Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Birthday..... Me! Nigella's Custard Birthday Sponge

Well, this is my first post in quite a while... I've managed to go AWOL from my Blogs for about a month now...sorry guys! I blame Facebook! Ugh!
Anyway... Last week was my 29th birthday....yep... only one more to go, before the big 3 - 0!
Apparently at my work, they have a tradition of making your own birthday cake! That sucks if you ask me. What makes you feel more special on your birthday than someone having gone to the effort of making you a nice birthday cake? Oh well, so I decided to make my first Nigella Lawson cake. What other Celebrity Chef would you look to for a Birthday Cake?
This recipe was surprisingly easy and absolutely delicious. Everyone at work loved it and there were mentions that they wished it was my birthday everyday!


For the cake

* 200 g plain flour
* 3 tbsp custard powder
* 2 tsp baking powder
* ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 4 eggs
* 225 g soft butter
* 200 g caster sugar
* 2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream filling

* 125 g icing sugar
* 4 tsp custard powder
* 75 g soft unsalted butter
* 1½ tsp boiling water

For the chocolate icing

* 60 ml water
* 2 tbsp golden syrup
* 125 g caster sugar
* 175 g dark chocolate
* Hundreds and thousands

For the cake

1. Make sure everything you need is at room temperature before you start. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4, butter and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
2. Put all the cake ingredients, apart from the milk, into a food processor. Process to a smooth batter, and then add the milk 1 tbsp 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 rack, peeling away the paper.

For the buttercream filling

1. 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.

For the chocolate icing

1. Combine the water, syrup and sugar in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve over a low heat. Let it come to the boil and then take it of the heat.
2. Break up the chocolate into small pieces 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.
3. Prong with candles, light them and sing.


Cindy said...

Happy Birthday Adski! :-)

I agree that that's a lame birthday tradition at your work. An adaptation that I've heard of is that the person with the most recently past birthday prepares the cake - that way everyone contributes and everyone receives one as a gift on their day. You might have outdone anyone else's efforts with this beauty anyway!

At my work we are spoiled with a Browns Bakery cake out of the company account. :-D

Serenity Later said...

Many happy returns Adski! *Sigh!* Lucky you, being still on the friendly side of 3-0! Btw, gorgeous cake! Bless that Nigella and her decadent ways!

I totally concur with Cindy, you shouldn't be made to cook your own cake - its Unaustralian!!! Though maaybe your workmates have specifically said you have to cook your own cake 'cos they already know about your fab cooking skills? :P

Mike said...

Happy Birthday Adski!
Have to agree, making your own cake to share with the hungry hoardes at work sucks. At my work we all donate $5 per pay into a entertainment fund out of which a huge monthly birthday cake is bought.

thanh7580 said...

Happy Birthday Adski.

At work we have a tradition of all bringing in a birthday cake too. That way, you just fork our money the once or make your own yet get to enjoy many cakes all year round.

I made my own and brought it in. Also, since I've started to really get into baking the last three months, I've also made cakes for other people who I'm really friends with. I just made one yesterday and brought it in today.

mutemonkey said...

Hey, happy birthday for last week, Adski! The cake looks fluffy and delicious, and I hope you enjoyed Longrain (ah yes, the evil powers of facebook inadvertently reveal such things when one logs in) - how's the food there? I'm dying to go...

green apple sorbet said...

I made this at the weekend, it's a winner isn't it?!
I hope to be in Melbourne next year, am going to browse your site for some restaurant recommendations...
Happy cooking :)