Recently I had the opportunity to help one of my best friends throw an epic Sweet 16 party for her daughter. Tricia is lovably goofy, loves to write and marches to her own beat. She is one of the sweetest teenagers I know and reminds me a lot of myself at her age so I was super excited to help plan her party. She liked the idea of a “Night Under the Stars” theme and over time it morphed into a wonderful, sparkly mess with rich, galaxy-like colors.
Our party planning committee consisted of a handful of crafty people who put lots of love into fun details. We made a photo booth backdrop (complete with silly props), handmade signs and banners and her mom spent a painstaking amount of time choosing photos of Tricia and pinning them above the cake and present table. Handmade centerpieces and an autograph photo mat were the perfect thing for her to remember the party by.
I will often make the cake or cupcakes for close friend’s parties, but because of the large guest list there was no way I could make 100 cupcakes + a cake and physically move the following week. I ordered the cupcakes plain from the store and decorated them with colored sugar and chocolate dough dusted in silver luster dust. The recipe was adapted from The Sweetapolita Bakebook and tastes incredible compared to fondant so it was the perfect choice for a large party.
To make the cake I used a boxed cake mix and homemade frosting. I refuse to use canned frosting because it has a terrible texture and it does not accept color well. After using a watercolor technique to frost the cake I piped dollops on top and decorated it with sprinkles, edible star confetti and chocolate dough stars.
The night of the party our planning committee was exhausted from spending the entire morning decorating but seeing Tricia’s reaction made every single ache and pain worth it. We danced the night away and celebrated an incredibly beautiful young lady that I am proud to have known since she was just a few months old.
Author: The Ruby Kitchen
Adapted from: The Sweetapolita Bakebook
12 ounce bag colored chocolate melts
90 grams light corn syrup
2-6 drops AmeriColor gel paste, optional (if a darker color is desired)
1. Cover a large sheet pan with wax paper or plastic wrap and set aside. Do not use parchment paper for this step – I tried it and it failed!
2. In a glass bowl, microwave candy coating in 25 second increments, stirring well after each interval. Repeat until mixture is smooth when stirred.
3. Combine the corn syrup with gel paste (if using) and microwave for 10 seconds, stirring well.
4. Combine the corn syrup mixture with the melted chocolate and stir until well blended and thick (approx.. 30 strokes). Turn our onto prepared sheet tray and flatted until it is about ½ inch thick. Let dry for approximately 1 hour.
5. Knead the clay until it is smooth and pliable (about 1 minute). I found it easiest to knead half at a time. Place in a zip-top bag and let it rest at room temperature overnight.
6. To make shapes, knead a small portion until soft and roll out. Cut in desired shapes.