About Me

My photo
My name is Lucy and I have never blogged before. Well that's a lie. I have, but it was this one, and I neglected it for a little while... I live in a commuter town outside London having moved here about a year and a half ago after making some pretty big changes in my life. I share a beautiful little cottage on the Grand Union Canal with 1 crazy beautiful little girl and an equally crazy cat called Bandit (appropriately named as he now lives in all the houses on the street and steals...). Lawyer/working mum and it would appear, terminally single (I've reserved my spinster plaque already) I was fortunate to escape the evil commute about a year ago but seem to have less time than ever.... If I entertain you, make you laugh or fume (or make you have an emotion of ANY description) then my job is done. Enjoy x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

"You gotta plan these things. Even if it's just a post it on your desk at work when you should be doing something else. Some people doodle when they are dodging work, I apparently draw penis cakes"

Before I even begin, firstly I apologise for failing in my task of blogging each week and not posting last week.  I was afflicted with a plague!!  Well not quite that dramatic but I got the flu and wasn't a well bunny.  I did bake albeit in a hazy, flu induced state and following that promptly went to bed for a week.  Secondly, I have to forewarn you that this post features the word "penis" and penis shaped objects.  'Rents and in laws, I sincerely apologise if this causes any offence...

I also apologise about the photos in this post (a) there are A LOT; and (b) blogger seems to be taking editorial decisions for me and uploaded several the wrong way round.  Oh well.

My lovely friend, the Ginger Ninja, was turning 30 and for her surprise party our friend M and I decided wouldn't it be nice if we baked her a birthday the shape of a penis...with ginger pubes.  I know I know, we are truly caring sharing sorta gals.  We discussed, at some length, whether to use a penis shaped cake pan or whether to carve a cake into shape and how to create the ginger pubes - I was all about trying to spin sugar and was really looking forward to having a bash at it.  I had been ridiculously excited about attempting this cake for weeks. 

Anyone would think my friends and I have a some sort of penis obsession.  For another friend's wedding we decided that the hen party wouldn't be complete without a penis piñata, so one of the other bridesmaids painstakingly constructed a colourful penis piñata.  The first attempt didn't work.  The balloons she had used to do the paper mache started losing air so the whole pinata became...ahem...flaccid.  Of course we found this hysterical and many many (many) jokes followed on a pretty common theme.  The second one came out awesome although the hens got a little too carried away whacking it.

ANYWAY, I know, I'm so far off track here....

Finally the cake baking week came and unfortunately poor M was unwell so I threw myself into the task with great gusto.  After much um-ing and ah-ing I decided to make 3 cakes - 2 round and 1 oblong which I would then trim as necessary.  I had considered making 1 big sheet cake and then cutting that down but couldn't bear the thought of throwing so much cake away.

Seriously.  I planned it on a post-it.
So, I left work that night announcing to all that I needed to leave on time because I had to go home and bake a penis cake.
Having researched a couple of recipes I settled on a basic sponge recipe I found on the BBC's Good Food website.  I have to admit that I settled on this recipe because when I   looked in the fridge I realised I had forgotten to buy more eggs and didn't have much baking powder left.  I was conscious that the recipe for 1 cake probably wouldn't be big enough, so having 5 eggs at my disposal I recalculated the recipe (the recipe called for 3 eggs, so I divided each ingredient quantity in the original recipe by 3 then multiplied the result by 5 - very scientific - I am very smart - Stephen Hawking cowers in my presence).  I have set out the amended recipe below but also provided a link to the original recipe.  To be honest, because of what I was attempting to create, other than the basic cake ingredients and the oven temperature the recipe instructions are all from my very "special" brain.  I have included plenty of construction pics though since my brain doesn't quite know how to explain itself sometimes.  Case in point - I was explaining to 2 colleagues the other day what my wedding dress looked like (very pretty) and managed to make it sound more like something from "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding".

The recipe - Penis Cake! (with thanks for the recipe from BBC's Good Food website)

For the cake:
292g unsalted butter, softened
292g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2½ tsp vanilla extract (I actually make my own vanilla extract, its easy peasy)
5 eggs
292g self-raising flour
2 tsp red food colouring 

For the filling:
Seedless raspberry jam
Vanilla frosting (I cheated and used Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting)

For the icing:
500g fondant icing
9 drops of pink food colouring
Tube of white writing icing

You will also need:
1 x 8in/1.5qt glass loaf dish
1 x 1qt glass bowl (if you have 2, even better)
6x1in wide long pieces of baking parchment
1x8in wide long piece of baking parchment
1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.  Butter the loaf dish and bowl, line the bowl with 3 of the 1in wide pieces of baking parchment (you may need a little extra butter where the paper overlaps) and line the loaf dish with the with the larger piece of baking parchment:

2. Beat all the cake ingredients together in a large bowl (if possible one with measurements on it) until smooth.  Unfortunately I didn't soften my butter enough (read: at all) so my batter was a little lumpy.  Given what I was making, it did kinda give me the "ew" factor.  Pour 1/3 of the batter into each dish and level out. 
3. Bake for about 50 mins-1 hr until they are well risen and spring back when lightly pressed (or do the skewer test). Leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a rack (you may need to run a knife around the edge but the paper should help you pull the cakes out of the dishes) and peel away the paper.  
I agree, it looks pretty gross.

