Posts Tagged ‘Birthday Cake’

September 18th, 2011

A Very Chocolatey Birthday Cake Category: Recipes

My Dad was 60 in August so my task was to make a cake as usual, however, he isn’t he biggest fan of sweet buttercream and doesn’t like the amount of icing normally accompanying the traditional maderia style cake.

So I got my thinking cap on & after discounting making a train cake (his present to is learn how to drive a steam train!) I remembered the cake Lorraine Pascale had made on her TV series with chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream (which isn’t too sweet) and fresh fruit – the ‘I can’t believe you made that’ cake.

Now I did leave it a bit late to co-ordinate what I needed as Anthony and my brothers were taking part in a 24hr mountain bike race which also involved our first camping holiday so I was quite busy balancing a few things. The result of this was a lack of chocolate cigarellos. I had assumed I would be able to order them from my usual online cake suppliers but they didn’t sell them. A number of others do, but I was very surprised at how expensive they were and I would have had to pay for fast delivery.

After some thought we abandoned the cigarellos and used the retro-sweets Matchmakers (orange flavour).

Se here we go – one chocolate cake with fresh raspberries.

The cake on the table

The cake went down really well and everybody enjoyed it.  It wasn’t too sweet and the matchmakers worked well, but a word of warning they are fragile so if you are transporting the cake any distance maybe take some extra matchsticks & a small pot of buttercream to glue back into position!

The cake on the plate

One alternative to matchmakers I had been considering was using wafer cigarillo type biscuits but I couldn’t source what I wanted at short notice. However, I have since found that the Harvey Nichols pop-up shop in Liverpool One selling them & think these would work just as well.

The cake on the table

The Recipe – from Lorraine Pascale

You will need a 20cm/8in round deep cake tin and a 20cm/8in cake board.

Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz butter, softened (plus a little extra to coat tin)
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 140g/5oz plain flour
  • 60g/2½oz cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 400g/14oz plain, milk, or white chocolate cigarillos (about 75–80 in total)

For the buttercream

  • 250g/9oz butter, softened
  • 500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar
  • 100g/3½oz good dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids), melted and slightly cooled

For the decoration

  • Fresh raspberries or strawberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 180/C/350F/Gas 4

Line the cake tin with baking paper and rub a little bit of soft butter around the tin

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they begin to go pale. Add half of the eggs and half of the flour and mix well. Add the rest of the eggs, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and beat for a minute or two.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 30–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

To make the buttercream – put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk together until the mixture goes fluffy. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and whisk for a further two minutes.

The original instructions are to leave the cake in the tin until it is completely cool, however I prefer to take mine out & cool on a wire rack.

Cut the top of the cake flat with a large serrated knife and turn the cake upside down on the cake board so that the bottom now becomes a flat top. Split the cake horizontally and sandwich the top and bottom together with a 1cm/½in layer of buttercream.

Spread half of the remaining buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake, making it as smooth as possible. Put it in the fridge to set before doing another layer – this makes it much easier to get neat squared-off edges.

Gently push the cigarillos, or matchmakers, vertically onto the sides of the cake, positioning them as straight as possible and making sure they touch the bottom.

Enjoy!

June 5th, 2011

Birthday Cake – Newcastle Shirt Category: Uncategorized


A colleague in work asked me if I would like to bake her a cake for her partners 50th in the shape of a Newcastle football shirt.

I looked into getting a Wliton T-Shirt shaped tin but found (a) they are discontinued – why?! (b) cake shops on the internet don’t hire tins over the web (c) my local trusty cake shop have shaped tins but not in the shape of a t-shirt. I thought it was going to be a bit easier but hey ho shaping the cake was the only way to go.

I hired a 10″ square tin and the cake ended up being approximately 10″ by 9″ so I didn’t waste too much cake.

I had asked Anthony to print off a template for me to use but for one reason or another he could get it printed to the right size so I had to free-style a template based on the smaller one.  I have to say though, I was happy with the size and shape.

The cake was filled with raspberry jam and buttercream then had a buttercream layer applied to help stick the icing on.  I had to roll out the icing for the cake as well, in the past I have managed to get away with a pre-rolled icing but the cake was far too big for that!

I had invested in an icing smoother & was happy with the results – I think it was noticeably smoother, shiny icing.

