What started as a way to save money on gifts, whilst still showing that I care, has become a bit of a tradition. I am no longer the thrifty student I once was, but this doesn't stop me making birthday cakes for good friends of mine. I find that the ability to show that you know them well enough to make something they like, and that you would put in all the effort just for them, goes a long way.
I love baking for other people for several reasons. It not lets me design something to their tastes as opposed to my own (I'm rarely going to bake a cake on a whim if I won't like the end result). It gives me an excuse to make more spectacular cakes (time permitting). Most importantly, it means I will only be able to justify eating once slice because the cake was meant for someone else. Previous birthday cakes include Eight Layer Kahlua Cake (With A Rainbow Inside), Chocolate Brown Ale Cake and Vodka Lemonade Cake.
This Haribo Cake was made for a friend at work, on his 22nd birthday. It was very well recieved by my friend and all the others that we shared it with. I'll definitely keep this recipe in mind when I need to make a show-stopping cake but don't want to spend hours on decoration.
I wanted to add colour to the icing, so on a whim I swirled some gel colouring into the top layer of icing. It helps to have a cake turntable for this; all I did was put a bit of blue gel colouring on the end of a spatula, laid it at an angle in the centre of the cake and spun the cake around. I repeated this with some pink colouring, but it turned purple when it mixed with the blue. Very simple, but also very effective.
- 200g Butter
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 Regular Pack Haribo (use other half for decoration)
- 200g Plain Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 50mL Milk
- 250g Unsalted Butter
- 5 Egg Yolks
- 90g Caster Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan and line two 9in cake tins with baking parchment.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
- Stir in the milk.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter and fold in until well combined.
- Divide the batter between the cake tins, then dot the Haribo around the batter, spread evenly across both tins.
- Bake in the oven for 22 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely before turning out of their tins for decoration.
- Heat a pan filled 2/3 with water until the water starts to simmer.
- Place the sugar and egg yolks in a heat proof bowl over the pan, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Stir the mixture constantly with a fork until the sugar has fully dissolved in the yolks (use clean fingers to test; it won't be as hot as you think).
- Immediately transfer the yolk mixture into a mixing bowl and whisk until it has doubled in size and is very pale.
- Ensure that the butter is room temperature, then take a knob at a time and whisk it into the yolk mixture, ensuring it is fully incorporated before adding more. When all of the butter has been added, the buttercream should be smooth, pale and glossy.
- Decorate the cake as desired (see above for how to do the swirly colour pattern).