novelty cakes for kids that I make more fun than perfectionism. A request for a gluten free plain vanilla cake for an adult made me shiver with horror. I am not good at plain cakes, layer cakes or piping decorations. So I reverted to the novelty cakes idea.
It had to be a simple cake that could be made in the morning before heading down to the party in Geelong. A book. My dad thinks nothing of building a bookshelf to cover an entire wall. He once organised his books according to the Bliss system. He often holds passionate conversations about the books he has been reading. A book was perfect. I used the style of the spooky book in Annie Rigg's Birthday Cakes for Kids, but I wanted a book to suit my dad.
doughnuts I made him a few weeks back so much that I decided to make some mini jam doughnuts for him. I made the dough and let it rise during the week, froze it and took it from the freezer before going to bed on the evening before the party.
In the morning (after a cold shower because our hot water had broken down) I baked the doughnuts, dipped them in butter and sugar and cinnamon. Then I used a squeezy bottle to fill them with jam. There was heaps of sweet food and lots leftover but I still felt it was nice for my dad to have doughnuts at his party. He is such a fan!
practiced the gluten free version of the white chocolate mudcake. On the day I made the big one (in a roasting tin because the lamington tin seemed too small) it wasn't quite cooked in the middle and cracked when I turned it out of the tin while warm. Arhg! In retrospect the sides of the cake weren't quite flat enough but I hate the idea of wasting cake by trimming it. I found a large silver cake board in House.
I made 2 batches of frosting as directed by Annie Rigg (A bit like 3 times this chocolate frosting and half this buttercream frosting.) I firstly spread chocolate frosting on top and on one long side. Then I carefully spread the buttercream around the remaining three sides. I ran a fork through the buttercream to resemble book pages. Then I piped chocolate frosting around the top and bottom edges and used a knife to smooth the top so the 'cover' overhung the 'pages' slightly and the bottom cover peeped out. I used melted white icing and a ziplock bag (with a tiny snip in a corner) to pipe the text and decoration.
The Getting of Wisdom. This early Twentieth Century novel by Henry Handel Richardson is an Australian classic that I studied at high school. The story is about the coming of age of a school girl in Melbourne who struggles with the tension between creative individuality and fitting in with her peers. However the sentiment of the title seems appropriate for any adult. And my dad is very wise. He can always be relied upon for advice, for handywork, for a story, for the right words, for a joke. He has even started learning to cook lately!
You might notice that the above and below photos have a slightly different text to the top photo. I wasn't happy with the last line of text not quite fitting on the cake. Then I found I could scrape off the white chocolate and use a knife to smooth over the chocolate frosting (sometimes with some extra frosting - I had heaps leftover) so I could start again.
A1 Bakery, put the cake in the boot of the car, hoping it would be ok by the time we got to my parents' house. It was. My mum (and rest of the family) had done an amazing job of preparing the house, the garden, the food, drinks and even ordering perfect sunny spring weather. My brother and friends and my niece played music in the backyard. My dad had a captive audience to tell some of his stories during the speech. Everyone had a great time.
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