A Jubilee Cake!

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!

½ tsp Bart Bristol Blend Five Peppercorns
½ tsp Bart Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Bart Ground Ginger
¼ tsp Bart Ground Nutmeg
2 tsp Bart Mint (Freeze Dried)
250g self-raising flour
¼ tsp salt
250g margarine or butter
250g Bart Vanilla Sugar
4 eggs, beaten and a partridge in a pear tree.

My sous chef and I prepared the cake tins:

I greased the cake tin, both sides of the greaseproof paper and my son. Think I may have overdone things a little.

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.

I christened my food processor! I’ve had it for two years, it’s been unassembled for one year and ignored for the other. To my shame up to this day, I’d only ever made one smoothie in it.

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!

It tasted as good as it looks!

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.

Here are the cooked, cooled sponge cakes with the raw ingredients for the topping. Remember not to leave small children alone with a bowl of strawberries. They eat them when you’re not looking.

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.

One cake tin was bigger than the other so I had to cut the excess off once I’d turned it into a cake burger…see next picture.

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.

This is meant to look like a Union Jack, I couldn’t manage the white stripes though. If anyone says it looks like a red ant I will sulk.

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!

Note the green and black speckled spices in the sponge, they give a whole new twist to a basic victoria sponge recipe and look fabulous too :O)

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!


10 responses to “A Jubilee Cake!

  1. It looks beautiful! I now need cake 🙂

  2. As I scrolled down, I definitely saw it as a Union Jack!!

    It does look really good and you tell it brilliantly.

    Like you, I think cooking with children is really important. It also increases their interest and tolerance of different foods.
    But, it takes ten times as long and I’m fed up telling them which gadget is a colander and apart from munching through the food they also have a habit of dropping it under the fridge or chopping so much away from it, it becomes a shadow of it’s former self…;-)

    • Kids just love cooking don’t they. It just turns it all into a mass of spilt flour and temper tantrums every now and then, lol! Still always a very worthwhile thing to do. I considered letting them decorate the cake, but my pride wouldn’t let me. Thanks so much for reading! :O)

  3. yyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *huge round of applause for my friend Kay* Im proud of you…well done, brilliant result, and looks fab. Well done \bart spices, they also knew if they did not get a good cake they would at least get fab excuses for why not.
    Now if we could just arrange for some company to send me a new laptop for me to test my writing skills on….pmsl

  4. Honestly Elaine, this blog was a huge risk for me. Baking is something I am atrocious at. I think some of your talents must finally be rubbing off on me :O)

  5. Looks delicious kay! you’ll have to do more baking now!
    I love baking but just don’t do enough …. lazy me hehe

  6. Yay, well done! It looks fabulous. I am going to have to give this one a try!

  7. Love it !! I had a little boy pigging out on blueberries every time I turned my back too when we made ours ! Definitely looks like a Union Jack too – well done x

  8. Thanks for all your lovely comments! I made another cake the other day too, although nothing as spectacular as this one. I think I may have found my baking mojo, or at least a little of it! :O)

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