My parents have never been big birthday people, but when your turning 50 you need to celebrate somehow. Along with some of my family, we took them out for a birthday meal complete with balloons and cake.
We went to The Blacksmiths Arms in Biggin (North Yorkshire), as it’s a firm favourite of theirs as well as myself and my boyfriend. It’s a small, charming pub in a secluded village and their dishes use local, seasonal produce where possible. While their menu is small there’s a lot of variety to choose from (the menu is a huge chalkboard on the wall, which I love!).
I decided to bake a cake rather than buy one as my Mum has always loved a personal touch to things. I settled on a plain vanilla sponge with white chocolate buttercream, so hopefully everyone would be happy with the simplicity!
Even though they were stuffed, most opted to have a slice and I heard good things! Result!
Here’s the recipe so you can try it yourselves…
You will need:
For the cake:
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
180g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon warm water from the tap
For the buttercream:
100g white chocolate
150g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
280g icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees and grease a deep, round cake tin.
- Put the butter in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until it’s very creamy. (I don’t have an electric mixer and I have the wooden spoon hand blisters to prove it. Ouch!)
- Gradually beat in the sugar.
- Put the eggs and vanilla into a small bowl and mix with a fork, gradually add to the butter mixture a tablespoon at a time. Add a tablespoon of flour with the last 2 egg additions to stop the mixture curdling.
- Sift the rest of the flour into the mixture, fold in gently with a large metal spoon and add the warm water.
- Place the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly, bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the sponge is a light golden brown (I placed tinfoil over the tin halfway through baking to stop the top burning). Place on a wire rack to cool.
- To make the buttercream place the butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat until very soft and pale.
- Gradually sift in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk to give a softer consistency.
- Spread some of the buttercream over the top of the cake and use the rest in a piping bag to add little rosettes around the edge.
- Decorate as you wish!
I can’t wait for the next birthday so I can go all out! What’s that? It’s my boyfriends birthday next? I hope he’s ready for the birthday onslaught he’ll receive!