The surprise birthday which the family was talking about for days!
Is it possible to hold a fully vegan celebration WITH cakes?
Suraj's birthday was coming up. It wasn't one of the 'big ones' that people often celebrate, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to get the family together.
I decided to make it a surprise, which made it a little complicated, but it was so worth it! I feel so satisfied when I look back at the photos. There's one photo in particular, which captured the look on his face, when he walked in to the lounge and heard "surprise." That's my favourite one! You'll see it in the slideshow at the top of the post.
Thanks to my brother-in-law Arjun, I have that memory captured on camera!
So getting back to the surprise! I wanted it to be 100% vegan. I needed it to be easy to manage because it was a surprise. Therefore, I couldn't provide a 3 course meal! Suraj would definitely notice the shopping and how would I explain the amount of cooking involved?
So I decided to go for a dessert only event. Now, who wouldn't like that? Plus tea, coffee and juices, of course.
Where would I get the desserts from?
I have ordered from a couple of different vegan caterers before, but I wanted to go for someone different. The main reason for this is, I like to support small businesses and I love to try food from different cooks!
When we moved home; I wanted to celebrate the palaver being over, so I ordered a selection of cakes from Blue Lotus. They were delicious! However, just so you don't spend time looking them up; they no longer offer a 'cake by post' service.
We got the family together when it was the tenth anniversary of Suraj's grandparents passing away. For this occasion; we cooked the meal, but we got a selection of desserts from Shambhu's. They were so yummy!
So what about this event? I did some research and went for The Heavenly Cake Company.
Which vegan desserts did I order?
I chose 6 cakes to cater for about 20 people. I knew they'd want to try them all so I cut them into thin slices, so that everyone could have a few each and not feel too full or too greedy!
These are the cakes I ordered:-
How we worked together to keep Suraj in the dark
Luckily my gorgeous neighbour said she'd keep the cakes in her fridge.
I had all the glasses, plates and cutlery needed so that was under control.
I asked someone to bring fruit juices, because we don't buy carton juices often, so he'd know if the fridge was suddenly full of them!
I arranged it all by text, so that Suraj wasn't suspicious about me suddenly talking lots on the phone.
The hardest thing to manage was getting him out of the house, so that I could set the lounge up, let the guests in and hide them! That's where my father-in-law came in! He told Suraj he wanted to meet up, so we got busy whilst they were out! Luckily everyone arrived before they got back.
How did it go?
Apart from Suraj being chuffed and the family loving the opportunity to get together; everyone seemed really surprised that all the cakes were vegan.
They thought they looked good, tasted no different to dairy cakes and they were amazed that were many more varieties were available!
Was it worth it?
The family came together in one space.
Suraj had a surprise birthday celebration.
Everyone got to see and taste yummy vegan cakes.
I got to try a different provider of vegan desserts!
Apparently, it wasn't forgotten quickly.
My brother-in-law couldn't make it, but after a few weeks he said "everyone's talking about it" i.e. they're STILL talking about how good it was!
Can't get better than that, can it?
"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but they seize us."
- Ashley Montagu