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This blog is for English actress, cakemaker and writer Jane Asher, with many pictures and accurate information of one of the most beautiful rock muses from the 20th century.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Jane Asher’s Party Cakes, 1982

Jane Asher’s Party Cakes. Photographs by Brian Wharton taken of Jane and her family in fall 1981 and 1982 to illustrate her first book, Jane Asher’s Party Cakes, published in 1982.










1) On the cover Jane poses with her Grandfather Clock cake, Bath cake and Grand Piano cake.
2) Jane holding her infant son Alexander posing in her kitchen with many of the cakes she designed and made with help from family and friends for her first book. Alexander David, was born in December 1981. Jane started baking cakes for the book in her seventh month of pregnancy with Alexander and was in a race with her delivery date to complete all the cakes before the birth. Luckily Alexander was born a week late helping Jane meet her deadline with a lot of help from family and friends.
3) Jane made a Dartboard cake for brother Peter’s most recent birthday (June 22nd). As a long time Los Angeles resident Peter was nostalgic for many English home comforts including a good game of darts in a pub.
4) Jane’s younger sister, Clare (Asher) Gilles, posing with the Scrabble cake that Jane originally made for her December 3rd birthday years before. This was one of the first cakes Jane ever decorated and was inspired by Clare who was quite a Scrabble fanatic at the time.
5) Jane designed a Television Set cake for her niece Sarah Gilles’ (daughter of sister Clare) fourth birthday. The TV antennae are candles!
6) Jane originally made this Seven Dwarfs cake for daughter Katie’s seventh birthday (April 13, 1981). On that birthday the previous year Katie (age 8 in this photo) didn’t get to see the cake until her party - but for this re-creation of The Seven Dwarfs cake Katie suggested giving each of the dwarfs an individual personality. The first time Jane had made them all the same.
7) Jane’s mother, Margaret Asher, poses with the Grand Piano cake. This was one of Jane’s favorite cakes that she originally made for her mother who wanted a cake for a Summer Fair at the Royal Academy of Music where whe taught for many years. The first version was made in black. (Note: Margaret Asher turned 68 years old on her February 26, 1982 birthday.)
8) Jane designed the Swimming Pool cake for her step-daughter Araminta Scarfe because the previous summer Araminta spent so much time in the swimming pool that whenever she pictured her - Araminta was just a pair of legs disappearing into the water.
9) Jane reading the newspaper while husband Gerald Scarfe reads her Funday Times cake. Jane claims her Funday Times newspaper cake is one of the easiest to make. Her husband Gerald had worked for The Sunday Times as political caricaturist for many years, so when Jane gave him a surprise party for his birthday a few years earlier she knew immediately what to make for him.

Pictures and information from Lady Jane yahoo groups. Thanks so much to Lynn for the scans!








Katie helps mum work out the decorating details for the Seven Dwarfs cake.


Jane originally made the Fairy Princess cake for daughter Katie's fifth birthday (April 13, 1979) with a real doll in the center as one of her birthday gifts. When Jane re-made the cake to be photographed for the book (above with Katie) she used the same doll again from the original cake.








Jane and Gerald's great friend Bryan Wharton, who took all the photographs for the Party Cakes book and is known for having numerous girlfriends, received the Nudes cake from Jane for his 40th birthday - featuring 40 nude ladies all around the top and sides of the classic round cake.

Jane enlisted the help of family and friends for the detailed work of making 40 little nude ladies for the Nudes cake. Margaret Asher lent daughter Jane a hand using a fine paint brush on the colorful ladies.

Jane painting the trim of her difficult to make Four-Poster Bed cake.

Jane originally designed the Hospital Bed cake to be raffled in aid of a hospital. The patch on the corner of the bed was a last minute inspiration after one of the family cats got in the room where all the cakes were being stored during production of the book and ate away the bed corner! The cat also ate the roses off the Seven Dwarfs cake. Optimistic Jane concluded the improvosational patch improved the cake!

Jane decorating the Sleeping Beauty cake she originally made for actor Edward Fox's daughter Millie's sixth birthday.

Jane painting on the finishing touches of her Theatre cake. She first designed it for a party to celebrate the end of a gruelling theatrical tour.



Jane pours light blue water icing into the tub around the woman soaking in the bath. Jane originally made the Bath cake for a local fete - it was to decorate a bed & bath stall and then be raffled at the end of the afternoon. Luckily Jane made spare cakes because the display cake was heavily touched and prodded by the public and in no condition for sale!

Jane thought her lady in the Bath was very funny with her silly bath cap on - which Jane admits to wearing herself on occasion. Jane made very thin watery icing in a pale soapy blue color as the final touch to the cake - just pour in and let set.

Jane and an unidentified friend (possibly Shirley Freeman?) putting finishing touches on the Grandfather Clock cake.

Jane applying lace icing trim to the Baby's Cradle cake which she had made three times in either pink or blue for christenings. The first one she made was for her niece's christening.

Close-up of Jane's hands wrapping a fruit cake in red fondant wrap as decoration for her Christmas Sack cake. Jane explained in the Introduction of the book that her hands look swollen in some of the photographs because she was in the late stages of her second pregnancy. Also prominent in the photos are Jane's wedding rings. She refuses to say when she and Gerald were married and only first admitted that she was married around the time of Alexander's birth.

Jane photographed by Ian Cook from People Magazine, October 4, 1982. Jane and Gerald Scarfe were featured in a couples article when her book was published. Jane poses in her home with an array of her cakes made for the Party Cakes book. People magazine noted: Gerald and Jane "have been together for 10 years. Outwardly, they're a very odd couple. They won't say when they wed."


4 comments:

  1. Do you think you could find the video where she actually makes the cakes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know. I think she doesn't make them anymore but she designs them. But back in the day she did make them. Her children were very little/young so she focused on the cakes to stay at home with them, but now they all are grown-up, and she's acting as well, so I guess she hasn't the time of making them.
      Anyway, if videos like these are ever published, maybe it's at her youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/janeasherpartycakes
      I've seen now some vids of her making the cakes for TV shows, but I guess it's just one puctual moment (event), not always. I don't believe she's at her shop cooking them and making them every day!

      Delete
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