WOW! I’ve had such a busy week! On Friday I went away with the girls to Leeds to celebrate our Natti P getting hitched in a month’s time AND it’s the Mr’s 30th birthday tomorrow too so I had to get my bake on before I went!
Let’s start with the birthday cake.
The Mr loves playing computer games and one of the many he has completed over the years is a game called Portal. Now in this game, there is a cake. All the way through the game you see images of a cake on the walls and “the cake is a lie…” written next to it. It looks a little something like this…
For the Sponge
- 160g Unsalted Butter, Room temp
- 560g Golden Caster Sugar
- 480g Plain Flour, Sifted
- 2 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 480ml Whole Milk, Room temp
- 2 tsp good quality Vanilla Extract
- 4 Large eggs, Room temp
For the Frosting
- 450g Unsalted Butter, Room temp
- 500g Icing Sugar
- 200-300g Nutella
- 2-3 tbsp Double Cream
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 40-60g Cocoa Powder
- small amount of Vanilla Frosting (or whipped double cream)
- Glacier Cherries
- Chocolate Flakes to cover
First things first, preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C. Grease 3 x 8″ round loose bottomed cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
In a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer) beat together the butter, golden caster sugar, plain flour, baking powder & salt until sandy in texture.
Measure out the milk in a jug then beat in the eggs & vanilla extract. Add two thirds of the milk into the bowl and mix on a low speed until smooth and thick. Then slowly add the rest of the milk into the cake batter whilst still mixing on low. Continue to mix until everything is evenly incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if they’re cooked. If it comes out clean, they’re ready – if there is batter on the skewer, they need a bit longer. Try not to open the oven door too much though or your cakes will sink.
Leave to cool for at least 30-60 minutes in the tins then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. This is important, they must be completely cool before you decorate them or your frosting will melt!
Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the Nutella frosting.
Sift the icing sugar in a bowl and set to one side. In a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer) cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add in the icing sugar and mix until smooth and thick.
Add 200g of the Nutella into the bowl along with the salt & vanilla extract then mix together until smooth. Mix in the double cream but do this 1 tbsp at a time as you may not need it all. You want the frosting to be loose but still hold it’s shape. If you add too much liquid it can be tricky to bring it back.
At this point, if you want to you can add in more Nutella until the flavour is right for you.
When the cakes are completely cooled, level them off with a long sharp knife and you’re ready to decorate!
Place the bottom layer on a cake board and cut out strips of greaseproof paper. Place them around the underneath of your cake, this way you keep the board clean as you can simply remove them when you’re done decorating.
Now it’s time to start slapping on that frosting! Put a big dollop of it on the top of the cake & start spreading with a pallet knife. Don’t make it too thick though as when you put the next layer on it will spread a little.
Keep adding the layers until all 3 are in place. Then carefully spread frosting over the top and all over the sides until it’s completely covered.
Smooth with a pallet knife and then you’re are ready to decorate. Grab your chocolate flakes and cover the whole cake. Pipe 8 swirls of the vanilla frosting or whipped cream at equal intervals around the top and place cherries on each swirl.
Pop a candle into the middle and et vous voila! You have yourself a Portal cake!
So as I mentioned earlier, I went on a hen weekend to Leeds to celebrate my good friend Nat diving into the world of wedlock. To start the weekend off, of course I made some cupcakes. Nat loves chocolate so naturally that was the choice of flavour but, with it being a hen weekend, I wanted to make them a little bit naughty…
Yeah that’s right, chocolate willys!! And very well received they were too! We did get a few funny looks on the train eating them though… haha!
What an action packed weekend it was though! We kicked things off at a casino on Friday night which was great fun and the food was delicious! On the Saturday we headed on over for breakfast and broke it to Nat (the hen) that we were all going to be dressing in black as pretty burlesque ladies and she was going to be our man pimp wearing a man’s shirt and tie and some seriously short shorts. Little did she know that we had a beautiful red & black basque made to measure for her with an attached black feather bustle. And may I say, she looked absolutely stunning in it!
Once we had her ready we whisked her off to a burlesque dance class followed by a lovely meal. After that we hit the clubs in our very own private party bus complete with loud music and more balloons & streamers than you could shake a stick at! All in all it was an absolutely fantastic weekend and our Natti loved every second of it.
So to round this week’s post off, I would like to say a massive Happy 30th Birthday to the wonderful man in my life! I love you more than life itself.
To my good friend Nat, I hope we sent you off into the life of a married woman in style. I wish you and Jim a long and happy life together and can’t wait for the big day in July!
Also, a big shout out to all the lovely hens. It was an absolute pleasure to have met you all. A fantastic time was had by all involved and I’m sure we will all remember this weekend for years to come!
And finally, the biggest shout out goes to the lovely Emma B for organizing the whole thing from start to finish. What a fabulous lady you are!
Phew! Well I don’t know about you but after all that I’m absolutely pooped! I’m off to get my slippers on, grab a nice cup of tea and do nothing for the rest of the evening!
Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.