When my friend asked me to make a cake for his Dad’s 60th I couldn’t wait to get started. A rugby cake, cupcakes and macarons…. all dairy free. This was my first venture into the world of dairy free, but its actually easier than you would think. Swap the usual butter for a dairy free spread and thicken up the buttercream with some pure dark chocolate and problem solved.
My next task, to design the cake. The recipient is a huge rugby fan, so the theme was easy, the execution less so. This was only my third or fourth cake, and my ideas definitely outdid my skill level. I had intended for a figure of my friend’s dad to be kicking a rugby ball through a set of goal posts on a rugby pitch.
My initial design included the whole pitch, once I started researching I realised that a rugby pitch is HUGE and my figure would have to be tiny to have any kind of perspective. I revised the design to be one end of the pitch only and then set to work on the model itself. I was quite pleased with myself, all seemed to be going well. I moved on to the rugby ball, the plan was to make a small ball out of fondant insert a wire and suspend the ball to make it look like it was mid flight. The ball had other ideas, I learnt a very important lesson, icing is incredibly heavy. After trying all sorts of work arounds I settled for placing the ball on the ground, they do that in rugby all the time, no problem.
I finished the cake and set about taking photos, as I was merrily snapping away I realised Mr Warwick was starting to look like he had already celebrated his birthday and had started leaning forward. Next thing I knew he was face down in the grass with his nice white England kit covered in grass stains even Persil wouldn’t have been able to get out. After a mini breakdown I worked the grass stains into the design and made the birthday boy even grubbier and propped him back up while I took a couple of snaps. No matter what I did I couldn’t make him stand up for longer than about a minute, so delivered the cake with Mr W in a separate box and my friend added him back in just as they bought the cake out.
So if you wonder why most cake decorators opt for their models to be sitting down, it’s because most of them don’t need to look like they have been lying face down in the mud first! I have only done a couple of other figures since, none of which were standing, but will definitely be better prepared for next time.
Looking good so far, no hint to the troubles ahead.