How to save money on a boys birthday party.
It is the boys birthday time in our house. Three birthdays in the space of six weeks! We didn’t really think that one through financially. Oct 9th is the first birthday for Josh my middle son. How he loves having the first birthday of the three boys! At the age of 7 a boys birthday party is important, rather it’s important to Josh. Fortunately he turns 7 at the same time as several of his best mates so we have always done a joint party. Share the workload and share the cost 🙂
Football Party time
This year it’s a football party with Bobby, Josh’s best friend (the gate crasher in the Christmas Jumper above is Jack my 3 year old;-)). In the past we have done a hall & bouncy castle party for 45 children and a pottery painting party. This year was the ultimate in a money saving party.
We hired a local Astro-turf pitch for 2 hours at a cost of £72. Hubby and a footy friend refereed and organised the boys. 4 mums stayed and we nursed the injuries and dished out drinks and snacks. We got the food, drinks and sweeties for party bags from Asda £34. My baker friend Emma and I made cake, which cost us £8 in ingredients from Aldi/Co-op (for the 2 bits I forgot to get from Aldi!). So all in cost of £114. £57 each.
James Martin Chocolate Fudge Cake
I have to share the recipe for the cake as it was amazing and from one of my favourite chefs James Martin. I have watched him on Saturday Morning Kitchen for years and love his food, so was very excited to discover Children’s Chocolate Fudge Cake on the BBC Good Food Website.
Back to the cake, Emma Wright, aka ‘baking princess’ made the cake with the support of Josh & Jack (until he lost interest). Josh stayed focused and helped every step of the way. Ems doubted the recipe as she has never made the chocolate mixture adding water at the mixing stage. She didn’t believe it would work, but we placed faith in James Martin. It did.
I am a messy cook! And at the the same time as Ems making the chocolate cake I was making chicken and rice tortillas from scratch, thanks to this recipe from Reduced Grub😉
For the full method I have copied and pasted it from the BBC Good Food website so full credit to them. The photos are mine at various stages of the making and baking process.
The cake takes a long time to bake and don’t forget, like I did, that you need to line your trays with greaseproof paper;-) Also don’t make the same mistake as me and buy evaporated milk rather than condensed. They are not the same thing!!
After baking and cooling it was 10pm so Ems had to go home. I did the icing and sprinkled on the hundred & thousands that Em has brought over. Josh chose a galaxy design with red, blue and white stars. Great choice.
The cakes were a great success. Each tray contained 18 portions so there was plenty for the party boys, mum and dad helpers and a few siblings. And for me to bring home and eat 4 pieces sat/sun/mon;-) Turns out after a recent gall bladder op chocolate cake is fine:-)
Here are the cake ingredients and method from the BBC Good Food Website. I doubled up on everything as I made 2 cakes for 2 boys.
BBC Good Food Recipe
- 200g plain chocolate, broken into chunks (use one with a low cocoa content – I used Aldi 79p for 200g
- 200g butter (Aldi 80p for 250g)
- 200g light brown muscovado sugar (already had in cupboard)
- 100ml soured cream (bought from co-op as I forgot this ingredient)
- 2 eggs, beaten (Aldi 89p for 6 free range large eggs)
- 200g self-raising flour (45p for 1.5kg Aldi)
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder (already had in cupboard)
- hundreds and thousands, to decorate (Emma brought these)
For the icing
- 100g plain chocolate (see above)
- 170g can condensed milk (bought from Co-op as I bought from milk from Aldi)
- 100g butter (see above)
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line a 22 x 22cm square tin with baking parchment. Put the chocolate, butter and sugar into a large pan with 100ml hot water and gently melt together. Set aside for 2 mins, then stir in the soured cream followed by the eggs. Finally, stir or whisk in the flour and cocoa until lump-free, then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 50-55 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Sit the tin on a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the icing. Gently melt together icing ingredients in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, then chill or cool until spreadable.
- To decorate, carefully turn out the cooled cake and peel off the baking parchment. Spread the icing over the top and scatter with hundreds and thousands, then cut the cake into triangles or fingers before serving.