For my daughter E’s first birthday last year, I came up with the idea of making a mini bundt cake tower. For one whole year since then, I’d had this question niggling at the back of my head: What clever cake can I come up with next year?
In the end, her 2nd birthday came last week and I found myself doing the ultimate loser thing: I copied a design from Martha Stewart. Why? Because this cake is just the cutest darn thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
I mean, look at it! It has colourful lollipops stuck all over like little flowers, and even frilly grass creeping up from the sides. Forget about being original, man. This is one copy-cake I wanted to eat.
But mind you, mimicry is an art.
There was a lot of walking back and forth between kitchen and balcony – where there was direct daylight – before I could colour the buttercream the exact same shade of green as the original.
And I’m a little embarrassed to say that it took quite a few teaspoonfuls of green colouring to achieve it – so much so that I was afraid our guests who ate it would look into their toilet bowls the next morning and wonder if they had overdosed on vegetables.
There was also much fussing over the size and colours of the gummies that were to be skewered with satay sticks and stuck on the cake. I even went out especially to buy the right sized leaf piping tip so that my grass sheaves would look nothing short of perfect.
The verdict? When E’s de facto godmother C first saw the cake, she cried: “It’s just like the real thing!!” And my husband Z, no doubt inspired by the piped-in muzak we always hear in supermarkets, proudly declared to his friends that I am a “cover artiste”.
Me? For someone who has never bought a fake good in her life (never bought a branded good either), I’m totally pleased about my counterfeiting prowess. If I were a city, my name would be Zhen. Shenzhen.