Having only recently developed a mildly green thumb, my appreciation of gardening has grown exponentially over the past two years since starting my own patio container garden. With a very shady north-east patio, my choices are limited to impatiens, lobelia, and the odd coleus, not the more showy sun-loving blooms like roses or geraniums. This week, my gardening moved indoors and to the kitchen specifically, in order to create a rose garden themed birthday cake for a lucky one year-old named Rose.
All the pink roses, white impatiens, foliage, and garden creatures were made from fondant, with small royal icing details. I could (and did) sit happily for hours without interruption shaping a whole menagerie of creatures and bouquet of roses, work that some people would find tedious. There is a meditative quality to this type of repetitive fine detail work which suits me.
The entire cake experience was not all rosy, however. Because the fondant roses were meant to lie flat against the side of the cake, I had shaved off the back of each rose and assumed they would adhere easily with either Tylose glue or stiff royal icing. Neither worked because of the fondant rose's weight against gravity causing them to fall off one by one, injuring some garden creatures in the process. Ultimately, I had to skewer each rose with a toothpick and secure them directly into the cake with great reluctance.
Despite the rose drama, this rose garden cake might be my favourite cake yet. My favourite details include the snails and their tracks becoming the writing, the inconspicuous family of slugs, and the rainbow caterpillars. Such a high degree of cuteness all packed into one cake!