81st Birthday

A grand dame celebrated her 81st birthday this weekend with her family and friends. What an honour it was for me, to be commissioned by her daughter, to bake and decorate the centrepiece. Her mum enjoys fruit cakes but for the birthday cake, we went for something less 'heavy' to cater for all the guests. I chose the Australian Blush Cake that's basically a dense (necessary for a tier-style) butter cake with red cherries, glacé ginger and almonds. The red cherries give the cake a pink hue hence the name Blush Cake!
Now, here's what takes the cake. The tiers (10' and 8') were covered in buttercream! Trying to achieve a perfect finish with buttercream icing is near impossible and being a perfectionist as I am, I had to have that 'coiffered' finish for my cakes. With a thin base coat over the cakes, I spent a loooooong time piping fine Sotas - a lace design, for a textured finish. My right hand was pretty much out of commission the next day ;-).
The birthday dame's favourite flowers were orchids and I chose lovely yellow Cattleyas with a burgandy lip for personalisation. Also made the mandatory Chinese birthday features : "sau-thou" -longevity peaches and the Chinese character for longevity "sau", to complete the cake.