This week I have been the recipient of a lot of kindness. Lots of kind words from many of you who recognise the need to talk more about mental illness. And then on Tuesday one of my students who had read my last post brought me flowers... Just because! Thank you Julia, they are beautiful, still going strong and bring me cheer every time I see them. This week has been marginally better and I'm appreciating each small step in the right direction.
As well as tulips there have been roses this week... Of the sugar variety.
When we had out kitchen refitted, the fitter Julian asked whether I would be able to make a big cake for his wife's 40th birthday... For a surprise party. Could it have a bit of an eighties theme... Or better still Guns n Roses? Being busy having babies in the 1980s and 90s I am a bit clueless about the music scene at the time but I had at least heard of Guns n Roses and after a bit of research decided that a cake in the form of Slash's hat might work.
This was above and beyond anything I had tackled before and required meticulous planning, starting with four layers of chocolate brownie torte, each an 8" cake in its own right, layered with vanilla buttercream. This was then "crumb coated" with more buttercream to seal the cake and provide a sticky surface for the fondant layer to adhere to.
Each step felt like a challenge... rolling and lifting the single layer of black fondant to cover the cake... smoothing it out to minimize the cracks etc (I didn't get rid of them all)... and then lifting the cake onto the fondant covered cake board. I was hugely relieved when I got to that stage!
Modelling all the extra bits seemed easy after that. Well, relatively easy!
I learned to use lustre powder, brushed on with gin to create a metallic effect as well as picking up other skills that I hope will be useful in the future.
As for Julian... he was thrilled with the result. I hope Jody was too... and that she enjoyed her party last night!
And no sooner than I finished that I was finishing off Valentine orders... personalised cookies
And four of these Brownie Rolo Hearts. There were spare roses left from the big cake so I thought they added a special touch.
Happy Valentine's Day to you all!