Sunday 19th May 2024
Durbar Marg, Kathmandu

The party’s just hours a way. You have all the decorations up. The seating is all arranged. You have the games all figured out. And your best friend has just showed up with a big bouquet of birthday balloons.

As the guests arrive, they marvel at the work you went through. They all have a great time and wait anxiously as you blow the candles out on the cake. As the last strains of “Happy Birthday to You” come to an end, you blow them all out in a single shot and it’s time to cut the cake.

And then it happens. As each guest gets a slice of cake, their faces begin to contort into a variety of shapes. They put their fork down and move onto the ice cream. And you know by their expressions what is wrong. It’s “The Great Cake Mistake.”

While you may be excited about the presents and good times with friends, guests at a party look forward to really good cake. And if you don’t deliver, your birthday will be one of those they talk about for years to come at other parties: “Remember so-and-so’s party?” “Oh yeah, the one with that absolutely horrible cake. Who could forget?”

Here are a few tips to make sure your birthday cake is the talk of the town:

This is not the time to become self-indulgent. If you love banana cake with pineapple filling, get it some other time. Cake should not be too exotic – and there’s always a chance you’ll hit upon someone’s food allergies if you stray too far from vanilla, chocolate, marble or yellow. Even carrot cake can be a risk.

Same rule applies here. You may just want to go with an iced filling, since not everyone likes fruit, lemon, Bavarian cream or rum flavorings.

Now here’s an important choice. There’s the traditional shortening or lard based frostings – those are the ultra sweet frostings that most supermarkets serve up. You can also go for a whipped cream frosting… less sweet but you need to make sure the leftovers are refrigerated. And if you want an artistic cake, there’s always marzipan. Go with your favorite here – everyone else can just live with it.

If you have a lot of guests, sheet cakes are the way to go. You can go with a multi-tiered cake as well, but they cost a bit more. If you’re on a budget, go to a warehouse club (if you’re a member). They have great cakes for a lot less dough.If you’re doing a theme party, get the cake themed as well. Most supermarkets offer themed cakes these days and many will at least add a photo to the birthday cake using scanner technology. happy birthday cake

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