I have to admit to being quite proud of this cake. Made for my twin sister Sue's 50th birthday party it shared centre stage with Sue (of course) and her very talented friend Ali, whose amazing operatic voice filled the room, at Excellar Wine Bar in Surbiton on the night of October 11th 2013.
After leaving the Crown Prosecution Service (her life of crime as she describes it) Sue became a travel writer hence the theme of the cake. She's a prolific 'list' maker with a love of Africa and wild animals and she's not adverse to the odd tipple - which gave me plenty of scope for decoration ideas. Contrary to most peoples assumptions I'm not very artistic, but I do take inspiration from images and props around me and use them when designing a cake. I noticed these suitcases in a window display of a shop on Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury and took a quick photo for reference purposes! The hip flask, made from fondant icing, was modelled on a small one my mother had on display in her glass cabinet.
The cake had to be transported (this will become a recurrent theme) from Shrewsbury to London about 2 weeks before the party so it needed to be fruit. To make the oblong shape I used a Silverwood Multisize cake tin which is a handy item for anyone making cakes on a frequent basis. Rather than having a cupboard full of different size tins it stores flat and you can adjust the dividers according to the size required. Once I had mixed the fondant to the colour I wanted - not too dark and not too orangey - it was relatively simple task to cover the suitcase 'base' with icing and add the trim and fine details. Placing it on a clear glass chopping board rather than a cake drum meant the map beneath would form part of the display.
The passport, notebook, tickets, currency, photos, luggage labels and 'to do' list are all printed onto rice paper using edible ink. I scanned and copied images into Word documents and emailed them to a company called eatmyface.co.uk . I'm not overly keen on the company name but the concept is great and I have used them on a couple of occasions as they are reasonably priced with a quick turnaround. The A4 pages of rice paper can be cut to size using sharp scissors and stored until required. For the passports and journal I created 'books' using a few blank white rice paper pages cut to the same size as the image/cover page and 'glued' them together with a small dab of royal icing. Avoid getting the rice paper sheets wet at all cost and be aware that solid blacks do not always print true to colour.
The comments from Sue's guests on seeing the cake ranged from "It's not really a cake - is it?" to "It's a shame to cut it". Everyone thought it was a very special cake for a very special person and I have to say I agree!!
|Me and my lovely twin sister Sue|