I always thought I was a bit of a perfectionist. Until realising just how mind-numbingly perfect I wanted everything to be. Cakes must be so perfect I go a little crazy. Look as perfect as possible all the live long day. Go out of my way to avoid confrontation and other 'imperfect' things.
Something changed in me at the end of last year. I realised anxiety and perfectionism, the whole lot of it, was stopping me from just enjoying life and all it's wonderful imperfections.
And so I’ve worked on a few things. Cakes will always need to be perfect, but I’ve learnt to know that point when they’re perfect enough. I try to embrace the collection of freckles all around my face and the parts of me which I’ve never been all that nice to. Finally, some people just need telling. Like the man who bibbed me in the car earlier (for doing absolutely everything right) you deserved that telling I gave you (even if you couldn’t hear me).
My guide, to not let perfectionism get the better of you, goes something like this:
Embrace your imperfections and learn to love those bits which make you you.
Practice mindfulness. Read about it, learn about it and carry it around with you everywhere.
Distract yourself with a whole lot of baking therapy.
I really do understand how anxiety takes on all different forms. And in Harry Potter terms (just because I bloody love it) anxiety would be a boggart … that thing which becomes whatever scary thought is on your mind. Just break it all down, find what’s really wrong, and tell it to Fudge Off.
Speaking of fudge, let’s move on to sweeter things. Like this Frozen beauty sitting in front of me. A classic victoria sponge inside, she’s coated in the best fondant icing around (Sattina). Sugarpaste, fondant, whatever you like to call it, Sattina’s the most delicious of them all.
I’ve frilled some pastel petals, and have an extra sweet Olaf looking up at me. Frozen is such a feel good film, and this is a feel good cake. It’s pretty, it’s gold and it's all sugary and yummy.
Frilling petals is such a handy skill. All you need is a petal cutter, rolling pin, dusting powder and your ball tool (photo below). Roll out some florist paste, cut your petal and drag the ball tool around the edges, frilling as you go. Then dust it off with some blush pink powder (because pink is the prettiest).
To get that real Frozen likeness, I’ve brushed a little piping gel here and there. On the peaks of petals and droplets of it carefully placed. This is the same water lookalike I use for my ice bucket cakes. It looks like water, but won’t actually make your cake wet (genius). And it’s given this cake some extra Disney shine.
Earlier, my cake room really really warmed up. I need to get a cooling system in here. Otherwise, my buttercream’s going to keep going soft on me.
I guess some people really are worth melting for!
... Too much? Oops.
So vanillary ... so yummy.
Petal frilling equipment, and I use the same technique for my peonies.
Once you have your collection of decs, you can start to place them all on the cake.
A pretty little mess ...
and Olaf, what a guy!
Tonight's outfit might not be 'perfect' but a happy gal is wearing it, holding her happy clutch.