Tuesday, March 16, 2010

when the occasion calls for it - Part 2

The tail end of a cyclone seemed to be the state of things on the Sunshine Coast on the weekend. Grey, squally weather, a churning ocean glimpsed from our apartment, the most extraordinary bands of angry sea colours - greys and muddy browns and lots of foam! Luckily the 50th birthday celebration was taking place  30 minutes in from the coast and yes there was some rain with intense humidity, but we were happily ensconced in this superb marquee decorated beautifully I must add with lanterns from Vietnam (via the lovely Karen at Dragonfly Interiors). The Band was impressive, luring us on to the floor and adding to the wonderful ambience. Lara-Jane, my gorgeous niece joined them for some great numbers. I wrote a post on her here after she recorded an album of her own songs. As an aunt one could be accused of fondness colouring one's view - however this girl indeed has talent...in spades!

and now... for the cake!

Recipe for Chocolate Sacher Torte utilised by mother Olivia on friday (she did the baking) in readiness for trip up the coast - a good foundation for my innovations. She also made 50 copy-cat cupcakes we served rather than create a cake big enough for the crowd - a wise move! Saturday afternoon was spent melting chocolate and watching the gale outside. Concern over humidity led me to make a ricotta filling with fruit, nut and chocolate chopped into it. A modest layer of cream on top of that worked well (next day we SO enjoyed this cake!) and then chocolate ganache icing with shavings of roast almond chocolate I'd made plus toffee shards and chocolate shards. OK... it was no candidate for the Martha Cake of the year award - but with the candles matching all the wonderful garden finds it actually felt quite tropical and worked a treat! 

Jana, the birthday girl, going for the last candle. I think she will have wonderful memories - it was one of those times where all went absolutely beautifully,  her friends travelling from far and wide enjoyed the excellent reunion and some of us even stayed up very late singing good old favourites from the 70's. The garden glistened in the rain and the weather  didn't cause a moment's concern - all was so carefully planned by Jana and Roberto and hosts Tristan (their wonderful son) and wife the lovely Renee- truly a night to remember!

Son Tristan and daughter Lara-Jane making a speech - these 2 have always been adored by their Aunt! Sorry bout the less than fab image here!


Mlle Paradis said...

How nice for you all! Looks like some cake!

Sophie Munns said...

Thanks MP!
...you advice was heeded about not transporting something too fragile!
The good thing was that it did taste very good!
ps...still have not dropped in...must go out now... maybe later i will call in for a cup of tea -I wish...LA is a little far!

Dragonfly said...

Oooh - that cake looks amazing!! So do the lanterns too :-)
Sounds like an amazing party!!
I'm going to use this pic on my blog and lanternshop.com.au - its stunning.
Thanks Sophie, you are a very talented photographer too!!
Cheers, Karen

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you Karen ( dragon fly)!
It was a smart move to have my mother bake and then only need do the tizzying up when I was up there , relaxed and in holiday mode!
A past habit would often see me catering for a whole gig I'd decided to put on somewhere or other - the food, shopping, organising, creating spaces and ambience after cleaning and clearing up first.... blah de blah!
Not good!!! This is the sensible way...take on one thing and (hopefully) do that well...and enjoy the party.
Jana's husband Roberto did an amazing job of orchestrating the night with Tristan and Renee and helpers in the background. Mains were created at mobile woks (brought in caterers) - very good!
All good planning I must say.
Photos were hit and miss... (I'm not skilled where people come in...I'll blame the camera) - but these were goodies!
I'll have a look on your blog... that's lovely Karen!

The Artist Within Us said...

Dear Sophie,

I see that you are more than multi talented and though I too bake, there is no way I can match the beauty and creativity of your culinary skills.

As for the weather, I think it added charm and cosiness to the whole event.

I am so very happy for the birthday girl and all those who came from far and wide to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Wishing you a wonderful day,

Sophie Munns said...

Dear Egmont,

I think you are right about the weather actually adding to the cosiness and the charm!

I'm a decorator from way back Egmont... I will often opt out of the laborious and go for the affect - not entirely true actually - I am one for the authenticity of flavour!

I think Janna really enjoyed her party and the gathering of friends - old and new!

She was touched that people here also left her good wishes...

so thank you for your gracious words.

em said...

oh.... yum....

Sophie Munns said...

It was delish!