Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Rhubarb and Blossom :: A 21st Birthday Cake

Oh dear I am so useless, I realised this evening that it has been over two weeks since I last posted. For that I am sorry, however I have had a few issues that needed sorting, but now I am looking forward to the future and I am so excited to see what the next few months may bring. Summer is coming you guys, I can almost feel that sunshine warming me through. It's feeding me with such hope and optimism.

The last few weeks have been such a tease, 20c sunshine filled days, drinks along the river, walking around outside without a coat and the errrmazzzzing blossom that has just exploded on to the London streets. It brings so much joy. Hurry up Summer, hurry, Britain is waiting for you with open arms. 

This past weekend was my baby sister's 21st, I actually cannot get my head around the fact that my littlest sister is 21.... You guys in my head she is still the sweet, innocent, boy hating 12 year old. She is now finishing her dissertation and about to graduate from uni, I wish I had Bernard's watch so we could freeze time and just enjoy being young. Everyone one is growing up so quickly, dear friends, who I have known my whole life are getting engaged, married. Take me back to being 5 when my biggest worry was who I would share my colouring pens with.  On a serious note now Annabel is 21, a whole new world is about to envelope her and I am so excited for her future. I am so proud of her and feel blessed to have her as my sister. So many new futures are being made and it is really just quite lovely. 

Last week I Whatsapped Annabel and asked her what kind of birthday cake she would like as she was coming to spend the weekend with us. Her first request was rhubarb, instantly my mind went into over drive. I wanted to make something that was special. Some thing memorable. All the rhubarb cakes I have had, have been lovely but they didn't have the wow factor. Even Pinterest didn't come up trumps. So I stripped my thought process back and went basic. I decided that a simple Victoria Sponge with roasted rhubarb and a beautifully fluffy buttercream would do the trick. 

The cake is actually so simple, I started worrying that I had missed something. I took the Victoria sponge recipe from Mary Berry and split the mixture into three 18cm tins. 

I roasted 750g of rhubarb with a little sprinkle of sugar for approx. 20 minutes. 

Once my rhubarb was nicely roasted I left to cool whilst the cakes baked in the oven. 

Once slightly cool, I drained all the liquid from the dish and put aside to add to the buttercream. 

For the buttercream I used Hummingbird Bakery's vanilla icing recipe. I do love the Hummingbird recipes, they give slightly more decadent results. Which I like. I added a splash of pink food colouring and the rhubarb juice.

Once all three sponges and rhubarb had cooled and I had made icing, I started to assemble. Sponge, buttercream layer, layer of rhubarb and repeat until you have an un iced cake but it is assembled. 

Once all three layers are together, start lavishly spreading the icing around the sides and on top of the cake. Your rhubarb might escape from between the layers but as they are soft they should just spread into the icing. 

Keep spreading with a palet knife until the whole cake is covered and as smooth as you like. 

I decorated it with blossom's as they are freely available but even plain this cake will still look impressive. 

This cake is spring at it's finest. It's brought a little ray of sunshine into my thoughts as I look out at the rainy miserable day we are having. 

Hurry sunshine, please come back. I want to enjoy you to your full potential. 


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