Thursday, March 7, 2013
Food Fit for a King~ Sword in the Stone Party
Sword toothpicks are perfect for a Sword in the Stone party! You can stick them in grapes, in meatballs, in chicken nuggets, in strawberries. We stuck them in cheese cubes and this was a huge hit.
In addition to cheese cubes, the birthday boy asked for strawberries, bananas, pretzels and fish crackers. When making party food decisions, it is always a good idea to go with the birthday boy or girl favorites!
For drinks, we had "Magic Potion Punch". Ingredients- Green Hawaiian Fruit Punch (large bottle), one two liter of Sprite or 7 Up and several scoops of rainbow sherbet. The longer the sherbet sits in the punch, the more it becomes a bubbly, delightful mess! I had thought about serving the punch in glass bottle flasks with straws- the perfect containers for a magic potion- but ultimately decided not to (glass bottles with 4 year olds didn't seem like the best idea!). But this would make the drink even more magical!
And now... the cake!
I am not particularly gifted in the cake making realm, so I knew that I needed to pick something easy. Making a stone cake with a plastic sword in it seemed to be the best choice. Turned out that it was!
I made a practice cake before attempting the real one and I am so thankful that I did. Because my first attempt helped me to see exactly what I didn't want to do (I don't have any pictures of the monstrosity that was the first Sword in the Stone cake!).
To make the Sword in the Stone Cake...
Bake a 13 x 9 in. cake- any flavor you choose. Our birthday boy chose banana cake (recipe to follow). After the cake has cooled, use a circle template (or in my case a cereal bowl!) to cut out 3 cake circles. My third circle was not as big as the other two, but this worked out just fine, because it ended up being the top layer.
I used nutella between the layers of the cake, because I thought it would go perfectly with the banana flavor. I was right! After all three circles were layered, I trimmed edges to shape the cake to look like a stone. Then I put the cake in the freezer for several hours. I have learned that frosting a cake that has just been cut is disastrous. Freezing it will keep the cake from being overly crumbly.
I purchased a whipped frosting container and made a cream cheese frosting, mixing in several drops of black food coloring to create the gray stone color. I took the cake out of the freezer and frosted it with the whipped topping. This was to keep ensure that the crumbs would not get mixed with the outer layer of frosting.
Then I iced it with the cream cheese frosting. I mixed a few drops of green food coloring with the remaining whipped topping to pipe the grass.
The cake was a complete success. The birthday boy loved it!
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk (to make sour milk- combine slightly less then a Tablespoon of white vinegar with milk to equal the 3/4 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes and then add to recipe)
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grease 13 x 9 pan and preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Add in bananas, buttermilk or sour milk, shortening and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Add eggs and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting~
4 ounces of butter softened
4 ounces of cream cheese softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar on low speed until mixed thoroughly. Add vanilla.