Tuesday, February 7, 2012

birthday party a huge success

we had been planning on a having a get-together since moving into our new house. so for david's birthday we had the perfect reason to do just that!
with everything in the house cleaned and presentable, all that was left to do was the cooking/baking.

on the day of the party, we woke and had our morning pot of coffee, then got to work in the kitchen. we had a list ready and a plan, but little did we know - we would be in the kitchen cooking and baking for EIGHT hours! seriously. ugh.
it was all because of a cake. i found THIS on pinterest and thought it would be the perfect birthday cake for my man. it looked somewhat complicated but super tasty, and i figured i could do it. well, he ended up helping me because it was way more complicated than it appears, but we got it done.
so - we will start with the cake.
it is three dark chocolate layers with a salted caramel buttercream filling between those layers, and a dark chocolate frosting. this cake was the most expensive cake i've ever made - so i would NOT mess it up!
i started with making the cake. that was the easiest part. just mix your dry and wet ingredients and fill up three round cake pans - bake and cool.
once the three cakes were finished we started on the buttercream caramel filling. this part made me nervous. you start by making caramel. once that is finished and cooling you make a meringue, then add those together and you have your filling. sounds easy, right?!? not so much.

making the caramel. lots of stirring and lots of close watching to make sure it doesn't burn.
the cooled salted caramel. thick and delicious! next you whisk egg whites and sugar in a double boiler until it reaches 160 degrees then add it to your mixer and whisk it until it forms peaks...
add your caramel to that and you have your buttercream caramel filling. and my lord, did it taste amazing!!!!! really really amazing.
theeeennnnnn... you make your frosting. (at this point we were wondering if baking this dang cake would ever end!) over your double boiler you melt dark chocolate... lots of dark chocolate.
mix up confectioners sugar and butter in your mixer and add your chocolate to that... and you have frosting. very rich and very good! only thing left was to assemble.
we used a lazy susan as our cake stand because frosting a cake on a spinner is just the way to go! lay your bottom layer out and add half the buttercream caramel filling on that. then top with another layer, add the rest of the filling and top with the third layer of cake.
after i had all the layers put together i used a serrated knife to even out all the edges. then i iced the entire cake with the dark chocolate frosting.
and finally, after hours and hours of baking this thing... it was finished! here is what the inside looked like when cut...
nevermind the fact that this cake took all day to make. forget that it cost nearly 40 bucks to make... that wasn't even CLOSE to being my man's favorite gift... but this was - new dexter tshirt from his best friend!
so that was the cake. it was really heavenly, but it was truly a nightmare to make. if you adore being in the kitchen all day long and baking complicated recipes such as this, then this is most definitely the cake for you! i realize we were trying to accomplish baking and cooking an entire list of things, so that has a LOT to do with the time spent and all the frustration - yet, all was worth it!

our new chalkboard was on display for all to see what we were serving that night.
i really love our new chalkboard!
for the other things we served at the party...
red velvet brownies with white chocolate buttercream frosting!!!!!! my favorite item of the night and easy to make! HERE is where you will find the recipe.
i had fun frosting these little bite sized brownies... just put my icing in a zip-lock and snipped one of the corners, then went to town!
chicken puffs - HERE is the recipe for these. SUPER SUPER simple to make and seriously DELISH!
antipasto kabobs - recipe found HERE. these were realllllllllllly good and really simple. and i realized that tortellini marinated in balsamic vinaigrette is pretty much the greatest thing i've ever tasted.
ham and cheese sliders - recipe HERE.
crock pot meatballs with homemade BBQ sauce. GOOOOOOOOOOOD! recipe HERE.
spinach artichoke dip served with pita crisps and tortilla chips - our go to recipe HERE.
pomegranate-champagne punch with lemon and mint. not only is this punch beautiful, it tastes amazing! i filled up a bundt cake pan with water and froze it to make a huge ice cube. recipe HERE.
i added mint leaves right before serving. at the end of the night, i ate the pomegranate seeds. they were yummy when soaked up in champagne and rum!
very happy with how the party turned out and we had a really good time! it was a ton of work and i barely had enough time to get ready before people started showing up... but it was all worth it!
happy birthday to my sweet husband! love him so freaking much!


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