A Pink Showstopper Cake!

Nutella Doughnut Muffins, Chocolate Tarts, a Pink Showstopper and Marshmallow Cupcakes

As Lau’s already mentioned we decided to celebrate the brilliance of the Great British Bake Off with a Bake Off Send Off full of lovely creations. It seemed only fair that we celebrate the last 10 weeks of brilliance, from Mel, Sue, Paul, the genius that is Mary Berry and of course the finalists themselves, in some special way – and baking seemed the most fitting! So we all made different creations, check out this photo of all our sweet creations – what do you think?

For some reason when discussing what we’d make for this occasion I decided doing the showstopper cake would be quite fun, what was I thinking! Don’t get me wrong it was fun but it was a lot more work that I anticipated! So after I’d volunteered to create the showstopper I had to come up with something impressive, but what! I knew I wanted to go for a multi layer cake, as I’d seen this gorgeous looking cake on Pinterest but it took me a while to decide on what colours, I was torn between a rainbow cake or different shades of one colour. Eventually I found a blog post about a pink layered cake and thought, YES, this is the one! Three layers seemed like a better idea than five as there was only going to be four of us to eat it after all! So to create the cake I followed the recipe on the blog post, as I wanted to ensure the pink food colouring worked properly, which I couldn’t guarantee with another type of cake. So below are the ingredients you’ll need and the recipe for you to follow:

285g Butter, softened at room temperature
285g Caster sugar
285g Self-Raising Flour
5 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Food colouring

The top layer just out of the oven!

Grease and line the round cake tins with baking parchment
Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy
Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in the vanilla extract
Fold in the flour, adding a little milk if necessary, to create a soft cake mix
Divide the cake batter equally between three bowls and add food colouring to achieve the right colour for each layer. I used about 30 drops for the brightest pink layer, then 20 and 15 drops for the other layers. Although in hindsight I wish the bottom layers had been more different in colour, so perhaps 20 and 10 drops are a better suggestion for the lighter layers.
Bake each cake in the over on 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown on top
Leave to cool on a wire rack

The three layers assembled

So after I’d decided on the layered cake idea and made my three sponges, I was only left with the question of decoration. After a lot of deliberation I decided to keep it simple with butter icing and fondant icing. So first off I made a load of butter icing by combining a LOT of butter and icing sugar (about 400g of butter 750g of icing sugar) with a splash of milk until smooth. This was the first time I’ve used icing sugar rather than caster sugar for butter icing and it made a much smoother icing, so I’d definitely recommend doing that in the future.

Once I’d covered the entire cake with the icing I pressed some black and red fondant icing hearts onto the surface of the cake. This reminded me a bit of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland but it also served to show my love for the bake off! The hearts were made out of Dr.Oetker Coloured Ready to Roll Icing, which worked perfectly.

I was quite pleased with my decoration, not only was it easy to create, which was imperative after baking three different sponges!, but it also made the cake look really simple and I liked the contrast that created when the cake was cut and everyone saw the three different coloured layers of cake. Hopefully, you all agree that the decoration is simple as well as special considering the occasion!



National Baking Week and Great British Bake Off fun

This week is National Baking Week, how exciting – as if we needed anymore excuses to get our aprons on!

3 weeks ago and without knowing that it was in fact National Baking Week, Fi and I planned a spectacular baking event to commemorate the end of the brilliant BBC2 show, The Great British Bake Off (GBBO). We’re calling it the Great British Bake Off Send Off (GBBOSO for short) and it consists of getting together with some friends to watch the final episode of the series whilst sampling our own baked goods. The rules are simple we each must bring one sweet delight and one savoury wonder that has been made this series.

Now you may think that choosing what to make would be easy – after all so much has been baked this series – 3 bakes in each of the 9 episodes, that’s 27 tasty treats in total! But alas, it wasn’t that simple (at least for me) you see there’s just too much choice. After scouring through numerous recipe books, both physical and online, and changing my mind at least 5 times, I finally decided on my two bakes. I’ve gone with Paul Hollywood’s Eight Strand Plaited Loaf, as seen in Episode 2 of GBBO and Doughnut muffins, with nutella hidden inside. Now, before you say it I know that technically the bakers on the show made actual doughnuts, but as I don’t trust myself with hot oil I definitely wasn’t going there! So there we have it my two bakes for tonights Great British Bake Off Send off don’t they sound great, both are new bakes for me, but i’m hoping I can pull them off, or at least end up with something edible!

But wait, what’s Fi baking I hear you ask? Okay (you twisted my arm) I’ll tell you, she’s chosen to try out crackers and a show stopper cake, with a surprise hiding inside. I won’t spoil the surprise by saying anymore, but I did see her decorate it last night and I can promise that it looks amazing. Also knowing how great her cakes normally taste, I’m sure this one won’t disappoint in that department either.

Recipes (and pictures) of all four bakes will be up soon, and we’ll be telling you exactly how everything else went. With people making such tasty treats of Pork Pies and Chocolate tarts I’m sure it will be a baker’s heaven inside our little flat in London town.

Enjoy National Baking Week, hope everyone’s got some delicious things planned. If you feel like sharing anything please do. We’re always up for hearing new recipes and ideas.