Sunday, 28 July 2013

Birthday party in the woods

I don't want to boast (ok, ok, I do) but we had the 5yo's birthday party on Wednesday (he's 6 now) and it was fantastic! After last year's debacle I learnt a lot, the main thing being that you should NEVER host a party for 30 kids, by yourself, with no entertainment booked, in a local hall. So this year I had 40 kids, no entertainment, not even a game of pass the parcel, and it was amazing (even if I say so myself).
The big difference was that it was outside, in a local
woods, where the trees dappled the sun and you felt a million miles away from anywhere, when actually we were about 20 minutes from Brixton.
It was also the last day of school so there was a
certain hysteria in the air. There were also a lot of parents there, I'd say 20-30, so childcare was minimal (on our part).
Within minutes the kids were off, whooping, picking up big sticks and generally feral. Literally, it just took minutes for the veneer of civilisation to fall. We couldn't get the pinata open, so I threw it to them and they were like sharks, zeroing in for the kill. Then we let them free range, until it was sausage time. There were no vegetarian options (an error I now realise, but I was going for simplicity), just pork chipolatas in soft white rolls with ketchup and American style mustard, for adult and child alike. And then there was cake. I admit there hadn't been much planning or pre-organising of the party, but when it came to cake, I was on it.
First there were 24 chocolate fairy cakes, iced with chocolate icing and raspberries (adapted from Jamie Oliver's Party Cake, so done fairy cake stylee, rather than as a big cake). I knew the kids would go for this. Then there was a delicious squidgy beetroot brownie for the grown ups. And then there was an actual birthday cake. I was going to go all KitKat, and put it round the sides, but baulked at how much it would cost (I think I worked it out as about £6 for the KitKats), so instead I did it with chocolate fingers which I like to think looked just as good. The whole thing tasted delicious and was very easy. I just did double quantities of the Hummingbird's chocolate cupcake recipe, put the mixture in two 20cm cake tins and baked it for about 40 minutes. Between the cakes and on top of the cake I used a mix of chocolate, butter and ice cream (same icing as here), then three packets of chocolate fingers, a ribbon and a packet of raspberries, ta da!! If such lush fruits aren't in season, up-ending a packet of smarties on the top also goes down a treat.


  1. My god, that's a beautiful cake. well done! and happy birthday to the little fella (not so little now). Sounds like a great day.

  2. That cake looks fantastic. The raspberries look about the size of grapefruits.

    1. It's the time of year - they're just gorgeous!

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