Birthday, Dinosaurs and lots of other treats

Last weekend Pablo turned 4... I can´t believe how fast time flies. I still do remember all the panic raising in me, on the way to hospital. All the worries and more panic feelings after the birth, first day home, the first couple of weeks till we all got used to the new life situation. We managed somehow, even so I was not quite sure of that in the beginning. And now this little man turned 4 and sometimes I wish I could stop the time or maybe slow it a bit down... don´t you think kids are growing way to fast too?
Choosing a theme for the birthday party was a bit of a challenge this year, as these days we kind of like everything...  starting with "cars" and ending with all the heroes which do exist out there. Dinosaurs are also something very interesting these days. After he got his first Dinosaurs book for Christmas his interest for them grew and grew, so I decided to go for a Dinosaur themed birthday party. Theme parties are easy to make these days, as you will find lots of inspiration and stuff in internet. I decided to make the decoration myself, with some help from Pablo, this way he got involved in the preparation process too, which he actually did like a lot.
It took some weeks to organize the party and in one point my husband started to wonder if I was really planning a birthday party and not a mini wedding, as I went a little bit over board with all my ideas. There was plenty of food, snacks, cake and something to take with home after the party. And to entertain all the little cheeky monkeys there was face painting, costumes, mini disco, climbing scaffolding with a big pool of play balls and a climbing wall. All in one a successful 4 years birthday party.
Today on the blog chocolate lava cake, easy to make and very suitable for dinosaurs theme parties. Vanilla cookies, my secret cookies when I want to impress kiddis... super easy to make, delicious and loved by every kid I met so far! And banana chocolate chip bars, less sweet but still delicious.
Chocolate lava cake
  • 300 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 200 g sugar
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 ml buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple vinegar
  • 1 espresso cup of plain hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 180C, line your baking form with baking paper. In a big bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl whisk the sugar with oil, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and give it a whisk. Don´t over whisk, just make sure all dry ingredients are wet. Add the coffee and incorporate it into the batter. Pour the batter into the baking form and bake for 30-40 minutes (make the wooden stick test). Take the cake out of the oven and let is cool down for 15 minutes, then take it out of the form and let it cool completely.

Chocolate frosting
  • 150 g butter (room temperature)
  • 350 g cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 100 g dark chocolate melted and cooled
In a stand mixer, whisk butter with powdered sugar till fluffy and pale in color. Add cream cheese, continue whisking till all well combined. Finally add melted chocolate and give it another whisk.

To create the lava crater, I took some of the cake batter into a small glass bowl with round bottom and baked an additional cake, you can also use a muffin form for this. Don´t worry if you cake won´t come out even on the top, use the small "rising dome" as an additional support to create the lava crater. Cut the cake in 3 layers, cut the mountain cake in 2 layers. Frost the layers with frosting. Place the lava crater on top and frost it too... It does not have to be very neat... Mix red and yellow fondant to create marble look and cut some "lava strings" strips placing them over the mountain. I used a led candle to imitate fire coming out of the lava crater. Finish the cake decoration with some dinosaurs and palm trees.

Dinosaurs fossil print cookies
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 125 g butter (room temperature)
  • 190 g flour
Take the seeds out of the vanilla bean. Put all the ingredients into the bowl and mix till everything is combined and you will get a soft and silky ball of dough. Put it into the fridge for at east 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it in 16 equal balls. Press them gently with your hand into the round shape. Now take a small dinosaur and press it into the cookie dough, you can also use the feet prints from a big dinosaur. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, till the edges starts to brown.

Banana chocolate chip bars
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150 g chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and flour your baking dish. Peal and mash the bananas, add the eggs, sugar, oil, milk and vanilla extract, whisk till all well combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder give it a whisk. add 100 g chocolate chips and steer. Pour the batter into the baking form, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top and bake for about 20 minutes.
Next to all the sweet delicious treats there was homemade pizza slices and sandwiches. Popcorn for a snack in between and chocolate dipped strawberries and kiwis. I pealed the kiwis and cut them in slices, then put it on a lollipop stick and covered it with melted dark chocolate.