I had been asked by a good friend to make a birthday cake for her hubbies 40th Birthday. I had never made a proper birthday cake before, you know a sponge with buttercream and jam in the middle, buttercream around the sides and top, then fondant icing on top with fondant icing decorations. The nearest birthday cakey type item I made was a Christmas Fruit cake, which had marzipan then fondant icing on top but the decoration consisted of fondant stars made by using stampers!! No difficult decoration techniques there.
My mother in law makes Wedding and Birthday cakes and she is really good at it, so I asked for her sponge and buttercream recipes. Part of me thought I could make the cake then run over to my MOL’s and get help with the decoration as she has all the proper tools and experience. However, I was running short on time to do this, so I had to forge ahead using my limited cake decorating skills, hubbies artistic input and google!
Ingredients for a 9 inch cake– 350 grams of softened organic Scottish butter, 350g grams of caster sugar, 350 grams of self raising flour, sifted and 7 eggs ( which should weigh 350 grams when out of their shells) and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Grease and line a 9inch cake tin. You can use a smaller tin, just reduce the quantities but make sure that you use the same weight of butter, caster sugar, flour and eggs e.g for a 8 inch cake reduce all to 250 grams.
Place the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time along with a tablespoonful of flour. Make sure it is beaten and mixed well. Add the vanilla essence and the remaining flour.
Pour the mix into the prepared tin, smooth the top and place in the oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown on top and a knife comes out clean.
Then leave to cool in the tins, for about 15 minutes, then remove from tins and remove the greaseproof paper. Once completely cooled cut the cake in half to make two layers.
Ingredients– 255 grams of Scottish Organic butter, softened, 680 grams of icing sugar, 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Add butter to your mixer and whip until light and creamy, then add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla and whip until combined.
Ingredients– About 100ml Water and 100 grams Sugar. Optional add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or any other flavouring that compliments the flavour of your cake.
In a pan add some sugar and water and place on low heat until sugar dissolved. Then take off heat and add the vanilla or other flavouring
Brush the layers of the cake with the sugar syrup to keep the sponge moist then leave to dry. Don’t put too much on as you don’t want it to be soggy.
Then place one layer of the cake on a plate or board and add a layer of jam, then add buttercream on top of the jam to create the filling. Add the next cake layer and cover the top and the sides with a thin layer of buttercream to create a Crumb Coating. As you can see my layer was a bit too thick! Then place in fridge to chill until set.
I then gave the cake another light coating of the syrup sugar after I took it out the fridge and before I covered with fondant icing.
I can not take credit for the design as to get inspiration and ideas for how to decorate the cake I went to google and Pinterest, of course. There were lots and lots and lots of images of cakes made for doctors, most of which seemed to have the cake as the doctors coat and then scattered on the top over the coat, the instruments doctors use. “The Doctors Coat” cake by My Sugar Creations was a particular inspiration and design that I utilised elements from.
This was the first time I had decorated a cake so was a bit rough looking! I also was limited by the colour of fondant icing that was available in my local shop, hence the white, red and black theme. Mistakes on the side of the cake where covered up by using an icing pen to ice surgical stitches, although I forgot to take a piccie to show you.
Can you guess what all the instruments are supposed to be??