Unfortunately for poor Mabel, for whom it was made, this cake was my first fail.
You can see the obvious things that are wrong with it, like the way I have cut the very top of it too short, and the middle segment too long. The curve on the bottom is too acute, and the curve on the top is not broad enough.
Gee, you wouldn't think it'd be that hard to cut a three, would you? Moan, moan, moan.
I also had to make three batches of icing for this one, because each time I did it the colour was too pink. And even on the third try it ended up more salmon pink, rather than sugar pink as it should have been. I was not prepared to make a fourth batch. If anyone has a cake that needs icing, my fridge is full of it in a sickening shade of Disney pink, and you are welcome to it.
It was also hard to find flowers that are the same as the picture - for the life of me I couldn't turn up those tiny delicate blue ones, so I had to settle for using individual lavender flowers instead.
And the lace around the cake, with that pink ribbon threaded through it? Nowhere to be found. I had to compromise by finding a lace that was similar (and of course it turned out to be French lace at $10 a metre, and you need two metres for the cake - but isn't it gorgeously feminine!) and then hand-threading the pink ribbon through it myself. I did feel a sense of achievement once it was completed. I am a stickler for detail, after all.
With all credit to Mabel though, she did not care ONE JOT that this cake didn't look quite like the picture. She was the picture of manners and was terribly pleased by it. Hooray! We had a good conversation about how grandma had made fairybread for her party, and we agreed that fairybread is brilliant and there should be more of it in the world.
I think Mabel gets her splendid approach to life from her mother Catherine, who wrote this lovely email to me after Mabel's party: "Most importantly, the birthday girl was so, so excited by it, and us not having to make it saved late nights and crankiness, more of which I cannot afford at present! So there's absolutely no way we see it as a fail, rather a massive success, and perhaps a creative and appropriate re-interpretation - as parents of a proud-3-year-old and a newborn, we are embracing the imperfect as the only form of perfection there is."
|Catherine, Mabel, Fergus, and I'm ashamed to say I've forgotten Mr Catherine's name (sorry Mr Catherine)|