People have been kind enough to ask about the birthday cake I showed in my last post – it’s this one, no need to go look for it again:
As you can see, it has a nice, creamy frosting, which I will write up. The decoration is entirely up to you – gummy bears, smarties, sprinkles, nuts, chocolate chips or shavings … the possibilities are as endless as kids‘ appetites for sweets :-).
If it were my own cake, I’d probably go with dark chocolate shavings or use fresh raspberries – now there’s a thought! As it was, we used smarties, which my daughter loves, end of story.
100 g flour
100 g ground almonds
100 g sugar
200 g butter, soft
pinch of salt
1 p vanilla sugar (just use vanilla if you’re in any other country)
50 g grated chocolate
zest of 1 lemon
1 p baking powder
300 g Cream cheese
200 g butter, soft but not melted
lemon juice to taste
250 g (or more, depending on the consistency) powdered sugar
For the cake, cream butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla, salt, lemon zest, almonds and flour. Stir with wire whisk until combined, adding baking powder last. If the mixture gets too thick, add a little milk.
Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Butter a round spring-form pan and dust with flour. Scrape out the dough into the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack, then carefully turn out.
Prepare the frosting well in advance. You want your ingredients to have room temperature in order to combine well. And you need time to chill it for a few hours before frosting your cake. At least I prefer doing it like this. I’m sure you can use it even when it’s still soft. It just seems to me that it keeps its shape better when you let it firm up before spreading it.
To make the frosting, combine the ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. At this point, you can use food coloring or a bit of juice if you’d like your frosting to be anything other than white. Add more powdered sugar so it stays in shape as you add any liquid. In fact, I encourage you to go nuts with the powdered sugar – you need it for stability, never mind the calories for the time being. We’re all about appearances (of the cake) right now. If you’d like to pipe fancy cupcake-like ornaments on your cake, more power to you – I didn’t have it in me this time, but this frosting is definitely up for the task, especially after you’ve let it set a bit in the refrigerator.
After an appropriate chilling period, put your cake on a platter, get out a clean spatula and go to town – you want the cake covered in a generous layer of frosted goodness. If you’re new to this, pretend you’re making a peanut butter sandwich – too little will leave you with a dry feeling of disappointment, and too much will give you a tummy ache. Walk that line carefully. But, above all: Make that cake look pretty! Once you’re done with that, decorate with any sugary, chocolatey or fruity extras to your (or your kid’s) heart’s content.
Admire, give yourself a pat on the shoulder, and put the cake in the refrigerator until required. Go wrap presents, inflate balloons, or enjoy a nice long soak in the tub – anything that will make you be zen with the madness that will follow once the little guests arrive. But remember they’re young now, they won’t stay that way forever, and you’re making memories with them and for them. Cherish every birthday you have the privilege of celebrating with your kids.
On that note, I will go play a game of Parcheesi with my daughter who is home with a stomach bug today.
Happy baking, happy frosting, and of course: enjoy your cake!