Birthday Cakes…(om nom nom)

This week, two important things are happening: 1. It’s my birthday on Friday. 2. I’m starting to write my dissertation. Therefore, being queen of procrastination, I decided to bake some cakes for work to celebrate my birthday in order to escape 10,000 words on medieval hagiography. (Which is lucky, as otherwise this blog may have been markedly more boring.)

Our boiler decided to go *esploded* this afternoon, so I did my baking in my dressing gown (added glamour.) Therefore, there will be no photos of me, but lots of photos of pretty cakes.

First, we went for a selection of vanilla cupcakes, with a ‘decorated by a five year old’ chic: (yes, those are flowers, duckies and butterflies)

Then, we got a bit more creative and decided to create something a little more special. Enter:

Chocolate and Vanilla Swirlycakes


1. 4 eggs. Put them on a set of scales and work out how much they weigh. Then measure out the same weight in the following:

2. Sugar
3. Self-raising flower
4. Butter

and shove them all in a bowl/mixer.

Then add:

5. 2 heaped tsp of baking powder
6. A few drops of vanilla essence/paste.

Mix them up like crazy (we used a Kenwood mixer cos we’re massively lazy), and split the mixture into two bowls. To one of the bowls, add a tbsp or two of cocoa powder. Spoon a little of each mixture side by side into cake cases, and use something pointy (we used a skewer) to swirl the mixture together. Ours looked a little like this:

Chuck them in the oven for 12 minutes or so. If you have the same oven as us, then please feel free to spend the twelve minutes giggling like geeks at the ‘End Time’ button. We imagined pressing it and time actually ending. We watch too much Doctor Who.

Aaaaanyway, moving forward. We took the little beauties out of the oven and let them cool while going “Ooh” and “Ahh” at their prettiness. Look, swirly:

Then, we melted some milk and white chocolate. At first we sort of splodged it on top in an attempt to replicate the swirliness, but it sort of looked a tad messy:

So then we just went nuts and messed about with skewers again. And this is what we came up with:

‘Swallows’ Swirls

  • Spoon some white chocolate on and spread it neatly.
  • Put three dots of milk chocolate on top, spaced out at opposite corners of the cake.
  • Use the skewer to swirly the three dots so they  look like stars/flowers/swallows.

‘Seaweed’ Swirls

  • Spoon some white chocolate on and spread it neatly (again)
  • Use the skewer to lay four parallel vertical lines of milk chocolate across the white chocolate.
  • Use the end of the skewer to swish up and down the four lines (at a perpendicular angle) so you end up with a sort of uber-swirly lattice effect. It looks like seaweed, we thought.

So. There we have it. Super swirly, super chocolatey cakes. Om nom nom. Happy Birthday to moi.


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