My mother has a birthday this year. She also had one last year and the year before that. It is quite possible she’s been having these birthday every year since she was born.
But I’m not sure. After all, she is older than me.
Since I live in The Kingdom of Far Far Away from my mother, I don’t often get to make cakes for her. This year, however, I decided to take the long 4-hour train trip, cake in hand, to visit my mother on her birthday.
Travelling with decorated cakes can be somewhat nervewrecking. Especially when you don’t have a car, and need to rely on public transport. Stranger-danger everywhere. People have no clue that I’m carrying a fragile cake, and as such do not feel any desire to not bump into me or my white cake box on the crowded train. Thankfully, most of the trip was on an intercity train, with seat reservations and a safe place for the cake.
When I need to transport cakes this way, I use a certain type of design. It’s not too fragile, but still elegant. On the top, some nice overpiping. I can make this as elaborate as I wish – as long as it lies flat on the top of the cake, there’s virtually no risk of breaking the icing. Unless you sit on the cake, but I guess very few types of decorating could survive that.
On the top edge and at the bottom I put clusters of tiny flowers. While they are somewhat fragile, they are not at risk of breaking from the shock alone, if the cake is bumped – like stringwork might.
Most of my cakes are decorated styrofoam dummies. I don’t sell my cakes, and I’m a slow decorator. I refuse to pull all-nighters, real cake or not, and the more elaborate designs can take me days or even weeks to complete – long past the expiration date of most types of cakes. When I do decorate real cakes, such as this birthday cake, I use somewhat simple designs (flowers can be made in advance) that can be done in a day or two. I also use mudcake. It’s stable, easy to transport, doesn’t go bad when kept at room temperature during the decorating process, and it will easily last a week or two in the fridge. But most important, it’s super tasty. Win-win.
For this particular cake, I used Sugarflair Apple Green. The flowers are made with a few different brands of purple, which gives subtle variations in colour, without being too different. There’s also a few pink flowers thrown in the mix. The cake is 6″ on a 8″ board.
And it survived the long trip. It didn’t survive dinner, though.