“Mammy, why are you so good at art?”. After spending three hours working on the decoration of Number One’s birthday cake, I was over the moon to be asked this. Number One had very definite ideas about how he wanted his Lego Movie themed birthday party to be and I was sure he would be disappointed with the very basic Emmet that I had fashioned for the top of the birthday cake.
Before I go any further, let me say that I was inspired to give fondant icing a go because the oh so talented Emily from The Nest posted a fantastic tutorial recently, detailing how she decorated a birthday cake for her daughter. In letting myself be inspired, I neglected to take into account two things. Namely:
1. Emily is an actual artist who exhibits her beautiful works and I am not.
2. It was 37°C when I was trying to get this cake decorated and that is possibly not the optimum temperature at which to try to mould sugar paste.
The planning stage was a doddle and I was feeling very confident, two days ahead of the party. The night before the party, one hour into the nitty gritty I was ready to throw in the towel. It was 10pm, still around 30°C and very humid. Then I remembered that good old Irish mantra “Sure, it’ll be grand”. I set it all aside and decided to continue in the cool of the morning since the cool of the night didn’t seem to be approaching any time soon.
I will admit there was a niggling little voice at the back of my mind asking “What’ll you do it if the plan doesn’t work out?”. I did my best to ignore it and moved on to decorating the fairy cakes I had baked earlier in the evening. They were done in no time, thanks to my dunk-dunk-jab technique. That entails dunking a fairy cake into melted chocolate then into dessicated coconut or coloured sprinkles and then jabbing two half cocktail sticks into it. Once they were all dunked and jabbed, each one was topped with a Lego figure, secured in place by cocktail sticks up his legs.
The following morning, in the relative cool of the morning, I set to work again on the fondant Emmet. I was a little more clear-headed and worked a lot faster and with a better technique than the previous evening. Things started to take shape and everything finally came together before the midday heat set in (39°C!).
It may sound a bit vain, but I was so pleased and relieved when I brought the birthday cake to the table and all Number One’s friends recognised Emmet from the Lego Movie. They even knew that that red thing behind him is the piece of resistence!
Number Two has already put in his order with me for a Batman cake for his birthday at the end of the month. Let’s hope the weather plays along.
If anyone is interested in the cake recipe or the tutorial for the picture, let me know in the comments.