Time truly flies. My baby is already two. I cannot believe it sometimes. We are busier than ever, but at the same time he is keeping us happy with his little mischiefs. I get choked up when I hear him talking in his baby words and when he learns something new – like today when he peeled a banana all by himself and ate it. My baby is all grown up!.
Last couple of months had been very busy for both V and I. We were working to meet very strict deadlines. So we decided to take a couple of days off and go on a small vacation. On his birthday, we were in St Louis. We met lovely Nupur and her family on his birthday. We spent 3 days in St Louis, roaming around with Ishaan. We bought a small cake on his birthday and he was so happy.
We also wanted to celebrate his birthday with our close friends, so we decided to have a small outdoor party. We had the party couple of weeks after his actual birthday. Since weather was beautiful, we decided to have it in a park. We invited the friends whom we meet very regularly, who have kids of almost same age as Ishaan. We wanted this to be a fun party for Ishaan and all the kids. It was a very informal party this year, unlike his first birthday when we had a large group.
I started my preparations one week ago. Like last year, I wanted to bake the cake for him. I was pretty clear that it would be a cookie monster cake. He absolutely adores this character from popular series Sesame Street. Even when he could not talk, he would say “yaa yaaa” like cookie monster. Even after almost 1 year of watching this show, he gets very excited when he watches this character on TV. I spent hours searching google for any tips to make this cake. Putting this together last week was a little difficult as I had to work on it during weekdays. But I am glad it all worked well. This was such a big hit with everyone at the party. Everyone liked the taste of cake and went for seconds. Ishaan started dancing when he first saw the cake, and then he sang the happy birthday song. Even now when I show him a picture of the cake, he gets super excited. Mission accomplished :).
The food this time was very simple, just like last year. I prepared some veggie puffs using store bought puff pastry sheets. I also made a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies using this recipe. They both came out very well. We got guacamole and mango-peach salsa with tortilla chips from Costco. We ordered pizza for everyone.
Here is the step-by-step description of how to make a cookie monster cake. Since many of my friends asked, I am also posting the cake recipe here. It was a slightly updated version of last year’s cake.
Chocolate Cake –
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tea spn baking soda
2 tea spn baking powder
2 tea spns vanilla essence
4 large eggs
2 cups butter
2 cups milk
1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tea spns unsweetened cocoa
Preheat the oven at 325F for 10mins. I used 2 pyrex bowls of 470ml (2 cups) and 950ml (4 cup) and one springform pan of 9 and 1/2 inch for this quantity.
Stir together chocolate, 1 cup sugar and milk in top of double boiler. I just took some water in a vessel, brought it to boil, kept a glass bowl with chocolate, milk, sugar. On a low heat, let the water boil. Kept stirring the chocolate mixture. When all the chocolate melts, add butter and mix. Take it off the heat, add vanilla, mix. Let it cool to room temperature.
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form and keep it aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda.
In another bowl, beat together egg yolks and 1 cup sugar until thick. Now alternatively add flour mixture and chocolate mixture, a small quantity at a time, beating all the time (if using a electric mixer, do this on lowest speed).
Fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture in greased baking dishes.
Bake in the oven at 325F for about 40mins (or till done).
Yellow Cake –
Then I made a simple egg cake with this recipe. I doubled the quantity given in that recipe. I divided the batter between a 9 and 1/2 inch springform pan and a loaf pan.
Sugar syrup – Heat 1/4 cup water with 2 tbl spn sugar till sugar melts.
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
6tbl spn milk
1 tea spn vanilla
4 cups(approx 1lb) confectionersâ€™ sugar
Combine butter, cocoa, milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and take off from heat. Add vanilla, sugar, beating continuously till it holds a peak.
Modeling Chocolate (for eyes) – using this recipe
Putting it all together:
Cut all 3 chocolate cakes(made in 1 springform pan and 2 pyrex bowls) horizontally in two halves. Dip a pastry brush in the sugar syrup, brush all sides of cake. Keep one part of 9 and 1/2 inch chocolate cake, spread a layer of chocolate frosting, then the 9 and 1/2 inch piece of yellow cake, followed by frosting and then another 9 and 1/2 inch chocolate cake.
I covered the whole cake with store bought Wilton’s ready to use vanilla icing mixed with light blue Wilton’s color.
Now do the same thing for two small chocolate cakes. Cut into two, brush with syrup and put chocolate frosting in between the two pieces. Cut small hands and leg pieces from yellow loaf cake. Attach them using wooden skewers.
I used Wilton’s Royal Blue ready to use icingÂ to pipe the fur using tip #233. Cut the mouth and pipe black icing into it. Now make big eyes using modeling chocolate. Pipe the eyeballs using black icing. Attach chocolate chip cookie to the hands and to the base.