Cake of the Month – February 2015

When we told baker Lisa that we’d picked her leopard print cake to be our Cake of the Month for February she said it was, and we quote, “the highlight of her year”! It is only March, but we’ll take that!

PS: We reckon the world would be a better place with a bit more leopard print in it.

FCFK - leopard print cakeName of baker: Lisa Stewart
Name of cake: Luscious leopard print cake

Ingredients:
Easy chocolate cake recipe from BBC Good Food
Butter icing
Jam
Ready to roll icing
Gel food colouring

Method:
I started by making two large chocolate bases, then flattened them off and stacked with some butter icing and jam in between. I then added a layer of butter icing around the cakes before covering with the ready to roll icing.

To get the animal print effect I used a deep purple and black gel colouring, adding uneven blotches of the deep purple all over the cake and then drawing black outlines around these. There are loads of amazing tutorials on YouTube if you want to try it yourself!

To complete the cake, I made a little bow and some numbers out of ready to roll icing.

About the baker:
I recently got quite in to baking after I started making cakes for friends’ birthdays. One of my friends then sent me a link to Free Cakes for Kids and I thought it was such a great idea – I’d get to perfect my cake decorating skills whilst doing something for people in my local community.

Not only is it great fun throwing glitter and sparkles on a cake but it’s also a lovely feeling knowing that your cake could help to make someone’s day special. Everyone deserves to be made a fuss of on their birthday and I like to think my cakes help with that!


Cake of the Month – January 2015

Finally, we’re nearly catching up with our Cake of the Months – we’re into 2015 now at least! This cake was new baker Sophie’s first bake for us. We decided that we’d let her stay 😉

If you’ve ever wondered how to make one of *those* Barbie cakes then wonder no more…

FCFK - little Barbie cakeName of baker: Sophie Simpson
Name of cake: Princess Barbie

Ingredients:
Vanilla sponge cake, buttercream icing, raspberry jam.

Method:
Wrap Barbie in clingfilm (including her hair) in order to protect her from the icing. Stack 3/4 sponges with buttercream and jam until the height reaches Barbie’s torso. Cut a circular hole in the centre for Barbie and shave the top and sides into a bell shape.

Decorate as desired by piping/spreading buttercream dyed pink with food colouring around the cake and finishing with ribbons/edible decorations.

About the baker:
With a busy job, I rarely get a chance to cook dinner, let alone bake, but it’s something I really enjoy therefore I thought FCFK Hackney would provide a great opportunity to do some baking as well as contributing to a wonderful cause.


Cake of the Month – December 2014

Talking of ever so cute cakes … awww, this snowman is just the most adorable thing. And the best thing about volunteering for us for baker Anna? She gets to lick the bowl! Yum yum!

FCFK - cheeky snowman cakeName of baker: Anna Greenwood
Name of cake: Snowman

Ingredients:
For the cake-
Five eggs; then same weight as eggs of self-raising flour, sugar and butter. One or two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
For the buttercream–
250g butter, 500g icing sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract
Decorations–
Coloured fondant icing, sweets, carrots, whatever works…

Method:
Heat oven to 180 / 160 if fan. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly as each is added. Add vanilla extract. Sieve and fold flour into the mixture carefully without knocking the air out or over mixing. Divide between two tins and bake for 30 minutes until springy, but keep an eye on them after 25 minutes. Allow to cool and make buttercream by mixing the ingredients together.

When cake is cool, cut one cake into a smaller round for the head (unless you’ve baked in two different sized tins), then cut an inch of cake off each round so one can sit on the other. Lather it in buttercream, inside and out if you like. Smooth the outside with a scraper and get it as neat as you can. Give your snowman a face with sweets, liquorice or coloured icing for eyes, nose and mouth. Make a scarf by rolling out two strips of coloured icing, cutting into one end for the authentic frayed scarf look. Make a hat or anything else you fancy. Doesn’t he look nice? Now EAT HIM.

About the baker:
I’m a DJ and work from home so it’s easy for me to whip up a cake during the day. Plus I get to lick the bowl after and everyone knows cake mix is the best bit of this whole baking process. FCFK Hackney is such a great charity and idea and it’s so nice to be part of it and make something fun to be enjoyed at a celebration. My decorating may not be Great British Bake Off worthy, but the cakes always taste good!


Cake of the Month – November 2014

November’s Cake of the Month is up next – a dinosaur in cake form that was so cute it made us fall a little bit in love with it.  If we could have taken it home to keep as a pet then we would have!

