The great baking projects are complete. I have the stained fingers and bizarre facebook statuses to prove it.
Operation Gingerbread went surprisingly well. Once baked, the slabs behaved reasonably and responded to the application of icing-as-glue. Well, one of them did. The other admittedly suffered a structural collapse at a crucial stage, but imagination came to the rescue. We decided that building a gothic ruin was a perfectly acceptable adaptation of the gingerbread theme. The swift addition of a fallen body, several Christmas trees, a dusting of snow and fake blood and lo - a seasonal ghost story was born in bakery. The other dwelling looked rather dull in comparison and I think next year I shall focus on ruins from the outset.
Christmas cake (i.e. chocolate laced with plum brandy confection) assembled and ready to be consumed whenever seems like a good idea.
Birthday cake also assembled. It looks vile - and I say this with true feeling. I spent the afternoon attempting to coat tentacles in buttercream and moulding demon eyes out of royal icing. Just for the record, neither task is easy. I would have been better off going for royal icing, but it doesn't taste as good. In honesty, I'm not quite sure that the finished product looks like, but it does verge on the nightmarish which is the point after all. I've stabbed it in one grotesque eye with a symbolic candle and shall take another poke at it tomorrow when I've got the food dye off my hands.