Welcome to “Cooking with Cliffo”. Today’s recipe will require 1 cup of love, 255g of confidence and 1 tsp of patience. Combine and bake for 1 hour in a moderate oven. With any luck you’ll end up with something that resembles the above. May I present to you – my son Charlie’s second birthday cake. Cue applause.
Look, I’m no Adriano Zumbo. I don’t spend my weekends moulding macarons, concocting croquembouches or mastering meringues. My favourite cake is a $5.00 Sara- Lee chocolate sponge from the freezer at Woolies. But, be damned; if my boy asks for a Bluey cake – a Bluey cake he shall receive.
Charlie’s first birthday party had to be canned due to that Australia-wide Covid-19 lockdown back in 2020. So, I won’t lie, guilt definitely played a part in my mini-Master Chef transformation. Also, the fact that I mentioned the idea on radio… that, my friends, makes any minor commitment a rock solid, ‘signed, sealed, delivered’ guarantee. There was no backing out. I was committed.
First step was research.
Which is my fancy way of saying I googled “Bluey Cakes”. Turns out – there are parents out there even crazier than me. There were hundreds of options. Naturally, I chose the one that looked the easiest. Next was a trip to the shops. I skipped straight past the Sara-Lee’s in the freezer and instead opted for a couple of Betty Crocker packet mixes and some blue food colouring. I grabbed a packet of Milk Arrowroots (for the eyes and mouth) and ironically some Allen’s Kitty Cats (any real dogs mortal enemy) for the eyeballs and nose.
Next came the love, confidence and patience bit.
And you know what? I think it paid off. Charlie took one look at the cake and immediately recognised his TV hero. The lovable blue heeler who has taken hold of Toddler TV and won’t be letting go anytime soon. Charlie loved his Bluey cake. And I love – that he loved it. It made the blood, sweat and tears (not literal) – all worth it.
Maybe for his third birthday a freezer cake will suffice? Not likely.
PS – if you want to see a video of the cake’s creation and Charlie’s response – head to my radio show’s Instagram. You’ll find us at @hitqldbreakfast
Head to Parents and Kids of North Queensland YouTube Channel to see Bree’s up close interview with Cliffo.