FCFK - dragon cake 1Name of baker: Esther Metcalf
Name of cake: Dinosaur cake

Ingredients:
Cake:
Butter, sugar, self-raising flour, baking powder, cocoa powder
Icing 1 (main cake):
Butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder
Icing 2 (under the dinosaur cake):
Butter, icing sugar, vanilla seeds

FCFK - dinosaur making ofMethod:
Standard Victoria sandwich cake method for the cake – I made three circular cakes. Two were used sandwiched together for the base cake which was then covered in dark green fondant and the third cake was used to form the body of the dinosaur.

I made some off cuts for the tail and head and then sandwiched together the remaining halves of the circle to form his arching body.

A base layer of vanilla butter cream made a smooth base to cover over with orange fondant (from my favourite shop, Party Party in Dalston) for the dinosaur’s body, and I added cut out triangles fixed with dabs of water for his spikes and yellow dots stuck on this way too. The best bit was adding his googly eyes and teeth!

A sneaky flourish of green buttercream icing helped cover some cracks in the green fondant.

About the baker:
My day job as an architect doesn’t always mean I get to be as creative as I would like, drawing on the computer all day. So baking is a way for almost instant creative gratification. FCFK Hackney seemed an obvious match. I love making cakes, especially fun ones for kids and FCFK Hackney need volunteers to make them.


Cake of the Month – August 2014

When baker Kirsten emailed us a picture of the “tie dye/rainbow” cake she had made and delivered to a Hackney child at the end of last month we were instantly transported back to our ’90s youthhood.  Hello tie dye!  Hello Magic Eye books!  Hello oversized Global Hypercolour t-shirts and cycling shorts and Salt-N-Pepa’s Let’s Talk About Sex on the ghetto blaster.  “Spinderella cut it up one time.”  Sorry, we totally took that too far …

… back to the cake.  We loved it, and we instantly wanted to know how to create a tie dye cake ourselves.  What better opportunity for a masterclass from the baker herself than Cake of the Month?  Little did we know then that it’s also a rainbow cake inside with concentric circles of colour in the actual batter too.  Legendary.
FCFK - tie dye cake

Name of baker: Kirsten Mansfield
Name of cake: tie dye rainbow cake

Ingredients:
For the cake:
350g self-raising flour
350g soft butter
350g caster sugar
6 large free range eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 40ml semi-skimmed milk
6 different gel icing colours (I used red, orange, green, blue, yellow and purple)

For the icing:
100g butter, soft
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
600g icing sugar, sifted

 

Method:
For the cake:

First, preheat your oven to gas mark 4/170 degrees/360 degrees Fahrenheit and mix up your cake batter in the usual way – cream your butter and sugar until combined, add eggs one at a time followed by a little of the flour and mix well before adding theremaining flour and vanilla extract. If your mix is a little thick, add up to 40ml of semi-skimmed milk – adding a tablespoon at a time and stopping when you get to a consistency that you’re happy with.

Divide the mixture into six bowls, and make each bowl a different rainbow colour. Line the bottom of two 9 inch cake pans with wax paper, and grease the sides. Layer your cake batter in concentric circles. Use about 3/4 of the bowl for your bottom colour, then use a little less of each colour as you continue. Layer your second cake pan in the opposite order.

For the icing:

Melt the butter in a heat proof bowl in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, until close to completely melted. Whisk the butter until no lumps remain. Whisk in your cream cheese, again until no lumps remain.

Prepare your icing sugar, and then sieve it in to the cream cheese mixture 150g at a time, stirring gently with a wooden spoon between each addition. When all the icing sugar is incorporated, pop the frosting into the fridge to chill.

For the tie dye decoration:

Once you have frosted the cake make concentric circles with the gel on the top of your cake, starting with the largest circle (I used red on the outside) and working your way in to the middle (I used purple on the inside as I did not have as much left). Using a small, flat paintbrush, start at the centre circle and brush toward the outside of your cake – you will need to wash your brush a lot to keep it from creating a brown colour.

About the baker:

I was born in South African and my family and I moved to Qatar when I was eight. My mother taught me, my sister and our friends to bake at a young age and we took turns to make muffins and cakes to take to school. Throughout my school education and legal studies I have enjoyed volunteering and I taught swimming to children which encouraged me to get involved in various children’s charities. After university I travelled to Kenya and taught at a school for disadvantaged children in Mombasa which was a fascinating experience as I was able to immerse myself in the community.

When I moved to London two years ago I decided I wanted to carry on with volunteering but I needed it to be flexible as I was looking for a job and I didn’t know what kind of hours I would be doing. I currently work at Goldman Sachs and Free Cakes for Kids Hackney provides a great opportunity for me to combine my passion for baking with my interest in charity work. I was particularly interested in Free Cakes for Kids as it is a brilliant community service which has the opportunity to bring happiness to so many children and families.