Making the transition from middle school to high school can be a pretty monumental step in the life of an adolescent. To be perfectly honest, I don't remember much about my eighth grade graduation. (I would like to think my lack of memory is a sign that it was a relatively smooth transition for me. I have a feeling that my mom would have a different opinion of that season in my life, however.) The good news is that I somehow managed to survive middle school and move onto to high school without incident. It certainly doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I was a middle schooler but the fact that my youngest child is about to start high school reminds me that - it really was a long time ago.
The eight graders at my daughter's school commemorated their last days in the middle school with a formal dance last a couple of weeks ago. I catered the event - mostly to give me an excuse to hang out at the dance as a chaperone. If you call me on in though - I'm sticking to my story that I had to stay to cut and serve the cake.
The kids chose "Club Neon" as the theme for the dance. (Think black lights and neon paint splatters.) I have to admit that it was a bit of a challenge to come up with foods that I could serve that somehow tied into the theme of "Club Neon." After consulting with my daughter and as many of her friends as I could get a hold of, I finally settled on a menu that seemed suitable for the dance...
Three tier cake covered in black fondant and spattered with neon icing
Sugar cookies on lollipop sticks and iced with glow in the dark neon icing
Popcorn drizzled in neon chocolate and served in neon paper cones
Milk and dark chocolate covered strawberries
Puppy chow trail mix with neon m&m's
Glow in the dark jello squares
Mini melon fruit skewers
Whenever I make a cake for an event with kids, I usually stick to basic flavors - chocolate, vanilla, marble, etc.) I made the top 2 layers of this three tiered cake vanilla and the bottom tier was a chocolate cake. I used my Hershey's Chocolate Cake recipe for the cake because it's one of my favorites. I think I pulled it off of a can of Hershey's cocoa powder a long time ago but it is a great cake recipe.
The bottom tier of the cake was made from 2 fourteen inch cakes that were stacked together with a filling in between. In order to fill my 14 inch cake pan twice, I had to make 4 times the amount of batter that this recipe calls for. If my portions look a little inconsistent with the quantities listed, you'll know why.
Hershey's Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar 2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour 1 cup milk
3/4 cup cocoa 1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
Stir in boiling water.
Frost and decorate. Once the cake was covered in black fondant, it was time to start splattering it with neon icing. This is early on in the splattering process - before we covered the entire kitchen (and ourselves) in royal icing splatters.
The reality of the fact that my youngest child will be entering high school in just a few short months is really starting to set in. Not sure I like this.
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