BEST BIRTHDAY CAKE
A perfect birthday cake
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes + leave 5 minutes to set
Level of Difficulty:Easy
- 200g plain flour
- 3 tablespoons Bird’s custard powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 4 eggs
- 225g soft butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 2–3 tablespoons milk
- FOR THE BUTTERCREAM FILLING
- 125g icing sugar
- 4 teaspoons Bird’s custard powder
- 75g soft unsalted butter
- 11/2 teaspoons boiling water
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE ICING
- 60ml water
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 125g caster sugar (or use 50g if using milk chocolate)
- 175g dark chocolate
- 1 pot hundreds and thousands
- 2. Put all of the above ingredients except the milk, into a food processor. Process to a smooth batter, and then add the milk a tablespoon at a time to make a soft dropping consistency. Divide between the two cake tins and bake for 20 minutes. The cakes will have risen and feel spookily puffy; this is because of the cornflour in the custard powder.
- 3. Let the tins sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes and then turn them out on to the
- 4. rack, peeling away the paper.
- 5. FOR THE BUTTERCREAM ICING - Process the icing sugar and custard powder to get rid of any lumps, and then add the butter, processing again to make the buttercream come together. Feed the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running to make the filling easier to spread. Then sandwich the cooled sponges together with the custardy buttercream.
- 6. FOR THE CHOCOLATE ICING - Combine the water, syrup and sugar in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve over a low heat.
- 7. Let it come to the boil and then take it off the heat.
- 8. Break up the chocolate into small pieces if you are not using chocolate buttons (as I do for cooking, but good quality not confectionary standard), and then add to the pan, swirling it around to cover in the hot liquid. Leave to melt for a few minutes, and then whisk the icing to make it smooth and shiny. Pour over the buttercream filled cake, letting it drip down the sides, and then sprinkle generously with the hundreds and thousands before the icing sets.
- 9. Prong with candles, light them and sing.