I do have a certain fascination with desserts myself, though. I'm known in my family for my pies. (My Grandma taught me the tricks.) My friends and neighbors start asking in December when they can expect some of my Christmas goodies. I make a mean trifle and I have a couple of fabulous cookie recipes. But there is one area I am fascinated with--but have no skill for.
I love them. They can be anything! I love to have a great birthday cake serve as the centerpiece for a party theme. When I first had kids I envisioned myself baking elaborate cakes that would elicit sighs of admiration.
Yeah, not so much.
For my Eldest's first birthday, my Mom made the cake, an adorable train made with different candies. For his second birthday, I was determined to do the job. I figured I'd start easy, with the tried and true molded pan and star tipped icing bag. Here's the result:
For my Youngest's first birthday I got ambitious. This was in the day before you could buy rolled fondant. I decided to make my own and decorate the cake to look like birthday gifts. Not one of the guests understood that that was what it was supposed to be.
So, I finally got smart and found a wonderfully creative cake decorator to hire. Cinda's Creative Cakes is fab--if you are in the Raleigh area, hire her! Click on her name to check out her amazing work!
These days, though, as the kids get older and I get busier, our birthdays are more subdued. We always mark the day with friends, a special meal and dessert, but my big party planning days are much fewer and far between now.
Not so with the heroine from Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick, my next release--due out in just 2 weeks! Chloe Hardwick flees her position as assistant to Lord Marland, the Marauding Marquess. Her organizational skills land her a place with the marquess's sister, helping to plan a party--the event of the Season. I learned a lot researching the book and I wrote an article at my website about Regency Party Planning and the elaborate desserts that were such a big part of it. You can read it here.
How about you guys? Are you a baker? Do watch Charm City Cakes and Cupcake Wars and dream? Can you make a better birthday cake than I can. (I hope so! :-) ) Tell me about your triumphs and disasters and I'll send an advanced copy of Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick to a randomly selected commenter!