A PIECE OF CAKE
I love a good cake, none more so than those whipped up by Lily Vanilli:
If you haven’t yet visited Lily Jones’ artisan bakery, ‘Lily Vanilli’, on East London’s Columbia Road, you’re in for a treat. These cakes definitely taste as good as they look.
Needless to say, since discovering Lily’s amazing creations, I’ve been dying to try making one. If I’m completely honest, I was more excited about the decorating than the baking, but unfortunately you can’t have one without the other. So, equipped with a free weekend and Lily Vanilli’s brilliant book ‘Sweet Tooth’ I set about making this bad boy…
The great thing about ‘Sweet Tooth’ – a book packed full of recipes, tips and decorating ideas – is that it encourages you to be experimental at the same time as explaining the science behind baking so that you can become a better baker.
I decided to try Lily’s Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. What could possibly go wrong? I creamed, sieved and folded my way through the super clear instructions. The recipe then called for two 18cm cake tins – I only had 1 x 20cm and 1 x 22cm cake tin to hand … that would be fine, right? Having popped the cakes in the oven I patiently waited for the 25 minute baking time to be up. After poking in a cocktail stick to check if they were ready, it came out covered in batter – they definitely weren’t ready. I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with the temperature of our oven (a bad baker never blames his tools) and sure enough, 45 minutes later, they were finally ready but a little deflated. Mary Berry wouldn’t have been impressed, but I tried a little bit of the edge and it tasted delicious. Undeterred I soldiered on, making another two sponges so that my cake would have enough height. Luckily I nailed the cream cheese frosting and it was surprisingly easy to smooth over the cake. Now for the fun bit …
When it comes to decorating a cake, the sky’s your limit. I’d planned on adding a salted caramel drizzle / ganache’y thing to the top of the cake so that it would trendily drip over the edges in the style of another of my favourite bakers Cake of Dreams
But having run out of time / nerves, decided to plump for something a little more simple…
Little pink home made meringues (recipe in Sweet Tooth), roses (obviously not edible, but organic and not poisonous – they just need to be removed before eating), golden animals (randomly found around the house), cherries and blackberries dusted with ‘edible glitter’ – lucky I checked – turns out it’s not edible so you need to remove these before eating too, and a handful of sprinkles from the Sugarcraft Boutique in East Dulwich. This shop is very dangerous – if you’re not careful, you’ll buy everything – I luckily left with my wallet still ‘just’ intact and a bag full of glitter, sprinkles and a pretty pink cake board.
If you bake a cake as part of my #MadeWithMolly challenge, I’d love to see! It’s the perfect project for a quiet weekend.
I’ve definitely found it a fun, quick and fairly inexpensive way of getting back into my monthly making challenge again. Phew!