Welcome in the last in the current series of Sunday Interview posts until the New Year. There will be so much going on in the next few weeks and we will all be very busy.. There will be a new theme in 2018… so keep your eyes open.
This week children’s author and master confectioner Robbie Cheadle shares the top two items on her ultimate bucket list.
Wedding Cakes and a very personal wish by Robbie Cheadle
I was quite sure that I didn’t have a bucket list. After all, I have a wonderful husband, two fantastic boys, a lovely home and an extended family. We go away on holiday every now and then and we get to see delightful places both in Africa and abroad. I would be greedy to think that more was due to me. I read an ultimate bucket list post by Paul Andruss recently and that changed my mind. On reflection I realised that there were two things I do want to happen before I pass on. The one is quite frivolous and self-pleasing and the other is a point of great anxiety for me.
I want to make a wedding cake
Ever since I started cake decorating about thirteen years ago I have had a secret ambition to make a wedding cake. All my family members are either married or unlikely to marry, as are most of my friends. None of us are really at the marrying age, we are more at the landmark fortieth and fiftieth birthday party point.
I think I will have to wait until the children of my friends and family are old enough to start getting married and the whole wedding thing starts over for me. This hasn’t stopped me practicing though. I have had a good go at my idea of a great wedding cake idea for the past two Christmases, one Christmas in July and one birthday parties.
The first Christmas was the year of the multicoloured roses. I made a three-tier fruit Christmas cake and decorated it with an arrange of thirty roses coloured pink, white and pale yellow.
Each petal of each of these roses was cut out and frilled and fluted separately. Each rose was assembled in three layers of different sized petals, starting with six small petals wrapped around the centre and being allowed to dry for a few days in a shaped silver foil cup. Once the first layer was dry, I applied the second layer of six larger petals and this was again left to dry for a few days. The last set of large petals was applied as a final layer and left to dry.
Each rose took one week to make, and I made about four at a time. The whole exercise took over three months.
The following year, I decided to use the same concept for my Mother’s birthday cake. This time I made gold roses for a chocolate ganache cake. It came out well and I made nine large gold roses using the same method as for the multicoloured roses cake but painting them with edible gold glitter when they were dry.
My Christmas in July cake last year was a floral wonderland which I created using a plethora of different flowers including day lilies and orchids, the making of which entailed the separate wiring of each petal, and a selection of roses, carnations and other smaller and easier flowers. I loved this cake which is the one I would have for my own wedding if Mr Fox would agree to renewing our wedding vows just so that I can make our wedding cake [he won’t – he thinks my reasons are shallow! Hmmmm!]
Last but not least, I made a rainbow fairy wonderland cake for last year’s Charity Christmas party. This was another great effort which included seven different fairies and a large number of flowers.
One of these days, someone is going to decide they want a wedding cake made by me and I will be ready when they do.
And the second item on my ultimate bucket list?
Well the other item I want is very personal. I want a cure for Michael. No more medicine, hospital visits, drips, operations and other nasty things. No more missing out on parties and camps due to illness and sore tummies due to copious antibiotics.
Modern medicine is making forward strides all the time and one day the doctors will make a great breakthrough and come up with the perfect solution for Michael. Until that great day, we soldier on and make up stories of what could have been if he didn’t miss out of some of the fun things of growing up.
After all a story is as good as a change sometimes, isn’t it?
My thanks to Robbie for sharing both her wishes and some very lucky person is going to love having one of her cakes at her wedding.
I think all of you will join me in sending out positive vibrations to help Robbie obtain her second wish. Let’s hope medical advances will eradicate not just the illness but also the anxiety that goes hand in hand with it. Love and hugs Robbie and Michael.
About Robbie Cheadle
Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.
Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.
Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books
Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle
One of the recent reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River by Robbie and Michael Cheadle is a story and cookbook in one. It is the latest in a great fun series from a mother and her young son, the Author/Baker team of Robbie and Michael Cheadle. Their series of gloriously illustrated books for younger children are quite simply unique.
The books tell of the adventures of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet and their friends. The inhabitants of Chocolateville; where everything and everyone is edible.
The concept was the brain child of Robbie’s son Michael. When he was a few years younger than he is now, and learning to read, he cleverly realised he could draw his mother away from dull lessons by weaving tales about made-up characters in a land of chocolate.
Equally clever (like mother like son, no doubt) Robbie turned it to his educational advantage by encouraging him write down his stories. So was born a family–friendly, cross-generational series that combined their love of spending precious family-time together indulging in favourite pastimes such as writing poetry, cooking, and it must be said, eating chocolate.
The series of books consist of cute and clever child-friendly poems, which adults can read to youngsters, and even encourage youngsters to read along. More family-fun time is guaranteed by the inclusion of uncomplicated recipes. Describing the scrumptious delights as simple; simply does not do them justice. Each recipe is designed to allow the youngsters to fully participate, thus passing on valuable life skills, and creating memories that will last both generations a lifetime, while also making fun things to eat.
The book and its predecessors are all illustrated with delightful figures made from fondant icing and sweets. Edible works of art that are easy enough for readers to copy: perhaps even making their own versions of Chocolateville for birthday parties and other celebrations.
Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s latest adventure has an ecological message. It explores what happens when the river of condensed milk running through Chololateville dries up causing all the fish to die. This is a subtle way of introducing very young children to the world issues that will no doubt be plaguing generations for some time to come. Plus the guaranteed happy ending helps youngsters feel they can really make a difference to the world.
Any one of Robbie and Michael’s clever and unique books would make great presents with Christmas coming up. Not just for Kids but for Parents and Grandparents too! They are charming and packed with fun recipes and stories to turn every kitchen day into an adventure that brings young and old together to create enduring memories.
Perhaps it’s time to collect the set! AND YOU GET TO EAT THE CAST. AN OGRE’S DREAM!
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ
Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle
Connect to Robbie and Michael
Thank you very much for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share around the usual haunts.