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes  to 1 hour and 5 minutes. You will start to see the cake pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.


Katy ~ said...

I LOVED this theme and the way you presented your goodies!! Lori, you are a gem for sure.

grace said...

what an excellent shindig, lori! you know how to celebrate properly. :)