P1’s 5th birthday cake certainly belongs in the “disaster file”. We started the day with lofty ambitions. Our blueprint (or should I say pinkprint) is pictured below. It hardly needs an introduction but to those of you who actually have a life, this is the Betty Crocker Princess Castle Cake. It is the stuff of legends amongst the You Tube cake decorating set and is bought to you by the la stupenda of frosting, Liv Hansen.
It’s stunning. It looks like something Gaudi himself may have concocted after a heavy night on the sangria. Despite its grandeur, Liv Hansen reassures us that “you can do it, if you take it step by step”.
Somewhere, possibly at step one, I must have taken a drastically wrong turn because our result was more like Salvador Dali. The walls are melting! Freaky man!
Indeed while I was sculpting the cake on Sunday morning, I felt like I was in a surrealist universe. Tinned Betty Crocker frosting, the stickiest substance known to man*, slid off the sponge walls taking boulder sized chunks of cake with it. Dadabulous laughed heartily at my struggles and consoled “Dont worry the kids will love it”. To which I replied “Are you being a condescending %#!@?” (And its said that renovating puts a strain on marriages).
Meanwhile the kids were orbiting like the moons of Jupiter. “That does not look beautiful” P1 observed. I remembered the old joke about doctors being able to bury mistakes whilst architects can only advise their clients to plant ivy. “Well why dont we bling it up?”, I suggested pointing to my stash of mashmallows, meringues, smarties and sugar flowers. These would have to suffice as confections answer to ivy. The princesses needed no further encouragement as they bowled me out of the way and set to work. They were impressed with their own efforts. “Oooh- that’s beautiful”, “that’s perfect”, “that’s even better than Liv Hansen” I heard them utter admiringly. This had me almost collapsing on the floor in fits of laughter. “Yes darlings it’s even better than Liv Hansen”. “Told you the kids would love it” quipped Dadabulous. (There is nothing more erotic than an “I told you so ” from your spouse).
The monolith took pride of place on our dining room table and the guests sang its praises. Yet seriously who turns up at at kids party and says – “Lady that birthday cake is total rubbish – worst one I’ve ever seen”? When it came to carving it up, I had just hacked into the first tier when the whole thing threatened to collapse. Trying to stay on the side of niceness, I commented that it looked like it had been hit with a wrecking ball. Dadabulous however crossed the line into bad taste and joked that it looked like 9/11. Certainly be the end of the day it had been reduced to a pile of rubble.
So what has Mumabulous learned from all this? Although it pains me to admit it, Dadabulous was right – the kids loved it. It was their own handiwork and to they thought it was marvellous. Also while all that frosting is giving me nauseating sugar flashbacks, to the kids it was manna from heaven. Still I’m sure somewhere Liv Hansen is taking a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that she remains unchallenged as the queen of novelty birthday cakes.
* The perfect opportunity to use one of Dadabulous’ favourite lines from Blackadder ‘We’re in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a sticky bun.’ Tinned Betty Crocker Frosting is even stickier than that.