For Arthur’s birthday party at the start of the month, he picked a Gruffalo theme so I grabbed the recipe book we got for Christmas for some inspiration and started making a ‘Menu Plan’ for his party tea.
I only actually used the book for two recipes this time round – the Gruffalo cake and the Turned-Out Toes burgers but I have made a note of several other recipes I think I will make in the future. They are good fun and quite simple and I think they’d be good holiday activities with The Smalls.
To decide what to have at the party I started by writing a list of the usual things you get at a party alongside a list of the things in The Gruffalo and tried to match them up.
In the end I came up with the following:
Knobbly Knees – Chicken Nuggets
Turned-Out Toes – Mini burgers (more on those further down!)
Poisonous Warts – Green Grapes
Orange Eyes – Mini Cheddars
Terrible Tusks – Quavers
Roasted Fox – Carrot Sticks
Terrible Teeth – Yoghurt coated fruit flakes and raisins
Mouse Tails – Mini Breadsticks
Snake’s Log Pile House – Chocolate Finger Biscuits
Purple Prickle Juice – Blackcurrant Squash
It was only a small party – there were two guests along with Arthur and Tori – so I didn’t need masses of food. Though we still took two days to eat up the left overs!
The Turned-Out Toes were from the Gruffalo Crumble recipe book and are simple mini homemade burgers with pine nuts added on to make the toes and they looked fab. I really liked them and they were super easy to make.
The Gruffalo cake itself was brilliant mostly because it was much easier than I expected it to be from the pictures in the book!
The base of the case was just a square chocolate sponge which you cut out after it has cooled to make the main head shape and two ears.
I actually think that this shape would make the good base for a dragon cake too!
After cutting it out, I drowned it all in chocolate butter icing and used a fork to make it look ‘furry’. A couple of dabs of pink icing on the ears finished those off nicely and then it was on to the rest of the details.
The purple prickles are purple mini eggs, the poisonous wart is a green skittle and the whiskers and eyebrows are liquorice laces, whilst the horns, tusks and teeth are all made from white (natural) marzipan.
For his eyes, I tried using orange Fruit Pastilles but they just weren’t quite big enough so instead I used orange Starburst sweets that I warmed slightly in the microwave so I could reshape them into balls and then flatten them with a rolling pin. (Warning: if you mircowave them for too long they go bang and then melt into a puddle. They only need about 10 seconds to make them soft enough to work with!)
I made some black icing up and piped detail around and on the eyes and then drew around his teeth to make his smile – the writing icing tubes you can buy would be perfect for this but it turned out I had every colour under the sun other than black in the cupboard! I did try using the liquorice laces to do this bit but it was really hard and the icing was a much better idea!
I loved how the cake turned out and the kids all thought it was brilliant. It was very effective and not too fiddly (once I stopped trying to use liquorice laces for everything!)