Saturday, May 17, 2008

Birthday Boys (Part 1 of 2)

Yesterday, May 16 was Boy Wonder's 4th birthday. Since his current obsession are trains, or rather train crossings, I thought a train birthday cake would be perfect for the occasion. But after calling a few places I was shocked at how costly it was to order a train shaped cake. I couldn't understand how something that seemed simple enough to make would cost so much. So after consulting with a few friends, I decided to make it myself.

It was easy enough to buy the train shaped pan and coloring at the baking supplies shop. But since everything is imported, I was wary about buying a whole set of tips and piping bags which ain't cheap! Good thing Ragamuffin girl had some tips and bags, so she dropped by with them to help me out when it was time to experiment with the icing. We decided to use royal icing first, which was an egg-white and icing sugar mix. We were worried that the buttercream frosting would melt in this HK heat. When we started icing the cake, instead of a nicely coved train, we had a waterfall of colored icing, flowing off the train and into the fingers of Boy Wonder. I had to brush his teeth twice that morning to get rid of all that coloring!

Feeling totally defeated, I started wondering whether I should have just spent the money and ordered a cake instead. But after a chat with our baking guru mother-in-law, I decided to try with buttercream instead. She suggested if things don't work out, I could always just cover the whole cake with candies. What a great idea! So filled with confidence this time, I thought to myself there's no way I could go wrong. So I baked the actual cake and iced away. And this time the icing actually held its shape!

So came the night before Boy Wonder's birthday. The next day also turned out to be my turn to go to school for Parent Participation Day. I baked the final cake then waited for the kids to go to bed before icing it. I took me more than 2 hours to get it all done. But in the end I was really happy with the results. I'm happy I didn't give up and end up buying a cake.

So in addition to surprising Boy Wonder at school at the beginning of class, I was also able to stay the whole day and celebrate his birthday with all his teachers and classmates.


Mum in OZ said...

great job with the cake Tehlin, Sam looks very happy indeed. We look forward to sharing many birthdays with all the family when you get to Melbourne... love Mum in Oz

christao17 said...

You are such a good mom! Very impressive. You win my monthly Martha Stewart award... =)