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I am by day an assistant developer for a software company and by night and the weekends an increasingly craft and hobby obsessed maniac. This here blog will be my portal for sharing the failures and triumphs in these hobbies whenever I remember to snap a photo

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Birthday Baking

Last week was my other half’s mum’s birthday, it was a big one and as well as celebrating on the day, there was a bit of a party at the weekend. As we all know, I like any excuse to make cake so here’s a round up of what I made last week in contribution to the party.

Firstly, for the day itself I made a big batch of cupcakes, knowing that they had guests staying for the week. All recipes are from the first Primrose Bakery book.

selection of cupcakes

A few of the birthday cupcakes

Here we have a few of the cupcakes, we have ginger with ginger fudge frosting, coffee with coffee buttercream and rose with rose buttercream. I also made Delice au Cassis for dessert, but I forgot to take a photo :S one of these days I will remember to take a picture of it before everyone dives in!

I was intending to have a break from the baking for a day or so before I needed to start on the birthday party cakes, but I needed something nice to go with dinner on the Wednesday and having just got the new Lorraine Pascale book, Home Cooking Made Easy I decided to make the Pain d’Epi during my lunch time. I have to say I am really pleased with this bread, it seems to have worked wonderfully and it was so quick! Just over 10 minutes of kneading (which I find rather therapeutic), let it rest an hour and then pop in the oven job done. We devoured it with the chorizo and butterbean casserole I made.

Pain d'Epi

my Pain d'Epi I'm very pleased with it even if I could do with practicing the scissor snipping bit a bit more

Thursday I needed to start the chocolate cake, the party wasn’t until Saturday, but this cake gets covered in a chocolate ganache and keeps quite well. It’s an amalgamation of different chocolate party cake recipes and altogether uses just under a kilo of chocolate, but it is always a big hit.

chocolate cake

The fruit makes sure this cake is part of a balanced diet ;-)

Now I know that chocolate is too much for some so I also wanted to provide an alternative cake, plus with the number of people invited, I couldn’t be sure that one would be enough so I dipped into another new book that I’d purchased recently, The Birthday Cake Book by Fiona Cairns (yes she of this year’s Royal Wedding Cake acclaim). I decided to make the cake on the cover of the book, the Strawberry and Elderflower cake. Probably not the best choice for October, I did have a hard time finding decent quality strawberries but the lemony meringue cake idea was vetoed by the man.

strawberry and elderflower cake

summer on a plate

In the book, 3 layers of sponge is used, but I often get told off for making towers of cake, so I split the recipe in half and made just 2 sandwich layers. When it came out of the oven I was worried that it was too low, but once layered with the strawberries and elderflower cream, I think it was just the right height. The cake was a big success and I look forward to making it again at a more appropriate time of year.

Having a little bit of time leftover I also decided to make this cheese and onion quiche for the party as every party table needs one and I love quiche.

Cheese and Onion Quiche

Simple but very tasty quiche

I wasn’t the only one making contributions for the party and I would just like to show you all my man’s efforts. He made these 3 Swedish Sandwich Cakes although using a little creative license and coming up with his own flavour combinations, I think we can all agree that these were amazing works of art and we felt really sad about cutting into them. Even though they took him hours to make, every party buffet table should have one of these.

A trio of swedish sandwich cakes

mmmm sandwich cake

2 comments to Birthday Baking

  • MB

    The strawberry and elderflower cake looks amazing. I have the Fiona Cairns book and would really like to make it but live in a city and can’t find any elderflower heads to make my own cordial! Is there a brand I can use as a substitute, and would I have to dilute it at all?

    • Jennifer

      Yes I used just shop bought Elderflower Cordial undiluted, you can get it in the supermarket with the other bottles of squash, Ikea also even sell the stuff, I’d like to try making my own as I love Elderflower, but if we manage to get enough flowers we’re wanting to try making our own Elderflower Champagne instead of cordial!

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