Penlowry

Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

Cake engineering and other stories

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Last week was Mini Me1’s birthday. He requested a “train cake”. Now I know his favourite loco is Mallard. He sometimes comes out with “it was better in your day because you saw him running”. Given the period we’re talking about is 1988 when it made its brief comeback, I’m not sure I did beyond some brief memories of people trespassing at Beverley station to get a decent view.

When I was 11 I requested a double Fairlie cake for my birthday. The Matriarch did her best but cake baking was her thing, not cake engineering so when the Patriarch declared it looked more like Stonehenge, she chucked the rolling pin at us and suggested we did better.

Over the years I’ve done a few cake projects, including St Mary’s Church Beverley and Sydney Opera House in gingerbread, so when Mini Me said “train” I said “Mallard”. I mean if a rolling stock engineer can’t do it, what’s gone wrong with the profession?!

The key to any good loco cake of course is a good base for wheels and boiler. Here’s where the Swiss roll is a Godsend. In this case I used a “Curly the Caterpillar” with the face removed because I wanted the rigid chocolate shell for strength – if I did it again I wouldn’t bother and just use a normal Swiss roll as the weight of it meant I couldn’t get the boiler as high as I wanted.

Square section was chocolate cake bars along with chocolate covered cornflakes for coal.

Application of blue and black icing and edible felt tip pens and the job was done.

Now the dust has settled following the trip to Bressingham, I’m contemplating my next project; either a start on the 009 Society challenge or getting my Bachmann Manor body to fit on the Hornby Grange chassis.

A couple of pictures from Narrow Gauge East to finish.

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Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

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