James celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday. Over the years we've been together, it has become a tradition for a complex and challenging cake to to be made to celebrate the occasion. His birthday always falls in the week before the most anticipated rowing races of the year, the Bumps, so most people are cutting down on the drink, doing a lot of training and not so up for wild nights out. The one thing all the rowers are doing, however, is eating a lot! So a big, elaborate cake has always been the best way to mark his birthday.
It was Emma (previously of Kestrel) who started the tradition. The first year we were together for his birthday, I lived in London and so baking him a cake to bring to Cambridge was out of the question. Emma created a stupendous cox-box cake, on the instruction of his M1 crew.
The next year, we had moved to Cambridge in the boat and were moored out at The Parish. I made him a cake in the shape of a three cylinder Russell Newbury engine, which was fun to make but somewhat bizarre looking:
Last year, I made a tray of Celebrations brownies iced with a map of the river Cam, which was less three-dimensional but quite tasty.
This year, I made a swan, supposedly the rogue bird known as Mr. ASBO (that stands for Anti-Social Behaviour Order for any non UK readers) by the press. It was quite the challenge, involving a neck and structural core made of rice-crispie cakes threaded onto a coathanger wire! But alas, since it was a bit hot inside (it was a damp grey day and we had put the stove on...) the structural integrity of the head and neck was compromised as they started melting! So I had to shorten the neck and make him look a bit more goose-like. I have to admit to buying cake to make the body - it took long enough without having to make all that cake too, I just covered it with white chocolate frosting - yum!
twitter // facebook // email // follow // any questions?