If you’ve read my blog before or followed me on Instagram, it will come as no surprise that I’m often found frequenting coffee shops. What parent doesn’t need caffeine on a drip?
I feel particularly blessed to have a number of awesome coffee shops within walking distance of our house – many of which offer cake. One of my favourite remains The Pantry in Stockbridge – whilst their brunch is amazing – I love their array of cakes. I’d been wanting to try and mimic the ‘swirl’ they get in their icing for a while. I am never going to perfect flawlessly flat icing so this seemed more achievable in my mind!
A friend of my suggested getting a rotating cake table for this task so after finding one for a few quid on Amazon – the challenge was on!
When making a Victoria Sponge, I prefer the ‘all in one’ method as it just seems less hassle. After measuring everything out, it all gets tipped into the electric mixer. After a good whizz round to ensure it’s all mixed – it’s then just a case of measuring it equally between the tins and levelling it out.
Once it’s been in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes (look for cakes that spring back when lightly pressed) – they just need time to cool completely. I leave them in the tins for a few minutes before turning them out on to a wire rack.
When they were completely cool, I sandwiched them using a mixing of icing with strawberry jam. Then it was time for the decorating…
From watching videos on youTube, I knew that I needed to create a ‘crumb layer’. The idea being that all the crumbs are caught in this layer and so a layer of icing can then be placed on top and (in theory) be smoothed down. This layer shouldn’t be thick and actually is scrapped back.
My cakes didn’t have a high enough rise for me to trim them flat, so I used this point to fill the ‘gap’ with icing to ensure the sides could be neat (er).
At this point, I put the cake in the freezer for about 30 minutes to ensure this layer really set.
Then it was on to the cake table to a spin.
The idea here was to start top down. So I put a huge heap of icing on top and the started by pushing it to the edges whilst spinning the table.
Once it got to the sides, I ended up just trying to plaster more on and then using a dough cutter to make it even. It did remind me of plastering the kitchen but thankfully – the distressed look in this instance was acceptable. Had I used more icing, then I think it might have had the potential to look neat. But I’ve noticed that people generally don’t complain about this when eating it!
With icing being plentiful on the top, I just used a palette knife to create the swirl whilst turning the table round.
Finally, Ben was tasked with crushing some mini eggs and Katie was tasked with ‘testing’ them. These were crumbled round the edges to complete our ‘Mini Egg Lemon Cake.’
I’m pretty happy with the results but what do you think? Any top tips to make things neater?