Tag Archives: Celebration

Birthdays- Afternoon Tea and Rainbow Cakes.

This week has been a week of birthdays, which always means two things (and my two favourite things) – baking and eating. This week I baked something I wouldn’t normally choose to bake, but as it was a birthday cake I was making, I thought I would branch out. ‘Rainbow cakes’ fall into a category of baking I like to refer to as ‘American Showy Bakes’. I’m not a big fan of American baking blogs. That’s not to say I dislike them all, there are some fantastic ones (www.joythebaker.com being a perfect example of this). But a lot I have come across seem to put more effort into making their bakes look flashy than actually using good quality ingredients, any recipe that says ‘1 box of yellow food cake’ in the ingredients list I strike straight off my ‘to bake’ list. I think I am quite british with my baking, I would choose a Victoria Sponge over a Cupcake any day. So ‘Rainbow Cakes’ all seem a bit flashy for my taste. However, having recently received a copy of the new recipe book by Ed Kimber ( Winner of the first ever Great British Bake Off and all round nice guy) and seeing a rainbow cake with white chocolate meringue icing in it, I decided it would be a worthy endeavour, and it definitely was. It did, however, take an absolute age to make as I only have one 20 inch cake tin at my flat in Edinburgh, so I had to bake one layer at a time. I also only had standard food colouring, which meant the colouring of my cake was not as vivid as Ed’s beauty, but I think it was still pretty effective. I would 100 percent recommend Ed Kimber’s new book ‘Say it with Cake’ it has different chapters dedicated to events, seasons and celebrations (the tiny ghost cakes for halloween are too cute) and his recipes are thorough and easy to understand. Here’s a (rather poor quality) picture of the inside of my cake..

Also, as I am a MASSIVE cooking/Great British Bake Off nerd I tweeted a picture of my cake to the-boy-who-bakes himself, Mr Ed Kimber, he retweeted me and told me it looked fab (something I was super excited about but no one else, other than my fellow foodie flatmate, seemed to care about!)

The second instalment of Birthday celebrations came in the form of Afternoon Tea with my Mum at the very beautiful Dome on George Street, Edinburgh. It is absolute stunning, especially adorned with Christmas decorations, and is a truly special experience (not doing things by half, they actually have snow flakes falling from the top of the building) The cakes are delicious, the service is impeccable, and it is always a treat to spend an afternoon, once in a blue moon, pretending to part of high society!

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Cheat’s Celebration Cake.

So this is a little bit of a rip off of Lorraine Pascal’s ‘I can’t believe you made it’ cake (what a babe) It’s basically an easy way to bake a fancy cake. It was the perfect recipe for Twin’s friend’s birthday cake. The sponge itself is a simple all in one method, flavoured with vanilla and raspberries. The buttercream has white chocolate folded through and the decoration is simple but effective, using white chocolate fingers to create almost a basket around the cake and fresh fruit on the top. The red of the raspberries against the creamy lightness of the white chocolate is simple but beautiful.

Ingredients;

8oz, 225g caster sugar
8oz butter or margarine
8oz Self raising flour
4 large eggs
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract (the sponge needs to delicate in order to counteract the tartness of the raspberries, so use extract not essence to avoid an artificial taste)
200g raspberries.

decoration;
200g butter or margarine
500g sifted icing sugar
150g melted white chocolate
6tbsp raspberry jam (I used raspberry and red currant, following my jamboree)
200g raspberries
3 packs of Cadbury white chocolate fingers ( or any similar shaped biscuit)

Method;

1) Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200 degrees. Then cream together the butter and sugar, by hand or in a mixer if you feel like really cheating. Once creamed together add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth and totally combined.
2) Sift together the self raising flour and baking powder. Combine with the butter, sugar mixture.
3) Grease and line an 8 inch tin, drop a couple of the raspberries into the bottom of the tin. Pour over 1/3 of the cake batter, sprinkle more raspberries on and add another layer of batter, repeat until all the raspberries and batter are in the tin. This method is more effective as the soft texture of raspberries will not disintegrate and smush into the cake mixture, which would happen if stirred straight into the mixture.
4) Put the cake in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 35-45 mins, until light, spongy and cooked all the way through. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
5) Meanwhile,to make the buttercream combine the sieved icing sugar, butter and melted white chocolate (do not put the chocolate in straight after it’s melted, leave to cool but not set) you may need to add more icing sugar to keep it at a smooth, but not runny consistency.
6) Cut your now cool cake in half, spread the jam on one side and some of the buttercream on the other, sandwich them together as you would with a Victoria sponge.
7) Spread the remaining buttercream across the entire cake, ensure around a 3mm thick layer minimum, in order for there to be enough cream to stick the chocolate biscuits on to the side of the cake. Once covered place the chocolate fingers (or biscuit equivalent) side by side to form a barrier around the cake. Leave for a minimum of 2 hours in a reasonably cool place (but not your fridge!) in order for the buttercream to set.
8) When ready to serve tumble the raspberries on top, the biscuits will form a wall to stop them falling off, so pile a load on and enjoy!

p.s my photo is of the cake once it had travelled all the way down to essex, so it wasn’t perfect following the journey, I’m sure your’s will be much better!