let them eat cake!

So for some reason my other half volunteered me to make a friends birthday cake.  For those of you that don’t know I’m not really a baker, the only cake I can usually be bothered with is Nigella’s Guinness Cake – the best cake in the world and about 10,000 calories per slice but totally worth it! Anyway…I can cook and I’m not bad at that but for some reason I don’t generally have the patience for baking…it’s too precise…too much can go wrong, and the results cannot usually be improved by covering in hot sauce!

It wasn’t just any birthday either, it was her blinkin’ 40th (she’s much, much older than me!!). Her husband, delighted to be handing over the responsibility, tells me that he doesn’t want anything fancy just a banana cake, with cream cheese frosting and jam in the middle…fine, fine and fine…then he casually drops in ‘oh and if you can just pipe Happy 40th Birthday on the top, that’d be great’ – yep, good one!

So I find my recipe on Pinterest (where I spend far too much time), decide that one cake won’t be enough so double everything, whilst at the back of my mind plotting a sneaky way of avoiding having to pipe anything.

And this, my friends, is what I ended up with…an oval chalkboard and sticky backed letters with a ’40’ sprinkled on the top.  Definitely cheating but so much better than the alternative!

I was pretty happy, until I realised I had to transport this bad boy 80 miles, up to St Helena in a limo-style party bus, where we were celebrating said birthday! Anyways, the birthday girl and her husband seemed very pleased and it tasted pretty good…as did the numerous glasses of wine I drank in relief of a slight dicey culinary mission accomplished.

So for those of you that are interested, here is a link to the recipe I used and below is how I adapted it to make a layer cake.

  • Use a 9 inch, spring form cake tin.
  • Double the cake ingredients and make two cakes. Though it was more time consuming I mixed two separate batches of batter to make sure the layers would be the same height.
  • Bake the cakes for 1hr and 30mins (or until cooked all the way through) and then transfer them to the freezer for 45mins like she tells you to.
  • Double the quantity of frosting.
  • Using a sharp bread knife even off the top of the bottom layer.
  • Put it on a 9 inch cake board. Cover it with a layer of frosting and some raspberry jam, warmed a little on the hob.
  • Then flip the top layer over so the bottom is facing upwards (if that makes sense).
  • fill in the gap where the two layers meet, all around with frosting, then cover the rest of the cake starting at the top and working your way down the sides.
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