Ian may not agree with the fun part, but we'll ignore that because he's stuck with me forever and he'll just have to deal with it!
It was our second meeting of our Clandestine Cake Club last night, and the theme was 'Jubilant Jubilee'. I couldn't decide whether to go for something decadent and fit for a queen, or something that looked impressive. I like a good challenge so I decided to go down the impressive looking cake route.
I was inspired by the humble battenberg cake, and was really excited by the idea of having a cake where every slice was a union jack flag. All my friends thought it was a challenge too far (and it nearly was).
I made two tray bake sponges, using a standard mix (the blue 4 eggs, the red only 2). I tried to find dark blue colouring to try and get a truer match to the flag, but I already had the darkest one my shop offered, so I mixed in a tiny bit of black to try and darken it.
You'll see that when you bake a blue cake, instead of going golden, it goes green!
I tried to cut each length of blue cake into two, on the diagonal, which is not an easy task at all, and was one of the trickiest parts of the cake creation.
Once you cut into the cake, you realise just how blue it is - the green on the outside definitely fools you.
I measured up a bit of red cake to sandwich between the two bits of blue cake that I'd just cut, and was going to join all the bits with buttercream, but this was a fragile job, as every time I tried to spread the buttercream, it tried to pull the cake into bits.
The only way to get it to work was to use my hands, which was a bit weird, and involved a lot of hand washing because buttercream is pretty greasy stuff!
With all four corners of the cake made, it was time for bed, so it all got cling filmed at put in the fridge to harden the buttercream (yes, there's only three bits in this picture but trust me, I did make four!).
Making the cross to go in the middle of the union jack involved a lot of joining of cakes, and it definitely turned a bit jigsaw puzzley, but I was running out of time before cake club, and was a bit panicked so had to hope it would work.
Here's the cake all stacked and assembled - all it needed now was a nice fondant icing blanket to hide some of the joins.
I cut off a small amount from both ends to give it a clean finish.
The cake was a lot larger than I was expecting it to be, but I achieved my goal of a flag in every slice (even if each slice had to be shared between two people because of the size!).
I've got ideas for improvement of the process but I'm not sure I'll have much call to make another one!