I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a couple of weeks now but for one reason or another it’s taken a Saturday evening with Sebastian fast asleep upstairs (whoop!) to give me a chance to sit down and tell you about my birthday cake!
Two weeks ago I celebrated my birthday with good friends and the added bonus of my sister attending who is back from Hong Kong for a month. The weather was beautiful, I think it must have been the start of this amazing couple weeks of sunshine we’ve been enjoying. We did what the British do best and fired up the BBQ (turned the gas on anyway).
We laid on a decent spread of cheese burgers, hot dogs and chicken wings along with some gorgeous yoghurt coleslaw and fresh salad. The meal was accompanied by bubbles, crisp wine and chilled bottles of Bud. Perfect.
Sebastian was spoilt with cuddles all evening and was passed around like a pass the parcel game except he seemed to keep landing back with my sister as she felt she was on catch up cuddles having only just arrived home.
It was a chilled affair and a change from the way we used to celebrate birthdays, but just as enjoyable. In fact, waking up the next day hangover free was quite delightful. A sign of getting old!
I’d been planning on baking this particular cake for a while; so long in fact I can’t remember how I came upon the recipe. It’s been stuck to my fridge door for what feels like ages and each time I’ve been to the fridge, I thought ‘ I must make that cake soon’ and my birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity. Back to the cake in a bit…
Birthdays in the Smith family aren’t complete without a trip down to my parents to catch up with all the family and of course… another BBQ. Nephews and nieces enjoyed playing giant snakes and ladders outside and the adults congregated round the outside table sipping on Moscato and Dad never ventured too far from his beloved BBQ.
Mum made my favourite dessert; Nigella’s chocolate brownies with mint choc chip ice cream. A safe winner for the parents and the kids. Plus, there are normally a few spare brownies to take home to enjoy over the next few days. Although on this occasion we did have a bit of the birthday cake left as whilst the recipe said it feeds 10 it’s probably nearer 12 to 14 unless you’ve got a particularly greedy bunch.
It was an easy enough cake to make with a light simple sponge due to the addition of yoghurt. The real star though was the sticky rhubarb jam. I literally could have just had a bowl of jam and cream and left the cake to one side! The bright rhubarb was tangy but sweetened with the over generous cream sandwiching the layers of cake together.
An impressive looking cake fit for any birthday celebration this summer.
Rhubarb Yoghurt Cake
(Serves about 12)
For the Cake
325g caster sugar
6 large eggs
1/2tsp baking powder
325g self raising flour
175g rhubarb yoghurt (I use Rachel’s Organic)
For the filling
400g rhubarb, sliced into small chunks
350g caster sugar (I only used 200g of caster sugar, but the recipe states 350g)
350ml double cream
Icing sugar to dust
Grease and line 2 x 23cm springform cake tins.
Start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees.
Place all of the ingredients for the cake into a mixer and beat together until you have a smooth cake batter.
Divide the cake batter between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes or so in their tins, then finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Whilst your cakes are in the oven you can make a start on the rhubarb filling. Place the rhubarb and sugar, with a drop or two of water into a saucepan and set over a high heat. Make sure you stir constantly. You need to allow the mixture to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook the rhubarb down until thick and jammy – which can take about 20-30 minutes. Decant the jam onto a plate and allow to cool completely. Be careful not touch it as it very hot. Don’t be tempted to take a spoonful at this point… let it cool completely!
Whip the cream to soft, floppy peaks.
Once the cakes are cool, place one cake onto a cake stand or plate and top (don’t be shy) with the whipped cream. Spread or dollop the rhubarb jam on top of the cream, then top with the other cake.
Finish with a generous sifting of icing sugar.