I've been missing in action. The winter school holidays started and all of a sudden I found myself out of the house for two weeks. Away with girlfriends, staying with family, away from my laptop and reliable internet and out of mobile phone range.
Excuses, excuses! In my rush to go gallivanting around the countryside, I forgot to show off the third birthday cake I made for Mr Di-licious - the Country Music cake!
It's true Mr Di-licious loves both kinds of music as well as Earl Grey Tea and chocolate - so this cake for his party at home with a few friends was the perfect opportunity for me to have a little fun at his expense.
This chocolate cake (using my favourite chocolate party cake recipe) is filled with salted dulce de leche and covered in dark chocolate ganache.
The blue base tile, numbers and 'wooden paling' letters are made out of fondant. The letters are hand cut and textured with a leaf veiner. I used biscuit cutters to cut out the numbers and impaled them onto toothpicks.
The cup I bought online on a whim less than two weeks before the party to create the ultimate country music fan dedication. I had racked my brains for how I could convey his passion for country music that wasn't a cowboy hat, guitar or cowboy boots. I had to pay the express courier surcharge to get it delivered in time for the party (yikes) but the grin on Mr Di-licious' face was worth every cent.
The cup is actually filled with a couple of sticky date puddings that I had stashed in the fridge and two Earl Grey teabags. I topped the cup up with some leftover Earl Grey chocolate ganache and sprinkled over Earl Grey praline.
From a design point of view this is a pretty simple cake. What made it so successful was that it personified the birthday boy's interests with a little bit of humour. (It also tasted di-licious!)
And now that the balloons have come down and the embarrassing photo board has been packed away, the mug is a lasting reminder of the party he had for his 40th and a reminder of the only time he was ever able to play country music all night without his friends complaining.
PS - if you missed the first two cakes, here they are:
A very special birthday
The Earl of chocolate cake