Cakery · Party Planning

Arrows of Friendship {Galentine’s Day 2021}

Hard to believe it’s March (true story: I thought it was still February until this afternoon!) which means that another Galentine’s Day party has been and gone. After the year we’ve had (if I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve thought that…) it’s been great to have a knees up to look forward to! Since we haven’t had any sort of lockdown in Christchurch, NZ, for many months, E and I plowed ahead with our party planning before Baby arrived in December.

Oh yes, so Baby is a (big) wee girl and came along on her due date – pic later in the post 😉 Because she was barely 8 weeks old by G-Day, I took a lesser role in the party prep which was made possible by our lovely friend R who has been marooned in Christchurch since the pandemic and is a superb chef and baker! She made the majority of the treats you see in these photos, including the cake layers that I then decorated (mostly while baby wearing!!)

So the theme of arrows was my choice – occasionally E lets me decide a theme!! Here’s what I said at the party by way of explanation:

Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating our friendships so this year I was inspired by a great friendship from the Old Testament of the Bible, which is the friendship between David and Jonathan. Even though Jonathan’s father King Saul is against David (in spite of David’s loyalty to him), Jonathan and David remain true friends. In the book of 1st Samuel, chapter 20, there is a feast that David misses in order to find out if Saul is trying to kill him. Jonathan is at the feast and he and David agree that David will wait in a field and after the feast Jonathan will come to warn him whether he is safe or not from King Saul. But they have to communicate in such a way so that Jonathan’s servant doesn’t know David is there, and so they decide that Jonathan will shoot arrows into the field which his servant will collect. He uses the code words “Isn’t the arrow beyond you? Hurry go quickly!” to warn David that his life is in danger, and by doing this he saves David in spite of his own father. So the arrows at the party today symbolise the true friendship of David and Jonathan, made possible because they both made a promise before God to be faithful friends.

The cake recipe R used was my vanilla cake base from this post, which she spiked with a chai spice mixture. The icing was Swiss meringue buttercream and for the filling between the two top and two bottom layers I used an American buttercream with coconut flavour and desiccated coconut added. I reckon the filling was a perfect sweet touch for the warm spices of the cake, so I’ve included the recipe for it below.

Coconut Buttercream

Makes enough for two generously thick layers of filling between three cake layers of a 9” round cake

  • 250g butter, cut into small cubes and brought to room temperature
  • 4 cups (approx 500g) icing sugar
  • 2 tsp coconut essence
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  1. In a large bowl with a hand beater (or in the bowl or a stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until it is smooth and lighter in colour than the butter was initially.
  2. Add both coconut additions and beat to combine, tasting to check if the flavour is strong enough. Cover or use the icing straight away as it will form a crust quickly.

If you’ve read this far and you’re curious about the cake decorating process, see below! I went for a rough top edge with the buttercream, which I painted with gold lustre dust plus decorator’s spirit onto the chilled iced cake. I used the same mixture to make the arrow pattern on the side of cake, by painting a wooden kebab skewer with the gold dust mixture and pressing onto the cake to form the arrow shafts (the arrow head shape came from a plastic furniture corner protector!) Speaking of the side, that smooth cake exterior took several goes with my metal scraper, filling in the holes in between scrapes. Arrow sprinkles(!!!) from Spotlight 🙂

Naturally, the many other delicious food items also took on the arrow theme – pictured below: chocolate-dipped strawberry arrows, arrow cheese straws, and an arrow-shaped vege platter to name a few!

The games were as arrow-themed as we could make them, too; darts, and build-an-arrow-from-spaghetti-and-mini-marshmallows?!

Most special thanks to these two who did the lion’s share of the team-work this year… ❤ ❤ E & R ❤ ❤

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