Fishing and computers… ? Hmmm….
Isn’t it funny how some people affect the course your life takes.
When I first came to Ireland on holidays 16 years ago, I thought I’d try my hand at living in Galway for a while and went to print off my CV (Resumé) at a photo lab. The manager printed it off for me and after having a chat he read it and offered me a job! Things happen for a reason sometimes and living in Ireland always seemed to just fit for me. So when I got a call from this man’s wife a couple of weeks ago asking me to make his 50th birthday cake how could I say no!? Coming up with a design was another thing though. I was trying to get creative with boats and computers and digital fish and computer chips and finally ended up with a fishing basket and a laptop. Sometimes the obvious just works – plus this way I could do bits of it well in advance and take a bit of the pressure off of me.
I had a laptop to attempt now. How was I going to make each individual key (she thinks while looking at her newly unpackaged bluetooth keyboard). Ahah!! My keyboard came with a plastic moulded protector that covers my keys. So I gave it a good wash. Could it work? Could it? Oh hell ya it did. That was a proud moment for me there. Just rolled right over top of it gently with my rolling pin on top of some fondant and out came a perfectly formed set of keys. Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing this for something that was going to be eaten – but for a cardboard centred laptop that was going BESIDE the cake! Why not!?
Now it didn’t end there, I still had all of the keys to paint on. After airbrushing the whole thing black, I got out my Extra White powder, some vodka and a new little letter stamp set I got from Tiger (again with the whole ‘not going to eat this’ part). Stamped the main set of letters and then had to paint in the rest. It took around an hour – but the effect was great. It looked so real we were almost checking Facebook on it the whole time. Job done there. Just the edible-print screen to design and send out to order from Stuff for Cakes in Galway. Great quality and they send it to me in the post!
Now for the cake itself. I got this incredibly rich and moist chocolate cake off of the amazing Nicole from Nicci’s Cake Lab who has recently started baking for me. (No, I don’t bake for orders anymore when I can avoid it. This way I can concentrate on the design side of things and leave the baking to someone who will concentrate on that part.) I mean this cake was so good we were all snacking on the offcuts the whole time. My husband had to keep hiding it on us all but he still refused to throw it out. Yes, it was that good. And that is a man who ‘doesn’t like cake‘!!
It was time to catch some fish next! I whipped up a batch of Rice Krispie Treats and formed them into a somewhat fishy head shape. Then covered them in, my favourite, Vera Miklas modelling chocolate. I’ll admit they aren’t perfect fish but I figured they’d be just peeking out of the basket and were there for effect. Worked for me!
After adding the fish and the lid and a hand painted sign to say that Martin was ‘Gone Fishing’. The job was done. I have to admit I was a little nervous delivering it to the party. Usually I don’t get to see the reaction to my cakes and you never REALLY know what that reaction will be. This was hands down great. The cake was swarmed by people taking photos and peeking inside the basket. I couldn’t have been happier that it was for Martin’s birthday. As a friend of his said, “The only thing that isn’t realistic about it, is the fact that Martin couldn’t catch 3 fish!”.
I don’t think I would still be in Ireland if it wasn’t for me getting that first job in that photo lab. So happy birthday Martin and thanks again for hiring me 16 years ago!!
Now, this is where I get to tease you! I’m turning this cake into a full step-by-step downloadable tutorial from my website. I’m still tweaking it all to make sure it’s very thorough and understandable enough that everyone can do it. So, in the meantime, sign up for a free subscription to my Blog and keep up to date with all of my upcoming posts, tutorials and general rants!
Q: What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A: A fsh
Sorry about the bad fish joke – I feel gill-ty.
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