Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dad's 60th Birthday Cake

For those of you who love your fairy tales, do you remember "The Nightingale"? I loved reading this Hans Christian Andersen tale as a child and was in seventh heaven when Mick Jagger played the Emperor in Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre. 80's TV rocks rawks!

As you can most probably tell from the title of this post, it's my Dad's birthday. Around the same time last year, when I had just begun to meddle with fondant, I decorated his birthday cake with some tiny beer mugs. Seeing that dear ol' Dad is now a happy trotting tee-totaller, this year his cake is very loosely adapted from the tale of the Nightingale (I say "very loosely" because the initial idea came from the bird resting on a pillow). I always imagined that the nightingale is presented to the Emperor on a plush velvet pillow.

Dad's hitting the big 6-0 and I thought it would be nice to commemorate this special occasion with a cake that is more than just "a cake". You see, my Dad loves chocolate in any form, so it is only natural (for him) to always request for the said cake (birthday or not, he calls dibs on cake flavours almost every time). As much as I love chocolate myself, I reckon it would be nice to have something different for the celebration of a milestone cum jubilating his gracious temperance.

I had to make sure that the cake contained NO NUTS of any sort (no walnuts, pecans, or almonds) as Daddy-O loathes nuts in all its glory with a burning (more like fuming) passion. Of course I had to incorporate some form of chocolate into the cake... so arrived at the decision to throw in some chocolate chips :)  The cake is a Buttered Chocolate Chip Cake, one that A declares "Yaaaarrhhh-mmmmeeeeee" (he got the crumbs, poor guy).

As much as Dad loves to sing, instead of a nightingale I thought that a wise owl sitting on the pillow would be perfect. The owl is pretty much made of very masculine colours, the base is brown and the feathers are white, orange and yellow. I thought it would be nice to have a different flavour for the owl and made it a red velvet cake.

As I'm inclined to make fondant sculptures that are happy-happy-chirp-chirp, I could not for the life of me make the beak smile! Maybe treat the beak as the nose and add some smiley lips... but, but, but, that's anatomically wrong! Argh. So no smiling owl, just a pudgy one sitting on his fluffy pillow, staring at you with its large feather encircled eyes *hoo-hoo*

The pillow is carved out of a 2-layer 11" square cake. The two layers of cake is sandwiched with chocolate ganache. It was so much fun sculpting this cake, tricky at times, but still fun. Covered with sky blue fondant, fondant tassles fall from each corner of the pillow. The side bias is also fondant with specks of icing. The front top bit of the pillow is covered in a mehndi motif that was later dusted with edible gold shimmer. I've come to realise that my camera cannot capture the shimmer so I only added the shimmer after taking the pictures. Also, the shimmer confuses my camera's macro focus  :(

Some film reels, magazines and a small turntable sit on the cake board (Dad loves his films, books and music).

post note : On the way over to the birthday party, we were stuck in a traffic jam. It was twilight and I took a quick shot of the beautiful golden colours in the sky as it reminded me of the colour combo for the pillow. And there I was thinking I was oh-so-clever coming up with those colours, should've occured to me that a higher authority laid claim on the combo waaaayyyy before me...  :)  Funny how and where we draw inspiration, unknowingly even to ourselves.



Crissie said...

Absolutely STUNNING. Saw this on food gawker.

Sarah said...

LOVING the owl!! Come make my birthday cake?

Bethie said...

What did Dad think? Your owl is simply beautiful.

Amanda said...

Very nice! I absolutely love it! The owl is so cute.

Constant Craving said...

@ Bethie : Dad loved it, he especially liked the film reels. But he liked the cake inside most of all!

@ Amanda : Thanks. Yeah, the owl is a tad pudgy, ha ha.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Easter!

Constant Craving said...

@ Crissie : *blush* Thanks! It was thoroughly fun to paste the "feathers" on too!

@ Sarah : What a compliment! I am way too flattered :) Bet it was the owl's rounded chubbiness that got you eh?

jami said...

Just beautiful! I scrolled through your blog a bit, and your work is amazing!

Poires au Chocolat said...

That's gorgeous! I particularly love the icing on the pillow - it's so delicate. The owl is wonderful too. What a lucky Dad!

Constant Craving said...

@ Jami & @ Poires au Chocolate : Wow you guys, I popped by your blogs - really impressive work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Girl - just got back from the Swiss alpine resorts of Klosters and Davos where we (Mum,aunties Drea and Dwi etc) celebrated my real 60-oh! on 31st....and still can't get over the wonderful cake you made!

Don't be shy and post the smaller items too, i.e. the Vanity Fair mags,Garcia's book and phonograph!

Love and God Bless...


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