It may sound a little mad to many of you - these boys go out regardless of weather - but I have to say, after having a little dabble pre-kids, I do get it. It is exhausting but the sense of satisfaction at the end puts you on a high! There is an extraordinary sense of community, support and encouragement from the fellow ploughmen (and women), and at the end of the day, these colourful characters are helping to preserve a tradition, which would soon otherwise be lost.
To celebrate this, I set myself the challenge to create my hubby's Fordson Super Dexta and plough in sugar paste as the centre-piece of his birthday day (45, bless him!). It had me up late but I loved every minute of it...I used the modelling tools from the Little Venice Cake Company which were fabulous when constructing the tractor and plough! I also used their Deep Circle Cutters to create the wheels.
I made a few mistakes along the way - I was too eager to get going with the model that I tried to use a liquid food colour to get the blue. After using nearly half the bottle, the resulting sugar paste hasn't dried quite as I would have liked it, but it worked (note to self - concentrated colour next time!)
I also forgot to take off the plastic wrap from the cake board in my haste to get on with things!
I would also have covered the board with a square of textured sugar paste before
I put the cake on; it would have been so much easier!
However, I was pretty pleased with the overall effect, and every cake made is another
lesson learned for next time!
I used the following Little Venice Cake Company piping nozzles...
No. 22 To achieve the ploughed earth effect.
No. 47 To achieve the wooden fence effect.
No. 233 To achieve the stubble effect.
I find that it's the little details that you add to the cake that give it it's character. In this case, my hubby's faithful lunchbox, sighting poles and match contestant number (his age) that did the trick!
I made a plaque from two layers of sugar paste to add my message (although the writing could have been better, I did this very late at night with tired eyes!).
The girls added their own touch at the end - some personalised trophies and plaques!
The cake itself was a gluten free chocolate sponge with chocolate frosting, buttercream and sugar paste used to fill and decorate it. Every slice is filled to the brim with calories, but it did taste good!
Jum was really chuffed with it which made all the work worthwhile! A rough guess would say it took about 15-18 hours in total (this includes a lot of washing up time too!).
Adding the candles actually brought the tractor to life!
The sad bit...!
...and there it was, going, going, gone!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. It would be lovely to hear what you think!