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Sweetie Jar cake

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Time for another outrageous cake! I’m starting to love doing these. They’re so much fun. This was made for my special bud Sam for her birthday. My thinking behind it was quite simply: Sam loves sweets. Sam loves cake. Lets get those two together and create something truly disgusting! There were a few drafts before I came up with the final idea. Firstly I was going to make one big sponge in the shape of a sweet. Which then turned into me wanting to hide sweets inside the cake. Like a piñata cake. Which then turned into a cake covered in sweets but just a normal round sponge. Which then turned into shaping the sponge into a sweet jar. And voila! The sweetie jar cake was born. And then eaten. It had a short life poor thing.

IMG_3205Inside it’s a normal sponge peppered with hundreds and thousands to give it some colour. It seemed a shame to have just normal sponge under something so colourful.

The proper term is Funfetti cake I believe. It wasn’t that easy. The recipes all say to mix in your hundreds and thousands carefully so they don’t bleed into the batter. But I found they bled so quickly even one stir ruined them to smears. Not attractive. So I found the best way was to add a thin layer of batter to the tin, sprinkle on the H&Ts, then add another layer, sprinkle and so on until all the batter is gone. You will get some spreadage of colour but the majority will be ok.

Also, I couldn’t find bright hundreds and thousands in the shops. I had to go online. Look for their proper name of ‘Non-Pariels’. Who knew? Don’t use the bland coloured ones you’ll find in your supermarket, they will make your cake look like swampy sludge. You need the old school full of e-numbers stuff. This is cake people. No health here please. As I’ve harped on before, you need the bad stuff to make good cake! OK I’m off my soapbox now. See below for how I made it.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Rectangular cake tin. Mine was 25cm X 17.5cm

Icing

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk

Decoration

  • Hundreds and thousands
  • Sweets – lots of

Method

  • Preheat over to 180′C/Gas Mark 4 and line your baking tin with baking paper.
  • Mix all your cake batter ingredients together by hand (good luck), electric hand whisk (better) or food mixer (now you’re talking!)
  • IMG_3198Get a small palette knife and spread a thin layer of batter in the cake tin. Liberally sprinkle a layer of hundreds and thousands. Add more batter in small dollops, then spread out flat with your knife. And another layer of hundreds and thousands. Repeat until batter has gone. Top layer should be batter. I think I only managed about three layers.
  • Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

For the buttercream:

Beat the icing sugar and butter together for at least 3 minutes. Add the milk to loosen it if it’s too thick.

IMG_3200Once the cake is cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 20 mins. Then remove from the tin and leave to cool fully on a wire rack. Whilst cooling make a sweet jar template on a piece of paper. I got one off the net and cut it out to fit the tin. Place it on top of the cooled cake and cut out your jar. Now its time to add the buttercream. Spread a thin layer on first. It’ll be very crumby but that’s OK. Leave it in the fridge for 30 mins to harden. Then add another layer, a bit thicker and it should be pretty crumb free. It doesn’t have to look perfect as you’ll be covering it in sweets. It’s merely acting as a glue.

Then its the fun part. Get your sweets and start sticking! There was no pattern, I just went for it. Leave the smaller sweets to fill in the holes. For the lid I had some orange royal icing which I simply rolled and cut to look as much like a lid as possible. I attempted to spray it silver but that failed miserably. In the end the orange stood out far better anyway.

I was anxious to see if the inside had really worked but obviously had to wait until the birthday girl had seen it. Not sure turning up with a cake cut into is the done thing. Success!

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So pwetty…..

I was very pleased with this cake. It was impossible to eat and smelt revolting (I’ve never smelt anything so sickly sweet). But it looked fab and Sam loved it. Job done!

Sarah

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CAKE FAIL

This is the sad tale about an apple and nut cake. Or as it should be called, The Splat Cake. Short story is, I took it out the tin too soon. Possibly it wasnt cooked long enough. Be warned people!!! You could end up with something like THIS:

cake failA tragic piece of baking. On the plus side, it tasted immense!!!! Just don’t look at it. Please.

Recipe from the hummingbird bakery book.

Sarah