It’s Child 2’s birthday tomorrow – Happy Birthday Darling Boy.
What a week for a birthday. The town is decked out with flags and bunting as the Olympic flame passed through this afternoon. Truly momentous. I have been desperately teaching myself to use a Christmas present I haven’t really had time to play with – a video recorder, to provide footage of this historic event, I don’t think I shall be posting the results, a normal jpg will have to do.
Child 2’s party has already been held. With a mid-week birthday, this is inevitable. In fact he shared his party with a friend as many in his class have May birthdays. I supplied them with one or two birthday cake books for inspiration a couple of weeks ago and suggested they choose something together to avoid arguments over the nature of the party cake and they plumped for this:
Gold mining Goblins! what more could you want in this year of Olympic excitement.
This is copied from the phenomenon that is Debbie Brown’s Cakes. The modelling guru who has turning cake decorating into an art form, like no-one else in my view. If you read the blurb on the back of one of her cake books she started out making cakes for her children’s birthdays and her talents and business grew from there. I adore her work and often use her cakes as a starting point for other designs. She is fearless with shape, carving cakes into every imaginable form and manages to get modelling paste, used to make figures and features, to defy gravity. My favourite of her books are Magical Cakes and Enchanting Cakes for Children. The cake above is from the former.
This idea of using something in print as a launch pad for a cake design is as fairly common one. I have been ruthless in this regard. For example, if you need a ski piste then Debbie’s enchanted castle atop a mountain can be converted into a ski hut up a mountain instead:
or if you ditch the hut/castle you can have an alpine scene:
The trick with carving cake into shapes is to use a stiff madeira cake recipe. Essentially if you use the recipe I give for making a sponge, add half as much again of plain flour, to the quantity of self raising, and bake in a deep tin to produce a cake which can be sculpted into a variety of shapes, in Pyrex bowls for round or egg shapes (stick 2 together) or even cooked in the ‘shaped’ cake tins one can hire to look like footballs, giant cupcakes, books, Mickey Mouse, that sort of thing. A sharp serrated knife, buttercream, a sugarpaste coat and your imagination will do the rest!
I will provide a few hints and tips on modelling paste on the ‘Baking and What not page’ very soon…..