Like most parents, putting on a first birthday party for your first child is a major event. I had all these great ideas for a themed party…and matching cake. I’d never even made one before, I even borrowed cake tins from a teacher in the food tech department at school so I could do a two tiered cake. Ambitious now I think about it. So I made all the invitations, complete with pics of my daughter fitting the Tinkerbelle theme. Bought all the matching party serving wear, lolly bags, hats and even made the streamers, balloons and table decorations match the theme and colour scheme. I spent more time organising decorations and lolly bags, than I did on the cake. I had a rough idea of what I wanted the cake to look like – white with the green, yellow and purple theme colours and Tinkerbelle standing proudly on top. I spent weeks searching high and low for a Tink to put on top of the cake (this was a little before the Tinkerbelle movies and onslaught of merchandise: I even looked at online shops in the US). So the night before the party I baked my cake and put it in the fridge, ready to decorate the next morning. No troubles at all – I’d made plenty of cakes and all I had to do was roll out the fondant and pop it on in the morning before everyone arrived?… Ha!
The morning of the party, I take the fondant out of the packaging, roll it out on my kitchen bench and hanging it over my rolling pin to flop it straight over the cake – nothing underneath. Considering the guests were arriving in a couple of hours, I wasn’t going too bad for time. Colour the remaining fondant cut strips for the top tier pattern and push the sugar flowers into the sides, maybe write her name on the bottom tier and stand the plastic Tinkerbelle on the top. Well, what a mess. I had coloured the fondant (using queen – store bought colours) making it slightly sticky and harder to work with but somehow managed to cut all my coloured strips and roll snakes to write her name and make little vines for the flowers. The fondant was so sticky it stuck straight onto the cake without any adhesive and I thought I hadn’t done too bad; considering. So I left it on the bench while I finished decorating outside. Just before the first guests arrived I had a quick look at the cake. The fondant had gone hard – like it should, but it bulged slightly at the sides obviously from the weight of the top tier. It looked very amateur-ish and I wasn’t completely happy with it, but for a fist attempt it wasn’t that bad. The party went along quite well and when we cut the cake it was fine. There were plenty of gaps though between the droopy fondant and the cake – especially where they didn’t stick together, but it tasted ok.
When my exhausted daughter fell asleep that evening, I said ‘who’s birthday is next so I can try this cake thing again; surely I can do it better.’ … but I didn’t do anything ’til the following year and the 2nd birthday party – and I did it all different (the cake that is!)