Airline Themed Birthday Party

We recently attended a really fun birthday party on an airline theme. The Birthday Boy is a major fan of all things aviation, so it made sense to base the party on air crafts. Here is what the doting parents came up with.

The Invitations
Any airline journey begins with the boarding pass. So it was natural to have an invite in the shape of a boarding pass. Loved the bar codes to give it an authentic feel.

The Decorations
The walls were adorned with a world map and balloons in the shapes of different helicopters and aircrafts. The chairs were set in two lines like seats in a commercial aircraft.

The Games
Paper Plane Challenge - The children were all given rough paper to make their own paper planes. Then they had a fly off to see whose went the most distance. It was loads of fun and a whole number of innovative aircraft designs were seen.

They also had a game of musical chairs and dancing statue. Both the games are perennial favourites and went down really well with the children. Here is one game that I feel would go with an airline theme in case you are planning a similar party.

File the Flight Plan - Have four different charts with flight segments shown on each chart. Tell them the starting point and the destination. Now the children need to match the flight segments on each chart to the actual flight plan of the entire flight duration. The fastest child to come up with the completed flight plan wins.

The Food
The mother brought out her food trolley and all the in flight meal was served to the children while they were seated in twin files. The trolley coming down the aisle and the parents as pursers. It was great fun for the kids. The cake was a chocolate truffle with fondant icing, the three planes on the cake were made of gum paste and fondant and were edible, while the ones on the side were toy planes that were used for added flair! 

The Giveaways 
The unique part of the take home gift was a muffin with a fondant plane on it. This is the one that we came home with. The plastic dome cap gave it a beautiful appeal. The silver fondant aircraft was a miniature one that was placed on the chocolate muffin. 

So there you have it, an amazing airline based birthday party.

Black Forest Cake in Microwave

Its always fun to learn a new recipe or a method that you have never used before for an old one. Here I make a regular Black Forest Cake but instead of the cream or butter I usually use in baking cakes this one has refined oil. When I first saw this cake being baked by a friend of mine I was very skeptical about how soft an oil based cake would be. Happily my doubts were unjustified and the recipe was a resounding success.

1 and 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
A pinch of salt
Vanilla Essence as 4-5 drops or strong as desired
3/4 cup refined oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour (maida)

Oil and flour for dusting the baking dish
Baking dish ideally made of glass or chintah
Your trusty hand mixer

Whipping Cream 1/2 cup
Soaking liquid - cherry liquor, orange juice, pineapple tin liquid, sugar water, or brandy water.

1. Grind the sugar in your mixer grinder to produce castor sugar. Its easier to mix in the cake batter this way. If you have castor sugar ready to use, just use that instead of grinding any fresh.
2. Separate the whites of the eggs and collect the yolks for later use.

3. Whip up the egg whites with the pinch of salt till they begin to form soft white peaks.

4. Add the sugar gradually and keep beating. Then add in the egg yolks and beat some more.

5. Add the vanilla essence and beat some more.

6. The refined oil goes in next. Beat for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Add in the cocoa powder and mix without using the hand mixer. A spatula or spoon works best.

8. In the end we add the flour a couple of spoonfuls at a time and cut and fold it into the batter.

9. Add the oil to the baking dish and coat. Then add the flour and dust the dish nicely. Throw away and excess flour before you pour the cake batter in.
10. Bake on 'High' for 5 minutes and leave in the microwave for 10 minutes standing time.

11. Remove from the baking dish and slice into half. Now use the soaking liquid to soak the cake.

Traditionally the black forest cake uses cherry liquor however as I didn't have any handy I used brandy water instead. Please refer to the list above to other alternatives you can use if you don't want to use liquor.

12. Beat the whipping cream in a large bowl. Remember the quantity will double as you whip it.

13. Once the cake has cooled off and soaked for about 10 minutes its time to get frosting.

14. Cover the full cake with whipping cream and top off with chocolate shavings. I didn't have any cooking chocolate handy so I used chocolate sprinkles instead.

You can place the cake in layers to make it tiered but I kept them single as it was a small cake and would seem even smaller if I placed them one on top of the other.
That's all folks...

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