Tag Archive | birthday cake

Happy Birthday Me!

I’m another year older and for the first time, I actually feel wiser! I’ve done so much over the last year, started and new job AND started researching for my dream of having my own teashop.  No doubt the next year of my life will be just as busy and exciting. Whatever happens, I can guarantee that there’ll be cake along the way!

So what better way to celebrate than by making my own birthday cake.

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Chocolate Celebration Cake

Ingredients:
200g good-quality plain chocolate, chopped
200g butter
100ml water
125g self-raising flour
125g plain four
25g cocoa powder
200g light muscovado sugar
200g golden caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
75ml/2½fl oz crème fraîche

For the vanilla buttercream icing:
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
vanilla
milk, to loosen

For the topping:
200g dark chocolate
100g butter
40ml tblsp water
1 punnet of strawberries

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Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line two 8in sandwich tins.

Melt the chocolate, butter and water together in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, sift the flours and cocoa powder into a bowl and mix in the muscovado and caster sugar.

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Beat the eggs and crème fraîche together in a separate bowl, then beat in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour mixture until smooth.

Divide the cake batter between the tins and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, for the vanilla buttercream, beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla  and add a few drops of milk if the mixture is a little stiff.

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For the ganache I used the recipe on the back of the Dr Oetker Extra Dark Chocolate pack.

Put 200g chopped Dr. Oetker 90% Chocolate into a heatproof bowl with 100g unsalted butter and 40ml water. Put over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from the water and cool for about 20 minutes to thicken.

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Put a cake on a wire rack over a large plate. Spoon ganache over the top, letting it run down the sides. Tap the wire rack to smooth the surface.

Finally, I covered the top of the cake with a punnet of fresh strawberries.

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I’ve been spoilt rotten with cards, presents and flowers. I’m truly blessed.

Melissa xx

Cupcakes galore!

The last few weeks have been cupcake crazy, so this post is a look back at all the wonderful goodies that were produced!

Last weekend I made a gorgeous box of lemon meringue and strawberry purée cupcakes.  They were AMAZING! They were the nicest cupcakes I’ve ever had; nice and light with a not-to-sweet icing.

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Strawberry Purée Cupcakes
Based on Rachel Allen’s recipe from ‘Cake’

125 g butter, softened
200 g caster sugar
3 eggs
150 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

For the icing
150 g fresh strawberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
175 g butter, softened
600 g icing sugar, sifted

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Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases. I actually got 18 out of the mixture.

Cream the butter until soft in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl for a few seconds just until mixed, then gradually add them to the creamed butter mixture, beating all the time.

Beat in the milk, followed by the vanilla extract, then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and fold in gently to combine.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, filling each case about two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until well risen, lightly golden in colour and springy to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

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For the icing: Place the strawberries and lemon juice in a food processor and whiz for about a minute to purée them. Push through a sieve into a bowl, then set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar until combined, then gradually add the fruit purée, beating slowly.

Pipe the icing onto the cakes and decorate each cake with half a strawberry.

In mid August I made these scrumptious sparkling chocolate cupcakes for my Godson’s birthday. Find the basic sponge recipe here.

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Finally, I made these gorgeous girly strawberry-in-the-middle cupcakes using Dr Oetker Easy Swirl Pink Cupcake Icing and Heart Marshmallows!

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Right, I’m off to start planning cupcakes for my own birthday…. 6 days to go! Before I go, I’m bringing these goodies over to Fiesta Friday

Melissa xx

Chocolate chip sponge and M&M Birthday cake

Yesterday was my Godson’s birthday! Like all children, he’s growing up fast and his tastes and interests have changed along the way.

For his 2nd birthday I made a Mickey Mouse birthday cake and he loved it! He was obsessed with that Mickey Mouse Club House tv show….

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I can’t put my hand on his 3rd birthday cake photos, but I vividly remember making a monkey cake- he was going through an animal phase!

His 4th birthday cake was all set to be a Spiderman cake, until I spoke to him the morning of his birthday…. when he asked “are you bringing me a dinosaur cake”? I nearly died! What could I say? I frantically remoulded the sponge and painted some fondant icing green!

He loved it! Phew…..

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So yesterday, I played it safe and decided to make a sweetie covered cake……

I knew it would need to be a slightly heavier sponge then normal, as it would need to hold all the decorations. So I decided to use a basic sponge recipe with yummy chocolate chips through it.

For the cake:
200g caster sugar
200g softened butter
4 eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
3-4 drops of blue food colouring
125g bag chocolate chips

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Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, I turned the rayburn off! Butter two 20cm tins and then line with non-stick baking paper.

In a bowl, mix all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft blue chocolate chip batter.

Divide the mixture between the two tins, smooth the surface with a spatula, then bake for about 20 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.

Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

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Sandwich the cakes together with chocolate butter icing and then covered it with blue buttercream.

Chocolate buttercream filling:
110g butter, softened
170g icing sugar
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1-2 tbsp milk

Blue buttercream:
140g butter, softened
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
few drops food colouring

For both buttercreams, mix all the ingredients in a bowl, adding more milk if needed to get a smooth texture.

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All that was left to do was cover the WHOLE cake with M&M’s!

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It took about an hour to cover it, but it was well worth it. I’m sure it would work just as well with any other sort sweetie or chocolate.

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Just a candle to finish it off….

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Who knows what I’ll be making next year???

Melissa xx