Months ago: “Mommy, I want Octanauts birthday cake.”
Few weeks ago: “Mommy, I want Thomas birthday cake.”
Few days ago: “Mommy, I want a McQueen birthday cake”
“I want my birthday party now!!!!”
“Marc, it’s not your birthday yet. First, it’s papa’s (in March), then mommy’s (in June) and then comes your birthday (in July).
“But I want my birthday now. First my birthday and then papa’s birthday and then your birthday.”
“I am four years old.”
“Marc, you are now three years old and will be four years old soon!”
” No, I am four years old!” …….
It’s amazing to see the development from age three to four. Last year, he still didn’t understand fully the concept about birthday. This year he is totally obsessed about birthday parties, he loves blowing birthday cake candles and asking for presents and surprises all the time. As his mom, because of his obsession, I hope to make him happy and fulfill his desires within my capability. I actually thought of ordering his birthday cake instead of making it myself , as I am not a baker and feel nervous to make it myself. However, it costs over CHF 120-150 for a birthday cake, I don’t find it justified at all and I may run into a risk, what if he is sick all of a sudden and I have to postpone the party.
So months ago, I began to search online examples of Octanauts cupcakes and birthday cakes, they are really cute and gorgeous, however, I have no experience of rolling and shaping fondants and it’s too sugary to my taste. Maybe I will try one day but will need some practice first. So after browsing and searching, I have bookmarked and shortlisted the recipes I like in PINTEREST. Since it’s berries season, I finally landed myself to make a Strawberry Fresh Cream Cake with the strawberries and raspberries accessible directly from the farm here.
Choosing which sponge cake was not easy, I wanted to make a light sponge cake like chiffon or the French sponge but I have not made them before so eventually I chose the victoria sponge cake recipe from Hairy Bikers (feels safer) and for the fillings I used the recipe from CHOW.com which uses some mascarpone cheese in the filling. I bought a 250g tub mascarpone and I used half tub for the filling and half tub in the whipped cream frosting. You can’t really taste the mascarpone cheese but I thought, the cheese will help to stabilize and hold the frosting better. I was brave enough and have altered the sponge recipe slightly by separating the egg yolks and whites, and beaten the whites separately and mixed to the cake batter in the last step when you folded in the self raising flour.
Instead of making PESO, the medical officer (one of the Octanauts characters) with fondant, I bought the mini figurine set and placed PESO on top of the cake as decoration.
The cake turned out very well and delicious. The sponge cake was soft and more airy because of folding the egg white separately. It was great feeling when everybody asked “did you make that yourself?” I was a proud mama, haha!
With great success, I need to note down this recipe, it’s definitely a keeper for future use in the years to come.
The party itself went very well, the kids interacted and played very well this year. Thanks to Ilknur for bringing the Helium balloons, they were a hit. The kids could entertain themselves by just running around with the balloons. Marc had to go to bed with the balloon in his hand last night, I was surprised that he didn’t choose any of his presents. And the Blindekuh (Blind Cow) game was such fun, if I was not wearing a dress, I surely would want to have a go too!
For the victoria sponge cake (recipe from Hairy Bikers):
- 250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing, rest at room temp
- 250g caster sugar
- 4 free-range eggs, rest at room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g self-raising flour
For the filling:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries hulled, cut into small cubes
- 125g mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the frosting:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 125g mascarpone cheese
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp icing sugar
Bake the sponge cake, a day ahead. Preheat the oven to 16oºC. (supposed to use 180ºC but I felt lower temp for my oven is better)
Grease two 9 inch springform cake tins, line with parchment paper. Dust the sides with flour.
Using my kitchenaid stand mixer, with the flat beater, whisk the butter and sugar in the attached mixing bowl at low speed (1-2) until creamy and light (almost white) in color. Takes about 5 minutes.
Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a separate mixing bowl until peak and set aside.
Add one egg at a time to the butter sugar batter, beat at low speed, add the next egg yolk when the previous yolk is completely combined. If the mixture starts to curdle you can rescue it by sprinkling in a tablespoon or so of the flour.
Add the vanilla extract and fold in the flour and egg whites alternatively in spoonfuls. (I used lowest speed with the flat beater or can fold by hand using a wooden spoon.)
Divide the batter into the 2 cake tins and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes or so. (I bake one cake tin at a time). Test the cake if it is done by inserting a wooden skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean, it is done.
Remove the cake tins from the oven and rest for 5-10 minutes before removing the cake from the cake tin and cool on the wire rack.
Wrap the sponge cakes with aluminum foil when they are completely cooled for use the following day.
Cut 2 cups of hulled strawberries into small pieces, set aside.
Prepare the filling by whisking the cream to peak and then in low speed mix in the mascarpone cheese. Don’t over beat, keep chilled in fridge.
Prepare the frosting by whisking the cream and sugar to peak and then add the vanilla extract and gently mix in the mascarpone. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour (it says you can prepare up to 12 hours ahead).
Assemble the cake an hour or so before the party starts. Choose the less pretty cake to be the bottom layer. Mix the strawberry pieces into the filling mixture and spread evenly on top of the lower layer.
Cover the cake with the other sponge, cut side down, press gently with your hand to secure the cake.
Using a long, thin spatula, spread the frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake.
Decorate the cake with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries as desired.
Return remaining frosting and cake to the fridge until frosting on cake is set, about 15 minutes. (for my case, it was 3 hours after assembled, when we cut the cake.)
Recipe Type : Dessert
Preparation Time : 03:00
Cooking Time : 01:00
Total Time :
Yield : 1 Cake