So, it was my niece's 2nd birthday on Friday and because I enjoy baking I have bagsied the annual job of providing the birthday cake. This year I was going to make a farmyard scene from a book by my favourite cake decorator, Ms Parrish, but I left everything to the last minute and had to opt for something a little more straight-forward. So I freestyled and plumped for teddy bears wearing party hats:
The cake is a Madeira with just a buttercream and strawberry jam filling. I always find Madeira cake a bit dry but there's no denying that it is easy-peasy to work with and lasts a while if stored properly. I covered the whole thing in pink sugarpaste with a border of marshmallows (I know! but my niece loves them).
To jazz it up I made a couple of little teddy bears and wove a basket of sugarpaste which I filled with dolly mixture sweets and smarties.
I baked the cake and iced the board on Friday night and spent yesterday afternoon decorating, hardly coming up for air. I am pleased with how it turned out but so wish I didn't leave everything to the last minute. (I am always lastminute.com with everything in my life and cause myself so much unnecessary stress! I get on my own nerves so I'm sure the OH must despair of me.) There are a few minor things which could have been neater if I'd given myself more time. Still, my niece was enchanted by the little bears and that's the main thing. She was so cute trying to blow out the candles.
I've only made a few celebration cakes before and I always find it difficult when the knife goes in and evidence of MY WHOLE SATURDAY! is chopped into slices and handed round on plates ... was practically biting my knuckles when Pa picked up the basket (eeeek! that took me an hour!) and bit into the handle. Ha!
In other news; a spontaneous dinner out with the OH on Thursday night for wine and steak was a lovely treat, Wii Party last night with my step-son was hilarious and I feel like I'm getting somewhere with the crochet. I have only managed to produce a tiny piece of work so far (looks like a scarf for a mouse) but it is recognisably crochet and that's a massive thing for me. Huge thanks to the ladies who have put crochet tutorials on their blogs; it's you that I'm learning from. You rule.
So, time to pack up the laptop and prepare for another busy week: a couple of woodburners fitted tomorrow (yay!) and a long weekend in the Peak District for lots of walking and wine. I am also starting yoga again tomorrow night after a long period off and can't wait.