When I was small the layer cake was an object of mystery and wonder for me. The most appealing thing about layer cake, in my opinion, is the naughty extra layer of icing. It is cakeish, but not dry, soft but more wet than spongy… Ideal for little taste buds really.
Of course the other reason that the layer cake was so interesting to me was that until recently, I had never actually seen one of these elusive cakes produced - my mother’s own baking efforts running more along the lines of oatmeal slices and rarely involving chocolate.
The obvious question dogged me- how do they bake it with the filling inside?
Eventually I figured out that the layer cake actually consists of two cakes (or one cut in half), with the filling piped in post baking. Probably you have also realized this and figured, as did I, that it was all just far too much bother to actually make one when you can purchase a very good cake, prelayered, from the local bakery.
|cake image via I am Baker|
As it turns out a layer cake of some description is virtually mandatory for all birthday’s (especially childrens’ birthdays) taking place on Danish soil. And this year I was called upon to make one. Like most tasks that seem insurmountable, the layer cake actually turned out to be quite easy. Yes, that’s right; you do not need to be a domestic goddess to pull this off.
Needless to say we had a few wobbles (e.g. I would not recommend attempting to divide or ice the cake before it is thoroughly cooled), but the point is that it tasted delicious. Last week I had a second go and the aesthetics were considerably better.
Anyway, it seems a shame for all children to grow up knowing so little of the secrets of layer cake (i.e. it is actually two cakes and they do not bake it with the filling inside). And it strikes me that spending an afternoon tackling a layer cake with your kids in the run up to the next birthday party could be well worthwhile.
The beautiful thing about it is that not only will the kids have heaps of fun, but you needn’t worry about ruining the birthday cake. As my stepmother said to me on the phone from Australia as I frantically attempted to recover my first effort- chocolate icing will cover a myriad of sins…
I would recommend this Jamie Oliver adaption. Or if you’re feeling a bit chocolately ambitious and want to really mess up the kitchen this Nigella Lawson creation is perfect.
|Cake via Jamie Oliver|
So, no excuses; get your kids into the kitchen and get layering people!