Happy 60th.

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This has got to be my absolute favourite cake I’ve ever made. The pirate of 2013 was pretty good, the (not featured on this blog, unfortunately) 3-tier mountain/snowboarder/ski lift cake of the same year was incredible (if I may say so myself) and the mountain-bear cake of 2018 is top of the list for sure, but this, this cake was something I’ve never tried before.

I’d watched countless Pinterest and Instagram videos and tutorials about how to make the striped buttercream wrap around the cake, and smooth it down and I as desperate to try it. Finally the opportunity presented itself when I had to make a surprise 60th birthday cake.

The cake was something I’d perfected over time: white chocolate and fresh strawberries. I made it as 2 large tray bakes and when chilled, cut them into circles with a cake tin. I found that this was much easier, not just because I got a few leftovers to nibble on and share, but because I got a smoother edge to work with and the top was much flatter than if I’d have used 2 circular cake tins.

The layer inside is just vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam, to compliment the white chocolate and fresh strawberry cake.

I mixed some of the buttercream with red food colouring and left the other bowl ‘naturally’ yellow/white. I found French butter to be an absolute nightmare to work with for buttercream and couldn’t wait to get home to use some good ‘ol Stork! I then piped big lines all the way around the cake, changing the layers as I went. I travelled with a cake decorating kit (yes, I was just that prepared) and used the flat edge to smooth the buttercream around and merge the lines.

Then the pièce de résistance, or so I think, is the fresh fruit topping. We were lucky in France that the physalis still came with its leaves which adds another dimension to the cake, and I chopped a couple of strawberries for the edges and ‘casually threw’ some raspberries in the mix.

I just loved it.

When You’re 27 and You Have To Bake Your Own Cake…

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As I had to bake my own Birthday Cake, I made my favourite. Victoria Sponge.

I had a great time trying something new with this cake, using sugar paste (as it sets hard) to make the toppings. I have a new thing for geometric art (the monkey tattoo is testament to this) and my love of mountains inspired this one. I used edible ink to draw the lines, some were freehand, some I indented with a knife and went back over to make sure I had it right. Blue fondant icing wraps around the cake to make a mountain scene.

I absolutely love the toppers, but need more practise with the wrapping of icing to make sure it’s not lumpy. It was a frustrating cake to make but one of my favourites! Totally worth it. Tasted great too!