Gorgeous: Jubilee Cakes!
Usually I can make up a reason to bake ( like its Saturday) but its more fun when there is an event to bake for and this was a very special event. My parents-in-law had been married 60 years in March and we had decided to celebrate as a family over the Jubilee weekend. I had made my choices of cakes to bake; a Victoria sponge, a chocolate cake and a carrot cake ( I pretended this was the healthy option).
The Victoria sponge was made using a Mary Berry recipe from her book called Mary Berry's Baking Bible. Its a really simple recipe and it turns out well every time I have used it. I spread the bottom layer of the cooled cake with strawberry jam, whipped up some double cream and spread that over the jam. The next layer went on top and I added the Union Jack crown. I thought that it looked a boring so I cut out a shape with paper and dusted some icing sugar on the top before putting the crown back. I piped more cream on the sides of the cake to secure the crowns. It all looked so nice as you can see in the main picture until the crowns started sliding off.........
I kept putting them back until eventually they stayed in place. Sugarpaste and fresh cream aren't the best combo
The finished product - behaving itself.
For the chocolate cake I used a Nigella Lawson recipe that I had made for my son's birthday. If you want to make a really chocolatey cake this is a good recipe to use. The cake has a light even texture and with the fudge frosting it smells and tastes incredibly good. To avoid being tempted by this cake you can store it in a cake tin in a distant cupboard with a padlock on it. You could possibly eat spoonfuls of the fudge frosting, if you were that way inclined......... The icing I made was more than enough for the cake and I did spread it on thickly. This cake improves with age so if its in an airtight container it will last for up to five days.
The third cake - the healthy choice - was a carrot cake made with a recipe I found online called How to make the perfect carrot cake. I knew this would be good from the title. The cake is fairly easy to make, the only fiddly bit was grating the carrots. I have to be extra careful not to grate my fingers so I had to take my time over this task. I wasn't that keen on the frosting recipe they suggested so I used a basic cream cheese frosting recipe and added a bit of orange oil for flavouring.
Cream Cheese frosting:
250 gms unsalted butter softened
300 gm tub of cream cheese
1kg icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange oil or 2 tsps vanilla
The butter needs to be quite soft or it won't mix evenly into the cream cheese. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth then gradually add the icing sugar. Add the flavouring. If the icing is too runny for piping put it into the fridge to harden up a bit.
I did have quite a bit of icing left over but it keeps well in the fridge when stored in a plastic container. When you want to use it again it needs to warm up to room temperature to make it easy to spread or pipe. Like the chocolate cake this cake certainly improved with age. The cake tasted even better after about five days as the moisture in the icing softened the texture of the cake.
I made the letters and numbers on the cake board by putting strips of the sugar paste on a non-stick board, rolling over then lightly to bond then together and then cutting out the shapes. I stuck them on the board with a dot of icing.
This was the centrepiece Jubilee cake with the Royal Pop Top decoration made by http://www.talkingtables.co.uk/. It created the perfect celebration cake as it reflected both the Diamond Jubilee and the Diamond wedding anniversary.
This was not the end of my Jubilee baking as I had a lot of sprinkles and cupcake liners to use up so there are more to follow..........