Cake and Pimms, Dahling?

I started to get a clue that my cakes and family birthdays were becoming a synonymous thing when I received a telephone call from my mother, which went something like this:

Mum:  “Your sister and I have been discussing my upcoming birthday.  I’d really like to have a Pimms and cake party, but there’s a problem.”

(Pause to allow me to make appropriate querying noises)

Mum: “Yes.  You see, we have the Pimms side of things sorted.  We have the ingredients for Pimms cocktails.  We know how to make Pimms cocktails.  The problem is the cake.  We have such a severe shortage of it.  In fact, we have none!”

(Slight pause for dramatic deep breath…continues, in tones of faux distress…)

“This is such a huge problem, we don’t know how to get ’round it.  And I do SO want a Pimms and cake party for my birthday.  I don’t suppose you have any ideas, do you?”

(Pause, filled with expectant waiting and the sound of Big Sis giggling in the background.)

Me: “Would you like me to make you some cakes for your birthday party?”

Mum (in totally feigned surprise): “Oh, would you?  How incredible of you to offer!”

And so, this is how it came about that I made four fresh cakes for my Mum’s 2013 birthday party, including my third fondant covered and decorated cake.

Gardening CakeBy the time I embarked upon this gardening themed cake I had a much better understanding of working with fondant…I had researched solutions to previous issues and gathered a lot of new and useful information.  I had also learned to at least attempt to level a cake properly before covering.  All of this made for a MUCH easier cake decorating experience.  (No?  Really?!  How terribly surprising! ;D)

This time I used a dense chocolate fudge cake, filled and frosted with vanilla buttercream.

Little M's Hand GlovesThe gardening gloves were created out of fondant using a template of Little M’s hands…Baby Bro drew round them (with some difficulty, I gather, as Little M was being rather squirmy and wanted to draw other things with the pen), then sent me them as a pdf.  The pattern was drawn onto the gloves with an edible ink pen after they’d been cut out.

They were originally intended to drape off the edge of the cake, but I snapped the fingers of the bottom one and they just wouldn’t sit right.  As it turned out, I actually preferred their final positioning…just wish I hadn’t damaged them.

My first ever fondant rosesThese were my very first fondant roses, made by rolling them up, like you would to make a ribbon rose.  The plant pots are mini silicon muffin cups and the soil is made using dark chocolate flakes.

Fondant welliesIt was this cake that illustrated to me the odd thrill people get from eating miniature things made from sugarpaste and chocolate.  People got all excited to eat a welly boot or a rose, acting like little kids and picking all the daisies off the fence whilst sporting slightly mischievous looks.  It was fun to watch and is the reason I often have ‘secret flavours’ hidden amongst the decorations on my cakes.

Mocha cakeThis mocha cake was three layers of coffee sponge cake, sandwiched together and frosted with dark chocolate buttercream.  For the decorations I made little sacks using chocolate fondant, filled one with chocolate coated coffee beans and the other with milk chocolate chips, finishing them off with small pieces of string.

Mojito cakeNext up was a mojito cake made up of three layers of rum cake, sandwiched together with lime buttercream containing just a hint of fresh mint.

Cocktail umbrella decorationThe mojito cake was delicious, but while lots of people commented on how pretty it looked, it seemed the flavour combinations were a little too adventurous for most.  This was the least popular cake of the day.

Disaster cake

This is Disaster Cake.  It was supposed to be a lemon drizzle cake but half of it stuck to the tin when I was turning it out and it was too broken to serve naked.

Disaster Cake InsideMy solution was to drizzle it with the lemon sugar, wedge it together, slather it in lemon frosting and heap a ton of berries all over it.  Disaster Cake was a resounding success, only beaten in popularity by the chocolate fudge cake.

Cupcakes - Lemon poppyseed, cappucino, fresh strawberry, chocolate guiness & baileysFinally, I made a selection of cupcakes (top to bottom):

  • lemon poppyseed
  • cappuccino
  • fresh strawberry & vanilla
  • chocolate with Irish cream liqueur.

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