A Midsummer Night’s Dream
I just threw my last birthday party. Okay, I’m certain there will be other birthday parties and other events, but my youngest just had her sweet 16th birthday party, and while I have loved planning themed parties for her, it must someday come to an end. We have determined that the sweet 16th is the last one. Because of that, we tried to make it extra special. For years, she has wanted a fairy themed party, but she also wanted to invite boys. That may have worked when the boys were five or six and we could have gnomes and fairies together, but there was no way I could figure out how to do all of the fairy things with teenage boys. We morphed it over the years into Dungeons and Dragons parties, and Medieval feast parties, and Lord of the Rings parties, but never an out and out fairy party. This year, my youngest decided that she would be willing to invite just girls to get the fairy party she always wanted.
We chose to make it A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We hit the Pinterest boards for inspiration, and we ran with it. Having a family that loves fantasy and sci fi things, means we have quite a collection of magical things. We pulled them all out for the décor, making sure that shelves and cabinets were decorated with combinations of flowers, greenery, fairy figurines, glass bottles and other knick knacks. The table was a combination of greenery and baskets combined with crystal and silver for a lovely blend of fancy and earthy.
We served spinach wrap rollups with cream cheese and lunch meat or vegetables, pretzels, vegetables with dip, strawberries, and various candies that fit the theme. The centerpiece to all of it was the cake. I found a cake similar to this on Pinterest, but it was an angel food cake with lemon filling. My daughter wanted chocolate with raspberry. I made a basic Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Cake mix, which is, in my opinion, one of the best cake mixes on the market. I filled the layers with a milk chocolate truffle mousse, and raspberry jam. I topped the cake with a dark chocolate ganache. Using melted chocolate, I then covered the cake with spearmint leaves, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, pansies (which ARE edible), and an awesome little cookie called Chocorooms. They look like mushrooms, but are a biscuit cookie shaped like a mushroom and dipped in chocolate. I covered the top and sides with random groupings of the toppings, and used a few decorative butterflies flying over the top.
As the guests arrived and we led them into the dining room to get something to eat, they all stopped when they got to the table and just stood there. I told them that they could get plates and start eating, and they still hesitated. One of them said, “It’s so pretty…” They had to get pictures of the table and the cake before they could start eating. One girl asked for the recipe, or if I could maybe make her a cake for HER birthday. It was the response I was hoping for! It was the last party, after all, and I was glad that I could make it special.
I might have to rethink my policy for next year.
Milk Chocolate Truffle Filling
4 oz milk chocolate- I used the leftover dipping chocolate from Christmas
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Melt chocolate in the microwave, or in the oven, or whatever your preferred method might be. Set aside. Scald cream. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Beat chocolate with an electric mixer. Add the cream all at once, and mix until smooth. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Beat again with electric mixer until fluffy.
Semi Sweet Chocolate Ganache
4 oz semi sweet chocolate
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Follow the same method as above. Chill for only five or ten minutes. When the ganache has thickened slightly, but can still be poured, pour over cake, spreading as needed. Chill cake until ganache has set.