Ziggy turned six this week and as with each passing year, I was faced with the daunting task of constructing a birthday cake of his choosing. The pressure was INTENSE – and made more intense by the fact that I was making the cake for Zig and his little mate for their joint birthday party.
But why? Why is there intense pressure related to baked goods for small children? Small children are typically very impressed with very little and regardless of how much trouble you go to, they will only eat the icing anyway.
I blame the Cake Wrecks website squarely. And the nailed it hashtag. And Pinterest.
I am not a professional cake baker and decorator and I can say with complete certainty that I never want to be. Ever. And it's not even that I don't enjoy baking from time to time. But I have not had any training and I am too half-arsed and last minute-ish to watch a cake tutorial on Youtube. Except this one by my girl, Emily, because frankly, this is the kind of birthday cake creation I can get down with.
This year, Zig requested a Minecraft cake and the internet told me my options were limitless. I discovered more than one version that I felt I would be capable of attempting. But I've had an unshakeable cold all week and coupled with a severe case of the CBFs, let the reader be unsurprised to learn that I left all cake prep until the very last minute.
Friday morning dawned and though I wanted to hop into bed with my laptop and spend the day watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix, I typed "best chocolate cake recipe" into my search engine of choice and proceeded to make the first listing. Not going to lie, I gave thanks for my Tefal Cuisine Companion once again because it makes cake batter and icing like nobodies business.
I hadn't 100% settled on which cake design I was going for but when I flipped the cooled cake out onto the wire rack and it split right down the middle, my options narrowed somewhat. But I remained calm and largely enjoyed the process of making the cake. It wasn't midnight and I was eating A LOT of chocolate ganache as I worked so the experience was reasonably pleasant. But when I had finished, I berated myself for its many imperfections. Minecraft is a game that involves placing blocks to make things. Perfectly symmetrical blocks. So a created landscape on Minecraft would be all precise right angles. My cake landscape….how would I put it?….well, it undulated. There was zero uniformity in the blocks. It was Minecraft through the eyes of a surrealist painter – think Dali and his melting clock.
When Bren got home, I said things like, "Oh, it's shit, but it'll do." I could have made sure the squares were, well, square, and all the same size. I probably should have redone the icing writing which is always a weak point for me. But actually, when I looked at it, despite its myriad of flaws, I felt sort of proud. It was made with loads of love and LOADS of ganache. It was bloody perfect.
So no, this cake will not be repinned a trillion times, but as far as birthday cakes for kids go, I think it had all the key elements.
Hashtag nailed it and hashtag realmumsrepresent.
AND ON ANOTHER BLOG
I didn't do much reading this week due to general malaise and Jane the Virgin binge-watching, but Beautiful Three-Year-Olds by Rach at Mogantosh was lovely/hilarious/more lovely. Say what you will about 3-year-olds, but you can't deny that when they're cute, they're so gosh darn cute.