Monday, August 16, 2010

Kiwiana Party

So I'm finally getting around to updating the photos from Nicole's Kiwiana themed farewell party. I was right, there were FAR too many photos, but it always fascinates me how different photos are when you get them uploaded and see them properly - the ones I thought looked epic in the viewfinder were mostly out of focus or cropped weird, and the ones I thought were smaverage turned out pretty cool! Such is life.

So here's a huge jumbled summary of everything...


Too much to look at at once? not to worry, I broke them down too.

Most important part for an Aussie throwing a kiwi themed party - the Pavlova. Not gonna lie, I bought this on the day (don't even want to consider what I pav I personally baked would look like... eek, not good) but the cream and kiwifruit was me I promise! (for those of you outside Australasia, more details on what a pav actually IS can be found here)

One of my favourite things in Amy Atlas dessert tables is having candy on hand - can't really go wrong in a party when there's candy within arms reach! So I used kiwi classics - Minties, jaffas, pineapple lumps, and chocolate fish (which fyi turned up later in the "water" surrounding the New Zealand brownie, thanks to my creative friends). Haven't been able to find nice glass jars to use like the pros (at least not in my price range) but I found this haphazard collection of glasses at an Op Shop, and they were the right height variations to make it work.

Possibly the most paint-stakingly slow and detailed part of the entire spread was the chocolate jandals (thongs if you're an aussie, flip flops if you're an American), which is funny given they were a relatively last minute addition. I used a chocolate mold I found at Cakestuff for the jandals and just filled them with milk chocolate (only 6 pairs per tray, so we're talking a bench-to-freezer marathon of maybe 10 laps) then used multi-coloured gel pens to add the straps. That was the part that took the longest, but once I figured out that the gel was 100% easier to draw if the tubes were kept in hot water in the interim, time went a bit quicker.
The New Zealand Brownie was easier than it looked - I made two trays of chocolate chip brownie, printed an outline of New Zealand across two A4 pages (North Island on one page, South on the other), pinned them into the brownie with tooth picks, and went for gold! I used green buttercream icing so it was a bit thicker and easier to add the "terrain" on the top - thanks to mum and Dad for their creative input. Funnily enough, being North-Island-dwellers the North Island was demolished first, and the South Island lasted almost another whole week!
The sheep pops are based on the tried and true cake pops from Bakerella, but I'm not GENERALLY a huge fan of any cake not of the mud persuasion, and have since decided that I much prefer using brownie mix instead of cake - NB this comes out much more DENSE and rich than cake pops, and goes fairly solid in the fridge! but slightly easier to mold.
These pops were dipped (twice) in white chocolate then in white candy (like the silver candy balls, only white, no idea what they really were other than crunchy) and added the fondant face at the same time. This humorous juggling act is the reason there were only 10 of these cuties - I thoroughly misplaced my patience.
I used cupcake picks of the buzzy bee for the cupcakes, with blue buttercream icing and fondant clouds. We're still finding the cupcake picks around the house even now...
The kiwi brownie bites were a favourite - and an impromptu one. Left with brownie bites after I gave up on the sheep I decided to try something a bit different with the remaining ones. These were rolled in milk chocolate and splinters, with a split chocolate button for feet, and malteaser and toothpick for head/beak.

The rugby balls were made from brownie mix too, only these ones I mixed in with some extra chocolate sauce and chocolate chips so they were a bit different. Easy peasy to shape, dip, and draw on the lines in white chocolate gel! Yum. And the funky NZ t-shirt shaped plates came from the $2 shop, which was funny 'cause there were people buying them as actual souvenirs when I was there. Geeks...
Crowning glory of the table - and another impromptu addition. This was a cake for my best friend who has a (somewhat unhealthy.. *cough*...) addiction to tomato sauce. The icing was actually slightly closer to a crazy bright pink than the red I wanted, and everyone did warn me that you need a fairly specific combination of red dyes to get it right... but it looks right in the photos :)
Decorations were cheap and basic - cards bags and ribbon came from the $2 shop and the jandals were 99c at the Warehouse, then just taped them to the wall. The cup-wraps and labels I made myself with some iconic favourites.
So there you go! Full view of the tables below. Unfortunately I don't have a backdrop to use for parties yet, but I think for this one at least being BBQ themed the blue wall ended up being kinda quirky.
Next up - a Murder Mystery! Canapes and desserts to come



  1. That is really really cool. Well done!

  2. great tip on the brownies instead of cake. Everything is so well put together. I just love the whole party together.

  3. wow - how amazing Becs - very talented indeed, and so well put together. I can imagine the time it has taken to create all of those scrummy looking NZ icon treats ! Go girl and good luck with the next creative party table.
    Regards, Donna, Cake Stuff

  4. Patricia - Thank you! It was good fun

    AZPartyMamma - Thanks! The brownies are actually much easier to handle in general, and got the vote from everyone who tried them! Thanks for your comments :)

    Thanks Donna, it did take a while!! I spent the best part of a week in the kitchen covered in brownie mix!

  5. Goodness! what an amazing spread. You are a very clever girl by the looks and I bet business is booming for you with this talent.

  6. Everything looked really good, the jandals, the sheep pops & the brownie kiwi bites were my fave. Really well done - look forward to seeing more parties.

  7. Olivia - thank you!! That's what I'm hoping for anyway :)

    Adelina - I think the brownie kiwis were my favourite too, although I'm not sure I actually got to eat one after all that!