Update: Check out Kelli’s awesome National Can It Forward Day Post! Her e-book sounds fantastic!
In everything we do, anything we take part of, there is always one defining moment where you finish it, stand tall and say ‘I’m proud of myself.’
You could be the worst at it in the world, for example, someone you may know sucks at football, but even then, said anonymous person scored a goal for the first time – ultimate defining moment of pride :D
Of course, as in everything in the world, we have our extremists. At one level, we have those who look in the mirror like they have won an Oscar because they emptied the dishwasher. On the other end, we have those who might create cars that run on orange juice instead of guzzling petrol yet still look in the mirror and go ‘You don’t do enough!’
Most people though, are average, in the middle, and these are the people who get to have The Proud Moment.
A guy who grew up earning his living moves to the city. Proud Moment.
Adult gets promotion after 1 year. Proud Moment.
Retired and finally time to go on a cruise holiday. Proud Moment.
Today I had my Proud Moment, my first one since I started blogging, perhaps even the first one since I stepped into the kitchen. My grandparents asked me to make a birthday cake for their friend, who had a huge 80th birthday party coming up.
How could I say no? It was my holidays, I have a huge line of ‘party’ fancy recipes to be made and apparently, this friend used to be my paediatrician, so for all the years I don’t remember seeing him, I may as well say thank you :)
I was looking through my recipes but wanted to make something a little extra special, a little more than just a bundt cake, any single layer cake for that matter. That was when I found this recipe over at a favourite blog, Not Quite Nigella. It was far from simple, had great flavours, I had a mixed bag of berries lying in the freezer and when I looked at it, I just wanted to die, it was so pretty.
This cake took me a total of three days to make. I spread it out quite a bit and could easily have done it in two. I did every component and enjoyed every minute! It was involving, not frustrating though, and I tried a little of each part (the cake was crumby, I had excess frosting – so bite me :P)
- The cake – very moist and delicious bursts of berries, I think just the cake in itself would be a perfect teacake except for the fact it has so many… less-good-for-you ingredients ;)
- The cream cheese frosting – Cream cheese and vanilla are an unbeatable combo in my book so this icing rocks my socks
- The whipped cream – Perfect. Just so perfect.
When I saw my finished result, I could not stop grinning. It was one of the happiest cake results, no, the happiest cake result of my life and I want to make many more cakes like this. Today, I experienced my Proud Moment in the kitchen :)
Will you tell me about when you all experienced yours? :)
**I will be posting cross sections shots which my grandpa has promised to take at the party so hopefully those will be going up on Monday :) - Update: Here are some cross section photos!
Mixed Berries & Coconut Layer Cake
Adapted from: Not Quite Nigella (I changed the method and some ingredients as well as increased it to be better for a 9 inch springform as opposed to 8 inch)
Makes: 3x 23cm layered cake
- 315g butter, room temperature
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour (sifted twice with baking powder) – if you have access, I really think cake flour would work well in this cake
- 5 tsp baking powder (I lowered this amount because that way the cake does not rise so no trimming required :D)
- 2 tbs strawberry essence
- 1 tsp coconut essence
- 1 1/4 cups desiccated coconut (sweetened)
- 2/3 + 1/6 cups full coconut cream (melt it a little in microwave) or coconut milk
- 200g frozen mixed berries, coated in flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 180g butter, room temperature
- 360 cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tbs vanilla essence (I did not want to over-coconut the cake taste :P)
- 7 cups icing mixture
- 2 types of jam – I used raspberry and blueberry
- Whipped Cream – homemade recipe here
- Shredded coconut (toast it is desired)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease well and line three 9-inch/23cm springform cake tins with baking paper
- Beat butter and sugars together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs and the essence
- Stir in gently half the sifted flour, baking powder and desiccated coconut
- Stir in all of the coconut cream/milk
- Fold in the remaining dry ingredients and stir until a smooth batter forms (it will be sticky!)
- Gently mix in the berries (Lorraine’s cake was reddish so I am guessing her berries thawed quickly into the cake. To have the same effect, roughly mash the berries as they are being mixed to leave colour traces behind)
- Place spoonfuls of the batter evenly into each tin and smooth top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean (**Note”: The baking may be a little uneven as with mine if you put all of the tins in together – after 20 minutes keep a constant watch of which cake is fully baked as timing differs)
- Let tins cool for 10 minutes before unmolding the cakes, removing any paper and letting them fully cool on a wire rack (1-2 hours)
- While the cake is cooling make the icing. Beat butter, cheese and essence until light and fluffy
- One cup at a time, beat in icing sugar until well combined (refrigerate if not using and let come to room temperature to use again, whipping it a little to get back consistency)
- Place the smoothest side (the bottom) up of one of the cakes on the bottom of the serving dish (or box). Spread with cream cheese frosting.
- Spread generous dollops of jam on top.
- Place the second cake on top, bottom/smooth side up. Repeat and place third layer on top.
- Do a thin crumb coat of the cake using 1/4 of the icing in the bowl. Use a palate knife to create a thin coating used to pick up any stray crumbs (or in my case berry juice). Refrigerate for an hour.
- Do a final thick coating of frosting on top which is smooth. Using your hands press shredded coconut to the sides of the cake, covering up all signs of the cake underneath the frosting (a.k.a be generous!)
- Decorate with whipped cream and fresh berries as desired :)
Firstly, a new blogger buddy of mine, Andrea, from Glad Hungry Mom, passed on the Illuminating Blogger Award to me – that is too sweet my friend, thank you very much :D
If you haven’t checked out her blog then what are you waiting for! Life involving beauty, food and more, she blogs it all :)
Second, fabulous Minnie @ The Lady 8 Home and Becky from Baking And Cooking, A Tale Of Two Loves awarded me with the Addictive Blog Award – *gushes* :D
Thanks guys! Both these bloggers have beautiful styles of writing and recipes which make my mouth water every. single. time. So seriously check them out :D
To see the requirements, check out this post since I luckily recently received this award :)
My nominees for this award are:
Congratulations and have a wonderful weekend everyone :D