Monday, 28 May 2012

A Lesson On Embracing The Imperfections

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)
Catherine also bestowed a magnificent bottle of champagne upon me, thank you Catherine! I shall enjoy drowning my sorrows with it. And I will toast Mabel and her birthday, and hope that she continues to embrace life in all its imperfections for a long, long time to come.


  1. I reckon your cake looks fab, and I'm glad Mabel thought so too. Yay for Mabel! She's got the right idea. I hope she continues to share her fairy bread with you for years to come.

  2. It is a perfectly good cake! don't be so hard on yourself. Good effort! :)

  3. Cheer up Flicketty!

    We all learn from failure.

    Great work nonetheless!

    Just like my beloved Blues, you'll come out firing next week! Hard at the contest and winning your own ball!

    Chin up, pat 'em on the po po, let's hear him laugh Ha HA!
    B McJ

  4. Lookit the ickle baby!

    Sorry, I'm baby-mad today.

  5. Three cakes are hard. We made one for the Mum's Group joint 3 year old party 2 years ago, and it looked very odd. We'd made ours out of two ring cakes (one of which was gluten & egg free) and couldn't get the curves right for the love of us.

    I think yours looks lovely, even if it's not *quite* a dead ringer for the Book. And I do love the happy look on the face of the birthday girl!

  6. Can't believe you call THAT a fail!!

  7. Pink is the bane of my existence, there are too many shades that are impossible to get. The only time I get a nice shade of pink is when I'm actually going for red, and end up with an obviously-in-touch-with-his-feminine-side Spiderman cake.

    Curves are also tricky, which may be why the numeral cake I made was digital. Heh.


Say something sweet! Or, you know, not.