I was recently asked to bake a birthday cake in the shape of a plate of fish and chips for someone whose favourite meal was…..fish and chips.
Naturally I was pleased to be asked and began planning how I could do it. As it happens I had a fish cake tin, bought from a French brocante a couple of years ago. I used my easy lemon drizzle cake recipe and it turned out just right.
Of course, the fish would have to be covered in batter to look authentic. Getting the colour of the buttercream right proved to be tricky, especially here in France where baking supplies such as food colouring can be hard to find. In the end I used a combination of apricot jam, prune jam and a tiny dash of gravy browning to get something approaching the right shade!
I baked another batch of the lemon cake in a swiss roll tin and cut it into strips to resemble the chips. For the peas I used marzipan coloured green with food colouring. The vinegar was apple juice darkened with a little dark rum, the salt pot contained caster sugar and for ketchup I added a little pot of strawberry jam.
With the lights dimmed and the birthday candle lit, the birthday boy really did think for a moment that he was getting a plate of fish and chips. He loved it, and I really enjoyed making it.