I went all out this year for my birthday! after spending lots of time thinking of the cake I could bake while in the doldrums of exam studying, I envisioned layers and layers of a sophisticated cake – and then promptly ignored all that when I was in the supermarket purchasing ingredients. I’m not really a fussy cake kind of person, and this cake fits me right to a T – pretty enough for photography but simple tasting enough to be homely and wholesome.
with this cake I made two moist white cake layers that were halved horizontally and then frozen 2 days before I wanted to assemble the cake. the freezer is your best friend when making layer cakes!
on the day of assembly, I made a quick lemon curd and used some blackcurrant jam I had on hand to layer up the still frozen cake layers – make sure you freeze them flat so they don’t warp weirdly and cause your cake to be lopsided.
the best part of this cake was the meringue icing – I’ve never made one before and had to rope in the help of a pair of masculine hands to make the sugar syrup while I whipped up the egg whites (always a benefit to being attached) – which was like the best part of a fluffy, airy marshmallow. it is such a great thing – melt in your mouth sweetness which balanced the buttery white cake and tart-y curd and jam. the perfect counterpoint. you really do need some help with this – so rope in a friend/favour/use emotional blackmail.
I got out the blowtorch – that I’ve had for 2 years but never used – and realised that men have an almost unbelievable and overwhelming love for gadgetry. and this is a realization made while having loads of geeky engineering male friends, so I think I have some basis on which to make this conclusion. he got gadget-happy holding it like a light-saber, and frosted my cake for me as well as s’mored it (look at those gorgeous tan-lines on the cake!).
if you’re in london, you can get the gaseous butane refills at most off-licenses/newsagents; or at least that’s where I found mine.
the cake cut beautifully to show distinct layers, and a fruity but butter cake is always always a beautiful thing. let me know if you decide you’d like the recipes for the cake!