|the original in The Book|
|My version: looks a bit like a map of Australia don't you think?|
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight ....
(wim-ooh-way, oh wim-oo-way
oh wim-ooh -way, oh wim-oo way
oh wim-ooh-way, oh wim-oo-way .... etc .....)
Little Jonty turned one last weekend, and when his mum asked if I could make a cake, I selfishly said Sure, I'd love to, but he can't have the number one because I've already done it. (So mean.)
Ros took this in her stride. That's fine, she said. Whatever you would like to do, she said. How nice of her to indulge my selfish passion!
So I asked some questions about her lovely family, and settled on Leonard The Lion, because Jonty's dad Justin was born in Africa.
Baking Leonard the Lion was a bit of a challenge. I had to bake an enormous rectangle of batter at very low heat to ensure it didn't rise up in a peak like so many of my cakes do. It worked, and turned out about four centimetres thick - perfect for the mane. I separately baked a rectangle for his actual head and nose.
Cutting out Leonard the Lion proved a little difficult. I really tried to replicate the shape in The Book, but I think it turned out a little bit too much like a map of Australia, n'est-ce pas?
Making Leonard the Lion's mouth was hard - I had some kind of spasm trying to cut the orange jubes into the right shape. I am spatially retarded and find it really hard to look at one shape and try to turn it into another one. I cut six different versions before I got those little triangles anywhere near right. Which meant I got to eat five orange jubes along the way as I discarded each mangled little effort.
Decorating Leonard the Lion with melted chocolate was a process, too, although colouring the vienna cream went much quicker this time. I was a little heavy-handed with the chocolate flicks in the beginning - what the instructions in The Book don't tell you is that even though the chocolate is melted, it will harden up pretty bloody fast when you're doing the decorating, and clump into a big lump on the end of your fork, and then the stuff in the bowl will set like concrete while you're cleaning the fork, and then you'll have to start the process all over again ..... and again .... and again .... gah. But it turned out ok in the end.
And I must say that Jonty LOVED his cake. Even though he was just turning one, he totally got that the day was All About Him. He was so secure in his sense of self that he didn't even mind when Hugo blew out the candle.
Rock on, Jonty! Your birthday is the one day of the year that absolutely, totally, and completely belongs to you. I'm glad to see you approaching it in the right way from such a young age.
PS: People.....fairybread. It's been years. Awe.Some.