How it all began..
The only time I bake is three times a year! I was never much of a baker, if I did bake it’d be a real ‘can’t go wrong’ chocolate cake from Delia Smiths first ever book. I once made chocolate profiteroles with my Mum but this was really the extent of it until I went to stay in Los Angeles with my dear friend Lily. It was her boyfriends birthday so we decided to make a cake for him. I asked what he liked… we landed on a playstation controller – of course! I actually didn’t understand how in EARTH we were going to do that – I mean, I did A level art and got an A* but I had never applied ANY artistic skill to baking, I just never had connected the two together.
At home in England all we had was one round 9”cake tin and that was the pinnacle of a cake with maybe some lovely pretty swirly icing on top. NOT SO in Los Angeles! She took me to a shop somewhere in West Hollywood which literally was a floor to ceiling dedication to cake making, and was bigger than your average Sainsbury’s local. It was incredible, I think my jaw dropped and I actually felt quite excited about all the possibilities on offer. Lily picked out a huge rectangular shaped tin, a huge chunk of black fondant icing and then some smaller coloured packets for the control buttons, she said, and a big round board to serve it on.
When we got home she and I baked the main part of the cake.. I can’t remember exactly what flavour it was, Lily did most of it and popped the rectangle in the oven to bake. It was when it came out and had cooled the shaping of a controller started and she set to work cutting free hand the sponge with a knife into the shape of a PlayStation controller.
It was amazing – I’d honestly never seen anything like it and we had such a fun afternoon listening to tunes and chatting with me basically watching her make this brilliant cake and I knew I would NEVER look at a birthday cake with the same boring restrictions again!
I love a challenge
That was 2011 and a couple of years later it was my first son, Rex’s 1st birthday, he was obsessed with T-Rex (mainly due to the fact they shared a name!) so I made my first cake since watching Lily construct hers in LA.
It wasn’t amazing but it was the best cake I’d made until that point and pretty tasty too! Since then I’ve made every cake for each of my three sons birthdays, whatever they have requested and they seem to get more and more ambitious with every passing year, I’ve done several Pokémon, a Blaze and the monster machine, a Dragon, a Puppy pal and a captain underpants….
I absolutely LOVE doing them, it’s so creative but with that bit of extra pressure with time constraints and the kids expectations! The latest cake was for Ezra who loves Pokemon, a sitting Pikachu with balloons – I think it’s the best one so far!
See my blog on How to make a creature lamp here