Sunday, 17 March 2013

Baking For Birthday Boys!

Ben turned one this week and I made a promise to myself that I'd make my nephews the best birthday cakes I could for their 1st birthdays. "It's what Aunties are for" according to Georgina.
So I'll give you a quick peek at my efforts, just in case you have a funny 5 minutes and decide you want to make a giant pirate ship cake like this...

Step 1: Go to Toys R Us and buy a Playmobil Pirate set.

Step 2: Buy a cake board large enough for your beast of a cake.
Step 3: Get 3 wooden kebab skewers and thread some cardboard "sails" onto them.

And now start baking...

I made the victoria sponge "all in one" recipe from BBC good food which has always served me well. Liz W would tell you that you should weigh your eggs and scale up or down the other ingredients. She may well be right but I have never bothered and the results have always been good enough for me...

Then I made Priya's (that was Claire's) reliable chocolate cake that is super easy.

6 oz marge
6 oz caster sugar
3 medium eggs
5.5 oz cocoa
5.5 oz self-raising flour
1 tsp water

Cream the sugar and marge
Add the 3 eggs
Add the water
Sift the flour and cocoa to the other mixture and mix
Divide the mixture between 2 greased circular tins
Bake for 15-18 mins on 190

Then I cut the cakes in half to make semi-circles

Then I cut the edges off so the boat could stand up.

Then I made chocolate frosting from a recipe in my Joy The Baker cookbook. The I sandwiched the (alternating) chocolate and vanilla cakes together with masses of frosting and slathered more on the sides and top of the boat. This frosting recipe was a pain, I won't lie. It was however, as good as Joy promised and I'm sure I'll never find better! The recipe isn't on her blog but this book is worth having (and worth the time to convert US to UK quantities, I promise). I won't type out the whole frosting recipe unless it's requested, but here's the book of utter loveliness, that Scanners was cooing over whilst she helped me decorate the cake:-

And here again, is the lovely Scanners, posing with the day's handywork! (The light was fading at this point after hours of assembling and we were both on a bit of a "sugar low" when the effects of eating a pile of leftover "cannonballs and barrells" had worn off :S)

The chocolate twist "ropes" are wafers from B&M bargains, the cannonballs are maltesers and the mini barrels are made from putting 2 rolos together. The KABOOM cannon ball candle and the musical candle came from Occasion cakes and I borrowed some blue Wilton gel from Georgina to dye the buttercream blue for the sea.

The idea came from a lady called Bree who I found by googling pirate ship cake. Her photography is A LOT better than my few rubbish shots downloaded from my iphone so do check her efforts out...!

And, as Karen had bought cupcake bargain pirate stands, I had to make a few cupcakes too.
Priya says The Primrose Cafe book has the best vanilla cupcake recipe. I made mine from a BBC good food recipe and a Hummingbird Bakery one, neither of which were perfect, so maybe I'll try the Primrose next. The recipe does appear to have a ridiculous amount of sugar though! 

How I wish you could see the "bandanna-style" print on the cake cases - so cute!

And that was it for Benny Boy's birthday.

When Tom turned one he got this from me:-

The track was liquorice wheels rolled out onto lollipop sticks.

I'm not sure if you can really appreciate the size of this train from these pictures but when you know that each wheel is an oreo and that it's sitting on a shelf from Owen's book case you get the idea...! It was HUGE! Every carriage is a loaf tin of Hummingbird bakery pound loaf. Priya was integral to the assembly of this creation and at one point she said it was feeling like a cake-making Ofsted. Luckily, however, the pain of "Cakested" had faded enough for me to put the same effort into Ben's cake(s).

So, Tom and Ben are very welcome to request whatever cake they'd like from Aunty Jo for their future birthdays, but they may be given this book to choose it from as it has a good selection of easy to make cakes of all descriptions and really is the best book I've seen for kids' cakes. 

Happy birthday Ben, I love you and Tom very much!

Aunty Jo xxx 


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