Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The perfect party

My weekend was a bit of a let down after having to postpone a tea party that I have been planning with Birthday Girl and fabulous photographer, Sherry Heck due to rain that would just not go away. My little Graham knew that I was disappointed and was determined that the party should go on. While I was away at work Monday, he enlisted my husband's help and orchestrated a tea party of his own in honor of my birthday (a few days early). They baked & decorated a delicious cake (my favorite touch is the raw lemon slices of the outside), made yummy finger sandwiches, and brewed my best-loved tea. Graham invited some friends (Alice, Raggedy Ann, and Rosetta to name a few), set the table and added some lovely flowers from the garden to complete the look. When I arrived home he was so excited and proud of what he had created and I was blown away by the amount of thought and effort that he had put in (long attention span is not usually one of his strong points!).
I often wonder if he will remember the months-of-planning birthday parties that I have thrown for him, but I don't think they will ever be more perfect or more unforgetable than the sweet party he planned for me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My (enormous) ruffle cake

I've admired Martha's ruffle cake forever and after seeing it pop up at parties around the blogesphere, I knew I had to try it. We hosted a birthday party for my mother-in-law this weekend so it was the perfect time to give it a shot. I found this video and being a very visual learner, it was extremely helpful. I doubled my cake recipe and made 3 1 1/2 9" layers. I started out with a doubled recipe of Swiss meringue buttercream and ran out with about 1/4 of the cake and the top unfrosted. A third batch (of not quite matching pink buttercream) did the trick.
This cake definitely gives you a big bang for your buck! The method is really simple and quick and the finished product is quite impressive. I decorated it directly on my cake stand which I think was a smart move. I can't imagine trying to transfer the cake once it was piped with pounds of frosting. If I made it again, I would definitely use a smaller tip (I used 121 petal tip) because the amount of frosting was ridiculous - adding about 3" in diameter to this already massive cake.
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