When we put together our White Company edit, we came up with the idea of a Women’s Room Bake off to showcase the rather lovely White Company cake stand. At the time it seems like a good idea and I was excited to use the opportunity to try my hand at a layered rainbow cake. I love the idea of cutting through perfect white icing to reveal layers of brightly coloured sponge and as our Bake Off coincided with my Dads birthday, it all worked out nicely – or so I thought!
I started off full of resolve that this time I would follow the recipe and stick to the rules. I took a leaf out of Middleagedads book and laid everything out like I was in a cookery show and measured everything correctly.
So far so Delia, it was all going swimmingly, I was using a rainbow cake recipe from BBC Good Food which seemed to just involve adding food colouring to a basic Victoria sponge mix. What could go wrong, I’m a colour forecaster FGS colour is my thing!
I decided to mix the colours I’m working on for S/S16 as why not make it a fashionable rainbow cake. Then it all started to go wrong, my phone rang, the door bell went, the dog walker arrived and Middleagedad arrived home from work early.
Whatever I thought, I can multi task – except I can’t when it comes to baking – so I threw the mixture in the tins without consulting the recipe and attended to other things.
Lets just say had Mary and Paul observed the rest of my evening, I wouldn’t have made star baker. The cakes came out of the oven in varying shades of dirty beige as I hadn’t added enough colour, and the icing was runny as I didn’t measure the cream cheese and had to keep adding mountains of icing sugar. People kept coming in and asking me what was for dinner – which was a mistake as by now there was icing on every surface and I had started drinking wine.
I remembered why A. I like watching baking not actually doing it and B. I hate competition, always have and always will. So here’s my rather sad attempt at a rainbow cake – Happy Birthday Dad and well done Amanda for winning The Womens Room Bake Off. Next time I’m going to Hummingbird!!
Amanda’s Garden Harvest Cake
Around this time of year I’m foraging the last of my garden harvest. The odd damson, a few blackberries –ones the birds haven’t got –and always lots of pears. Whatever the summer, my pear tree always gives a good harvest.
This recipe works well with pears, apples or almost any garden fruit you’ve got hanging around. It’s not the most beautiful cake ever, but it tastes good. Doesn’t Paul always say it’s all about the flavour?
Decoration is a random selection of what ever edible flowers and herbs I’ve got growing and today I’ve used borage flowers, but nastursiums, flowering mint, lemon verbena leaves or lovely sunny calendula flowers are perfect to scatter on the top.
Check for bugs though, Mary and Paul aren’t into wildlife crawling over the cakes.
A lot of apples or pears (I used about six small pears)
185g softened butter
350g golden castor sugar
3 medium eggs
315g wholemeal self-raising flour with a
pinch of salt.
1 teasp each of ground nutmeg, cinnamon and a wink of ground clove
½ teasp baking powder
1 teasp bicarbonate of soda
60g walnuts chopped (optional)
edible flowers or herb leaves to decorate
Cream the sugar and butter together until white and fluffy.
Beat eggs lightly then add gradually to mix.
Fold in flour and spices and nuts if using.
Add a little milk to soften, but the mixture needs to be softly stiff, not sloppy, in order to hold the fruit up.
Scrape into a lined 20cm cake tin and level the top. Arrange the sliced fruit as creatively as you fancy.
Bake for around 45mins, every oven is different but test with a skewer –if it comes out clean it’s done.
Leave to cool then add the flowers or herbs as decoration on top, remember, ‘think Bake Off!’ as you fiddle with the foliage.
Slice generously and enjoy with a cup of tea.