The past week I have been busy with birthday preparations for my daughter’s 9th birthday. After a little bit of label reading on packets of cake toppings, I have succeeded in having a little bit of colour in the party food and cake that is all natural.
It always amazes me just how much artificial rubbish is in the products in the cake aisle of the supermarket. I feel so disappointed in the food industry in Australia. The amount of artificial additives allowed in our food that are known to cause adverse reactions in people is truly shocking. Ever since my son was 5 we have been careful to eat foods which are as pure and natural as possible, which mostly means homemade. We had a few issues at school, and we were struggling with his behaviour. Another parent told us about the effects food additives had on children’s behaviour, and that many foods available in the supermarkets contained heaps of artificial preservatives and colours. She lent us a DVD about the failsafe diet. It made so much sense in relation to my son, we cut out food colours and other artificial additives in our diet, and saw a complete transformation in his behaviour. Unfortunately that meant that birthdays could be a little bit boring, and hard work. Fortunately, over the last 6 years I have noticed there is an increased demand for foods without artificial additives, and now there are more exciting things available to us using natural colours. Hurray!
The Babushka doll cake is a basic chocolate mud cake that I made during the week, so all I had to do was decorate it at the weekend. I made pink butter cream icing by making a basic buttercream mix then adding the water saved from boiling some beetroot to make the pink colour. Yes, beetroot! I thought it would be disgusting (beetroot flavoured icing anyone?) but amazingly, it has no flavour and the icing just tastes like normal buttercream icing, but is a lovely dark pink. How fab is that!
Cakepops were made with leftover mud cake from shaping the babushka doll. I broke the cake up into breadcrumbs, then mixed it with a little bit of buttercream icing, then rolled into balls. I placed paddle pops sticks into each ball then popped them in the freezer for about 20 mins or so while I melted some white and milk chocolate in tall glasses (I use whitakkers and Nestle chocolate). I took the cake pops out the freezer then dipped each one straight into the melted chocolate to cover completely, then into a plate of natural coloured 100s and 1000s. The cold cake helps the chocolate set quickly onto the cake pop. I then placed them into the fridge for a few minutes to firm up.
I also found some aeroplane jelly mix with natural colours and flavours, so made a few of those up, topped with fresh cream, then sprinkled with 100s and 1000s. Needless to say it all went down well, and was a nice change from the boring chocolate cakes I used to do (although I did get pretty creative with chocolate and buttercream icing).
If you are interested in reading more about additives found in foods and which ones are known to cause adverse reactions, the food intolerance network website has a comprehensive list. Heres to many more colourful homemade birthdays! in my opinion, homemade is always best, its fresh, and better tasting, and safe – after all you know what went into your products. Can’t get safer then that.