We celebrated Porthos’ 5th birthday last week at SAFRA Toa Payoh. (Read a previous review here.) This was our first time hosting a party there and it was a great experience mainly because the entertainment took care of itself!
Our big effort in the run-up to the party was the birthday cake. Now if you’ve been following this blog, you might know that the Pilgrim family is big on fun yet frugal cakes. Still, my heart missed a few beats when Porthos said he wanted a cake with dinosaurs, a lake and a volcano (!!!)
But reminding myself of the good Queen’s admonition, we talked it through, worked it out, and here is what transpired.
STAGE 1: Back to Betty
As a less-than-accomplished chef, I am not ashamed to say that I rely heavily on premixes. I baked two square cakes using Betty Crocker’s Supermoist Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix ($4.59 each).
STAGE 2: Icing and Decorating the Cake
I iced most of the cake using uncoloured icing (see previous post for recipe, though I’ve found sugar can be reduced by half). Here’s Athos sifting the icing sugar.
We then stuck a plastic volcano which we had, onto the cake, and sprinkled the cake with crushed biscuits. Here’s Porthos pounding the biscuits with a mortar and pestle.
…and Athos sprinkling the biscuits on
Then we coloured some icing blue and turned one corner of the cake into a lake, before sticking on plastic dinosaurs and trees (from the boys’ toy collection over the years). We also threw in some broken Glico Pocky for effect. Porthos called them fossils though they looked more like charred trees or logs to me.
STAGE 3: The Element of Danger
The volcano is actually hollow inside, so we put in a plastic cup, got some dry ice, and set it off. How cool does this look….
The boys loved it, and I must say I was quite chuffed by the overall effect. We sat there for a long time blowing at CO2, adding water and more dry ice. Not very healthy nor hygenic.
I should also add that finding dry ice in Singapore is not a straightforward matter, and had I known this I might not have bothered with the volcano. I had thought I could just walk into any Swensen’s and they would let me have some. (Pilgrim Mom demonstrates her utter naivete….) So let me just save you the trouble and tell you that we found it at Zenaco CO2 Pte Ltd at Depot Lane. It cost us $2.25 for a 1 kg block. If you ever intend to use dry ice, do remember that it is a dangerous substance and you should take precautions. This earlier post might help for starters.
Go forth and create! 🙂