I don’t understand why on your birthday you are expected to bring your own cakes and treats into the office for everyone else to enjoy. Surely they should be giving you things. So when a work colleague asked me to bake a cake for the office to celebrate her birthday, it made sense to me.
I was given free rein but obviously I had to make a little extra effort in honour of this occasion. I took inspiration from my latest culinary heroine, Anna Olson, and piped chocolate decorations. Then I took advice from Mary Berry who always says you should top your cake with the flavours found inside so I used chocolate covered strawberries to dot around the edge. Finally for added indulgence, forget cigarillos, chocolate fingers are far tastier and cheaper!
The cake was kept simple, something that everyone would like. A victoria sponge layered with strawberries inkeeping with the day her birthday falls; St George’s Day. Victoria sponge is a bit like a football formation but with 4 extra players. all you need to remember is 4-4-4-2. That’s the ratio of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. This will be enough batter for 2 seven inch pans.
I’m sure you all know how to make this basic recipe by just putting all the ingredients in one bowl and beat or here are my little tips:
1) Beat the sugar and butter together thoroughly until the sugar slightly dissolves and is less grainy. The mixture may turn a little paler too.
2) Add the beaten eggs in slowly so as not to curdle the mixture but don’t worry if it does as….
3) folding in the flour until it’s just combined will sort this out.
4) Pour into pans and bake at 180C until a skewer comes out clean.