Monday, February 08, 2010

AAAAARRGGHH Me Hearties....

The boy's birthday passed, as birthdays do, in a haze of cake, presents, tantrums (me), parties (one small tea party, one big party for his friends) and cake decorating.
I have never decorated a cake before. There is a reason Tesco make cakes and I am that reason. I do not do culinary stuff well. There is even a photo album on my facebook to show the ONE time I made a spinach lasagne. I needed half a bottle of wine and approximately £36 worth of ingredients.
It was nice, but seriously... toast is easier. All hail toast.
I wish I was one of those women who could just toss a few things in a pan and make a special wonderful treat. My sister is like that. She is always regaling me with stories of steak and ale casseroles, stuff with tofu, and Thai food and the like. Me? I don't even do mashed spuds well... they need to be lumpy and quite often runny. I'm pretty sure mashed potatoes should not be runny. Ever.
So why, in my wisdom, I decided to actually decorate a cake for Joseph's birthday rather than just buy one in Tesco is beyond me. I think it was a fit of madness. However I wasn't mad enough to actually bake the thing. I enlisted my lovely aunty for that and she produced a chocolate cake so moist and yummy than I felt sorry for it.
I was going to destroy it.
With the best will in the world, it was going to die - at my hands. But at least I could say I tried.

So I googled 'Pirate cakes' and came up with a few ideas. Then I went to Sainsbury's and bought approximately £36 worth of cake decorating ingredients (including a very large, very cold bottle of Pinot Grigio). I bought coloured ready to roll icing (2 packets). I bought two packets of chocolate fingers. I bought two bars of chocolate for melting. I bought food colouring. I bought a cake board. I bought buttercream icing stuff. Oh, and pirate candles, chocolate coins and a playmobil pirate.
And yes, I bought Apricot baking glaze - which apparantly you absolutely cannot live without if you want to decorate a cake. Realising that I could not find my rolling pin (if indeed I ever owned one) I went out and bought one of those as well. Oh and some writing icing-y stuff.

And then I set about doing what I did. I shaped the icing into a shore line. I battered the buttercream and added enough blue buttercream to sink a small ship. I boiled the baking glaze and applied it thinly to the part of the cake which would have the yellow icing moulded to it. I whacked on the buttercream. I drank some wine. I made the buttercream look like a choppy sea. I drank some wine. I stuck a few candles hither and thither and embedded a plastic pirate in the top of the cake.

I pondered whether or not it looked crap as I cleaned up the 23 bowls, 4 spatulas, three knifes, 2 wooden spoons and one wine glass.
And then I called the boy out to look at it. He smiled and told me it was "totally awesome".
So I didn't care one wee ounce- but I'll let you judge for yourself.


Debs Riccio said...

It's amazing, Claire, well done - and doesn't it make all the stress and the pennies worthwhile when you get a response like that?!

mother ireland said...

Fantabulous! Looks brilliant. Bet your little guy was impressed. Well done. x

Anonymous said...

Looks fab!!

Catherine said...

Looks fab in the pic, but even better in real life. My kids were well impressed with too - with the look and the taste! xx

Fiona said...

I love it! The waves look brill :D

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