Who would have thought that you could improve on a fairing? Well it turns out that you can! And all it takes is some creamy, tangy lime frosting. These will give some serious oomph to your morning tea break! If you’re not familiar with them […]
Happy summer solstice everyone! It’s the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, which means more hours of daylight (and hopefully sunshine) and as far as I’m concerned that’s cause for celebration. One year (a really, really long time […]
The upside of baking your own birthday cake is that you get to have exactly the cake you want. The downside of baking your own birthday cake is baking your own birthday cake!
I don’t actually mind to be honest, the kitchen is my happy place, so it’s no real chore to spend an hour or so in there creating a delicious treat to share with my friends.
I’ve adapted my recipe for fresh peach buttermilk cake for this. It makes such a lovely bouncy sponge and adding some tart (homegrown) rhubarb makes me love it even more than the original. The rich, creamy custard buttercream is quite literally the icing on the cake. So good!
50ml of vegetable/sunflower oil
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp plain flour
70g custard powder
200g room temperature butter, cubed
Grease and line a 9″ square cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 190°c.
Dice the rhubarb and toss it in 25g of the sugar. Roast the rhubarb in the oven as it pre-heats, until it is just tender.
Beat together the oil, sugar and salt until they are thick and pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour and raising agents. Add one third of this to the batter and briefly beat it in. Follow this with one third of the buttermilk and beat again. Repeat this until all of the flour and buttermilk have been incorporated and you have a thick, smooth batter. Drain off the juice and fold the rhubarb through the batter. (Don’t throw the juice away – it’s delicious added to a gin and tonic) Pour the batter into the prepared tin and use a spoon to spread it out and smooth off the top.
Bake the cake for around 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and then leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
You can start to make the frosting whilst the cake bakes. Combine everything but the butter in a pan, making sure that there are no lumps. Gently heat the mixture until it turns into a very thick paste. Leave to cool.
Once the custard mixture has cooled transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it until it starts to become a little fluffy. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, with the mixer running, until you have a rich thick, creamy buttercream. Either spread or pipe this onto the cooled cake, depending on how fancy you’re feeling!
I haven’t baked cupcakes in forever. I’m not sure if it’s because they went out of style a little bit or because I’m a pretty greedy person and I’d rather bake one big cake that can be cut into generous slices!
These aren’t as sweet and sickly as some cupcakes can be, thanks to the rich and creamy mascarpone frosting and the tangy lemon curd filling.
90g butter, softened
375g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp of elderflower cordial
4 tbsp milk
filling & frosting
2-3 tbsp lemon curd
150g butter, softened
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
lemon and lime zest to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with 12 wrappers.
Sift together the flour and baking powder then combine this with the sugar before beating in the butter until the mixture looks like damp sand.
In a separate bowl or jug mix together the milk and eggs. Slowly mix this into the dry ingredients a third at a time until you have a smooth, fairly liquid batter. Stir in the elderflower cordial.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, give or take, until the cakes have risen and are nicely browned. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once the cakes are completely cool cut a small section out of the top of each one. If you have an apple corer this will do the job quickly and easily. Fill the resulting hole with a little lemon curd and replace the little sponge cap.
To make the frosting beat together the butter and icing sugar before adding in the mascarpone and the elderflower cordial. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of the cakes, being careful to cover the little sponge lids and then sprinkle each one with a little lemon and lime zest.
It wasn’t until I travelled to Charleston SC that I thought of praline being anything more than the chocolate seashells that Mr Colonial Cravings receives for Christmas every year. But in Charleston we tried some very tasty crunchy little clusters of caramelised pecans. I think […]
BIRTHDAY! Birthday, birthday, birthday! Hurrah for me! I’m probably at the age where I should be dreading birthdays and worrying about entering a different age bracket on surveys, but the thing is…I REALLY like cake. Is it weird to get excited about making your own […]