I love a cakey project. My favourite kinds is a free reign request: the go-for-your-life attitude really gets me going. Equal parts excitement and pressure. Their reaction could be "I never expected that!" Or "I never expected that...."
The hardest thing about my latest cake request? Making a 'masculine' cake. I don't mean a sponge with two tickets to the gun show or even a layer cake with a pair of bosoms on top. Nope, I mean a nice, classy-looking cake with limited frou-frou. You see, I'm big on girly-looking desserts. I love pink, fairy floss, delicate icing sugar and love hearts. When it came to baking for a guy, I was stumped.
Enter salted caramel.
Now, I know salted caramel is universally loved, but there's something manly about the salty kick with this sweet treat. And how do you decorate for a man? I had to resist all urges to pink it up and stuck with slim lines and giant chunks-o-chocolate.
The request came from the lovely JacDav. Now this is one classy lady. I feel awful spreading my revolting toilet-humour stories around her, but it's kinda like when you tell yourself you're never eating another 200g packet of salt and vinegar chips on your own ever again. A blink of the eye and your on the couch, pink foil pack in hand, mindlessly shovelling crunchy crisps in your gob. All my grossest stories seem to come spewing forth. Being the totally cool lady that she is, she laughs like I'm not totally crass, but I know what's what.
So the cake needed to be classy, manly and big. It was to be served at Rich's birthday party - a surprise, no less - for around 40 of their close friends. I had the salted caramel mousse down. I knew a layer cake would work - they're always impressive on a large scale. But a simple sponge wouldn't cut it today.
The ginger fluff sponge is a Burke family favourite. Growing up, every get together with Mum's family had a ginger fluff. Mum always says Aunty Moireen makes the lightest ginger fluff. It's slightly spicy sweet sponge that I thought would go perfectly with the salted caramel. Aunty Margaret gifted me with the recipe when we were engaged, and I was dying to try it out.
Over the next three days, you'll get the recipe for each component of this cracker of a cake. First up is the pate a cigarette - the beautiful trim for around the cake. You can, of course, make any design you like, but the cool slim lines are brilliant for a simple design for one cool lady and her birthday boy.
Stay tuned guys - this one's a cracker!