Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Down the rabbit hole...

So I finally got hold of some photos from my birthday party...

If you read my last post, and the title of this one, you may have guessed that (like everyone else in the world this year) I had an Alice In Wonderland theme for my party. Now I'd just like to clarify something here: this decision was NOT purely fuelled by the new Disney movie. I mean sure, I felt a little less like a six-year-old having an Alice party when it's all cool and everything, but I've actually been toying with the idea for years. I've always loved Alice.

This, however, was the first time I've been brave enough to attempt a Mad Hatter (or topsy-turvy) cake. And you've just gotta have a Mad Hatter cake at an Alice party! Or at least you do if you're me...
So at the end of my last post, I had the cake all ganached up and ready to ice. The following evening, braced for a night of tears and frustration, I armed myself with rolling pin, scalpel and smoothers, and launched my attack on the cake.

And found it really wasn't all that hard, after all.

I mean yes, it's slightly more involved than icing a simple round cake, but I had no tearing, no cracking, no tantrums, and no necessity whatsoever to pull all my hair out. Phew!
Actually I found applying the purple diamond shapes a lot more problematic. Somewhere in my non-spatial-concept-driven brain, I had developed a fantasy involving cutting out a large number of purple diamond shapes all the same size, and having them line up perfectly on the cake. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah... that doesn't work. When I mentioned this fantasy to my husband afterward, he kind of looked at me like I was insane. He was quite polite about it though, and just mumbled something about "yeah, that might work on a perfectly square cake..."

So my purple diamonds were sort of chopped to shape & size individually and squished to fit. Roughly. Funnily enough, given the theme of the cake, I think in the end I actually like it better this way. It's a little distorted and lopsided, but hey, this is Wonderland people, so it is meant to be like that. Ha HA!

Anyway, I had a lot of fun decorating this cake. I know the angles aren't quite right, but for my first topsy-turvy cake, I'm pretty happy with it! My Mad Hatter's hat, pocketwatch and flowers are all hand-made from sugarpaste. The numbers on the hat and watch were painted on with undiluted Wilton's black gel paste colouring, and here's a question for you: Does anyone know of something else to use for this kind of detail painting that will actually dry? Seriously, I still have the hat nearly two weeks later and the writing is still wet.

So that's enough rambling from me. I shall leave you with some non-cake-related pics of some bits and pieces I organised for the party (including my daughter's costume, which I made, and which I am very proud of - I'm not usually much of a seamstress! But she so desperately wanted to be Alice, and I couldn't resist - she looked so very cute). Thanks to J for letting me glue eyes on all her fake flowers! And also thanks to my darling husband. For, among other things, the coffee cup. : )


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