“This is what I want Mummy”, she declared one morning. A green paper with her wonky writing was shoved in my face. On it, was the criteria required for birthday party cake. It had to have flowers, birds, trees and a fairy on top. Nothing else but chocolate was to be considered for flavour. Cupcakes were essential and could she please have popcorn too. Biscuit decorating was to be one of the ‘activities’ (seriously, how many did she think I was going to do besides just this one?) and balloons must be pink and purple.

Lil Lassie is six and knows what she wants. After the initial feeling of being bulldozed, I appreciated her clarity of vision greatly. It gave me direction and I knew what had to get done.

And this is how it turned out. Loads of pics folks, loads!

The cake was a three layered chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream. The cupcakes come from the Love Bakery book by Samantha Blears and are the only cupcakes that I unashamedly declare love for. The wee chocolate balls are leftover cake mixed with frosting and coated in melted chocolate to make cake balls. The wee fairy cake topper comes from this step-by-step, fabulous tutorial from The Cake Journal. The mini meringues are from Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking book and is foolproof! Kids went bonkers for these. On a separate table, I laid down some bites for the mums; Spinach Quiche and some chocolate drops.

These drops are the easiest things to do should you have some spare melted chocolate needing used up. I mixed in a bit of orange extract into the chocolate and poured teaspoons of the chocolate onto baking paper. Sprinkle over whatever decorations you want. Leave somewhere cool to set. That’s it.

If there ever was a time I am grateful for my modest cookbook collection; it’s at times like this. I know exactly where the recipes I want are, I don’t have to rummage a great deal and I don’t have to think of anything but following the directions of those that went before me. I may have spent a lot of late nights making fondant decorations, popcorn boxes and paper pom poms but when I saw Lil Lassie’s face, heard her gasp when she saw the room, those hours vanished! She had a great time with her friends, danced like no one was watching her and ate more sugar than is wise. And we all joined her. Happy Birthday, my little lassie.

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