Birthday Cake

by Jenny

The last 12 months have been some of the most fulfilling and stressful of my life. I am still amazed at the amount of pure joy I feel as I press that little blue publish button.

As I covered some of the fun things I have done and learnt in the last year in my birthday post, I won’t reiterate myself. What I would like to share is some advice given to me by my wonderful boyfriend (I was shocked too) on the subject of blog envy.

I’d come home from work in a bit of a childish sulk because I had spent the day reading about everyone else’s achievements, and I had a particularly low visitor rate and I just didn’t feel like my blog was going anywhere. He turned round and told me to ‘go be proud of your friends’.

{my first cake post}

I’d like to say that just like that, he magically slayed my green eyed monster and we lived happily ever after. Life’s not like that. But I didn’t start this blog to become rich and famous, I started it as a way of sharing what I love: food and photography.

So I am trying to stop seeing everything as a competition and instead fully enjoy being part of such an amazing community filled with so many lovely, talented individuals. I’m not sure what the next year will hold, but if it’s anywhere near as good as the last year I know it will be incredible.

Because my life is filled with lovely people, I managed to convince a couple of them that my blog turning one was an event really worth celebrating. So we toasted a year of cake disasters and expanding waistbands with the best burgers in town and a silent screening of one of my favourite movies.

{Dan and I/best burgers around/Heather and Rich/cool decor and My Fair Lady}

So how did I bake a cake to celebrate a year of baking cakes? I decided to go for a traditional English birthday cake, vanilla sponge layered with buttercream and jam, covered in royal icing.

{from Rockstar Diaries photo by Amelia Johnson}

I have been obsessing over Rockstar Diaries sister’s wedding cake since it was posted a few months ago. I thought the use of real flowers made it look so charming and quaint. What I failed to notice was the flowers are tapered off to one side rather than poking under the cake. Which I did and then had to prop the other side of the cake up with kitchen roll to make it look even!

Mini Vanilla Sponge Cake
makes one mini cake plus leftover sponge for cake pops

1 egg
65g self raising flour
65g caster sugar
65g butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a standard cake tin.

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour into a tin and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Leave to cool on a rack.

When cooled use a cookie cutter or a glass to cut out three circles.

Chill in a fridge until you’re ready to decorate.

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