Thursday, May 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Michael!

Happy Birthday Michael aka Daddy! For the man who is not that into cake I let him choose his own cake, ie I read out a huge list of cakes from my books & he picked the one he liked best – he didn’t actually look through my books & do the hard work himself. So that is how we ended up with this very festive looking cake from the Kiddiefeast chapter of Nigella Lawson’s Feast. It looked fantastic, and tasted great even though it was very, very sweet. The buttercream filling is very rich & the chocolate icing just tops it off so you really can only have a small slice or risk feeling ill from sugar overdrive. I can imagine this one would go down well with the kiddies.

Birthday Custard Sponge

200g plain flour
3 tablespoons Bird’s custard powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 eggs
225g soft butter
200g caster sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Make sure everything you need is at room temperature before you start. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180c, and butter and line two 20cm sandwich tins.

Put all of the above ingredients except the milk, into a food processor. Process to a smooth batter, and then add the milk a tablespoon at a time to make a soft dropping consistency. Divide between the two cake tins & bake for 20 minutes. The cakes will have risen & feel puffy, this is because of the cornflour in the custard powder.

Let the tins sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes & then turn them out on to a rack, peeling away the paper & cool completely.

Buttercream Filling
125g icing sugar
4 teaspoons Bird’s custard powder
75g soft unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons boiling water

Process the icing sugar & custard powder to get rid of any lumps, and then add the butter, processing again to make the buttercream come together. Feed the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running to make the filling easier to spread. Then sandwich the cooled sponges together with the cream.

Chocolate Icing
60ml water
2 tablespoons golden syrup
125g caster sugar
175g dark chocolate
1 pot hundreds & thousands

Combine the water, syrup & sugar in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve over a low heat. Let it come to the boil & then take it off the heat. Break up the chocolate into small pieces then add to the pan, swirling it around to cover in the hot liquid. Leave to melt for a few minutes, and then whisk the icing to make it smooth & shiny. Pour over the buttercream filled cake, letting it drip down the sides, and then sprinkle generously with the hundreds & thousands before the icing sets.

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