Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Cake review: Pip's birthday cake

It occurs to me that i have never written a cake review before. Partly it's because the need for such a thing has never really occurred to me. Mostly though, i'd say, it's because i'm not much of a cake person. i find most cakes incredibly rich, even cheap supermarket ones, probably because that much sweetness in one entity just makes me to start to feel like a post-chocolate-chute Augustus Gloop after about two mouthfuls, but possibly because real cake never lived up to the reality of the ur-cake of cartoons, that perfect condensation of the essence of sweet flavour.

Take Battenberg, for instance, the belladonna of the cake world. It looks incredible, the ultimate cartoon food manna, its day-glo squares laden with the flavour-Nirvana of double-barrelled pink-and-yellowness. Then you bite into it, and your dreams are all ruined by the horrifying emetic almondpaste that is marzipan.

Nevertheless, i agreed to eat this cake because it was Pip's birthday cake, and because she said i should write this review of it. So instead of just cake, i now had cake and effort. Not sure what kind of bizarre reverse psychology is involved in that, but it fooled me anyway — kudos, Pip.

Anyway, the cake was in the form of popular undersea cartoon favourite Spongebob Squarepants, and of all the Spongebob cake pictures i've found on the 'net, it looked most akin to this one, only somehow sort of better. For one thing it was more lifelike (to the extent that this means anything when we're talking about cartoon baked goods), probably thanks to the fact that Spongebob was posed in this kind of one-legged action stance, as if about to hurl a baseball or administer a savage beating to a cakey opponent.

i ate it while enjoying the start of Anthony Gormley's latest artwork, One & Other, wherein 2400 people spend a total of 100 days on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, noting the sense of mild irony in solitude atop a public monument being about the furthest atmosphere from that of a typical birthday party; including this one, its time divided between garden and densely-packed garage, its occupants' conversational streams weaving and buzzing in and out of each other in all directions. The cake was pretty good, actually, for a non-cake person. It was perhaps a little squashed, but for that i've no-one to blame but myself, and it didn't hurt the cake too much. Inside it was composed of a time-honoured jam and cream combination between two sponge sections (a Victoria Spongebob, if you will)2. My portion came from the section surrounding, and partly including, Bob's grinning mouth, so i also gained a good chunk of icing for variety. Overall, this was an excellent piece of birthday cake, amply filling its twin roles of pudding and celebration, and even for one without the infamous "sweet tooth", it is nonetheless always heartening to mark the passing of another year of a friend's company with such delicious and comical foodstuff.

Now for some cake-related music.
mp3: Fire Party – "Cake" (YSI)
mp3: Young Marble Giants – "Cakewalking" (YSI)
mp3: Melt-Banana – "Creeps in a White Cake" (YSI)

1 Photo credits to original uploaders.
2 Sorry.


cherryPip said...

trying to find a cake quotation around which to base my response has proved slightly more taxing than I had imagined. at the moment our main contender is “Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.”, because it displays a sort of vaguely anti sentimental sentiment, and is align with my feelings regarding excessive consumption of delicious foodstuff.

I am toying with the idea of some kind of Marie Antoinette reference also but can't think of one which wouldn't involve casting myself in the protagonist role which seems a little unseemly, frankly.

lovely review, thankyou Tom :) Next year you will be officially designated cake consultant xo

cherryPip said...

ps i like amputee bob