Posted by Jules
A month ago I was asked to decorate a cake for a special joint party where one person (my sister-in-law) would be celebrating her 30th and Grandma (ok, technically grandma-in-law) would be celebrating her 90th. Although the only cake I’ve ever iced properly was a Christmas cake for just the two of us a few years back certainly not one that would be seen by 70 people. Who was I to say no to a fantastic lady who credits her 90 years to cream cakes and Guinness.
The first hurdle was to construct the fruit cake. Long story, but I essentially had to cement together 3 fruit cakes, one of which was a top-tier of a wedding cake, to make one cake measuring 25cm square. Then using apricot jam I stuck and smoothed on the marzipan layer and left for a week to dry out.
A week before the party I started on the icing. Probably not the best thing to do given it was the hottest day of the summer we’ve had so far. I watched a video online showing how to ice with fondant to give me a bit more confidence then had a go. All was going well until I lifted the icing up with my rolling pin to transfer onto the cake. I don’t know if it was the weight of the icing or the fact it was such a hot day but lots of tiny stretch marks appeared over the icing. I smoothed it out as much as possible then this is where the purple flowers came in. I used lilac florist paste to make the flowers. I’d wanted the cake to be purple and white because that is Grandma’s favourite colours but the flowers rather than being decorating became a camouflage job.
It’s not exactly how I wanted it, that’s the problem with being a perfectionist, but the main this is that Grandma loved it. It hasn’t put me off cake decorating, I just need a bit of practice. Local cake decorators have nothing to fear right now!