Archives for posts with tag: Birthday

Today is a very special day, it’s my dad’s birthday. Not only is it his birthday, his favourite football team – the 49ers – are playing in the Conference Championships.
I’m sad that I can’t be there to celebrate his birthday (and the game), so here’s to you, Dad… Happy Birthday! Oh, and go ‘Niners!

san-francisco-49er-logo

January has been a very busy month for birthdays and I’ve been busy baking cakes.

Cake batter

I kicked off the month with my husband’s birthday back on the 8th. Mini G decided Martin should have carrot cake and since I just got the Primrose Baking Book, G and I tested their recipe.

Carrot cake carrots

I left out the raisins and most of the cinnamon as Mini G is not a fan, but even without these, the cake was fabulous. It would be even better with raisins and the proper amount of cinnamon. I also topped it with an orange icing rather than cream cheese frosting, which made a very nice substitute.

Carrot bundt cake

A few days later, we celebrated Martin’s dad’s birthday. He’s a classic sort of guy, so I wanted to make a classic british cake. I wanted a challenge, so I went for the Battenburg and looked to my trusty Leith’s Baking Bible for guidance.

battenburg construction

The sponge itself is very simple to make. I split the batter in half and used Sugarflair ‘Claret’ paste to create the pink colour for the sponge. Then came the difficult bit… making 4 equal square lengths. I managed to cut the cake as close to equal as possible and slathered in between each length with apricot jam. Next up, the marzipan outer layer.

The key to this bit is to roll out the marzipan as thin as possible, but not too thin so it tears. I wrapped the cake as tightly as I could and voila! Battenburg cake!

Battenburg serving up

I’m glad I baked this, I’m glad it came out well, but I can’t see making it again anytime soon.

Tea time cake

A sassy little lady I know turned 10 yesterday. She loves chocolate and rabbits, so I created a cake with both.

Chocolate cake

The chocolate sponge was from Eric Lanlard’s Home Bake (It really is a foolproof chocolate sponge for any occasion) and I used Nigella’s All Purpose Chocolate Icing from How to be a Domestic Goddess.

chocolate icing

purple royal icing

To create the purple rabbits, I used regular ready to roll white royal icing and kneaded in some ‘Violet’ Sugarflair colour paste. Then rolled it out on baking parchment and cut out the rabbit shapes with a cookie cutter.

rabbit shapes

And here’s the finished cake… Happy Birthday, Biba!

Biba's cake

Mini G’s Poppy’s birthday was on the 20th and although I did not bake this cake, it needed to be featured. MIL made a chocolate Guinness cake from Nigella’s Feast book and it was divine. So much for my diet!

Guinness cake

Happy birthday to all of the Dad’s and to new friends! Let them eat cake!

Punch Communications celebrated its 8th birthday this month. In honour of the occasion, I made 18 cupcakes (one for each member of the Punch team) in the theme of the number 8 and what better way than the 8 ball?

Cupcake prep

Cakes at the ready

This one was definitely a challenge. What was I thinking? Black frosting! I’ve heard it was a difficult one to achieve, but I thought with Black Extra colour i’d be ok. I nearly wasn’t ok. I’m glad I did a test batch before attempting the real thing. My first attempt came out a washed out grey. Then I read up on black frosting and learned that you shouldn’t start from white. Start from a dark colour, like brown/chocolate. Or if you are making vanilla, add your darkest colours first – blues, purples, greens… whatever… this minimises the chances of it going completely grey.

chocolate for frosting

With this in mind, I started with my standard vanilla cupcake in black cases. I then made a chocolate buttercream as a base for the frosting. I added a small dollop of purple Sugarflair paste to the chocolate frosting mixture and few medium sized dollops of black extra.

black is black

The colour ended up a gunmetal grey, which worried me a bit. But then I remembered the advice from the baking guru at the local Cookshop, the Sugarflair colours go darker over time. Thankfully, they did!

18 8balls

After frosting the cakes with the black base, I added a marshmallow circle and then drew an “8″ on each cake.

8 Ball

And voila! An 8 Ball cupcake.

Happy birthday, Punch!

in situ

George celebrated her 30th birthday on Tuesday and to mark the occasion, she threw a huge party and no birthday party is complete unless there are cupcakes involved.

Wanting to set a challenge, I decided to test a new recipe. This one was out of my trusty Home Bake cookbook. Everything I have made from this book has been incredible, the cupcakes were no exception. (Eric Lanlard is a genius)

The room was decorated in purple and silver, so I created vanilla cupcakes with purple frosting in purple and silver cases.

And thankfully, the cakes were a hit with the guests, too!

Happy birthday, George! 30 is a great year.

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