Sunday, July 12, 2015

I blame Mary Berry AND Paul Hollywood

I should have twigged when the woman in the cake decorating shop looked at me blankly when I asked for acetate. 'It's what they recommend on the internet for chocolate lace,' I explained.
Still blank.

But you know me, not so easily defeated. So I went to the stationers and bought acetate there. But it was also where I also encountered problem 2: they only sold it in A4-sized sheets and I needed a long piece. Again, not to be deterred I figured I could stick some together so bought several.

About to set off for home where I planned to spend the afternoon cake decorating when my mobile rang. By the time I'd realised it was my phone making that strange noise, found it, opened it, switched it on, and tried to answer the caller (Husband) had given up. 

I called him back and he told me Uncle had fallen in his living-room and was waiting for an ambulance.

So instead of spending the afternoon icing a birthday cake or two I spent it in A&E. Eventually they confirmed that Uncle had fractured his hip and would need an operation. That was Friday; today, Sunday lunchtime, as I write, he is in theatre.

So, back to the cake. I returned from hospital early evening when there was nothing more I could do - I say nothing more: I hadn't actually done anything except be there up till then - and set to cake icing. Which is a roundabout way of bringing us back to the acetate and chocolate lace.

I'd seen photos on the internet and thought it would work well on the gluten-free cake I was making.
This is the look I was aiming for.
It looks so easy on youtube. And, to be fair, after a little cursing and scraping and squiggling some more, I did achieve almost what I wanted. The first stage of it anyway.
I left the chocolate lace and acetate on overnight to allow it to harden properly.
Come the morning come the disaster.

The plan, which was to peel away the acetate leaving the lace in position didn't exactly work. 

Did I mention I was not only determined but cunning? By the time I'd scraped and picked and wedged and patched, I had a cake that looked good - from a distance without my glasses.

And by the time I'd added chocolate dipped raspberries, chocolate hearts, icing sugar and glitter to distract from the edge the cake was, yes, very acceptable. You can see in the photo the lace to the right is good, that to the left patched.

That was the gluten-free cake for the birthday girl; here is the official birthday cake, which was a doddle to do in comparison.

And because I had white chocolate butter icing and daisies left over I decided to use it up on cupcakes. 

The surprise party was a great success and even included a private fly-past by the Red Arrows! (They were based in Cardiff as they're involved in several local air shows this weekend and the party venue was on the flight path as they returned.)
With my little cousin, Corin. His dad and my mum were first cousins so I'm not sure what that makes us.
My mum was almost 6' and my uncle 6'3"; I'm obviously a throw-back with the original Welsh shortness genes.


Jay, Sparking Synapse said...

Haha! Sorry to laugh, but it's just the sort of thing I'd do; see a pretty picture and imagine I could just go right ahead and do it without practising! But your cake did look pretty anyway, didn't it? Even if it didn't come out quite like the picture.

Love the picture with your cousin! I think you're second cousins, if you're the same generation. And if one of you were a child from the previous or subsequent generation (like, the child of your cousin) you'd be second cousins once removed.

Leslie: said...

Love how you refer to your short Welshness - my Nana Jones was Welsh and she married a Liverpudlian who was short. But my Dad ended up 6 feet and so I guess I got my height from him and my mother's Scottish side. By the way, the cakes look great but I love the look of the cupcakes.

Grannymar said...

The cakes look yummy and I bet there was none left.

I went looking on YouTube... these days I would need more patience!

Liz Hinds said...

Husband has worked out that Corin and I are second cousins too, Jay. So is his dad my first cousin once removed?

Some of the Welsh cottages are so tiny, Leslie. People must have been real little dwts in the past.

You're right about the cakes, Grannymar. It should have been simple to do so I will try again with different chocolate and greaseproof paper.