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Meet Princess Shazza. I know it sounds like a name I would bestow, but honestly the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Cookbook beat me to it. This cookbook is the stuff of legend – if you didn’t have one of these cakes at a childhood birthday party, as an Aussie kid that’s solid grounds for claiming child abuse. Personally my favourite was the train cake, but as previously mentioned the typewriter was pretty special.

I had decided to make a suitably embarrassing cake to celebrate Alison’s birthday for the thousandth time at a girls’ dinner, and Reboot kindly faxed me the recipe when I couldn’t find it online. The instructions are endearingly specific, calling for 50-odd pink marshmallows and 20-odd white; as well as feathers, lengths of ribbon and silk flowers. Personally I like to add small custom touches like the bows, and even though the doll had to become legless for the cause (perhaps an omen of what was to come for her consumers) I couldn’t bear to part with her red stillettoes, and attached them to her hand as though she was a lass who’d had a big day at the races.


The whole process was a wonderful adventure for a Saturday, and based on reactions around Surry Hills as I carried Princess Shazza into the restaurant (we had to take a cab, as public transport isn’t quite what she’s used to) perhaps there’s a side career to be had in making nostalgic childhood birthday cakes for post-ironic hipsters….

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