Piggies + Nostalgia.

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted; I've turned into the cake-blog version of George RR Martin with wait times, without the promise of nudity and world conquering, so my apologies y'all.

Part of it has been a busy few months of orders + life admin requiring some attention, but I also have to admit I've been trying to refocus what is I'm doing here. As with any passion project, it's always a (delightful) surprise when it actually seems to work and that's been no less the case here. Doing all the work on my own (like so many other small businesses) does mean I can get bogged down in the making of the same recipes on repeat/dealing with inconsistent suppliers/forever trying to solve the transport challenge of ensuring the 120 serving cake you've just painstakingly and lovingly put together makes it to the wedding in one piece (so far, full success on the latter! *knocks on every piece of wood in sight*). 

However, a recent order I made really invigorated me (photo below; I promise I'll bring you more in the future!), and reminded me of the fun of creating something new I've not done before. In so many cases a client will ask for a recreation from something they'd tasted somewhere, or a Pinterest pic, or to bring back a childhood memory. And this for me is where the fun lies - how can I bring this all to life, in the tastiest way possible? 

 

For me, cake is an indulgence - something associated with a celebration and joy; I'm sure I'm not alone in that a particular meal, dish or slice of sugary heaven can evoke memories and emotions. Despite my own insistence that I'm not a creative person (ask me to paint, sing or write a work of fiction and you will quickly agree I'm right), I've realised that in the kitchen this is what I most enjoy - bringing nostalgia to life, and creating new memories in the process.

I see this so often when I celebrate with friends, and particularly my family - I have a 5 yr old niece and 2 yr old nephew, and getting to make their birthday cakes brings back such feelings of delight and excitement from my own childhood, when my mum used to do the same for me. Getting to create new memories with them and seeing the delight on their faces is second-to-none!

I could speak of dozens of food-related moments that still bring about a smile, but there's always a few that stand out. I still have vivid memories of the Humpty Dumpty cake my mum made for my 5th birthday barely (read: not at all) surviving a stinking hot Sydney summer day in the local park. Sadly, and despite multiple rescue attempts by my father, old mate Humpty simply could not survive a wall made of cake bricks and buttercream mortar. #neverforget

Just last week, my 31 yr old brother was extolling the virtues of a gorgeous little Italian pasticceria in Burwood named Mancuso's that has remained unchanged since we used to be taken there every few months as a treat in the early 90's. We both remembered in great detail the black forest cake, the 'horseshoe' choc dipped shortbread and the towering wedding cakes on display - not to mention the beautiful women who served us, and always treated us so nicely as if we were their own. I still remember walking in and seeing their faces up over the counter! I wasn't surprised that I remembered, given my affinity for all things candy-coated, but to hear my brother speak of them so fondly so many years on makes me excited for how one day his kids will no doubt say the same thing about memories they're creating as a family.

With this in mind, I'd love to be inspired by hearing what cakes or desserts bring back these memories for you?