Monday, 18 April 2011

Themed children's parties: clowns

For the second in my series of themed children's parties, I thought I'd look at clowns, simply because that was the theme of my elder son's second birthday party. Poor lamb, his baby brother was three weeks old when he turned two. I was determined that he would have a party in which he could be the centre of attention, and just about did myself in making all manner of clown eats while keeping on top of my normal tasks, and looking after a newborn infant. As you can see, I decided to have only 8 children at the party, so that it would be manageable.

To emphasise the theme, I bought paper plates with clown faces on them. I also made a clown cake, and a few other clown-type eats. I didn't hire an actual clown, because we were way too broke for that, but you could go that route... unless your child is scared of them (and many children are). You might also like to get the kids to dress up as clowns, and decorate the venue like a big top. You can expand the theme to the limits of your budget and/or imagination, whichever runs out first.

First, the cake:

First, the cake...
Please excuse the quality of the picture. It's a scan of what wasn't a great photo in the first place. As you can perhaps see, you will need:

Two round cakes of similar size (you could buy these - I'm not a purist!).
Several different coloured batches of butter or fondant icing. I used butter icing simply because I could make it easily - these days you can buy ready-made fondant icing in just about every colour of the rainbow.
A bag of liquorice allsorts or similar.
A large bow or something you can use to make one. As you can see, I used wrapping paper, which I folded concertina style, and then secured in the centre with some tape.
A silver board. As you can see, I used a tray covered in tin foil.

  • Cut one cake in half.
  • The round cake will serve as the face, and one of the halves as the body. Position the face roughly in the centre of the silver board, and place the 'body' next to that, so that the two curved edges are touching.
  • Out of the remaining half cake, cut a triangular shape for the hat, and several semicircles to serve as curls.
  • Position the hat at a jaunty angle, and place the curls around the remaining edges of the head.
  • Cover with coloured icing as appropriate for each section.
  • Decorate with sweeties to create a face and other details.
  • Place the bow at the point where the head and body meet. You could secure it with a twisty tie.
Clown faces (1)
For the first clown face, you will need:

Round biscuits (cookies), something very flat and plain (arrow root biscuits, Marie biscuits, rich tea biscuits... something along those lines.
Coloured butter icing (you can use leftovers from the cake)
Sweeties such as mini liquorice allsorts, dolly mixtures, Smarties or Jelly Tots

  • Cover one side of each biscuit with icing.
  • Press sweeties into the icing to make a clown face.
Clown faces (2)
For the second clown face, you will need:

Round biscuits (as before)
Ice cream cones (cornets) - the wafer kind, for preference
Coloured butter icing (as before)
Sweeties as before
Marshmallows (optional)

  • Cover one side of each biscuit with icing sugar as before.
  • Press a cone - flat side down - into the icing on each biscuit. If you like, you could pop a marshmallow (or other sweetie) under each cone.
  • Using icing sugar to secure them, press sweeties into the round part of each cone to make a clown face.
  • Once again, using icing sugar to secure them, use sweeties to decorate the triangular part of each cone to look like the clown's hat.

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