Then I covered it in black stripes.  Again I free-styled the first one and traced around it to make the other one the same.  The middle strip and sponsor badge completed the design.

The cake made it to work for the handover after a 40 minute drive into Chester. Nervewracking! I just hope it tasted nice when it was eaten yesterday.

February 20th, 2011

Birthday Girl is 2 Category: Other Foodiness

Elodie was 2 on Wednesday, I really dont know where the time has gone.  A birthday calls for cake so here is her Miffy cake.  This is the first time I have tried to make a figure to go on top of the cake and I have to say I am reasonably proud of my efforts given I didnt practice!

We took Elodie to Chester Zoo on her birthday and she seemed to enjoy herself… I think the monkeys were her favourite.  Here is the birthday girl with her balloon…

December 18th, 2010

30th Birthday Cake – Guitar Category: General

It was my brothers 30th Birthday earlier this week & despite him denying the whole thing it really did happen… so to celebrate I had to make a cake.  At first I had exciting ideas revolving around mountain bikes, his new hobby but it was soon decided that it would be based around his love of all things guitar related.  Elodie *loves* Gung Gungs guitar (Gung Gung is her attempt at saying Uncle & seems to have stuck for now) and once I told her we would be making a cake for his birthday all she kept saying was “gung gung cake” followed by the noise a guitar makes… thats a lesson I should have learnt from, not to tell her anything that is a secret that she can talk about :)

We also went out for a meal to Simon Rimmers restaurant Earle in Altrincham… it was really nice if a bit far to trek from the Wirral but we all enjoyed some delicious food & a nice time was had by all.

Anyway, here are is the cake (I was up until midnight last Saturday making the icing guitar)

February 15th, 2010

Another Birthday Cake Category: General

This time for my Mums birthday.  Another madeira cake with white regalice and flower decoration.  I didn’t fancy a bow made out of icing (icing overload) so managed to find some wired organza ribbon. It was very tasty and has lasted a good week.

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November 6th, 2009

Anthonys 30th Birthday Cake Category: General, Other Foodiness

It was Anthonys 30th birthday last month so I planned to make a birthday cake for him. I wanted it to be themed with his present – a Mini Cooper Racing Experience.

After a few ideas (like making a cake model of a Mini!) I decided it was best to keep it simple. I already had a silicone rectangular cake tin, so based on that, I thought a simple sponge with white icing, a 30 in black icing which would be the track and a mini cooper cake topper. How easy…

First of all I needed to find a firm sponge so I tested out a Madeira recipe from a cake decorating book I have. It worked well and Anthony even did a taste test for me under the guise that it had come from my mums work! hehe…

Next, I wanted to make my own icing. So after taking over my mum and dads kitchen and covering it in icing sugar I came to the conclusions I wouldn’t be able to (a) make a piece big enough to cover the cake/roll it out to an even thickness or (b) get it from the worktop to the cake (it was rather sticky!). I decided quite quickly that I’d use a ready rolled fondant icing instead.

Making the cake
I made the madeira sponge 3 days before the big day and the sponge turned out well. After leaving it overnight I turned up at my mum and dads house (our kitchen is too small) ready for some cake decorating… with my mum looking after Elodie I set about triming the sponge (cakes in silicone tins splay out at the sides!). Triming the cake was a time consuming and delicate job as I was scared a huge chunk of cake would come off!

Once I’d managed to make the cake more rectangular I set about splitting it in half and filling it with a thin layer of raspberry jam and buttercream. With a little help from my mum we managed to put the cake back together in one piece.

Next, I covered the cake in a very small amount of warmed marmalade to allow the icing to stick and started to ice it… I have to admit at the point I was rather lucky with the ready roll icing – I could only get a circular one which just fitted over the rectangular cake with a little nip and tuck ;)

I had bought a block of pre-coloured black fondant icing. With some careful rolling out I cut out my 30 and with my mums help again, we transferred the numers to the cake (they were very flimsy!).

It had taken a few hours to get to this point! So I was relieved to put the finishing touches to the cake (white icing for road markings and a black ribbon to hide the bottom of the icing!) and we put it away in a cake tin until his birthday.

Anthony seemed to like his cake but I think he enjoyed the driving experience even more – I thought I was giving him something to pacify his love of Minis when all I seem to have done is make it worse :) Ah well…

Here are some pictures of the cake and one of Anthony enjoying his present…

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Anthony