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Argggh! Scintillating questions re advance food preparation for a party... yawn...

(11 Posts)
zippy539 Wed 27-Jul-05 20:38:58

I'm having a party for DH's 40th on Sunday afternoon and I'm trying to get as much stuff done in advance as I can. Unfortunately I seemed to have reached my grand old age without acquiring any culinary know-how whatsoever, so I'm really hoping someone will be able to help me out with the answers to these questions...

How far in advance can I make the sponge birthday cake, and also how far ahead can I ice it (I'm attempting Delia's chocolate fudge topping/filling). What's the best way to store it to keep it fresh?

How far in advance for making a cheese cake (just regular kind - biscuit base, white chocolate, cream etc topping).

How long do you reckon a frozen quiche would take to thaw? And is it a good idea to freeze one in the first place (recipe says fine, just thaw before cooking?)

Finally, is vanilla extract the same as vanilla essence?

If you detect a note of hysteria in this post it's because DH's Mum is coming to the party and she already suspects that I'm a complete domestic incompetent - so I REALLY don't want to serve her half frozen quiche, soggy cheesecake and de-hydrated sponge.

Bellie Wed 27-Jul-05 21:08:37

Hi zippy -no culinary genius here either but - I would try to make the sponge cake the day before as I find they tend to start getting staleish (sp) after a couple of days - although you can freeze but I have never done this. I would ice on the morning. - store in an airtight cake tin.

No idea about cheese cake I'm afraid - apart from eating

I would defrost quiche in fridge overnight - if you don't have enough room in fride probably take 2-3 hours at room temp.
Sorry not good with vanilla q either.

Hope it goes well - sounds like dh will have a great party!!

CarolinaMoon Wed 27-Jul-05 21:13:53

Think extract is the better one - essence is synthetic (?) - check the ingredients list on them maybe?

will the cheesecake freeze? Otherwise make it the day before.

agree with bellie about the cake - I would ice it that morning if poss.

zippy539 Wed 27-Jul-05 21:47:07

Thanks Bellie and CarolinaMoon - that's brilliant - really useful . I'll do the cake Saturday and ice it on Sunday morning, cheesecake the night before, quiche defrosting in the fridge...

Gawd. I'm getting my knickers in such a twist about the whole thing that I decided to calm down with a nice glass of wine - but have spent the last fifteen minutes trying to wrestle the lid off the wine bottle cause it turns out to be a screw top! Don't suppose you've got any tips on how to open screw top wine bottles???!!!

zippy539 Wed 27-Jul-05 21:47:46

Ahhh - bliss. Managed to get it open...

toothyboy Wed 27-Jul-05 21:50:25

I believe my mum has always frozen her cheesecakes. So I'd make it as early as possible, and then defrost overnight.

zippy539 Wed 27-Jul-05 22:06:00

Oh, thanks toothyboy - that's brilliant! The more I can do ahead of time the better.

Umm - one more stupid question - when the cheesecake recipe says soft cheese, that means something like philadelphia doesn't it? Or am I way off beam?

CarolinaMoon Thu 28-Jul-05 13:12:25

yep, should be cream cheese. You could get mascarpone if you are feeling flash or go to the deli counter in the supermarket and just ask for cream cheese.

Sugarmag Thu 28-Jul-05 13:31:02

you can definitely freeze cheesecake and spongecake although if you store the sponge in a really airtight container it should keep for a couple of days. I wouldn't ice until the day of the party. Tip re the icing - Delia's all well and good but I prefer Betty. As in Betty Crocker's (ready-made) chocolate fudge frosting. It's an american brand and VERY yummy - no one will know the difference if you don't tell them !

Vanilla extract is better than vanilla essence - essence can be completely synthetic but extract has to contain some actual vanilla.

Ha ha, listen to me - you'd think I actuallly knew what I was talking about it. Maybe I know more than I think I do.

Sugarmag Thu 28-Jul-05 13:31:34

P.S. Asda and Sainsbury's both sell Betty Crocker frosting!

zippy539 Fri 29-Jul-05 08:39:39

SugarMag - thanks for that, Betty Crocker sounds like my new favourite person - off to Sainsbury's this afternoon to get some.

CarolinaMoon - thanks for the cheese info - you're a star!

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