Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Bet you didn't know it's your birthday today!! (unless you're chinese) Because today's the 7th day of the new lunar year, known as 'eveybody's birthday'!!! Apparently in China, they used to all have a birthday on this one day instead of everyone having serperate birthdays....which could only mean one thing- LESS PRESENTS! and cakes too. And I'm guessing birthday parties are out. I mean you couldn't really celebrate somebody's birthday properly when it's your own birthday too...right?

I thought it'd be fitting to blog about this birthday cake I made a while ago for my mum's birthday. Her actual birthday that is. =]

I'd left it until the last minute to make the cake (because I'm a 'last minute' sort of person) so I got up (relatively) early on my mum's birthday to bake the sponge cake base. I have a funny thing with sponge cakes. Whilst they're improving, it takes me twice to actually make the cake. For instance, with my mango and cream spongecake, I forgot to fold the sponge cake batter the first time. I got it right the second time. This time, I decided to use a different recipe and made it the traditional way- that is, whipping the egg whites and yolks together at the same time (I usually separate them). Everything was working fine until I popped it into the oven and, minutes later, the middle bit of the cake just sank! I searched online and found that it was maybe because I overwhipped the eggs that it sank. The cake was a lot smaller than it should have been (and it was a small cake anyway!) so I decided to eat it. for breakfast. Cutting through it, I was glad I didn't actually use it. Because the texture was like this:


The texture was really rough, and was more like pancake than a sponge cake. Luckily, I made it in the morning, so I still had to rest of the day to bake another one. And the second one came out perfect!

We had chosen the design of the cake the day before after a lot of indecision. At first, we had settled for a 'napoleon cake' but then my mum was scared that I'd spend too much time making the pastry so she changed her mind. Since my parents keep on picking the same old 'mixed fruit spongecake' like the ones you get from the asian bakeries (I'm sure I've ranted about this before), I decided to find a new way of picking more interesting designs and flavours. I collected a huge stack of brochures from various cake shops in Hong Kong (since they sell the types of cake which my parents would like) and then I let my parents choose from those.


The only cakes in the brochures which really appealed to my mum were the fruit spongecakes but even they had lots of designs which I would neve have though of. My mum ended up choosing a cake which sort of looks like this. Sort of.

What she actually picked was a hello kitty cake since she thought I'd never be able to make it. That's sort of true since I don't have any hello kitty moulds. It was supposed to be a christmas cake so it had strawberries with cream piped on the top like snow and mango etc. It was pretty impressive. The only reason why this cake sort off resembles that one is because of the pink edge, which I personally think is pretty cool. Although it's probably only because I made it.

Looking back at the photos, this cake reminds me of play-doh. It looks like the play-doh cakes which they have a photo of on the packaging (except they wouldn't have fruit on the top). I was never any good at playdoh- which isn't surprising since I never a creative person. Which I think is evident in my 'fruit arrangement' since that's the only thing that I couldn't copy from the cake brochure (strawberries and mangoes were expensive that week). So I raided my fridge for fruits, and when taht wasn't enough I opened a can of fruit and 'arranged' them (not very) artistically on top. Nevertheless, the cake tasted great- and was quite cute since it was so small! (I'd used a 15cm mould)

And before I forget what this post was supposed to be about:
Happy birthday to you all!

(a Hello kittyless) Hello Kitty Sponge Cake
or more correctly, you average mixed fruit spongecake recipe (for the sponge cake from HHB)

Ingredients:

2 eggs, bring to room temperature
50g caster
sugar
2g salt
50g cake flour (I used a bit less)
15g salad oil
15g fresh milk

filling & frosting:
300ml thickened cream
mixed fruit

Method:
1.Sift cake flour, set aside. Grease and line a 15cm round pan, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 180degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven.
2. Separate the egg whites and yolks. With an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites and sugar on HIGH speed until stiff peaks are formed. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and then fold the egg yolks into the egg white mixture.
3.Add sifted cake flour and salt into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended.
4.With a spatula, mix about 1/3 of the batter with the salad oil in a separate bowl. Fold in this mixture into the remaining batter. This method will help to ensure the
oil will be fully blended and at the same time will not deflate the batter.
5.Add in fresh milk and fold in gently with spatula.
6.Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and cool completely.

Assemble the cake
1.With an electric mixer, whip the whipping cream still stiff.
2.Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place one of the cake layers cut-side down
on a cake plate. Spread the whipped cream over the layer.
3.Arrange mixed fruits to cover the whole layer.
4.Fill with some more whipped cream. Top with the other cake layer, cut-side up.
5.Spread the whipped cream over the top and side of the cake. Arrange the remainder of the fruit on top.

11 comments:

A cupcake or two said...

That's a very cute cake. I love the Amount of fruit you put on the top. It looks fantastic.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Haha I never knew that! Happy Birthday to you and Happy Birthday to everyone! lol :P

chocolatesuze said...

nice! i love fruit sponge cakes too!

Trissa said...

Hi Von! Happy Birthday to your Mom! I read the ingredients of the cake - interesting that they used salad oil! :) It looks fantastic with all the fruit on top! No wonder your Mom keeps on going back for it!

SteelCityFlan said...

Well, I think the fruit is very artistically arranged :D And the cross-section looks lovely. Nice job!

SteelCityFlan said...

Haha, yes, that's my plan. I'm thinking chocolate macarons to use it up 0_0 Mmmm.

MaryMoh said...

Thanks for sharing. I didn't know that the 7th day of the Chinese New Year is everyone's birthday. That's a lovely cake with so much fruit on top.

Kristy Sayer said...

That cake is really cute!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Congrats on the cake effort! Never an easy thing to do when you've got a special occasion for which it's being made =)

Betty @ The Hungry Girl said...

Hehe Happy Birthday to you too :) This sponge cake looks so lovely. I love love love any type of cake or dessert topped with fruits, so I'm definitely loving this!

Rilsta said...

Gee, I'm Chinese and never knew that the 7th day is "everybody's birthday!!" I missed out on my presents! :P LOL

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