In more cheerful news, we have had a couple of BIG family birthdays this month. My Father-in-law Baz, or Pops as my boys call him, was 65. He finally retired from his job as a school caretaker, which he absolutely loved. At this moment, he and my mother-in-law are sunning themselves on a cruise of the Med, the lucky things, in celebration of the next stage of their lives.
There are a few things you need to know about Baz. He's a musician, and a self confessed ladies man. And he looks a bit like Father Christmas. As he's a big flirt, my mother-in-law asked me to make him a booby cake. A BOOBY cake?! Well, erm OK then, it could be a laugh....
I made two cakes, one a vanilla sponge and one a coffee cake - Baz's favourite. I baked them both in Pyrex mixing bowls, as the cake needed to feed 60 at his surprise birthday party. This took HOURS - about 3.5 hours per cake! After this, I cut them in two places and sandwiched them back together with vanilla buttercream and sieved home made raspberry jam.
The sugarpaste came from the fab Squires Kitchen, an online shop that I could spend hours browsing (and often do). It took me about 3 hours to ice the cake, having covered it roughly in more buttercream.
The best fun for me, by far, was making the cake topper. I have a really talented friend, Jenny (http://www.hillandatree.com/) who does fabulous things with Fimo clay, and she'd inspired me to have a go myself. I'd seen wedding cake toppers, and wanted to make a model of Baz playing his guitar. It was marvellous fun.
The structure of his body is made from wire, with tin foil putting flesh on the bones. The clay then needs to be softened and rolled out quite thinly and wrapped around the tin foil. This was not as easy as I thought, especially for his clothes. Eventually I blasted him with a paint stripper gun. It felt a bit odd (and could, I imagine, be quite cathartic, depending on the member of family one had modelled...)
I was quite pleased with the outcome. Quite a good likeness I thought...
The party was brilliant - Baz had no idea that most of his family and friends would be there, so was thrilled to bits. The cake was a hit too - and apparently a lot of fun was had at the end of the night after we had gone home.
Do you think boys ever grow up?
Lots of love