Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Silver Whimsy; Cakes for the Elderly

It all started with a cake tin. Or rather with two cake tins. ‘6’ and ‘0’ to be precise.

I thought I had it all sorted. I’d found a relatively reasonable cake tin supplier – decuisine.co.uk – and placed my order well in advance of the Friday baking deadline. There wasn’t very much more I could do. I had bought the shocking amount of butter required to make enough of Nigella’s Vanilla Shortbread to feed 90 people and been to the farmer’s market for the freshest, largest free range eggs. I just had to wait for the cake tins to arrive. My mobile rang. It was an ‘unknown’ number so I let them leave an answer phone message. To my surprise it was;

Mike from deCuisine. Just wondering when you need the tins by because I always check if it’s a number tin because it might be for a specific date.

I rang him back;


Hello I recognise your voice. I’ve got to say you’ve got a very pretty name. You mustn’t get married because you’ll lose it.

This was when I made my mistake;

Actually if I married my current boyfriend…

I could feel my scruffy indie boyfriend (SIBF) freezing agog next to me as he heard me describe him as ‘my current boyfriend’. It had just sort of slipped out in the most innocent way possible, but I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to forget about it for some time. Mike was busy telling me that he wouldn’t be able to get the tins by Friday but I only had ears for my SIBF’s outraged silence.

In the end, the tins came from Jane Asher’s over-priced Sugarcraft shop. My long-suffering sister went to buy them from the deepest darkest heart of Chelsea and came back laden down with flower shaped sprinkles, pink cake pens and edible paper hearts. My ‘current’ SIBF was still somewhat un-impressed with me and my sister was headed to a wedding the following day when the baking began.

The Jane Asher shop assistant had given my sister strict instructions on how to use the cake tins. Current SIBF and I followed them to the T. It was Friday and all the shortbread had been baked, all 60 fairy cakes were cooling in the living room and the ‘0’ of the ‘60’ was in the oven. There was nothing to do but wait.

The allotted baking time up, I opened the oven to discover the ‘0’ tin was oozing expensive free range organic cake mix out of the many joins in the metal contraption. I tried the ‘6’ and this worked so spectacularly that I had to re-make the ‘0’ to reach the same level of beautifully risen joy.

All cakes made and iced (thanks largely to a panicked icing SOS call to SIBF’s mother), we set off at 8.15 on Saturday morning to the North.

During the perilous transporting of cakes, fanzines, photographs, an 18th century Hogarth print and other items universally acknowledged to be of great importance for a 60th birthday party, I ridiculously insisted on purchasing coffee, a fact I would live to regret when, in a freak accident, I managed to pour the entire cup of strong boiling bubblingly dark coffee into the bag containing all of the aforementioned items. There is no scientific scale strong enough with which to catalogue my grief/shock/hysteria/disbelief/lack of functioning at this happening. No Kelvin, rankine, ampere, ohm could be referred to as a sufficient measurement to sum up the grief and pain thrown upon me by the coffee cup deluge. If it wasn’t for my SIBF I would still be sobbing in an Alice-like puddle of tears at Kings Cross Station. Happily, however, SIBF took the situation in hand and managed to get me, sodden items, my amazing cousin and her mother all on the train headed north AND somehow succeeded in rescuing everything from coffee stains, tear stains and wreckage at my hands.

In the end, all the cake was eaten and universally praised and we all lived happily ever after.

Unfortunately, however, I have just received an email from Mike at deCuisine letting me know that my ‘order has been despatched from our warehouse’ and contains another ‘6’ and another ‘0’ cake tin… I have seen enough of these cake tins to last a life time and there are two more in the post! Quelle expensive nightmare!

If you or anyone you know needs a 60th, 90th, 66th, 99th, 69th or 96th birthday cake made please let me know. I have started a special new range - Silver Whimsy; ‘Cakes for the Elderly’.

Cupcakes and kisses,

Silver Whimsy x

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