I was asked to make a cake for a gentleman’s 90th birthday by a friend of my mum’s. They said he used to breed chickens and were thinking about a chicken cake. I thought that sounded a bit boring for such an impressive birthday so asked about a few other of his interests. I was told he also liked lawn bowls. After hanging up the phone I thought about it for about 15 minutes and that’s when it came to me…chickens playing lawn bowls! They loved the idea…now I just had to figure out how! I like my cakes to bring a smile to the face of the recipient and give them a bit of a chuckle…but I also like to try and get the detail right. I hopped on google and checked out lawn bowl sites including uniforms, hats, bags and bowls. I also went past the local lawn bowls center and checked it out properly.
The cake is just a plain square cake with a ganache icing underneath and fondant icing on top. The grass is piped with royal icing. The figurines are made with fondant. I prefer to use “older” fondant for my models and mix it with cellogen. New fondant is just too soft. If I only have new fondant I will wrap it in a single piece of plastic wrap and leave it on the bench for a few hours or overnight. The whole idea was to make the cake look “manicured” like a proper lawn bowl green.
I checked out games of lawn bowls on line to see how the bowls look when they are bowled, the person’s stance when they bowl etc. I made the chickens and thought I’d give them sun glasses to make them look cool. Then we needed competing teams so they have different colors on their uniforms. I sat the chickens on the bench and it didn’t look right…looked boring. I know what they need…shoes!! So I made some legs and shoes and they were complete with little tassels just like the real ones, probably the hardest and fiddliest bit of the whole project.
When my mum’s friend came to pick it up, she took one look at it and burst out laughing. That’s the reaction I like to see. The gentleman loved it and spent ages checking out all the detail.