My first blog
|What is a birthday without cake? Surely, the sugary treat is every bit as important as presents and spending time with loved ones? Am I right?
Personally, I am a big fan of cake (and anything else that is sweet and delicious), so when I was given the task of making the cake for my friend's fortieth birthday, I revelled in the challenge.
As a child, my parents always made my birthday cakes. My Dad was both a great cook and incredibly creative, and my Mum was good at coming up with ideas. So, every year, I had a custom-made cake in the shape of my Cabbage Patch Kid (not the prettiest of cakes, but I loved that toy), a horse, and Wonder Woman, to name but a few. The cake was always the biggest surprise for me, and Mum and Dad never revealed it until the party. Maybe that's why I am so in love with cakes today Okay, maybe I just have a sweet tooth.
So, back to my friend's birthday. I've made cakes before. You know, the standard type that are round and have butter cream in the middle and on top. Chocolate, coffee & walnut, lemon drizzle. I've made them, and, usually, they turn out well. For my friend, however, the 'birthday committee' (yes, really; it existed) decided a shoe with a stiletto heel would be perfect. And, yes. They were right. There was probably nothing more appropriate for my friend. But, and I ask this with genuine interest, have you ever tried to cut a stiletto shoe into a lump of sponge? It's impossible. Well, not impossible because professional cake makers do it. I baked three separate cakes, and each time I screwed up with the heel. The first time, I chopped it off, and the second it just came out as a messy lump of cake. The only good thing about this was I had a ton of sponge cake in the house. Vanilla rather than my favourite, chocolate, but cake, all the same.
The day before the party, I was having visions of me having to spend the next morning scouring the country, trying to find a shoe-shaped cake that would feed fifty. However, on my final attempt, my hand steadied itself, and I cut out what I thought was a decent Louboutin. I poured myself a coffee and sat back to admire my work.
My neighbour popped by for a chat, and I showed her my handiwork.
"Take a look at this," I said. "Do you like it?"
"Oh, cool. An elephant," came the reply.
I can't pretend I wasn't hurt. I really thought I'd done a great job. "An elephant without legs?" I wanted to say, but my faith in my ability had just about dissipated.
So, of course, I hit the shops for some grey food dye for the icing. And, if I do say so myself, it turned out okay. On the day of the party, everyone knew it was an elephant, albeit, a leg-less one. My friend loved it. The party was saved. And, I vowed to never, ever offer to make a cake for anyone again.