I have been asked a few times for a simple birthday recipe so here it is. Its for an eight inch -round or square tin. The idea is for me to give you the basics and you to do the rest. Its so simple these days to decorate a cake effectively, there are so many sugar paste cutters on sale; just google “cake decorating cutters” and you will get a multitude of sites with a varied assortment of toys to play with and inspire you .
YOU WILL NEED :
A mixer with a beater ( or paddle as it is sometimes known)
A design Idea: i.e. how you want to decorate it-make notes or rough sketch.
A spatula or scraper to scrape down your bowl during mixing, this is very important for an even consistency.
A kitchen clear of disturbances from family or friends: shut the door and leave a sign on it saying ” do not enter, master baker at work, and if you do, be prepared to be suprised by a novel use of a spatula upon your person”
Some rousing classical music playing in the background to conduct you through the process getting your creative juices flowing.
A bottle of white wine in the fridge, to reward your self when you have finished, standing back and admiring your creation, & giving yourself a well deserved toast !
INREDIENTS FOR SPONGE BASE :
250g unsalted butter, left out to reach room temperature.
250g caster sugar.
2 Tablespoons of milk
2 tsp of vanilla essence, or scrape the seeds out of half a vanilla pod.
250g plain flour sieved with 10g of baking powder added.
Pre-heat your oven to 160c for conventional oven, 155c for a fan assisted oven.
Line your tin with baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add your eggs one at a time, beating for at least a minute between adding each egg.
Add your vanilla flavouring.
Fold in your sifted flour and baking powder, then mix in the milk.
Place in your tin, making the batter is level.
Bake in the middle shelf of your oven for about 40 minutes; If its a nice golden brown and firm but springy to the touch its ready. A good tip is to slide a small knife in the centre then pull out. If it comes out clean, its ready, if it has a trace of batter its not. If that is the case bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Place on a cooling rack and leave to completely cool down
BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS :
250g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
4 tsp milk
2 tsp vanilla essence or the seeds scraped out of half a vanilla pod.
Beat the butter and icing sugar together with the vanilla cornflour and milk, start of slow at first so the sugar doesn’t fly everywhere, then give it a burst on a fast speed for 2 mins.
It should have a light and almost white appearance.
you will need approximately 700g of roll on icing. You can get it at most supermarkets, normally under the name of regalice.
400g seedless raspberry jam.
Take 200g of the seedless raspberry jam and loosen by heating in pan- do not boil- place to one side.
Slice your cake base into three layers, spread a layer of the remaining jam , then spread a layer of buttercream: a good tip is to pipe the cream over the jam rather then spread it; this stops the cake crumbling under the pressure of a pallet knife or spatula. Do not go over half an inch thick with the cream, we all like a deep filling , but where butter cream is concerned it can make your cake too soft and to rich to eat.
Place the next layer of your sponge base on top and repeat the above process.
Next brush the warmed jam over the top and sides of your now layered sponge, completely covering it- this will enable your icing to stay on.
Place your cake on cake board
Knead your sugar paste until its easy to use: at this stage you can colour it if you wish or leave it white.
Roll out to at least twice the diameter of your base making sure your work surface and rolling pin are well dusted with icing sugar.
Now for the tricky bit, place your icing over the cake, making sure it covers the cake evenly, smooth down and trim off excess paste.
A good tip on how to transfer the sugar paste onto your cake is to dust your paste then roll up on your rolling pin, then unroll it over your cake.
You can tidy up where the icing meets the board by piping small balls butter cream around the cake.
Now its up to you, you can buy so many different products to decorate cakes, ready made flowers or if you are adventurous cut your own out of sugar paste. I use small cookie cutters which you can get from most cook shops for under £1. Stick sweets all over or even buy some edible food colour sprays, just play with textures and colours and be as abstract as you like.
© The cake-shaker 2010