Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monkey theme party

She has a thing for monkeys- always has- so a monkey theme was to be expected at some point.  She was also born in a Hawaii, so a beach/ocean theme was inevitable at some point.  We mixed the two for her 8th.  She designed the cake:  white cake with butter cream and fondant, monkeys, bananas, palm tree, waves, tiki hut with torches and plumeria.
I'm telling you...fondant is so easy to make, even an 8 year old can do it!
Melt a package of mini-marshmallows in a microwave safe dish in 30 second intervals with 3-4 T of water.  Grease mixing bowl and paddle and combine melted marshmallows with a package of powdered sugar and then knead on a greased surface.
 We mixed green food coloring into the fondant for the palm tree leaves:
We didn't have the right leaf cookie cutter in our collection, so we just used the side of the tulip to make a leaf shape.
Next, cut small triangle notches from one side of the leaf and use a pointed tool to draw a line down the center of the leaf.  Allow the leaves to dry over a rounded object for 3-4 days.
 The curvy shapes give the palm tree a lot of character.  The leaves are still fragile, so we made plenty of leaves to get one good tree.
For the fondant plumeria, roll a small ball of fondant in your hand and then flatten into a tear drop shape.  Using the rounding tool, press the center of the petals for a curved petal.
While the fondant is still a bit tacky, gently press the pointed end of the petals on top of another and go around in a circle until you have 5 petals.  The blue tool below helped press the petals without messing up their shape.  Allow to dry until hard and then paint the centers with a little yellow or pink food coloring or luster dust.
 Crumb coating the 3 layer cake:
 The side got a layer of blue for the ocean:
We mixed blue food coloring into the fondant to create fondant waves.  The first layer was a medium blue.  A pizza cutter works great to cut a straight line for the bottom edge and a waving line for the top edge of the wave.
 White fondant waves were placed on top of the medium blue fondant strip:
 A dark blue fondant strip finished off the water/waves:
 The top was sprinkled with brown sugar to create a beach (that means the top of your cake can be imperfect because the sugar will cover it):
 Place pretzel tiki hut and plumeria:
The tree and tiki torches went in last:  
 She loved her cake!
 Total time into the cake was approximately 4 hours:  made fondant Wednesday night and formed leaves & flowers (hr), baked cakes Friday night (hr), frosted and decorated Saturday morning (2hrs).
My daughter has asked to buy this bunch of flowers at Costco at least a handful of times and my answer is always no.  As a previous flower shop owner, daisies are not my favorite flower.
 She lit up when she saw the flowers.  
The monkey theme was pretty easy to pull off when we realized how many monkey things we already had around the house.  The monkey cookie jar, basket and charger were purchased at Target years ago.
I made the happy birthday banner and name tags for the party bags using Illustrator, scrapbook paper, scissors and twine, and covered the candy dishes with pretzel sticks to tie into the tiki accents.
Total cost that you see here is around $35. She made a pinata by decorating a large brown paper bag (her idea and she pulled it off!) with $14 of candy, so the party total was just under $50.  Kid parties don't have to break the bank.

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