Maximillan Christopher Tan, or whom we usually called Max turned one on August 4th a few weeks ago! He's the son of dear friends of mine, Chris and Kiki, and he's definitely the cutest, the most handsome, or you can just say the best baby ever! He LOVES fruits! His eyes are widened super wide when he sees strawberries in particular, he loves plum and can chow down on it for a long time. When he was only a few months old last year, I told Kiki that I would love to make Max's first birthday cake as my gift for him. It was still a long way to go that I really never planned it. I always thought that, "ah, it's still in August, way way too early too plan" until probably a little more than a week before the D-day that Kiki actually reminded me!!
Being a planner, I couldn't be more nervous about it. The parents requested a CuriousGeorge themed cake, a simple one will do as long as there is curious george on it, since baby Max is a super curious baby just like George :). They even offered me their big Curious George porcelain bank and suggested me to just put that on top of a plain cake @_@. I really appreciate the offer, but how could I possibly make something like that. I would be a really mean aunty if I do that to baby Max for his first birthday cake.
So I began my search for inspiration on the cake, realizing that I only have a week to do it. It seems long but not if you only have very few hours to spare on that week, but thankfully I have the whole Saturday, since the party was actually on Sunday. I had a couple of ideas, but nothing really stuck on my head nor I was a fan of the idea until I saw this cutest cake. I browsed through the album and Kylie Lambert is truly one talented lady. I love her cow figurines, they look so cute and funny. So I decided on making "Curious George in a Farm" themed cake, perfect!! The only problem is, how can I find the time to make all those figurines?
If you know me, I'm not a very creative nor I'm an artsy kind of person (I didn't even like cartoons when I was little), I usually freaked out when I have to make fondant figurines before actually do it. It wouldn't help too with such a time crunch. Luckily, I'm blessed with lots of supportive and encouraging friends. Nana offered to help me with the figurines, and she's so good at it! She has the patience that I will never imagine of having! In the end, I have a few other great friends to help me with. Nana helped make the super cute piggy and the ducky, Yanni made the froggy, Fonda helped with the bee, Joana made the cow, and the rabbit actually made by Yossi and Nana (Nana brought it back to CA when she was visiting Yossi). I'm so thankful being surrounded by these wonderful people. So I'll just have to do the rest. I made some more bees, a set of royal icing butterfly (I only used two in the cake), the caterpillar, the yellow hat, and the curious george. I spent hours on curious george alone, hahaha.... the fondant was tooo soft after I added some amount of brown food coloring to get the color I wanted. The hot and humid weather didn't help either. This is the chubbiest george I've ever seen. You can also probably see some nail marks. Yes, I have long nails and after making this george, I decided to sacrifice and cut my nails on four fingers total (and yes, it will look weird if you look at it :D)
Once all the figurines are all set, I spent the whole Saturday making the cake, covering it, and decorating it. The parents love Indonesian-type of cakes so I decided to make Indonesian cheese layer cake for the top tier and lapis surabaya for the bottom tier. I used almost 50 egg yolks to make the cake total!!! and please don't get me started on the butter :P. And finally, the cake is done!!!!! I was super relieved when I saw the finished cake. It may looked simple enough for some of you, but to me, this is a very special cake. Not only that this is for baby Max and the fact that this cake has the love from the loving aunties, but also that I've never spent so many hours on cake like this before. I knew that I needed to give myself plenty of time so that I won't mess it up and I was really happy with how it turned out really. More importantly, the parent liked it too! Too bad baby Max is not old enough to give me his opinion about it :(. The pictures are courtesy of my talented photographer friend San San
The birthday boy and his parents, happily munching on the plums