The final part of the Alice In Wonderland trilogy is here, the baking one.
I started to think about what would be fitting for a mad hatter tea party. I really could have done with Heston Blumenthal mojo. I was still hanging onto my library copy of Sprinklebakes and there is quite a bit of AIW recipes in there, but they were so ambitious and required time & skills that sadly I had to by pass most of the lovely things in the book. I did make the mushrooms again , the kids weren’t impressed but the adults appeared to be. (Unless they were being polite).
For the tea party savory bit I wanted to keep it simple as I was feeding both kids and adults (I don’t like going to a kids party and not be offered a sandwich or a cuppa) so the plates included ham sandwiches in the shape of love hearts, Chesse sandwiches in the shapes of stars, cucumber in love hearts again (they didn’t hold very well), little peanut butter and jam rolls (a revelation to some) and the Australian classic fairy bread which is just cake decorating sprinkles on buttered white bread.
The obligatory mini pizza’s, sausage rolls and bread sticks made an appearence. As well as what I thought great idea of getting some cups of sliced cucumber, peppers and carrots with hummus in the middle, surprisingly these went untouched..what a waste….my fault. Now looking at the above picture someone does have their hands on it, but that’s as far as that went.
After a good 45 min break as the kids were too full for pudding, I did the uncomplicated fruit kebab’s, using biscuit cutters to cut out the shapes. (which only 2 kids wanted but the adults dove at them) , and frogs in ponds Freddo frog in jelly. Some kids didn’t want them either I sat I the sun finishing all the left over jelly.
I had my baking day on the Friday, it started at 9am and went through till 10.30 pm, and not without at least two disasters. As I stood there mixing some stupid icing at 9pm I thought really why bother? Kids don’t care, they would probably prefer the stuff that came out of a box, why am I doing this? I was hot, tired and woeful.
I normally make a massive ambitious list of amazing ambitious bakes and then as baking day comes around I slowly being cross things out when I’m ground down & pressed for time . This year I knew better. My list was simple
Mushrooms (not majic)
I think it was more about the look than the taste. It was a cup and a half of cornflour to half a cup of flour, which stuck to the roof of my mouth. I tried to reverse the measurements and they just tasted like bread. Amateur hour. I stuck to the original for the party.
Classics hummingbird with a strawberry milkshake flavour and a Smarties surprise on the inside. I used an apple core to make the holes but because the sponge is so moist it was difficult and really mushy. Another problem here was overnight the Smarties went soft and they didn’t tumble out like I hoped. It was so disappointing, sponge itself was fine.
After Tuesday we couldnt deal with the leftovers and 4 of them went in the bin.
I’m sure I’ve written about the Dan Lepard Lamington recipe before. I made them in mini loaf tins, as I had done once before and again they failed. When I tested them in the oven the skewer came clear but when they came out of the pans they were fricking doughy and undercooked. I’m sure this happened last time. I had to make a meringue for this flipping recipe, well NO MORE!!! I quickly made a hummingbird vanilla batch and popped them into mini circular tins. Worked a treat. I sliced them and put normal jam in the middle and used the same Dan Lepard recipe for the chocolate and coconut “icing”. These turned out to be the best lamingtons I’ve probably ever eaten , they were superb!! Kids didn’t eat them oh well more for me.
I normally make these every year. But this year I failed terribly.
I hate using silicone bakeware. They turned out tough (somehow I over worked the batter) and sweaty. I tried to save them by making some icing which refused to dry and then as to laugh in my face, then melted indoors ! I didn’t serve them out of embarrassment and then chucked them out. Bloody mini doughnuts. There is no photos of this shameful chapter.
I realised as I was decorating it that I had put very little thought into what I was going to do with it. I had minimalist Ombre in my head (which in other words little icing) which drove me nuts at 10pm on Thursday night. I Bought some toppers from eBay and not photographed is the paper bunting I had on top with skewers.
The icing was much easier than last years frozen take. I found a brilliant tutorial, http://stylesweetca.com/2014/07/08/how-to-ice-a-cake-perfect-ombre/ I just wish I had a better scraper, I was using one normally reserved for bread making.
It was the normal Hummingbird recipe (I have really got my moneys worth out of Cake Days) in rainbow form. So made double quantities and the separated each layer by weight and mixed each one with a different colour.
I had to make the final purple layer again (which became red) as it ended up really lopsided in the oven , god knows how. Then some (quite a bit) of the batter leaked out onto the bottom of the oven too. Now there is bloody black burnt cake on the floor of the oven, I can’t be bothered cleaning it up. I’ll just leave it to cremate.
I sent it home with the guests and he next day got text messages about how great it was, so I’m happy.
Again sorry for the below par photography…
Thus concludes our triology.