Hello lovely bloggers!
I can’t believe I haven’t written anything since 29th July! Need to pull my socks up, especially since it’s the 8th August now.
So why haven’t I? For one thing, I’ve been volunteering, as you know, as a ‘Games Maker’ for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Let me tell you, at times it was frustrating, hard, tiring BUT it was something I will definitely never forget.
This is how my time went:
- Centre Court
- Ticket Gate
- Court Number 1
- Centre Court
- DAY OFF!
- Court Number 1
- Practice Courts
- The Hill/Henman Hill/Murray Mound (whichever you’d like to refer to it as)
- Centre Court – I watched an olympic tennis final – pure brilliance.
But aside from all this Olympics business, I found time to make a birthday cake for a member of my extended family. Using my giant cupcake tin for the first time, here’s what I did:
- 340g unsalted butter (room temp/slightly soft)
- 340g caster sugar
- 340g self raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract if you prefer)
- 100g butter
- 200g icing sugar, sifted (+ more if needed to stiffen it)
- Dash of hot water
- Few drops of pink sugar colouring (I used Silver Spoon – add as much to make it darker if required)
- 1 tbsp strawberry flavouring (optional)
- 4 tbsp strawberry jam (optional)
As you can see, the mix uses a huge amount of ingredients, and definitely not the healthiest, but in fairness, these cupcake tins are HUGE!
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3-4/170C/325F.
- Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and the sugar together for about 5 minutes until nice and fluffy.
- Gradually mix in the eggs; crack one, mix using the whisk, crack another etc. Making sure each egg is mixed in before adding the next.
- Sift in the flour and the baking powder and mix using a spatula/whisk. Make sure it’s well combined and smooth.
- Spray the tin with spray/cake release or grease with butter.
- Now, cooking it can be a bit tricky in these metal cupcake pans. The best way to do it is, fill the base 3/4 full and cook for 30-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave for about 10 minutes, and tip carefully onto wire rack.
- Then for the top of the cake, fill the other side with the remaining mix and cook for the same amount of time as the base, keep checking it doesn’t burn.
After the cake is nice and cool, it’s time to get decorating!
- Cream the butter until pale and fluffy.
- Add the icing sugar and beat until nice and smooth ( you may need to add a dash of hot water).
- I added a layer of buttercream between the base and the top of the cake, along with strawberry jam. So spread the two together and then place the top of the cake onto the base. Now you’re ready to begin decorating the top.
- In the remaining buttercream, add the strawberry flavouring if using, along with the colouring and mix well. if you find it’s not stiff enough – add some more icing sugar and butter and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Add the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe it onto the top of the cake, going around and around until it’s all covered evenly.
- Add the sprinkles and voila! Birthday cake is ready!