My brother Matthew (or Corny to friends) is into pigeon racing. My brother turned 30 on 31st December 2012. Yes, he's young and yes he enjoys pigeon racing. He's been doing it since he was about 10 and has done very well, he's made the national pigeon racing magazine, British Homing World and the envy of my allotment neighbour, John, who also races pigeons. He often tells me he's seen Matthew in the paper, and most of our conversations tend to be about pigeon racing, despite the fact I don't really know much.
Matthew's pigeon lofts (yes there are 4 of them) in my parents garden and he's been encouraged and supported by them over the years.
When Matthew's wife Nichola asked me to make him a cake for his 30th, I didn't need any persuasion I knew exactly what I'd make, a pigeon loft, modelled on one of his own.
|One of my brother's pigeon lofts|
|My pigeon loft cake plans|
The final cake would sit on a board approx A3 size and the cake would be plain sponge glued with homemade raspberry jam and buttercream and then covered in coloured icing and other sweets.
I also included a little dog, my attempt at a Jack Russell (if you couldn't tell) my brother's dog which lived near the pigeon lofts, he died in summer 2011 but he has a place up there. And I made a poor attempt at some pigeons.
I'm rubbish at making people and animals, I attempted to make the dog twice, the 2nd version is bigger than this and still sits on my mum's kitchen windowsill. My friend Kate, Cakepoppins also make some pigeon cakepops which weren't part of the cake decorations but we're handy to give to the smaller children who came to the birthday meal we had on New Years Eve.
Building a pigeon loft out of cake:
|Stacking & sticking with jam and buttercream|
The main loft was just made from rectangular cakes stacked, stuck together with jam and buttercream and then cut to form the sloping roof and the entirely covered in buttercream and then chilled overnight.
Then the roof beams (mint matchmakers) and the wooden panelling added (brown icing with lines printed in them, and then hung.
The roof was added (a piece of grey icing) and the rest of the sides done in 'wooden panelling'
The side panels were slightly longer than the sides of the cake, and on the front I didn't panel all of the front - as I needed to include the doorway.
As you can see the doorway was done with black icing and I cut out 3 windows too.
|One pigeon loft with crazy paving|
The front of the loft was done in a lovely grey concrete slab (excuse my irregular slabs - and I'm sure my brother would have a thing to say or two about how I've laid them too - he's also a bricklayer)
The aviary bit on the side was the next bit and done with gelatine sheets and a mint matchstick frame - I'd made a couple of random looking pigeons and decided to put them in the aviary too.
|Credit to Mr Lisa who did the aviary bit|
Also we added some more matchsticks to the roof - to replicate the little fence that's up there (i think it's supposed to stop the pigeons landing on the roof?)
And then to finish it off I surrounded the rest of the loft and aviary with grass and flowers and pigeons and the dog.
|Th finished pigeon loft cake & handmade card by http://britthub.co.uk/|
As you can see, the Jack Russell and pigeons are far too big.