Happy birthday to me. I made a cake, partly because it’s my birthday and partly because it had been so long since I did it, I wanted to make sure I still could.

Turns out I’ve still got it.

I’ve got this amazing fluffy sponge cake recipe from the internet, and this time I added some lemon rind, and made the filling buttercream with the lemon juice. Very zingy.

I got a lot of my inspiration to learn this stuff from Margaret Braun’s book, which included these lovely little curls for lightening up the whole silhouette of the cake.

I made them out of some old sugar flower paste that had been opened a long time and was really dry and crumbly. I figured I’d try to bring it back, just to see if I could. It turns out if you add a bit of water (wet fingers while working) and work it a while, it comes back to perfect, as-new pliability. The blue also made a lovely base colour to give the gold paint some depth.

I did the sugar paste in one big blanket over the whole cake, since it was only about eight inches high and six wide. I’m glad I have developed my skill, because it was slightly challenging, but it worked pretty well.

A quick base coat of black, just because it’s what I had. But next time, I’m definitely doing crazy bright colours.

Piping curls… I really need more practice at this. If I’m ever bored again, I will just mix up a batch of royal icing and sit piping curls onto a vertical surface, just to improve.

Meanwhile, they come out good enough to paint them black in preparation to give them the antique, broken, slightly rough look that I love.

Getting there… time flying… need to get on with it if I’m going to get out of here on time.

The gold paint. I love this bit. Although it is SO time consuming. I was glad this cake was so small, thinking back over some of the huge ones I’ve had to do this paint job to.

I do love the effect though. Happy birthday to me. I’m going to do this again soon.