As promised, here is part two of the Faraway Tree party…
I was tasked with recreating the 'wishing cake' from the Land of Birthdays. The girls fell in love with this illustration in my old edition of The Enchanted Wood. I was looking forward to having lots of fun piping all those garlands and flowers but sadly things did not go entirely to plan.
The Mr. is away on a 10 day ski trip in New Zealand so I am currently enduring a stint of single parenting (props to those of you who do this all the time - I'm in awe!). I hadn't had much sleep in the days preceding and on cake-making-day the kids were in a particularly feral mood. There was a brawl, and a bowl was thrown across the room and smashed into hundreds of tiny pieces. My nerves were on edge. I realised late in the afternoon I didn't have all the ingredients I needed so we had to make an emergency trip to the shops with said feral children in tow - more calamity ensued.
By bed time I thought the dramas were over. The cake was out of the oven and the house was finally calm. And then I realised I had lost my case of piping tips. I searched the entire house, unpacked innumerable boxes and even tried to climb into the roof space to see if they had been accidentally put in long term storage. All to no avail.
After a few tears, I got angry and decided I wasn't going to let it defeat me. I managed to locate one star tip and a fine round tip that I hadn't put away in the case after I last used them. I wasn't going to be able to pipe the leaves or flowers but I was going to do my best to cobble something together. 5 cups of coffee later, and well after midnight I had something resembling the picture. I figured I'd pop to the supermarket on the way to the party and pick up some pre-made sugar flowers to stick where the piped ones should have been.
I successfully transported the cake on the almost two hour dive to the party. Now if you've ever been to Puffing Billy you'll know how twisty the roads are around the Belgrave area, so this was no mean feat. Just as a feeling of relief was washing over me, on the final roundabout the top two layers of cake slid off the bottom layer and the whole cake went smack onto the cake carrier. The entire front section of icing smooshed off - the pink piped swag, the garland of silver cachous I had painstakingly stuck on and the perfectly smoothed pale green buttercream below was ruined in an instant. I waved my fists in the air and said a bad word that begins with F.
Honestly at that point I just felt like throwing the cake in the bin and pouting. But you know it was a kid's birthday party and I'm supposed to be a mature adult. So I pulled myself (and the cake) together, stuck those sugar flowers over the gaping icing holes and attempted to feign a party enthusiasm I really wasn't feeling (insert overly theatrical jazz hands here).
I realise the kids weren't at all concerned about the smooshed front, but something about my A type perfectionist personality couldn't really let it go. Even now just looking at the pictures makes me feel a bit dejected. I think I had a cakexistential crisis of sorts. What was the point of all that decorating and heartache laced between the chocolate layers, when it was destined only to be cut and eaten? Maybe I'll just buy my next cake at Woolworths…
In case you were wondering what was underneath the icing, the cake was a three layer chocolate tofu cake sandwiched with raspberry filling (due to dietary restrictions of the birthday girl this cake had to be wheat and dairy free).