Milestones are by nature a cause for celebration, and for sister Betty, 25 years was cause for a par-tay!
Now I have noticed that the numbers have been unaccounted for to date, so I thought I’d knock out two cakes at once (three if you count the fact the decoration is from the number 10 cake) and go with a 2 and a 5.
Being a wonderful sister, I totally forgot I had offered to bake until the afternoon of the party, so something simple was in order. ‘A simple chocolate cake, even a child can make’ was the obvious choice, for its simplicity in recipe, in method and in crowd-pleasing deliciousness.
The only tricky thing was making the right shapes. I actually wound up ignoring the suggested multiple loaves and bunts (as I didn’t have the right tins) and went with one rectangle one square and one round cake. Trouble was, my oven didn’t quite fit all three at once. Not being one to wait, I jammed them all in and the door closed – problem solved! – until I got them out – and the round and square cakes had tipped up on an angle and all the mixture had tipped to the side. Small disaster.
With my baking reputation was on the line, defeat was not an option. As they weren’t quite cooked yet, I gave them a bit of a shake and stuffed them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, there was no masking what came out of the over. The cakes were completely uneven. The square cake was ok on the thick end and burnt on the thin end. The round cake had waves of different heights and differently cooked mixture. Not a pretty site. Luckily, decoration was in order.
With only hours until the party, I blasted the cakes cool in the freezer while I prepared the icing. The number 10 cake called for a lamington type icing, with whipped cream on top. This was my first time working with lamingtons and it was pretty damn tasty! The icing was super chocolately and super runny, with apricot jam as the secret ingredient that just pulled everything together – beautiful taste and glaze.
Meanwhile, creating the shapes was a salvage operation. The number 2 was cut out of the rectangle luckily I was able to cut the burnt corner right off. The number 5 was a little more tricky – only half the square cake was useable – this became the top, the highest three quarters of the round cake was selected (with the middle cut out – no need for a bunt tin!) and some off-cut number 2 managed to fill the missing piece. Phew!
What I didn’t think through was how I would dip a whole cake into the icing. Lets just say the cakes stayed together for the most part and thank god there was coconut to cover the cracks.
And I am pleased to say that the finished version tuned out all right, in fact it looked pretty good – Sister Betty loved it! And it got eaten – always a good sign!