Saturday, 10 October 2009


Irony and Surrealism in baking

Yesterday was Jamie's 4th birthday. Those of you who've followed my blog for awhile know that I'm an awesome baker and cake decorator. But I was worried, how could I top the Bell's Palsy Super Why, Volcanic Fifi, and Leprous Peppa? I asked Jamie what type of cake he wanted in the run up to the big day, and he was insistent that he wanted a 'Thomas the Tank Engine' cake. I was disappointed by his choice as I think Thomas lacks irony, but it is ironic in it's own way because Jamie doesn't like Thomas. At all. He's pretty much his least favourite cartoon incarnation. So this is the cake I was imagining making him:

While this cake would have undoubtedly been amazing, I couldn't help but think that Jamie would have been disappointed because it's not really a Thomas cake, it's more of a Tree cake. So I was back to the drawing board... It needed to have more Thomas, but still challenge me on an artistic level. I got to thinking, 'What if I made a Thomas cake, but pretended I was a Surrealist Artist?' But which Surrealist would I choose? I thought about choosing a more obscure artist like Tanguy or Ernst but the kids' art history is still pretty remedial so I settled on Salvador Dali. They were certain to get the reference point. My inspiration:

And as applied to a Thomas Cake:

Just look how I nailed Dali's technique making the wheels. It was pretty tricky to get this effect right, I had to take a perfectly simple icing recipe and completely screw it up so that it could slide off the side of the cake. I'm a little bit nervous about posting my baking secrets as I know a couple of professional bakers read my blog. Not that they'd scoff at my efforts, but they might steal my ideas.


  1. Kitschy Dali or Salvador Coo? It could be a whole new line for you? I'm sure the 4 yo recipient was suitably happy with cake though.

  2. Wow - TTTE went so fast his wheels melted! What would The Fat Controller say?

  3. This is too, too funny. You truly are a cake-decorating goddess!

    Hope Jamie had a lovely birthday.


  4. damn it.... I was so going to make a dali esque pumpkin cake for H's Birthday.. and now I cant it would be copying..... now whatever shall I do?

    and THomas lacks irony but does not lack evil... they are just throughly evil trains, H hated that show... though not as much as the Fireman Sam oddly enough.

  5. Ack. Kathryn loves Thomas (I hated it first time round, when my much younger brother obsessed with it. I figure I've done my time with Thomas).

    You are way more adventurous with cake decorating than me. I'm happy if I get an even pink icing, let alone a picture on it!

  6. Have you seen this website? Its hilarious!

  7. G-E-N-I-U-S- if I ever get hitched- you're booked!