Friday, 3 August 2012

Birthday Cake

A birthday wouldn't be complete without a proper birthday cake. And by proper birthday cake I understand a gateau type cake - and it needs to be moist and sweet. Usually they are a sponge cake type cake, dripped with punch, with layers and cream sandwiched in between. My cake, however was a poppy-seed cake, with coffee cream. Though, it's always been my favourite cake, it's the first time I made it, so I was a tad comprehensive. Luckily, everything turned out fine, the cake was fabulous, and I had a fantastic day, which makes gettign older more bearable ;-) Kidding, don't really care about that.

The cake is quite time-consuming, but believe you me, it's well worth it!

For the cake you need:

200grammes of ground poppy-seed
150 grammes of icing sugar
6 eggs
4 table spoons of bread crumbs
1 packet of vanillin sugar
almond aroma
butter or margarine to grease the baking tray

Whisk the egss with sugar and vanillin sugar to a fluffy mixture. Add poppy seed, bred crumbs and aroma, stir gently (ideally with a wooden spoon). Pour the mixture onto a greased tray (mine was circular; 24cm in diameter). Pre-heat the oven to 180C, bake the cake for about 40 minutes. Leave the cake to cool, and cut horizontally into two.
Each tier of the cake needs then to be dripped in punch.


1 glass of water
100grammes of sugar
1 shot glass of rum
Mix all ingredients until sugar has diluted. Pour the punch onto both parts of the cake.

Coffee Cream

70 grammes of icing sugar
4  egg yolks
250 grammes of soft butter
2 teaspoons of instant cofee
4 tablespoons of water

Pour water into a pan, add sugar and heat up, constantly stirring until sugar has diluted. Bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat and simmmer for further 5 minutes without stirring. Leave teh syrup to cool. Whisk the yolks on steam, that is: place a large pan on low heat, pour enough water inside to cover the bottom. Put a smaller pan inside, so as it doesn't touch the bottom of the bigger one, but it is suspended in it.While whisking the yolks, add cooled sugar syrup (one spoon at the time) and don't stop whisking. Cool the mixture a bit, then gradually add butter, and keep whisking until the cream is fluffy and smooth.
Adding butter is the bit that may prove truicky, as the cream may curdle. Luckily, mine didn't, but I did all whisking on steam (even though I had to cool it before adding butter). Finally, dilute coffee in 1 tablespoon of hot water and stir it into the cream.
Spread  1/3 of the cream on one piece of cake and place the other bit on top, spread the rest of the cream on top of the cake and sides. You may decorate your cake with ready made cake ornaments, or cover the sides with chopped almonds or nuts. I'm not sure if I'd advise to decorate the cake, as for some mysterious reasons, it tends to disappear very quickly, once it's ready. :-)

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