zaterdag 9 november 2013

Birthday entertaining (+recipes)

Happy Saturday everyone!

How's your weekend so far? Mine started yesterday already and I've been having a great time! Tomorrow it's my birthday, so I used the opportunity to throw a little birthday party yesterday evening. I had been working on an assignment until 1 the night before so I tried to sleep in on friday morning, but at 9.30 am I was too excited to start baking and cooking that I got up and started my chores.

I expected around 20 of my friends to come of which two of them would stay for dinner so I wanted to bake two types of cake. I was looking for some crowd-pleasers, at least one of my favorites and I had to take into account that I was baking on a budget. It was a long and hard thought process, but in the end I settled for a banana bread and Jamie Oliver's 'Children's Party Cake'. I've made the banana bread a coupe of weeks before and it was a real crowd pleaser and the Party Cake is one of my favorites, it has a lot of chocolate, fruit and whipped cream, everything you want in a cake ;). You'll find the recipes below!

The party was a huge success, at least that is what I thought. Everyone loved the cakes, I got many awesome and very thoughtful gifts, we danced a little, laughed a lot and at 2 am I was in my bed. Exhausted but sooo happy because I got to see so many friends!

Wearing my new scarf!

If you ever find yourself in need of a good recipe for a cake either one of the two posted below are great options. The banana bread is a lot quicker to make if you're short on time, but the chocolate party cake is a real party favorite!

Jamie Oliver's Chocolate Children's Party Cake

I started with the Chocolate cake because that had to cool down before I could cut it in half, cover it in whipped cream and oranges. In his recipe Jamie tells your to use two separate cake tins but I have a teeny tiny oven and it would take way too long to bake two cakes.

You need: 
200 g butter (at room temperature)
4 tbs of cocoa powder
3 oranges
200 g of sugar (as fine as possible)
3 eggs
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
200 g of self-raising powder
200 ml of cream
100 g butter for the icing
100 g of pure chocolate
100 g (or less) icing sugar

Preheat the oven on 180C degrees. 
Cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl, if you've made sure that your butter is soft enough that should be fairly easy to do. Mix the cocoa powder with 4 tbs of hot water and add the mix to your butter/sugar mixture. Add the eggs one by one and add the zest of 2 of your oranges. Mix together the dry ingredients and start adding them to your wet mixture, make sure not to over-mix it but it should be a nice and creamy cake consistence. Now this is very important: try not to eat all of the mixture. I know, it tastes great, but you should have enough left to fill a round cake tin for at least 1/3 of the height. Before you add the mixture to your cake tin grease your cake tin properly and put a piece of baking paper on the bottom. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until a when you test the center of the cake with a skewer and it comes out clean.

Let your cake cool down for about 40 minutes.
In the meantime you can make a banana bread ;) (That's what I did). 
Whilst cooling down, add the chocolate, butter and sugar in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. It'll look incredible, but again, try not to eat it all... 

Try to eat not all of the chocolate icing... 
Once it has cooled down, carefully cut your cake in half, whip your cream until you reach stiff peaks, segment the two oranges you used for the zest and add the cream and the segmented oranges to the bottom half of your cake. Press the top half of your cake on top and drizzle it with the chocolate mixture. Let your cake cool down in the fridge for about half an hour and then it is ready to eat! 
The chocolate cake, cut in half
Cover it in cream and segmented orange

The best banana loaf ever!

250 g of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of salt
100 g of butter
200 g of white muscavado sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup of creme fraiche (125 ml)
3 bananas, mashed
100 g of pure chocolate, cut into pieces
(optional: some nutes, pistachios or walnuts and some brown sugar)

Here comes the easiest recipe ever: 
Preheat the oven on 180c degrees.
Cream the butter and the white muscavado sugar, add the eggs, the vanilla and the creme fraiche. Mix the dry ingredients and add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients spoonful by spoonful (otherwise you get a flour explosion in your face). Add the mashed bananas and the chocolate and mix. Pour it in your bake-tin that you have lined with baking paper (to understand how to do it look at my picture below, it has proved to be my personal miracle to get out my cakes in one piece). If you'd like you can add the brown sugar and the nuts on top to create a little caramelly-top. Bake your cake for 60 minutes (in the middle of the oven if you have different settings, I don't, as I said, my oven is tiny haha). Let the cake cool down for 20 minutes and remove it from the cake tin!

Banana loaf batter

The cooked banana loaf

All in all it was a great day, I love taking the time to bake and it's even better if I don't have to eat it all myself haha! I hope I've inspired you with these recipes and let me know down below in the comments what your favorite birthday cake is!

Thanks for reading! 

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