Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Ben 10 Birthday Cake

This week last year my Nephew, Alan, turned 4.   I had been dabbling in cake decoration for about 9 months by then, so this was my first opportunity to make a cake for him.   Since December 2010 Alan had firmly decided that he wanted a Buzz Cake for his birthday.  Over the months that followed I was gently reminded on a regular basis that ‘you’re making a Buzz Cake for me’.  
So with all this advance notice and the eagerness of an aunt not wanting to disappoint a very excited little boy, I did my Toy Story research and spent many a quite time day dreaming about potential design options.   This involved trying to balance the desire for the maximum WOW factor with the reality of my then skill levels.
2 weeks before the big birthday I dropped by to get final confirmation on the cake theme.   To my surprise I learned that Buzz had been relegated and Ben 10 was now the hero of the day!   Not knowing a thing about Ben 10, I rushed home, grabed the remote control to Sky + a few episodes and settle in for a crash course in all things Ben.
With my new found knowledge of the world of Ben 10, I decided the Ben character and his watch would be the main focus of the design, with other elements added to bring it all together.   This was a most enjoyable cake to work on and it also allowed me the opportunity to experiment a little.   It was my first attempt at adding sugarpaste on wire to a cake design.   I was very pleased with the extra dimension these added to the design.  
The finished product was a huge success and Alan was thrilled with his cake.   All things considered I don’t think any of my Buzz ideas could have had as good a reaction as this one did.
I’m currently in the middle of this year’s 5th Birthday Cake so drop back over the coming days to see how it turns out. 

Ben 10 Birthday Cake, 30th August 2011

Ben 10 Birthday Cake, 30th August 2011


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Happy 70th Birthday Dad

Last Saturday my Dad turned 70.   Saying it out loud makes it seem like a rather large number, but look and talk to my Dad and you will realise that it is just that, only a number.   So let's just say turning 70 is more a statement of experience and achievement than a declaration of age.  
We decided that it would be nice to mark the day with a small family gathering at my parents’ house.   True to Irish tradition, our initial plan of a small gathering evolved over time, so much so that we were completely dependent on having a fine day to accommodate guests.   Thankfully we were in luck and were blessed with a beautiful day.   Garden furniture sets were rounded up and together with the delivery of a large bouncy castle everyone was comfortably entertained outside.  A total of 83 family members (including aunts, uncles, cousins and their children) who have been lucky to share all or part of the past 70 years with my Dad joined the celebrations.

Having no sisters, I’ve basked in the role of only daughter over the years and performed my duties of such by allowing my Dad to be wrapped around my little finger. However, despite my eldest niece being 7, it was only last weekend when making this cake and thinking of the wonderful things my Dad has done for me throughout my life that it dawned on me that no longer was my Dad solely wrapped around my little finger but now he has two other little girls with equally effective little fingers. I couldn’t wish anything better for my nieces who are so lucky to have such a fantastic Grandad.

When it came to the cake I decided to keep it simple, knowing that I would need to help with other party preparations, so wouldn’t have too much time for detailed decorating.   The theme pretty much picked itself as my Dad has kept and trained greyhounds for longer than I can remember.   My initial design was for dogs racing around a simple cake.   However, as the day got closer, this idea seemed incomplete.   The more I thought of it the more I felt that the cake should also represent my Dad’s strong sense of family and so decided his 3 adorable grandchildren needed to be included on the cake.

The party was a great success, the cake was admired by all and the children were delighted to eat the various models.   More importantly my Dad had a wonderful day and was thrilled with so many family members taking time out to join in the day.

Happy 70th Birthday Dad.


Happy 70th Birthday Dad, 11th August 2012


Happy 70th Birthday Dad, 11th August 2012