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Harry’s Birthday Mess

Harry turned 10 last week and a lot of cake was made in celebration by his lovely Auntourage (this is what Harry calls his collective of Aunties!)
I wanted to share with you all the recipes and photos here so that they can inspire you in case you ever need to make a cake that kids will go crazy over.

The birthday boy

Eton Mess

As part of the celebrations for Harry turning double digits, lovely Auntie Carrie decided to make her famous Eton Mess.

She arrived early armed with double cream, sugar, eggs and fresh strawberries and set about making her wonderful creation. I waited in eager anticipation as I always get first dibs on licking the spoon and I was not to be disappointed, especially seeing that Harry was at school and wouldn’t be in my way at the head of the queue.

Auntie rolled up her sleeves and set about first making the meringue

You will need:

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 450g fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 570ml double cream

Heat oven to 150C

Place the whites of the eggs in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks, then add the caster sugar a little at a time until blended in, then on a baking tray lined with non stick paper simply add a rounded dessert size spoon of the mixture at a time onto the tray and place into oven, reduce heat to 140C for an hour and let it cool overnight.

Whip your cream together with the icing sugar and half the strawberries and strain through a sieve to remove pips and whisk again until smooth.

In a large glass bowl break up cooled meringues add cream mixture and combine together, top with remaining sliced strawberries.

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Lego Cupcakes

As seems to be the custom now days and not to trump Myleene, our amazing friend Iwona (pronounced, I want her) volunteered to make the cupcakes for Harry’s birthday school treat. Not just any old cupcakes as Harry’s love of all thing Lego extends to the edible type, so Iwona set about constructing twenty four of the little blighters to top off the cupcakes

Iwona started by making the lego guys by hand, colouring them with edible dye and then used icing sugar to stick them on the top, needless to say, I drove very gently to the school, where upon delivery a massacre ensued, with little lego men first losing their heads followed quickly by the rest of their scrumptious bodies. Harry was the new class hero (for about five minutes) and at least someone could say they had eaten Darth Vader.

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Minecraft TNT Cake

Just when you think Eton Mess can’t be topped along comes Gabi with her homage to Minecraft, the TNT cake.

Now as any right minded, knowledgeable dad will tell you, Minecraft is the Number One game being played by todays 10yr olds (who remembers the green screen with the  ping pong bats at either end, circa 1975, that’s where I come from) so Gabi decided that she would throw a few ingredients into a bowl and this is the result, not much more I can say, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Needless to say the eating of the cake by the Mineeys (minecraft followers) was accompanied by such comments as Wow, are you kidding me? and mmmmmmmm, so it must have been good.

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Here’s what Gabi did to create such an amazing thing;

Mix up 5 square sponge cakes to create the 5 layers of the TNT cake

FOR THE 5 CAKES

  • 900g  unsalted butter, really softened
  • 900g  caster sugar
  • 900g  self-raising flour
  • 16 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4tsp vanilla extract
  • 4tsp baking powder

FOR THE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM AND FILLING

  • 600g unsalted butter, really softened
  • 900g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 9tbsp raspberry jam (or another jam)
  • 4 packs of popping candy

FOR THE COVERING AND DECORATION

  • 5 x 250g/9oz packets Renshaw’s Regalice poppy red sugar paste
  • 1 x 250g/9oz packets Renshaw’s Regalice black sugar paste
  • 2 x 250g/9oz packets Renshaw’s Regalice white sugar paste
  • 1 pot edible glue
  • 1 pack of black liquorice twists
  • square cake drum

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Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. You’ll be making 5 x 20cm square Victoria sponge cakes in total but bake one at a time.

Line the base of the square tin with baking parchment. Weigh out 1/5th of the ingredients.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, electric mixer or food processor and add the butter in knobs, then the eggs, sugar and vanilla.

Whizz or beat by hand until just combined, and scrape the mixture into the tin. Level with a palette knife and place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the centre springs back to the touch of a finger or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool in the tin for a minute or two, run a knife around the edge to loosen and tip onto a wire rack to cool. Regrease and line the tin and repeat to make the next.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter for a minute or two with an electric mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand whisk. Add the icing sugar about a ¼ at a time, then the vanilla extract. Beat hard for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy, then add milk.

Place one sponge on the drum and spread a layer of buttercream, then top with jam, and if you would like for even more dramatic effect sprinkle on the popping candy! Repeat this until you have 5 cakes on top of each other. Save ¼ of the buttercream to spread over the shape later.

Make sure the top of the cake is flat (use the base of one of the cakes turned upside down). Refrigerate for 30 minutes as this will make cutting the shape easier. Cut the sides with a very sharp knife to make the cake square. Then cover with a layer of buttercream and refrigerate again.

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Then roll out the red icing to cover the cake. Then roll out a strip of white icing to wrap around the centre of the cake, use edible glue to attach this.

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Roll out and cut TNT letters from black icing and stick with edible glue onto the white strip. Skewer the 16 liquorice twizzlers into the top of the cake and wrap a sausage shape of black icing around the liquorice. Then wrap a roll of black icing around the base of the cake.

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Finish with some sparklers for that dramatic TNT effect!

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