Thursday, November 30, 2006

The importance of 4

Yesterday was a very important day in this house, Tilly's 4th birthday. Her brother has his birthday in August which makes Tilly's birthday feel like a very long wait. She has been dreaming of her birthday since, well, since her last one I suppose. The grand age of 4 feels very grown up and the whole business of having a 4th birthday has been consumming all of us for weeks. Clearly there can be no talk of Christmas until this important birthday was done with. This year I made my very first proper birthday cake. I do lots of baking but have never really ventured into the realms of creative icing. Basic iced fairy cakes are no problem and I sometimes adorn the lemon drizzle cake with a little bit of lemon icing, always with a homespun (drippy) finish. Tilly had asked for a princess dress cake and I distantly remembered reading of this idea in my Nigella. Unfortuately Nigella really didn't offer very much by way of instruction but a quick google boosted my confidence a little. I couldn't find cake tins suitable and was forced to use pyrex bowls to get dome shapes. Subsequent oven temperatures and baking times were all a little haphazzard and I must confess that some cake did go to the bin (although it wasn't so bad that some of it didn't pass through our mouths too). Eventually the sponge was completed and so began the decorating. I never really thought I would one day find myself stripping Barbie and painting her with apricot jam, I suspect there are people who would pay to watch, should I ever fall on particularly hard times. I inserted her into the cake (again this is slightly uncomfortable territory) and proceeded to dye my fondant and create a ballgown. I must say that I am rather delighted with my efforts. I really was half expecting a last minute dash to the supermarket got rather stressed at one point but ended up being rather proud of my iced cake.

She wants a Fairytale Castle next year....


Blogger Elizabeth said...

You did a beautiful job!
I vaguely remember Barbie-in-the-cake sometime around a 4th b-day as well. Hers was a hula skirt (we were doing a tropical theme)
Now that you've conquered the doll cake, the castle should be a snap :)
(wink wink nudge nudge: Wilton makes a castle mold)

Thursday, November 30, 2006 4:27:00 pm  
Blogger Charity said...

Wonderful cake! I used Pyrex bowls one year to make a teapot cake for a tea party... fun, fun! :0)

I also did a castle one year, not as scary as it sounded. I did a couple of squares layered, with another square quartered and centered for the tower. Then I rolled small pointy ice cream cones in icing and sprinkles for the turrets. :0) I'm sure if you can manage the doll, a castle will be easy peasey.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 9:58:00 pm  
Blogger littlejennywren said...

She is beautiful. You did a wonderful job. I really think you started with the most difficult cake, the castle will be easy.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:39:00 pm  
Anonymous marjorie said...

What a beautiful cake, you did a lovely job. I made green minty icing for one birthday cake and the children thought it was toothpaste and wouldn't eat it.

Friday, December 01, 2006 1:35:00 am  
Blogger said...

What a lovely cake! I made cake castles with Lego knights and cake rockets for my boys, but this Barbie thing is just terrific!

Friday, December 01, 2006 6:11:00 am  
Blogger RooKnits said...

What a fab cake!

Friday, December 01, 2006 10:34:00 am  
Blogger Midsummer night's knitter said...

I can see the 'importance of pink' is just as important! But who am I to go on? I've just asked for a pair of very pink Crocs for Christmas...

Friday, December 01, 2006 10:51:00 am  
Anonymous Nora said...

Oh, wow! WOW!!

Friday, December 01, 2006 10:53:00 am  
Anonymous heather said...

OMG - I do not dare show this to my 4 year old ! She would have it confirmed for all time then that I am a hopelessly inadequate mother when it comes to the birthday cake stakes - a somewhat lopsided victoria sponge is about the best I can do :0) She's beautiful. I am deeply jealous.

Friday, December 01, 2006 11:38:00 am  
Blogger yvette said...

Happy Birthday Tilly and what a fabulous cake, well done.

Friday, December 01, 2006 4:07:00 pm  
Blogger Marie said...

My nieces demand a barbie cake from their mother every birthday, and I dread the day my 3 year old wakes up and realises she may make a demand too...I'm pretty sure there's suitable cake tins available though(?)

Friday, December 01, 2006 6:28:00 pm  
Blogger Stephanie said...

That cake is gorgeous!

Friday, December 01, 2006 8:43:00 pm  
Blogger Johanne said...

Brilliant - Are you open to orders - it's my birthjday on Sunday!!! Anything resembling a ball of yarn will do.....

Friday, December 01, 2006 9:05:00 pm  
Anonymous kris said...

omg! it's beautiful! i love the fairy cakes as well; wonder if i shouldn't come round to your house for my next bday!

Friday, December 01, 2006 9:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Jane said...

It's wonderful - well done! I did one like this a couple of years after a fairytale castle which was just a cake too far. Stick with plunging Barbies in sponge is my advice. Castles are nightmares.

Friday, December 01, 2006 10:16:00 pm  
Blogger Sabine said...

Wohooo, what a terrific cake. Overwhelming. Too bad (or is it advantageous) that my daughter has "long" passed her 4th birthday.
You did a beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous cake. Amazing.

Saturday, December 02, 2006 12:43:00 pm  
Anonymous carol said...

A very happy birthday to Tilly. What an amazing cake - you did a wonderful job. I could not even contemplate doing something like that. Shop bought stuff for my boys I am afraid!

Saturday, December 02, 2006 2:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Wendy said...

Oh Rebecca that is such a pretty cake. Happy Birthday to Tilly and sorry it's late.

Sunday, December 03, 2006 2:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Krawuggl said...

What a gorgeous cake! Your little daughter must have been the proudest one for having such a talented (and patient) mummy. And I really donĀ“t envy you for making a whole castle, on the other side it could be great fun, too (I hope so).
Your Barbie-in-the-cake is soooo beautiful, I wish I would be 4 years old again to get such a marvellous cake.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 2:03:00 pm  

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