As an inspiration in sugarcraft, Lindy, and all of us on the team, love to hear how Lindy’s ideas and techniques have found their way into your world of cake decoration. A little while ago we ran a creative writing competition and Pat Cliffe was one of our joint runners up in the ‘Amusing Cake Story’ section with her humorous tale of a wonky wedding cake. We thought you all might like to read her entry as it really does illustrate that where there is a will, there is definitely a way!
“I’ll make your wedding cake,” I said to my daughter and future son-in-law. I had never made a wedding cake before, but had made a variety of novelty cakes over the years, and, as a Coeliac, I wanted Amy to be able to enjoy her own wedding cake. My vision was of simple icing, a small spray of flowers and a ribbon or two.
“Send me some pictures of the kind of things you like.” At that moment, the memories of the nights spent making the teddy bears’ picnic cake, complete with waterfall, that my daughter had chosen for her fifth birthday cake eluded me … The pictures duly arrived. With the whole of the Internet at their disposal, they had found a vast array of cakes. My jaw dropped. I had never seen cakes like it – spots, stripes, beads, bright colours and, worst of all – crooked!
Not known for refusing a challenge, I decided to head off on a search mission. Our local, rural, library is a small one, but it was there that I started. I approached the cake decorating section wondering why I had bothered, certain that it would not hold the answer. There were volumes of tired, well used and ancient books, which I knew would be useless. However,one glossy, gleaming cover caught my attention. A pristine copy of “Cakes to Inspire and Desire” drew my hand towards it like a magnet. My eyes widened when I saw the cover. Here was the solution to my problem, and I discovered that what was requested was a ‘Wonky Cake’.
The colour scheme of teal and purple determined, my daughter had a miniature, colour schemed, three tier wonky cake for her birthday. This wonky cake was a little too wonky. Pleasant evenings were spend glued to the DVD, and watching Lindy carve and decorate with such amazing precision. The secret of straight stripes on a wonky cake was revealed, and in order to practise them, Amy’s fiance had a larger, single tier cake for his birthday.
A commission for a 21st birthday was received – it had to be a wonky cake. This time it was a paisley pattern, with a crown of jewels and keys to the door. This wonky cake looked comfortable in its wonkiness (although putting the icing on such a large cake had been a stressful event) and brought tears to my friend’s eyes when it was delivered.
Finally the fruit cakes were mature and the construction began. Striped base, flowered middle tier, plain top with jewelled spray. “We ought to have a plastic bride and groom”, said Mike – rather more often than necessary to let me think it was a joke.
Artista Soft was ordered. A friend, a ceramicist specialising in figures, looked at it with deep suspicion, but couldn’t resist working out how I could make the models with this amazingly light material. My hopes of her making the figures was dashed when she handed over her box of modelling tools, telling me they might need a bit of a wash first! Eventually, my bride and groom, complete with their walking boots, rucksack and map of Australia, were perched on the middle tier.
Now, all we had to do was transport the cake across the Pennines…
In this season where we’re busy making wedding cakes, we’d like to thank Pat for sharing the story of her wedding cake challenge and journey. We’re sure it will inspire others …we know from our students, that many mothers say ‘yes’ to a wedding cake before they appreciate the enormity of the potential task!!! We do hope, Pat that you are still using all your new found skills to good effect.