4. Butter and line the bowl with the 3 remaining pieces of baking parchment (you may need to wash the bowl to remove any crumbs first) pour in the last of the batter and repeat step 3.  

5. Once cooled, put the 3 cakes onto a large board and get ready for carving.  
6. Start by cutting a 1/4 out of each bowl cake (can I really use the real term??) and set aside.

Pac-man had never felt so ashamed (or exposed)
7. Arrange the bowls at the base of the oblong cake (I just can't bring myself to say it...).  You may need to carve a straight edge on each bowl to make sure they sit well together.  Then take the 2 cut-out quarters and arrange at the top of the oblong cake.

8. Now to get to shaping...flatten off the base of the "tips" so they sit flat on the board then do the same for the bowls. Next round off the top of each bowl and plug the space where the quarters were removed using the off-cuts.

9. Next onto filling.  Cut each piece in half so you can create a sandwich.  Brush off any crumbs (I used a pastry brush) and position the bottom layer on the serving dish/board.  Spread a layer of the frosting all over each piece.

Its got white stuff in it...heeheehee!
10. Carefully take each top piece, spread it with jam and layer it onto its corresponding bottom layer.  Its best to start with the oblong cake and build around it.  Again, brush off any crumbs and spread a very thin layer of jam over the top of the cake and let the jam set.

11. Now here comes the decorating part.  In my head I had firmly decided I would use rolled icing and was extremely confident I could do it.  My confidence wasn't completely unfounded though.  My mum is a very talented cake decorator and as I grew up she was often making wedding cakes and celebration cakes for various friends and family.  Most recently she made my bubba's 1st birthday cake (a duck pond complete with ducks) but she also made my wedding cake.  

This pic really doesn't do it enough justice.
It looked like a pile of wedding presents.

As I got older I often helped my ma with the cake decorating including wedding cakes and her cousin's 40th birthday cake - the infamous "boobs in a bra cake", which were scarily realistic (and you wonder why I felt so comfortable making the penis cake!? Who's feeling foolish now, huh?)  Point is I thought that mixing some pink icing to roll out and cover the cake would be a piece of cake (oooh, do you see what I did there?).  I was wrong.  The icing finally came into a ball and was a good looking colour, however the rolling was a different matter entirely.  Every time I rolled it out some part of the icing stuck firmly to the board and then completely tore when I tried to remove it (and yes, I did put a lot of icing down before I started rolling).  After several attempts, a LOT of swearing, a bit of crying and a teensy tantrum I ended up chucking the icing in the bin.  It just wasn't working.  Thankfully some foresight had made me buy 2 boxes of icing so after some urging by my ever-frustrated counterpart I decided to make spreadable/pourable fondant icing.  Simply follow the instructions on the packet and add the pink colouring (again look at the bottle for guidance), then carefully spoon the icing over the cake.  It should (although you may need to do a bit of coaxing) gently slide over the cake, covering it.  Patch up any exposed bits of cake with extra icing.

Amazingly the fondant clings to the cake really nicely giving it a
a scarily realistic look!
12.  Clean the plate of any stray icing.  Take the white writing icing and, starting at the tip, write your greeting (unfortunately mine looks like I let my little-one do this for me and I was pretty disappointed with the writing) and you're done.


Unfortunately by the time I was done the flu had taken over and I was feeling really poorly.  No pubes would be produced.  Deflated, I promptly went upstairs and went to sleep for the rest of the day.  The husband told me I was restricted to bed rest so no party for me, however we compromised that I could drop the cake off.  We trundled off to the restaurant where I stayed to say "surprise" and "look what I made you!" and also to realise that my friend's parents were also at the party.  So yes, I'm the girl that presented a penis cake to my friend's parents.

The feedback from M was great though.  I hear it prompted a lot of laughter (including the parents) and nearly all of it was eaten.  Score!!  As a final point, it must be said that if you ever decide to make a penis cake try and transport it in something that isn't see through.  I just covered the cake in cling film and then felt like a massive weirdo walking into a very nice restaurant with what looked like an enormous penis on a plate.


  1. OK... where to start?! Your mum's duck pond cake sounds amazing! :-D
    x x x

    1. That's just the tip of the iceberg. There was the computer cake, the hamburger cake, the castle, the bears in a bed, several wedding cakes...seriously she's so talented x