Birthday cake

On the 5th of January 2014 I turned 40. I have never until now had 4 types of cake for a birthday but it seemed to make sense when I planned my office and my outside office celebrations… In fact, if I was to be fastidious, I should really say that I had six as I made two types of cupcakes for my family’s first joint birthday which took place on the 22nd of December 2013, back home, in Sam Sebastian.

In my office, there are several people who do not like custard and therefore , as I wanted to make Pantxineta (recipe here), I had to find a way to make something else as lovely as a Pantxineta that they too could enjoy. The result, this rather beautiful birthday cake.

The base was a Orange blossom flower bizcocho like the one illustrated on my post at “historia de una cocina londinense

The filling and the icing were cream cheese with fresh red currants, as per one of the cupcakes I made in the joint birthday (recipe here)

Cooking time: 15 minutes prep + 45 minutes bake
Quantity: This mix makes a bizcocho for 10

Tips:

1. If you don’t have a wire rack, you can use the oven grill. The idea is to allow the cool air to get to the bottom of the cake to cool it off evenly.
2. I used a 26 cm diameter non stick quick release tin, but if you cover the bottom and sides with ovenproof paper it should be easy to remove from other types.
3. It is important that the sugar is white caster (for lightness) and that egg and sugar do not enter in direct contact as the eggs might begin the “cooking” process.

For the sponge:

Ingredients:

2 medium eggs
200 ml milk
150 gr caster sugar
250 gr of plain flour
150 ml of sunflower oil
1 spoon of baking soda
1 spoon of orange blossom essence
1 spoon of white rum

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 150 degrees c, gas mark 2

Butter the tin.

Beat the eggs and the milk, oil, orange blossom essence, white rum. When those are mixed, add the sugar.

In a different bowl, mix the flour and the baking soda. Sift this mix on to the wet mix slowly mixing constantly and avoiding lumps.

Increase the heat to 160 degrees c, gas mark 3.

Place the baking tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked.

Leave in the tin until the metal cools down , then remove from the mold and place on a cool wire rack until fully cool.

For the icing I followed the recipe of Humminbird bakery (here):

300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
a punnet of red currants (you can use any other berry)

Beat the sugar and butter together until it comes together. (if you are using the mixer, medium-slow speed)

Add the cream cheese (in one go) and mix until it is all incorporated and the mix is fluffy. (if you are using the mixer, medium-fast speed)

Once the mix is ready, cut the bizcocho in half (horizontally), spread a layer of the mix, and add some red currants.

Place the second half of the bizcocho on the top of it.

Then you need to do the icing… I would advice that you use a large flexible knife for it. The mix is easy to work but it is important that it is not too runny (this would happen if you left it on the mixed for too long, so be mindful)

Add a few red currants at the top and that it is!

Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

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