Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Best Book Ever Written In This Country




There's a news story online today about The Book - they've called it The Best Book Ever Written In This Country, and they are absolutely right!

You can read the story here: click this link.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Play it again, Sam


My version, for Jessie
The original from The Book 

And so it is with only the tiniest bit of fanfare and flourish, that I return to this blog and I recommence my cake project.

It's been a while, hasn't it? Almost two years - can you believe that? For me it seems like yesterday. 

But in those two years, I moved halfway across the world to Qatar, and that's what brought the project to a complete stop. The Middle East is a strange and wonderful part of the world at the best of times, but it is a complete shambles when it comes to cake making. Amongst other things.

I couldn't get the right sweets to decorate the cakes. The only stuff on the shelves was that horrible Haribo jelly candy stuff, ugh. And there was no way to get hold of all the cute little toys and other accoutrements that are such an important part of recreating these cakes right down to the last tiny detail. More to the point, my new workplace was not cake-obsessed like my last one. It was so frustrating! 

I did try to keep going. I thought, Maybe I can just make some of the easy cakes that don't have the complex bits and pieces. Maybe friends can ship me the lollies in the post? 

But then I discovered that cake baking of any kind was going to be a disaster. When the recipe calls for butter at room temperature, and the room temperature is around 48 degrees Celsius, that's not what they mean. 

So I put cake making on hold. But ALWAYS with the thought of recommencing.

And then guess what? Five weeks ago I moved to Switzerland. Here I am in Geneva, surrounded by the most amazing sweets and chocolate, and a postage system that can bring me toys from eBay around the world without them getting stuck in Customs for months on end. Seriously. And butter that does not melt if you look at it! Indeed, butter that often does not melt at all, and that's a different kind of problem, but at least it's the kind of problem that can be overcome.

I confess that the picture of this piano cake is an old one. I made this cake for my friend Jessie's birthday, and I kept the picture on hold until I found the right moment. This is the right moment. And I love this cake! 

I am especially proud of the tiny little candelabra, although it's not *exactly* the same as the one in the original. I spent hours on eBay looking for one that was as close to the original as possible. And I feel very smug about photocopying a picture of the cake from The Book and then cutting out the tiny little bit of music so that it is a) exactly the same music and b) exactly the right size. 

So there you have it, dear readers. The project has recommenced. 

The question is: which cake will I choose to officially reanimate the project? It has to be something impressive, don't you think? Something sufficiently difficult and inspiring to look at? Something appropriately up to the task?

You'll have to check back here to find out!