A TALE OF TWO FANTASTIC BIRTHDAY CAKES.
Last week was both of our daughters birthday’s, yes I know we planned that one well !But as both of them were here, that meant two birthday cakes were needed and in this house all cakes are handmade. Both the Fantastic Birthday cake recipes are below so you can try them yourself.
First up was my youngest birthday, she was 14 and she loves chocolate. So I turned to my usual source of ideas Pinterest and found a cake that was perfect.
Milk Chocolate Cake Recipe
For the cake
- 7 oz self-raising flour
- 8 oz caster sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 4 oz margarine (or butter)
- 2 beaten eggs
- 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 5 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the milk chocolate icing
- 2 ½ oz butter (or margarine)
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 8 oz icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons hot milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
THE HOW TO BIT
- Cake: Sift together the flour, caster sugar, salt & unsweetened unsweetened cocoa. Rub in the butter/margarine. Stir in the egg mixture Beat well Bake for 35 mins in 2 greased 7″ tins at gas 350 F
- Milk chocolate icing: Melt together butter/margarine and unsweetened cocoa . Stir in icing sugar, hot milk and vanilla. Beat until thick. Put a layer between cakes with a layer of jam and ice top and sides.
While the icing is still wet place Kit-Kats around the outside, it took us two packets to cover the cake you can use all plain chocolate if you prefer we used plain and cookies and cream ones.
On the top add M&M’s or Smarties or if you want to be healthier – strawberries. We used icing to stick some M&M’s on the tops of the Kit-Kats, this is not necessary we just went a bit mad and as for the Teddy bear that was her sisters’ idea 🙂
And the purple box contained her birth-stone earrings – Amethyst.
LEMON MERINGUE ANGEL CAKE
Three days later it was the Eldest’s birthday – she was 19 and home from College for half-term. She had pinned a Cake on Pinterest herself as we have a shared board where we share ideas.
Her cake was the complete opposite of the Kit- Kat cake it was a Lemon Meringue Angel Cake. It was light as a feather and one of the most complicated cakes I have attempted which even though it looks so simple in comparison.
Classic Angel Food Cake
For the cake
- 125g/4½oz plain flour
- 300g/10½oz caster sugar
- 10 large free-range egg whites
- 2 large lemons, grated zest only
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp salt
For the lemon curd (this recipe makes more lemon curd than you need)
- 10 large free-range egg yolks
- 400g/14oz caster sugar
- 4 large lemons, juice only (approximately 200ml/7fl oz)
- 2 large lemons, grated zest only
- 175g/6oz unsalted butter, cubed
For the meringue
- 2 tsp. powdered unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup plus 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
- egg whites from 5 to 6 large eggs
- 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
HOW TO MAKE THE CAKE ( Recipe found in an Old Cook Book)
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly oil the inside of a 10-inch (16- cup) 2-piece metal tube pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk 3/4 cup of the sugar, the flour, and salt until evenly combined. Sift the remaining 3/4 cup sugar onto a piece of waxed paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Turn off the mixer and add the lemon juice and cream of tartar. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the sifted sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until very stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
- One-quarter at a time, sift the flour mixture over the whites and, with a large balloon whisk, fold it in quickly but gently. It’s not necessary to incorporate every speck until the last addition of the flour.
- Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of the cake batter onto the sides of the prepared pan to ensure smooth sides. Pour the remaining batter into the pan. Run a knife through the batter to eliminate air bubbles and smooth the surface.
- Bake until golden-brown, a wire cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, and the cake springs back when lightly pressed, 30 to 40 minutes. (A wooden skewer will still have a few moist crumbs clinging to it.) During baking, the centre will rise about 2 inches above the pan but will sink to almost level with the pan when done. The surface will have deep cracks, like a souffle
- Immediately invert the cake: If your pan has feet, simply invert it onto the feet. Otherwise, invert the pan onto a long-necked soda or wine bottle, or a large inverted metal funnel that fits into the tube opening to suspend it well above the counter (if using a soda or wine bottle, fill it with sugar, salt, or marbles to keep it from tipping). Cool the cake completely in the pan, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Loosen the sides of the cake with a long metal spatula and remove the cake (still on the tube section) from the sides of the pan. Loosen the cake from the bottom and tube with the spatula or a thin, sharp knife. (A wire cake tester works well around the tube. To keep the sides attractive, press the spatula firmly against the sides of the pan, moving the spatula up and down as you go around.) Invert the cake onto a flat plate or work surface covered with plastic wrap
Make the lemon filling
- Put the lemon zest in a 4-quart or larger bowl and set a medium-mesh sieve on top.
- In a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar.
- Add the lemon juice, butter, and salt.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon but still pourable, 4 to 5 minutes. (Don’t boil or it will curdle.)
- Pass the thickened curd through the sieve and mix in the zest. Cool, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.When the lemon curd is cool, beat the cream with an electric mixer on medium speed just until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With a large balloon whisk or silicone spatula, fold in the lemon curd. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Make the meringue
- In a small, microwaveable bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 3 Tbs. water; let soften for at least 5 minutes. Microwave on high to melt the gelatin, 15 to 30 seconds.
- In a heavy-duty nonstick 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup of the sugar and 6 Tbs. water and stir constantly until the syrup is bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy- 45 seconds. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form – 30 seconds. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 Tbs. sugar until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Have ready a 2-cup or larger heatproof liquid measure.
- Return the pan of syrup to medium-high heat and boil until a candy thermometer registers 248°F (firm ball stage).
- Pour the syrup into the measure to stop the cooking and then immediately pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. Lower the speed to medium, add the gelatin mixture, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Decrease the speed to low and continue beating until the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, about 10 minutes.
- Use a large balloon whisk or silicone spatula to fold one-third of the meringue into the lemon cream. Repeat twice more until all of the meringue is folded into the lemon cream.
To Assemble the cake
- Lightly oil the inside of a clean 10-inch (16-cup) 2-piece metal tube pan.
- Spread one-quarter of the filling on the bottom of the pan.
- Place the smallest cake ring on top of the filling.
- Spread about one-third of the remaining lemon filling on top. Top with the next cake layer.
- Spread on half of the remaining filling.
- Repeat with the third cake layer and remaining filling. Top with the last cake layer and lightly press it down. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight.
- To un-mold, wet a kitchen towel under very hot water and wring out the excess. Wipe the sides and bottom of the pan to help release the cake smoothly.
- Set the pan on top of a canister that’s smaller than the pan’s removable bottom and higher than the pan’s sides, and gently press down on the sides of the pan. If it doesn’t slide down easily, apply more heat to the sides.
- Run a long offset spatula between the bottom of the cake and the pan. Run a wire cake tester or wooden skewer around the inner tube. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and remove the tube portion of the pan. Slice and serve the cake.
NOTES and truths !!
- I will not lie this cake is the most complicated thing I have ever produced – tasted amazing but so hard !!
- It involved so many eggs I nearly reconsidered getting my own chickens but instead I make life a bit easier with a little cheat. Instead of making my own Lemon curd for the filling I brought a jar of Chivers and mixed it with the whipped cream and chilled it. It cut down the eggs a little and saved time.
- I did make the meringue for the filling and the Angel cake though, even though we had no proper tin, a normal tin worked just as well.
- I made it the day before and chilled it overnight and it was just as promised, light and luscious and lemony so totally worth it and the eldest was delighted there was not a slice left.
- Also we made it in a 7inch tin as that is what we had and there was so much filling left over we froze it and it made the most beautiful smooth ice-cream. So a bonus dish for no more effort 🙂
THIS IS PINNABLE ====>