With a theme of a Teddy Bears picnic and the prospect of cake club in the sunshine I really had to think about what to make. I think every kind of summery fruit went through my head, and the more recipes I looked at the more confused my little brain got. As we were all praying for sunshine I had to make sure I picked a cake that was robust enough to withstand being sat in the blistering sunshine whilst remaining edible! My first thought was to make a teddy bear shaped cake, which would have been a good excuse to use my ‘grass’ piping nozzle but quickly talked myself out of that, it would be like watching a Snowman melt in the winter – and there is nothing more depressing than that. So several hundred Google searches later I decided on a Raspberry and Lemon Polenta Cake. This was the recipe from the Good Food website and was tagged a ‘summery’ cake so ideal for a day in the sunshine. Another deciding factor was that I had some fine cornmeal in the cupboard that I needed to use and I have the right amount so killed two birds with one idea.
That is all from me for now but I am hoping that the next post is going to be from Mini Baker Grace
So watch this space everyone.
As I had Saturday to myself I decided to do some baking and I let James choose what I made. The choice was an easy one for him as he went for Rhubarb and Custard cake, main reason being I had missed the last Cake Club which meant he didn’t get a chance to sample the cakes which included a Rhubarb and Custard cake made by the lovely Margaret. I didn’t mind trying the recipe as I haven’t really baked with rhubarb before and I all for trying new things!
I looked up several recipes and all were very different, some with stewed rhubarb, others with rhubarb jam and the recipe I picked from the Clandestine Cake Club book used roasted rhubarb which I thought would give a good flavour. First I had to cut up the rhubarb and in hindsight I should have perhaps kept it a little chunkier, but I got a little carried away whilst slicing it. As with most recipes I also completely ignored the amount and put in more than I should have, but when I tasted the cake, I could have put more in.
Once roasted the rhubarb tasted lovely and I have to admit some of it didn’t make it into the cake tin. Whilst it was cooling I made up the cake mixture, which was a simple 4 egg mixture with an Amanda twist. Reading through the recipe, the only custard was going to be in the topping, I took the executive decision that this was not going to be enough. So several spoonfuls of tinned custard later the cake was ready to be assembled. At this point I had to dip a piece of the roasted rhubarb into the custard just to make sure. The recipe called for the mixture to be baked in a loaf tin but that was not going to happen so I went for my hexagon tin, layering the rhubarb with the cake mixture – then it was time to bake. 50 Minutes later the cake was done and cooling so it was time to make the fat free topping! Well when I say fat free, apart from the butter,custard, cream cheese and the sugar the air whipped in was definitely completely fat free. The quantities for the frosting was far too much for the size of the cake, so I decided to cut in half and sandwich it together and then cover it in the remaining mixture. For the decoration I was to put sugar and rhubarb in a pan with some water, make a caramel and it turned out ok although I could have boiled it for a little longer.
The cake went down well with James and was a good weekend treat after he reached 500 wickets. A massive well done to him!
Next week’s cake is Grace’s choice so I think it may involve Chocolate or salted caramel, or more than likely both!!
Watch this space
So on Saturday the 7th I finally got back to Cake Club, it really had been too long. The theme was Mardi Gras and although I did struggle with the theme, with some help I decided to make a clown cake. But this was not just any clown cake as I borrowed a cake tin that dates back to the 1940s and it was a little freaky looking, not like the cute clowns that you see these days.
As the tin hadn’t been used I decided to do a practice run and once the cake came out of the tin I decided to cover in some icing, but the black and white icing just made the cake look terrifying! I knew the cake would taste nice but that didn’t stop the cake looking scary.
For Cake Club, I decided to make the clown look slightly jollier, and Grace helped by spotting some Neon sugar, I mean who can be scared of a rainbow clown! The sponge itself was made using ground almonds to make it moist and with the added flavour of almond extract the flavour was more-ish. Searching in the baking cupboard I can across some pink food colouring and though why not make the sponge as bright as the decoration.
Top tip – when using a tin that is shaped –grease the tin and dust with flower and then pop it in to the freezer whilst you make the mixture. Trust me it really works!!
The tin really baked the cake well and as predicted the cake came out easily so now for the difficult bit. I had to cover the cake with enough icing to make the cake white but just enough that I could still make out the face of the clown for me to add the features. I just about managed this and so on to the fun part, bring this clown to life by making if bright and friendly. Using the neon sugar was a little fiddly as I wanted to be able to see the individual colours and once it sticks to the icing you really can’t get it off without making a mess. But from a distance it looked not too bad.
For this months cake club we were asked to Pimp a Sponge which opened the door to a lot of options but I decided to take a small cake and make it bigger. Looking around the supermarket I could see a few things that would be good and made the decision to have a go at making a supersized Angel Slice. For anyone who isn’t familiar with this cake it is a pink and yellow sponge sandwiched together with vanilla cream with a layer of fondant icing on the top. I used a 3 egg cake recipe for each of the layers which turned out to be a larger that life cake. When making my buttercream I mixed the butter on its own for a while and this seem to make a very creamy vanilla buttercream. I enjoyed making this cake, as it isn’t everyday that you get to make such a cake.