It’s mums birthday today. If you didn’t know, you do now.
I tend not to make too big a fuss when it’s my birthday and I actually never tell anyone in real life as I don’t want them to feel as if they “have” to buy me something, which they don’t. I’ll have popped out this morning to buy myself a top and some cards for the kids to give me later, and then I’ll let them have the surprise.
A sweets cake is something that my boys have often longed to get, but I haven’t got round to making.
I spotted one on a Tweeters timeline last week and that gave me the idea to make one for my own birthday instead of getting the usual hurriedly bought birthday cake for mum that tends to be too sweet, too sickly and nobody can eat it. I can’t remember who it was who had made something similar (but did look better than mine) and if you know, let me know so I can link up to her.
I know you really only want to know how to make a sweetie cake, don’t you? I made a rather large cake, but you could make a smaller one. I use a basic sponge mix, but we can add some variations if we want to. Sorry, I work in ounces, but it’s easily changed to grammes by working at approx 28g per ounce.
- 12 oz castor sugar
- 12 oz butter
- 2 oz chopped hazelnuts / almonds
- 6 medium eggs
- golden syrup or honey
- food colouring
- 12 oz self-raising flour
- 1 x large bag of jelly babies & jelly beans (substitute for any sweets you like)
I use a mixer, so it does take the hard work out of mixing for a cake, but it also produces a much lighter sponge than I have ever achieved by hand.
Cream the eggs and sugar together. I microwave the butter to make it really soft so that it creams quickly and fully.
Break the eggs into a bowl. I rarely do anything with them, but I know some people like to whisk eggs before they add them to a mix. I don’t. I just break, check there are no rotten ones, then simply add them in. Once the mix with eggs added has mixed until it is a smooth paste, I then add my flour and three tablespoons of golden syrup.
Mix for a good three minutes in the mixer to make a uber smooth mix. After that, I hand stirred in the hazelnuts and a couple of drops of food colouring. I used red to give a nice pink sponge.
Pour into greased baking tray and bake at 140 degrees. It takes about an hour to cook in my oven, and you will probably know your own oven well enough to be able to judge the heat to use.
When cooked, turn out on to wire rack to cool and allow you to shape it. I cut the sponge to get two halves, then I slice the top off the uneven part and take the outside edge off the sponge, to leave the soft inner sponge. I used to think that cakes which turned out of the oven like this were disasters. I now know better and that some artwork with a knife can rescue some very unattractive looking sponges.
Adding a filling to the bottom part is simple, and for the benefit of the kids, I used a mix of chocolate and toffee icing with Nutella (their favourite).
I turn the topped sponge upside down to place on top of the filled bottom section and then cut around the crusts to make sure it looks even.
The next step is the easiest. I cheated and bought pre-made icing which was ready to roll. Spreading a little icing sugar on my counter, I rolled it out until it was large enough to cover the whole cake. With a pastry brush, I painted a very thin layer of golden syrup on one side of the icing to help it to stick to the cake. The syrup does make picking up the icing and putting it over the cake tricky, but if you roll the icing out to bigger than you need, it is doable.
I lifted the cake up and trimmed off the excess icing, wrapped a ribbon around the bottom of the cake and placed the sweeties on the top, aided by a drop of gelatine to make them stick. Hey presto, the “sweety cake” my youngest asked for.