I've been baking again.
I am really enjoying receiving my Cake Decorating Partwork through the post. I do not regret my decision to subscribe.
As it was my sister's birthday at the beginning of the week and my birthday at the beginning of next week, I decided that it was as good an excuse as any to make some celebration cakes. My parents were visiting so I made my dad's favourite - coffee and walnut cake (from issue 5).
Issue 4 came with a modelling tool to make sugar roses. I have had a go at making roses in the past but they have always looked like cabbages. Using specialist flower paste and the new tool to roll the petals very thin, my roses were much more delicate and flower-like. I was quite pleased with the result. I used one of my own tried and tested recipes to make a chocolate cake with fudge icing as the vehicle for my little flowery creations.
Making the roses was one of those laborious repetitive tasks that requires a certain amount of concentration but frees your mind to wander. I found myself thinking a lot about my mum as a mother to me and my two sisters - about how terrifying it was for her giving birth for the first time knowing so very little about what to expect all those years ago - about a young woman suffering from post-natal depression with no medical support or understanding of the feelings she was experiencing - about a mum doing her best to care for her children. I made three roses, one to represent each of her three daughters. The number of leaves represents how many leaves it was possible to make out of the trimmings of sugar paste!
I was really pleased with the ivory colour that I achieved using gel food colouring - hugely disappointed with the limp shade of green that I managed using liquid food colouring. If I attempt this again, I shall definitely buy a better quality green colouring.