I am definitely no baker. I make probably one or two cakes in a year. That’s it. I can’t cope with any more. It’s not that I can’t bake, but that I don’t find it very easy and it takes me ages.
I’m not talking biscuits or flapjacks or packet fairy cake mixes – I love those, they are easy and quick and tasty and a perfect thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.
The thing is that baking is a science. I am not a scientist. I’d quite like to be. I mean, I wish I had been really good at physics and maths – I quite fancy myself as Amita in Numb3rs or the next Helen Sharman – but the fact is I’ve always been much more of a creative mind, thinking in colour rather than atomic and subatomic length or accelerating particles. Shame! I digress.
But! After the success of my Oreo Cookie Cake earlier in the year, when Find Me a Gift asked if I’d like to take part in their hearty slice competition I thought “oh I can do that!”. My I Heart Cake silicone cake mould duly arrived and I set about finding a recipe so I could test it out.
The idea was to bake a cake in the fancy shaped cake pan and present a heart shaped slice. Ah saying “I love you” in a cake is cute, right?! I had lots of ideas for flavours – I thought red velvet cake would be rather appropriate being red and all; then I wondered if a vanilla and chocolate marble cake would be suitably symbolic; but in the end I decided to go for a nice and simple yet classic Victoria sponge with butter cream and jam. Yummy!
On Sunday I set to the challenge. To start with I thought it was all going pair shaped – when I added the eggs to my butter and sugar mixture the batter went a horrible scrambled egg consistency (I said I was no baker), but thankfully adding the flour “un-did” that and I ended up with a thick but smooth cake batter to put in the bright red silicone pan. Although I know silicone is supposed to be incredibly non stick I still chose to butter and flour the edges to make sure the cake came away cleanly.
250g soft butter
250g caster sugar
250g plain white flour
2 tsp baking powder
Cream the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, mixing well a little at a time. Fold in the flour and the baking powder to make a fairly stiff cake batter. Pour into a 25cm (ish) cake mould and bake for 30-35 minutes at 170 degrees (mine took nearer 40). Leave to cool for just a few minutes before removing from the cake mould and allowing to go completely cold before adding the fillings.
We much prefer butter cream to whipped cream in our house so I beat together 250g icing sugar and 125g butter, adding a teaspoon of milk to loosen it up and a couple of drops of vanilla extract for flavour. Slice the cake in two (once cold) and spread the butter cream and some good quality strawberry jam on each half before sandwiching them back together.
Once baked and cooled and I’d plucked up the courage to slice the cake in half (always a scary prospect!), I made the butter cream (well, LincsGeek did) and spread it and the jam on the two halves before sandwiching them together and cutting a couple of heart shaped slices. Wow massive! Be warned – this cake pan makes HUGE slices of cake. It tasted pretty good though, and despite taking the best part of my Sunday to do (there is no way I would cope with the time limits on Great British Bake Off!), I’m rather pleased with the results.
So here you go – my entry into the Find Me a Gift Hearty Slice blogger competition.
With regards to the cake pan itself, it’s great – the silicone works its magic and it has come up perfectly clean and ready for next time. I think I will either make a much thinner cake when I use it again, or will simply not worry so much about the heart shaped slices; I’ll just cut it into whatever size people want to eat.