One of my favorite things about holidays is planning the meal. And decorating, and singing holiday songs, and wearing pretty dresses.. what can I say? There's a lot to love! That's why I make up special occasions, like I did with Poldark Palooza. It's a perfect excuse to make a schmancy meal, and decorate, and sing a Demelza song... But anyhow, let's get back to Easter!
This Easter feast was last year's creation, one of my proudest moments in cooking, baking, and tablescape design. As you can probably see, it all revolves around the Robin's Nest Coconut Cake. I got the idea from a Country Living gallery of Easter desserts, where they showed this gorgeous speckled robin's egg blue cake with a phyllo nest on top. That's what got my mind running; however, I didn't like
that it was a malt cake and I wanted it to look more natural.. not so blue. In the end I used an entirely different cake recipe, filling and frosting, as well as different decorative components. Sometimes these extreme recipe revamps don't work out for me, but this one did. Marvelously. An Easter miracle, you might say. :) It was such a beautiful cake, I was sad to eat the last slice. Here are the details for creating this showstopper:
Betty Crocker's Silver White Cake (I added a little bit of coconut extract, to coordinate with the filling)
Magnolia Bakery's Coconut filling for their Coconut Layer Cake
Magnolia Bakery's Chocolate buttercream frosting
Toasted coconut and slivered almonds for the bird's nest
Blue and white jordan almonds with chocolate speckles that I applied using a toothpick dipped in melted chocolate (Jordan almonds of any color you can imagine are available at Nuts.com. I ordered the sample size, which was certainly enough for decorating.)
The bark around the tree trunk is made of chocolate shards. Melt chocolate and spread thin on a large piece of wax paper. Drag a butter knife thru at irregular intervals. When chocolate is set, remove from wax paper. Gently press the shards into the chocolate buttercream to attach to the cake.
The rings in the tree trunk were very simple. Just drag a fork through the buttercream in concentric circles.
Optional: powdered sugar snow (because there was snow on the ground last Easter.)
The rest of the food was pretty great too. See the Menu below for the complete list. I designed the framed menu as well. The background is a detail from an adorable bunny wallpaper by artist Hunt Slonem. I recolored it to match the robin's egg blue theme. Then, I just added a text box of the menu items on top of that background, and voila! Custom menu!
Here are the links to all the recipes:
Ham with Lemon Honey Glaze from Williams-Sonoma
Whole Wheat Soda Bread from Genius Kitchen
Roasted Carrot Soup from Fine Cooking
Asparagus Side Dish from All Recipes
'Til next time,