Poor Simply Homemade has been severely neglected of late as family life with a new baby dominates.
During the Summer break we had the pleasure of having Baby Abbie’s Christening. We decided to have it at home as it was far more cost effective and it’s simply easier with four children to have things like this at home, where it’s more relaxed and the children have more freedom to play and are not restricted to a hotel function room.
We kept it simple, serving a choice of two soups, Butternut Squash & Chicken Noodle
, homemade bread rolls
, a selection of sandwiches and a wonderful array of desserts including Lemon Meringue Pie, the recipe for which can be found here
on the fantastic Odlums website, Fresh Fruit Pavlova & Banoffee Pie, both supplied by Abbie’s Godmother, our lovely Auntie Mary, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Nigella’s Kitchen, which of course I forgot to photograph but will definitely make again and post the recipe, and of course cupcakes,
no party is complete without cupcakes.
The star of the day however, after Abbie, was her cake. I’d never made a two tier cake and whilst I must admit, if I was to do it again I would make some slight adjustments, it was a success.
Lemon & Chocolate Christening Cake.
I started this cake with the bottom tier which was a wonderfully, tangy Lemon Cake. I got the recipe from, the BBC Good Food website.
350g unsalted butter , softened
350g golden caster sugar
6 eggs, beaten140g plain flour
280g self-raising flour
zest of 4 lemons , juice of 3 (about 100ml/3½fl oz)
Zest and juice 2 lemons
100g golden caster sugar
Heat oven to 160C/fan140C/gas 3. Grease and double-line the base and sides of a deep, 23cm cake tin. Wrap a double layer of greaseproof or brown paper around the outside of the tin, too, then secure with string.
Spoon the mix into the tin and bake for 1 hr 15 mins until well-risen and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Meanwhile, make the syrup by heating the sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Once the cake is out of the oven, leave to cool until it’s just warm, then use a skewer to poke holes down to the bottom all over the cake. Pour the syrup over, letting it completely soak in after each addition. Leave to cool completely, then either wrap or fill and ice the cake. The unfilled cake will keep well if you wrap it with baking parchment and cling film for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to a month
Sticky Chocolate Cake
This chocolate cake is a favourite in our house and made the top tier of the christening cake.
200g Self Raising flour
½ a teaspoon Baking Powder
4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
4 Medium Eggs
225g soft Margarine
225g light soft Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Milk
Pre-heat your oven to 180C, grease and line two 8inch round cake tins.
Sift the flour, baking powder & cocoa together in a large mixing bowl.
Break the eggs into your mixing bowl, add the margarine, sugar and milk and mix together. Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder & cocoa, making sure everything is well incorporated.
Spoon the mixture into the tins and smooth the tops. Bake the cakes for about 25 minutes, then lift them from the oven.
Leave the cakes in the tins for about 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the greaseproof paper and leave to cool.
Lemon Butter Icing
There are many recipes out there for butter icing, I however don’t actually follow any recipe, I simply add twice the amount of icing sugar to the amount of butter I have and then add whatever flavour I want. For the Lemon Cake I used the following:
150g Softened Butter
300g Icing Sugar
Juice of one Lemon
Prepare your butter icing by beating the butter to break it down, then beating in the icing sugar a tablespoon at a time, making sure the icing sugar is well incorporated. Finally, mix in the lemon juice. Taste your butter icing & make sure you are happy with the flavour.
Chocolate Butter Icing
The butter icing for the chocolate cake was made using the following:
100g Softened Butter
100g Good quality milk chocolate
200g Icing Sugar
Prepare the butter icing by melting the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water then set aside
Mix the butter briefly to break it down
Add the icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition
When the icing sugar has all been incorporated, mix in the melted chocolate
Assembling the cake
Cut the lemon cake in two, place on a cake board, then sandwich the layers together with some of the lemon butter icing, reserving enough to lightly coat the cake.
Measure the cake by running a piece of string from one side, over the top and down the other side. Roll out one kilo of ready to roll icing, using your string to get the correct size, lay the icing over the cake and smooth out gently, trimming any excess away, place a ribbon around the base of the cake and secure with cake pins or icing glue.
Repeat the same process for the chocolate cake, I used cake dowels in the lemon cake to take the weight of the chocolate, these can be bought online if you cannot find them elsewhere.
Now as I have mentioned on here before, cake decorating is not my strong point, so I cheated a bit and ordered the decorations online, however I think if I were to ever make a cake like this again I may just attempt decorating it myself.