Excuse #1 - Birthday Cakes!

It has been a while since posting anything here, and part of that reason is that there was a birthday party recently, and I had volunteered to make the cake.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I enjoy making cake, and whilst I hadn't had much success decorating them, it seemed like a chance to practice.

Normally I go for buttercream icing and more fancy looking cakes (which inevitably don't turn out looking fancy), but this time I went for a simpler, 2-D rolled icing cake. If you look at superhero cakes online you will see hundreds of fancy ones, with tiers and incredible the incredible hulk smashing his way out of cakes, but having learnt my lesson not to over-stretch, I went for a simple option.

There really wasn't much to it in the end, it was a simple Victoria Sponge (Nigella Lawson's recipe) with jam and whipped cream in the middle, with pre-made coloured icing that I just rolled and cut to shape. my only tips are these:
  • Rolling on a veneered worktop didn't work out too well, despite dusting well with icing sugar, the icing kept on sticking as I tried to peel it off, and the icing sugar just kept leaving white specks on the icing
  • Instead I rolled it out on baking paper, which worked out well - both for the non-stick-ness, but also it allowed me to pick up the rolled/cut icing to place on the cake. When I started trying to just pick up the rolled icing (the bat sign for example) I found the icing stretched a lot under its own weight, leaving it mis-shapen. Being able to cut out the underlying baking paper and just flip it onto cake made it possible to transfer almost exactly the shape I had cut onto the cake.

Oh, and I also agreed to make individual cupcakes for all party guests, so I still managed to do some buttercream icing too..

rob hinds Shambolically fumbling my way around the kitchen

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