Wednesday, 8 February 2012

When I were a Lass .....

Posted by Rosie

.... on my birthday I got one birthday cake. Usually it was a triple layered Victoria Sponge and sometimes if you were lucky, each layer was a different colour. Sometimes, if you were unlucky one layer had been stolen from the table by the dog and taken up the yard in his mouth only to be placed gently on the floor when your Mother screamed at the offending dog. This said layer was then placed in the middle of the birthday cake, tooth marks were iced over and the cake eaten in ignorance by the birthday revellers. Actually, thinking about it, I have no recollection of Mum eating cake that year!! Anyway, I mention this because today is Tom's birthday and today I have cooked three birthday cakes. Yes, THREE!!

First of all there's the cake for school. I don't know if it's typical in all French primary schools but at ours the children always take in a cake to celebrate with their classmates. As Tom's birthday is today and there is no school on Wednesdays he'll take it in tomorrow. Cake number one for 18 pupils plus staff. On Wednesdays he does however have athletics and asked if he could take a cake for his fellow athletes to share - usually between 20 and 30 of them. Cake number 2. And cake number three was the one he was supposed to have eaten with us as a birthday celebration pudding after athletics, only there proved to be a slight hitch. No, it's OK, the cake was well out of reach of the dogs. No this was a problem of translation. Half way through baking the third cake (I think I was cracking something like the 15th egg of the day) I remembered that I didn't have enough icing sugar or butter for the icing. Luck was at hand in the form of Simon who was out and had the mobile. One quick phone call later (actually 7 calls to the answerphone before he finally picked up the phone) and the shopping list was given.

Quick question. Hands up if you know what the French for icing sugar is. Would sucre en poudre be a possibility? Powdered sugar sounds like it should be Icing Sugar doesn't it? Wrong. That's fine caster sugar where as what Simon really needed to have got me was Sucre Glace.

So that is why Tom, like me, has only actually had one birthday cake on his birthday. I had enough icing sugar in the cupboard to ice the cake for athletics and Simon bought sucre glace on the way home for the other two. The cake for school is now iced and ready to go and at some point tomorrow I'll work out how to turn the final rectangular cake I made into a number 10 and Tom can have his family birthday cake a day late.

Next year it's going to be one cake and I'll check the supplies cupboards before I start cooking!

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