Gracie's bash was great! She got some new clothes, and a playdoh world set, and a portable blues clues sponge paint kit :::I forsee interesting days ahead with paints on wheels::: , a sandbox, and some things for her hair.
My buddy, Johnny, showed up around noon (Colts were playing), so he and Dad watched the game while I finished the cakes and Mom shopped for last-minute items. Others started arriving around 1:30 including a friend of Mom's and her daughter, Bailey. Grace had someone to play with and it really worked out well :::except for the fact she had a dart gun with her. I let it go only because Gracie didn't want one, but it was the first time she had ever seen one.
I'm not against guns. I'm against the idea of teaching my kid that it is okay to play with one.... yet. At some age when she knows the difference between with fake ones and real ones and the havoc guns can cause, she can have toy guns. I was around them enough as a child to remember what it was like to hold a real gun for the first time. I was my dad's 22 pistol. It is so beautiful~silver with mother-of-pearl inlays on the grip. I loved to look at it. But Dad also taught me everything I needed to know to clean/repair one, to handle one, and to carry one.
I will pass this on to Grace, even though today is different than when I was young. There aren't that many places left to just go shoot outdoors and indoors just isn't the same :::at least I can think I'm in the old west outside::: I only shoot at targets, though those targets can be various objects (nothing alive..... unless its paintball... lol). I shoot better left-handed than right, but my left eye is dominant.. so it makes sense. Oh, hold on, this is about her party....
Anyway, people stuffed themselves full, drank themselves happy, and topped it off with the now infamous Inside -Out cake. I saw the idea from a cake contest, but he had used a spice cake and a jelly filling. I like spice cakes, but not for this crowd.
This is how my version goes: you get a bowl, and line it with slices of poundcake. Once the bowl is lined--filling in any holes with small pieces of cake--press it firmly, but not flattened. You can use a piece of waxed or parchment paper to press on or hands are fine. Then pile in the dark chocolate mousse and spread it up the sides, leaving a good pile in the bottom of the cake. Then cover that with more pieces of cake and again press firmly, but not enough to push mousse out. Then blend roasted almonds in whipped cream--after whipping cream (I used real cream with vanilla and splenda). Pile that on the second cake layer, filling up the bowl. Press more cake onto the cream, making the top of the bowl level with cake. Let chill for at least 6 hours. Take out and turn onto a platter, if pressed firmly enough--cake should come out easily. If it doesn't, press it down again, and chill for an hour, then try again. It is always fine to go around the edges with a spreader or offset spatula. Once cake is on the plate, drizzle dark chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream melted together) over the top. Give the ganache time to set up (maybe an hour), even chill it for 10 minutes or so, but it will get hard quick and maybe hard to cut through if chilled for long (you can use icing too). I happen to pour alot over the dome-shaped cake.... it's like a big chocolate covered twinkie.
Gracie got her own mini-version, sans the dark choc mousse layer and had mini choc. chips instead of almonds in the whipped cream. I was told next year I have to make 2 adult cakes and I can't change recipes (you could do any flavor cake, fillings, and toppings). But I hate to give up my experimenting..it's the best part...coming up with new recipes and trying out new flavors together. Can't give it up really, it's part of my dream of having my ownbakery and coffee shop, or hotel, restaurant when Iretire.
So that's that and I'm beat. I'll post pics when I get them. I don't remember if we got shots of the big cake, but I know we got Grace's. Til next time.... Cat