My dad's birthday was approaching, and we'd already baked the obvious choices. My big bro had, in the past few years, whipped up an excellent bottle of (cake) Beaujolais and grapes, and a cryptic crossword, for my dad never fails to complete The Times' Saturday tough one each week.
Still, I can see why a bin - albeit a recycling one - might not seem like the obvious option for a cake.
But my dad is obsessive about ensuring the various boxes are all put out on time, and I thought a recycling bin would be a fun cake to make, particularly with the addition of tiny newspaper copies of the Evening Standard, full of stories all about my dad (and a photoshopped splash pic of him too, of course).
Searching for bin cake inspiration online wasn't that fruitful... There were great ones, but they looked too tough to replicate:
So I decided to go for a simple round cake (which was hoovered up within 24 hours, so I recommend Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake again, particularly the amazing icing) with a fondant black bin on top. I made a recycling sign...
Then I layered a little tissue paper at the bottom to fill it up.
Then, I have to admit, I cheated a little with tools: my colleague Bev had a bottle mould, so I mixed up some chocolate-and-food-colouring combos and whipped up some bottles. I also added some cola bottles to the mix.
For the tiny newspapers, my job helped a fair amount.. Since I work at the Evening Standard, a couple of excellent colleagues helped me use InDesign to whip up this a front page. But there are lots of sites including this one that helps make genuine-looking newspaper clippings.
This is the result.