Despite son 2 and son 4 having birthdays exactly a month apart, their birthday parties ended up being only 6 days apart.  Nic’s was first and as he was turning 21 something special was called for. I did a bit of googling and found two cakes I quite liked and decided to make one that was a combination of the 2 ideas. I planned to make a round chocolate cake (usual recipe) with white chocolate ganache, assorted chocolates on top, chocolate wafers round the side and white and dark chocolate stars on wires coming out of the cake. I have had trouble in the past with melting white chocolate so decided to pay a visit to the cake decorating shop to pick up some of their white chocolate along with some wires for the stars. However when I arrived there I found the shop had gone. Another shop that has some cake decorating supplies didn’t have what I wanted so I ended up getting white chocolate buttons from Binn Inn. The wires came from a gift shop that was having a closing down sale and originally had plastic ‘crystels’ on one end. The supermarket didn’t have wafers so I got chocolate finger biscuits.
I tried melting the white chocolate in a waterbath only to have it seize. That chocolate was relegated to the ganache and a phone call placed to my husband to bring some more home. With the next lot I tried the microwave and had success. Cutting out the stars was relatively easy although some of the smaller ones broke when I was trying to get them out of the cutter. I thought the dark chocolate stars would be a breeze as I had some good quality chocolate but it took ages to get firm enough to cut (it was a very hot day) so i ended up putting it in the freezer. Then it got too hard and I had problems with the stars breaking when I was getting them out of the cutter. I ended up settling for 2 dark chocolate stars rather than 3. The seized chocolate seemed to work OK in the ganache but the recipe I used was too runny so I ended up adding more chocolate.
The next cake was much more straight forward. Tim wanted a science party and, when I couldn’t think what sort of cake to make, he suggested an atom. Since he was 10 I decided on a neon atom (atomic weight of 10). I used the same cake recipe in the same pan and eked out the left-over ganache with some icing sugar and water. I traced 2 circles on the top of the cake and added 10 green skittles for the electrons, 10 blue ones for the protons and 10 red ones for the neutrons.
A atom of Neon

A atom of Neon