Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows - party food

As a way of sticking to my 'reduced stress' birthday party food theory for Isabella's Rainbow Birthday party I made collected a number of recipes that seemed pretty quick and easy and in some cases could be made in advance. Some were great, others a bit of a disaster.

These were quick, easy and looked effective. I made them a couple of days before the party and they disappeared quickly on the day.

They were as simple as this...
1. Inser a kebab stick into a marshmallow
2. Dip in melted chocolate
3. Dip chocolate dipped marshmallow in a bowl of sprinkles

I painted polystyrene balls to stick the marshmallows in

Rainbow Birthday Cake

Isabella chose a 'Rainbow' theme for her fifth birthday. After last year's Ginger Bread House fiasco where stress levels were high to say the least I was determined to make this year's cake a lot easier.
I found lots of examples of cakes with separate layers to form rainbows which all looked reasonably easy but my concern was the time involved in baking each layer. I found a couple of recipes for this cake and gave it a try several weeks in advance.
My trial cake seemed like it was going to be a bit of a disaster but turned out really well - a good sign for the 'real thing'.
The key to this cake it using a cake recipe and mixture that is pretty thick - I chose a Madeira cake for this reason and using A LOT of food colouring.

I wanted to keep the decorating quite simple to get the 'wow' factor when it was cut open. The white icing and white chocolate fingers were easy to put on.
I used a 'Butter Cream' icing (below) which was easy to work with and eventually set a bit hard.
The '5' was just cut out of paper, placed on top of the cake, then sprinkles added.
I did the top decoration before I did the white chocolate fingers so that I could keep the sides 'clean'.

Rainbow Cake
Make the cake mixture according to the recipe.  (I used about a 30cm tin and doubled the recipe. There was some mixture left over)
Take about 1/2 the mixture and use red colouring to colour. Create a red layer around the outside of the cake tin.
Next take smaller amount of mixture and colour orange and create the next layer.
Continue through the rainbow colours until you get tot he middle where you use a very small amount of purple coloured mixture.
If you have a lot of mixture left over you can colour it according to the colour you are short on and add mixture in. The cake is very forgiving!

Maderia Cake

250 g butter
250g sugar
4 large eggs
250g self raising flour
125g plain flour
4 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a 23 cm cake tin with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.
Sift the flours together and fold into the creamed mixture.
Fold in the lemon juice
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Butter Cream Icing

125 g softened butter
1 tbsp warm milk
flavouring of your choice
colouring of your choice
375 g icing sugar

Put the butter, milk and any flavour or colour in a mixing blow. Sift in the icing sugar a little at a time and beat well between each addition until it has all been incorporated and the mixture is light and creamy.