A Jubilee Cake!
I have only ever made three cakes in my entire life, including this one. This is how much of an amateur I am. I have made buns which are sort of mini cakes, but they don’t count really do they.
When Bart Spices asked me to make a cake I thought they’d simply gone off their rockers or something. I can do basic savoury dishes, but cake?!!! I sat staring at the email for a couple of minutes, tapping my fingers on the computer desk, drinking tea, thinking……dare I? Obviously I’d have to blog it, however badly it turned out. Well, in the end I thought I might as well live life dangerously and have a go! What the hell, I had nothing more exciting to do on that day other than run the dishwasher with the knives and forks stuck in the rack thing the wrong way round. (Very dangerous dontcha know!)
Can I just state, I’m not actually keen on royalty, but I am mad about cake and this is as good an excuse as any to indulge.
Here’s what I used for the sponge cake!
My sous chef and I prepared the cake tins:
I always think it’s best to include the kids when I cook, they like it and so do I, sort of. Usually I end up yelling ‘Nooooo!!!! Not in there!’ and ‘If you don’t stop licking your fingers I’ll chop ’em off!’ and things like that, but it’s all fun. *ahem!*
Next I creamed together the butter and the Vanilla sugar (which in my case was sugar with a vanilla pod scraped into it). I’ve never used a vanilla pod before, and I love them! They’re rather reminiscent of tiny caviar eggs – not that I actually know what caviar looks like, it’s just a guess.
Then I added the four eggs to the mixture, along with all the dry spices. I loved the look of the cake mix once it all blended in. Despite being very wary of the mint and the pepper, it added a really nice christmassy mulled spice flavour. By this point I couldn’t wait to cook it!
Following this we poured it into 2 cake tins (ideally 2 cake tins, 20cm round), and sat licking the bowl whilst staring hungrily at the oven while it cooked for 20 – 25 minutes at gas mark 4 / 180C. We left them to cool in the tins for ten mins, then tipped them onto a wire rack. I did not bite a huge piece out of the side, it fell off. Honest.
To help keep Sausage involved, I asked him to take the tops off the strawberries, so he ate about 4 of them without me realising. While he was sneaky-eating strawberries I combined 250 g of cream cheese with 150ml of double cream and 100g of icing sugar until it was beaten to a delicious sloppy white fluffyish, gooey texture.
Then we got to the fun bit! Sausage and I slapped the cream-cheese topping onto both of the cooled sponges and slithered a spatula over each side until reasonably smooth. Half the remaining strawberries (some halved, some quartered) were liberally plonked on one half and then the other sponge was delicately sandwiched on top of it. I was delighted to see the cream cheese oozed out of the sides a little. Obviously I had to tidy that up a little – and of course eat the excess.
Finally I put another load of cream-cheese on the top, smoothed it as best I could and then began decorating it. Not meaning to ‘over-egg the pudding’ as they say, but it took me absolutely ages, I mean, it should go in the Tate gallery, no exaggeration at all, it’s a work of art! Please clap enthusiastically now. Thank you.
The sponge cake itself was a little dry once I sliced into it, but I think that’s just my oven and my rubbish baking skills. It did however look amazing, just look at the sponge in the next photograph! As for the cream-cheese, it is to die for! Really sweet with a sour twang from the cream cheese! I could have eaten bowls of just the topping!
To summarise! Whoever said ‘All you need is love!’ was a fool. ‘All you need is Cake!’ if you ask me.
‘Cake is the food of love!’ not music.
And the meaning of life is not 42, it is CAKE!
Many thanks to Bart Spices for sending me the ingredients and for taking a huge risk. I think it was the PR equivalent of jumping off a really high building in a flying squirrel suit – it could have gone very, very badly!
If you’d like to visit Bart Spices website, please click HERE, they’ll be pleased to see you I’m sure!