Today my little sister turned 17 and last night I had a major baking relapse – it would have been an unforgivable crime to neglect my responsibility to make a birthday cake. I had to keep it pretty simple because working 9 to 6 doesn’t leave a large window for extravagant cake-ing, but sometimes going back to basics can bring the best results.
If a list of TV shows that summed up our early years together were in existence, The Simpsons would be pretty near the top, so I’ve tried to incorporate a resemblance to the classic Simpsons donut. It kinda works.. but the icing is white because I didn’t have pink food colouring and nobody’s perfect.
I should add here that this is a cake for those of us with SSTS (severe sweet tooth syndrome), it’s like 50% syrup, and also don’t skimp on the maple syrup – you’ve gotta pay good money for the good stuff.
Serves 3 hungry girls in a birthday house for a bit less than a week
150g maple syrup
100g golden syrup
250g unsalted butter (or salted, who’s gonna know)
100g dark muscovado sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
300g self-raising flour (I didn’t have self-raising, if you don’t either then just mix plain flour with 2 and a half teaspoons of baking powder – you’re welcome)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Cut the butter in to pieces and melt it in a saucepan with the sugar and syrup, I’m pretty sure I absorbed some kind of airborne sugar high at this stage in the game so if you’re prone to hyperactivity get a responsible adult to do this bit for you.
- Once its all pretty much melted, whack the heat up and just let it boil for about 60 seconds – do not under any circumstances take your eye off the ball cause if it boils over you have one hell of a sticky mess to clean up and its almost ant season.
- Leave it to cool. After about 10 minutes, pre-heat your oven to Gas 3 (conversions here). I’d wait til now to do this cause sugar takes a long time to cool and gas is expensive these days. Keep waiting for that mixture to cool.
- Once it’s totally cooled off (no cheating or you’ll end up with a weird gross syrupy scrambled egg thing that would pass as breakfast in a diner somewhere) beat the already beaten eggs in to the mixture.
- Sift the flour (or flour and baking powder) and cinnamon in to a large glass bowl, and pour the delicious syrupy stuff in there too. Beat it til its smooth.
- Pour the cake mixture in to a 20cm cake tin (greased and lined blah blah blah) and put it in the top shelf of the oven for around 50 minutes, maybe an hour, just as long as it takes.
- When its done it’ll be golden brown and will bounce back when you tap it.
- Take it out of the oven and leave it for 10 minutes or so, then transfer it on to a wire rack.
- Once the cake is completely cold, do the donut thing. I’m not going to lie, I don’t have a magic donut hole cutter, so I started by crushing a hole through it with a spirit measure and did my best with a knife from there.. what could go wrong.
- Ice it (I didn’t include measurements cause just put some icing sugar in a bowl and add water, who measures out icing sugar?) then add sprinkles.
- Put some candles in there and laugh while your Mum has a go at the Birthday girl for not smiling properly while you sing to her so we can take a nice picture.
I’ll take this opportunity to say my little sister is a clever, funny, gorgeous and talented girl on her way to becoming a top notch woman, I hope she has a bloody lovely birthday weekend. See left for a picture of us looking cute when we were babies.
Track recommendation for this birthday cake could not be anything other than Happy Birthday by Altered Images.
Thanks for reading x