Chocolate & Spice

chocolate, spice and the other pleasures in life

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Drama in a Birthday Cake

Birthday cake for my dad and a golfing buddy

Birthdays are always great occasions to splash out and have some fun. Besides the thrill in matching the right gift to the birthday person, there's also lots of fun planning the party and the food. I always think the highlight of the party is the moment the birthday cake is brought out!

When we were kids, birthday cakes were elaborate creations (in our time, Spiderman & Strawberry Shortcake cakes were popular) and having a cake in the figure of the cartoon character would leave you the subject of envy amongst your friends at the party.

As we grew older, the focus turned more to the cake itself and decorations were usually limited to a simple piped birthday greeting in icing. After all, we adults rationalised that the cake would be devoured in no time and I think most of us would rather forget that we're another year older! Thankfully, my mom decided to put back the fun and drama back into birthday cakes for the birthdays of family member over the last couple of years.

It started when my mom met Beng Li Sher, a couple of years ago. Li Sher had left legal practice and attended Le Cordon Bleu for their patissier course. Upon her return to Singapore, she started her own business doing custom-themed cakes, most popular of which are the cakes with hand-crafted sugar paste figurines.

Book of Life & Goldilocks & the 3 Bears

Our family has been ordering birthday cakes from her since then and each time, we have been greatly entertained at Li Sher's accurate characterisation of the birthday person derived from personal information provided to her. Whimsical flights of fantasy, the birthday cakes have since ranged from golf-themed cakes for my dad and his golf buddies, to our pet zoo on my mom's, and to Goldilocks and the 3 Bears for my niece's birthday a couple of years ago.

You probably have to look really hard
but there's a pile of cash at A's feet!

More recently when we arrived back in Singapore, we celebrated the birthdays of my cousin Mel and A with a tiered cake with figurines depicting them at their current stages in life. Mel recently graduated from university and is about to start working life (WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD MEL!), while A joined a new company earlier this year.

Li Sher's cake is a rich chocolate ganache, definitely one for the chocoholics out there. It keeps quite well in the fridge so no worries if you can't quite manage more than one slice that night! While the sugar paste figurines are definitely edible, most of the recipients of the cakes have chosen to take them home with them instead. Last I checked, my niece still looks in on the 3 Bears sitting in her fridge and our pet zoo continues to reign in ours!

Besides the figurine cakes, Li Sher also does amazing 3D cakes and cupcakes as well. At Christmas, she usually puts out a selection of Christmas cupcakes and cookies which make great gifts to friends and family. Li Sher also works with a caterer to provide an all-round catering service for any functions you may have.

Do note that as the cakes are very labour intensive creations and Li Sher is often very busy with orders, you would do well to give her sufficient notice if you require a cake!

To order cakes from Li Sher and to view samples of her work, check out her website, Hot Fuchsia.

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