Monday, 21 June 2010
Aging always feels better with cake - 30th Birthday Cake.
You get cards and presents and phonecalls from child relatives singing "Happy Birthday" songs at you. You get text messages, Facebook messages and emails sending best wishes for a wonderful day. You get bought lots of drinks and don't get judged for drinking every single one of them. You get £5's worth of free stuff from The Body Shop if you've got a loyalty card. But, most importantly, you get to celebrate with people you really really like, in the same room, at the same time, on a particular fixed date. If ever I have tried to arrange a get together with more than 6 people, the dates are thrown back and forth and swapped about so many times, that, more often than not, it ends up never happening. This doesn't happen on birthdays, because the date isn't negotiable. It just is when it is. Granted, there are always people who can't come, but that's OK, it just means more celebrations are to be had with them at another time, and more cake can be eaten.
True to form, I have managed to have four celebrations for one birthday already this year. I like to drag them out for as long as humanly possible. The last celebration was on Saturday night and it was a joint party with two dear friends of old. We lived together as students at Leeds University and had fairly regular parties at our gaff back in the day. This time round we made mixtapes and banners, but what's a birthday party without a cake?
I made a two tier cake, iced in light blue sugar paste. The top tier was a sachertorte (a Viennese chocolate cake named after the Sacher Hotel) and the bottom tier was a chocolate and black cherry cake: a grateful nod to a childhood favourite - the black forest gateau, which gets a very undeserved bad press these days. I decorated the bottom tier with Spring/Summery flowers, bumble bees (a personal favourite addition to any cake) and butterflies. I painted the top tier with clouds, a big red kite, a "V" formation flight of birds and a big gold "30". For all the painting, I used edible powder dye mixed with melted cocoa butter. For the flower heads and butterflies I used floristry paste with royal icing centres and I used sugar paste for the bumble bees. The photo is unfortunately very dark as it was quite late at night by the time the camera came out, but in real life, the cake's colours were bright and sunny.