Sunday, 4 May 2014

1st Birthday Cake and Cupcakes

Another commissioned cake this week. Without sounding completely cheesy, it feels really great when someone asks me to make an cake for a special occasion of theirs, and I always jump at the opportunity. This week is another 1st birthday cake, for one of the girls in work's son. 

As usual, I went straight to Pinterst for ideas, and in the end we decided upon a giant number 1 covered in Smarties. I turned to my favourite chocolate cake recipe (previously seen here and here), printed off a giant number 1 template and set to work.

I loved working on this cake and even though sorting and placing the millions of Smarties was quite time consuming, I actually found it really relaxing. I finished off the cake board with the birthday boy's name in fondant letters.

I also whipped up my all-in-one chocolate cupcakes and topped them with chocolate buttercream and some mini smarties. I made three batches of the buttercream to cover the cake and all the cupcakes.

Chocolate Fudge Cake
(adapted from Donal Skehan)
350g self-raising flour
5 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g caster sugar
300ml vegetable oil
300ml semi-skimmed milk
4 large eggs, beaten
4 tbsp golden syrup

Preheat your oven to 180ºC and line two square baking tins. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb into the biggest bowl you have. (Or if you're lazy, like me, put them into the bowl and give it a good whisk). Add in the sugar and mix well. In a jug, measure in the oil, milk, eggs, syrup and mix. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and gradually add in the wet ingredients until you have a smooth (and quite wet) mixture. Pour evenly between your baking tins and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
150g butter, softened
150g soft light brown sugar sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
125g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder 
1 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line the cupcake tin. Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, about two thirds full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2tbsp boiling water
150g unsalted butter, softened
225g icing sugar

Blend the cocoa powder and water to a paste and leave to cool slightly. Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the icing sugar until well combined. Add in the cocoa powder paste and beat once more. Spoon mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto your cooled cupcakes.

When your cakes have cooled completely, trim the edges and place side by side. Using cocktail sticks, pin a paper template to the cake, and carefully cut around it. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top and gently place on the Smarties.

When the cupcakes have cooled, pipe on the chocolate buttercream and sprinkle over some mini Smarties. 

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