Prepping for a House Party…

Three Sundays ago, I hosted my very first house party. The guests were my friends so I didn’t need to exert a lot of effort to please them. 🙂 Well, Z’s nanny and I cleaned the house, and hid the clutter to have more space. That was good enough. 😛

When I was a kid, house parties back home was when food (pancit or spaghetti, barbeque and all that) was prepared at home and the cake was store-bought. This time around, my house party consisted of food bought from the store and the cake homemade. 😛

I was able to find a simple yet very good chocolate cake recipe and I was happy with the results when I first tested it. That was the reason why I had the guts to offer to make the cake in the first place. LOL! The first batch I did came out nicely but it was just about an inch thick. I wanted a taller cake so I made a second batch.

first batch: with parchment paper; second batch: without parchment paper. I like the second one better

My problem though was the frosting. While the one on the recipe was quite good, I was looking for something else. So, I tried making chocolate ganache instead. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a weighing scale that time so I had to rely on estimates after browsing on a few ganache recipes online, looking for the ratio of ingredients that I can work with.

I was in the middle of heating up the cream for the ganache when Z suddenly woke up and came to find me in the kitchen. Since he wanted to be carried and wanted to watch what I was doing at the same time, I had to babywear him so I can still work. (Yes, at almost 15 kilos, I still babywear my son. 🙂 ). I had to work fast because the chocolate needs to melt while the cream is still hot. And I had to put the little boy to sleep again.

When I was ready to assemble the cake, only then did I realize that I need a serrated knife so I can level the cakes to make it easier to frost. The cakes came out a bit domed and I feared that the top layer would slide off. Fortunately, it did not. Another problem I realized was that I didn’t know how to ganache a cake properly. LOL! By the way, that was a 9×13″ pan I used. I didn’t even have a cake board so I used my cookie sheet instead. I had to trim the cake for it to fit. It worked out fine. My work was sloppy but it was the best I could do given that it was my first time to make this big a cake. Anybody who’s got great recipe for frosting that I can use? I’ll bake you a cake for it. 🙂

My sloppy looking, yummy tasting chocolate cake #bakerwannabe

I still have a lot of things to improve on to get that perfectly baked chocolate cake but I guess I am already off to a good start, eh?

Come Sunday, we attended church in the morning then came back home right after so we could prepare for the afternoon party. I prepared a deconstructed nachos (I got this idea from my cousin since she almost always have these when she throws a house party), then thought of making cheese sticks. Because, what’s a house party without anything wrapped in spring-roll wrapper, right? I burned the first batch, hahaha! I think I got excited I didn’t give the oil enough time to reach that certain temperature (or whatever).

cheese sticks
cheese sticks

And here’s my version of deconstructed nachos:

deconstructed nachos

The only thing I cooked there was the ground beef. I grated the cheese, diced the tomatoes and chopped the lettuce. Since I didn’t have time to make cheese sauce (and I was not able to find a real good recipe for it, too), I opted for grated cheese instead. I forgot the onions but it was okay.

The bowls are pretty, aren’t they? I bought them in Ikea Singapore the last time I went there and it was the first time that I got to use these 4. The other two of the bowls are being used for Z’s food. Good thing I remembered having these else I would have used microwavable containers to serve the toppings. LOL!

store bought food and homemade cake

For a party consisting of 7 adults and 2 toddlers, we have way too much food. After eating and packing the take-aways, there was still so much left-overs that I asked Z’s nanny to give the rest to the security guards in our place. I hope they enjoyed it. I forgot to ask. 🙂

For a first-timer, I think I did good, don’t you think? But really, I enjoyed preparing this for my friends. A little more practice on my homemaking skills though to have that awesome experience. LOL!

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