In which the Editor plays with her food
Yes, for several years, I liked nothing better than creating novelty cakes for either my nearest and dearest, or for people who were willing to both pay for the ingredients and make suitably flattering comments.
Unfortunately, times were hard in those days, and I couldn't afford a camera. (And, no, that was not because I spent all my money on marzipan.) So, sadly, there is no documentary evidence of the majority of my edible sculptures. I trust you won't doubt my word when I aver that the ones which weren't photographed demonstrated considerably greater artistic talent than the ones which were. Even though that is clearly a Monstrous Untruth.
Noddy and Big Ears in Noddy's car; the Sports Bag; the plump, red heart with the hand-painted banner; the bevy of lovely ladies in a state of undress; Cinderella in her pumpkin coach; the Egyptian mummy emerging from its coffin; the pair of Tommy Cooper's fez hats - these and others now exist only in memory. (Although I seem to recall that one of the lovely, scantily-clad ladies spent quite some time sitting on a telephone in the office: for some reason, my male colleagues found her response to the vibrations of the ringing phone to be highly entertaining. Indeed, sometimes she was so excited, she actually fell off onto the desk. Cue much dirty sniggering. Men, eh? She was made from icing, for heaven's sake.)
I gave up about six years ago. Partly because I was already becoming too creaky to do it, but mainly because I'd become diabetic. I never partook of the finished product, you understand, but there can be quite a lot of carving to achieve the desired shape and, well, it would just be such a waste of ingredients to throw the off-cuts into the bin...
I still have a whole shelf of books devoted to the art. I can't bear to let them go although, really, there is precious little point in hanging on to them. My absolute favourite was Jill Tipping's "Iced Follies", published in 1988. Abebooks has a number of second-hand copies for sale. It's worth buying just for the ingenuity of her designs, even if you never get round to creaming the initial butter and sugar together and lining your cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Anyway, I've been playing with my scanner. As I said, not many of the cakes were ever photographed. Of those that were, some of the photographs were of such poor quality that they weren't worth scanning. Others were photographed next to their "delighted" recipients, none of whom, I suspect, would want an unauthorised image of themselves to be published on the interwebnet. But here are just a few:
* That's a pun, not a spelling error. Currants. They go into fruit cakes. Do you see what I did there? Is that hilarious or what? I missed my vocation. You know, I should have been on the stage... [Exit Editor, protesting vehemently, dragged away from the computer by hideously embarrassed Selkirk Rex kitten.]