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It was J’s birthday yesterday and we celebrated it count room style today (sneak cake in, pretend we’re all leaving, go to the back of the room and whisper/giggle and break out into very random bursts of singing “Happy Birthday” and THEN walk out with the cake). Heh heh heh.

I had big plans for J’s cake. But I fell really sick on Tuesday and making a cake was the last thing on my mind. It’s a miracle I didn’t miss a day of work! By Friday, I felt a lot better and decided to bake. I settled on a layer of fairy cake sandwiched in between devil’s food cake with layers of whipped cream and chopped strawberries. I dub thee…heaven and hell cake. But more hellish than heavenly given what I’ve gone through this week. And what I will go through with the whole cake process…oh well. I definitely learned a lot though.

I made the cakes on Friday and those were a breeze. Chopping the strawberries? Breeze. Whipping the cream? A tad less of a breeze since I didn’t really know what consistency it should get to but still pretty much a breeze. Frosting the cake? ARGHHHHHHHH. I had whipped the cream a little too much and it got too difficult to spread. I actually don’t like frosting on my cake but frosting makes everything look pretty! This actually was my first time frosting a cake (I could get away with D’s cake as it had chocolate chips in it anyway) and I had only read and watched videos on YouTube. These videos make crumb coating and frosting look so easy.

It took me at least 5 hours to crumb coat and frost the cake. FIVE HOURS. During which I experienced almost every emotion there is. I even contemplated binning the cake. Masterchef I am most certainly not. Thankfully I managed to make the cake look halfway decent, boxed it up and walked as fast as I could to catch the train. Transporting the cake was another challenge but phew!!!!! Made it with cake in one piece!

What did I learn from my 5 hour ordeal labor of love? Must. Take. Deep. Breath. and…Cough. Up. Money. and…Sign. Up. For. Classes. Lots of classes. In a month I cannot have crumbs showing in my frosting. And I WILL frost my cake in under an hour! Eeeks!!!

Strawberry Filled Layer Cake

Devil’s Food Cake
50g cocoa
225ml water
100g soft margarine
250g caster sugar
2 eggs
175g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an 8″ cake tin.
Dissolve the cocoa into water and set aside. Place the margarine in a bowl and gradually whisk in the sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Lightly whisk the eggs, then gradually whisk into the creamed mixture until evenly blended.
Sift the flour with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and fold into the creamed mixture alternatively with the cocoa and water.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Fairy Cake
140g salted butter
140g caster sugar
3 eggs
100g flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g cornflour
Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Bake for 12-15 mins, until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Whipped Cream Frosting
900ml double or whipping cream
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1tbsp vanilla extract
Chill bowl and beater in fridge for around 30 minutes. Pour cream, sugar and vanilla extract into the bowl and beat until soft peaks when the cream stands for a few seconds and falls back into the bowl when the beaters are lifted. Stop beating or playing with it more! I learned this the hard hard way.
Tort and level each cake. Brush off crumbs and refrigerate for a few hours. In the meantime, chop 250g of strawberries. Spread whipped cream on a layer of Devil’s Food Cake, top with chopped strawberries. Place a layer of Fairy Cake and repeat the same process. Top with another layer of Devil’s Food Cake and press down gently. Apply crumb coat and refrigerate for half an hour to set. Frost cake and top with remaining whole strawberries.