What does a very sleep deprived mother of a 9 week old do on a Tuesday night at 9pm? She attempts to bake a trial christening cake, that's what! I'm fortunate that A has a great night routine - bath at 1815, feed at 1830 and well and truly out at 1900 so I have the nights to myself. Usually to eat and read and iron and mop and wash my hair and tidy the house. Phew.
Everywhere I look, people are baking amazing christening/birthday/whatever cakes and I like the idea of having baked the cake myself for the occasion. I have outsourced pretty much everything else (lunch is at the amazing Quat Quatta and they have gone above and beyond). Just waiting on the stickers for the favour jars from Etsy and I'm all set.
Anyway, back to the cake. I decided to go for a simple dense, but fluffy vanilla cake using a tried and tested recipe. My oven a little bit strange so a trial was a must.
I followed all the steps carefully, however I did find that the paddle attachment on my Kenwood still left a lot of chunks of butter which I had to break up with a spatula. I am also used to sponges for cakes being thick, however this batter was virtually custard. It was so light and fluffy, but a bit worryingly "thin".
My worries around the consistency were not warranted, as the cakes turned out perfectly. The bottom did burn a little, but that's because my oven pretty much SUCKS. I will have to turn it down to 170C and perhaps bake for a few minutes less. The first cake was perfect, it was the second one that burn a little. The actual cake will have 3 layers, so I will bake 4 and use the best 3.
Now, I underestimated the amount of white chocolate ganache that would be required. I bought a 180g block of chocolate and some cream and butter. I used the block, plus 1/3 cup of cream and 50g of butter. Melted it and cooled in the fridge for about an hour. THEN I WHIPPED IT! Ganache is usually glossy and smooth, but the whipping turned it an incredible fluffy and delicious consistency.
Overall, not too bad. Will need to do a better job with the icing to create the rough finish and will decorate with fresh flowers. It's the effort that counts, right?