A recent study by Stork on childrens birthday parties showed the following:
- Two thirds (64%) of parents compete to throw the best kids bash versus their peers
- One in 10 claims that pressure ‘to be the best’ has caused rifts between partners
- More than half of parents (55%) claim to have encountered extravagant party requests, including registered gift lists (12%), dress codes (16%), and compulsory expensive activities (25%)
It also revealed that 50% of us parents spend 2.5 working days making our childs birthday cake. How many of you are now nodding your head *raises hand*.
I have spent days creating the perfect cake, I have stayed up till stupid o clock and spent Sophie’s birthday exhausted because of this, its always worth it to see the smile on her face when I walk in carrying said cake. I usually start planning weeks if not months in advance. Sourcing just the right decorations and having trial runs. But do I really need to go through all that, and the simple answer is no, not really. And what if you don’t have hours to do that? And you don’t have the confidence to recreate masterpieces worthy of the Great British Bake Off?
Pop on over to the Stork website where they have come up with a range of delicious, stunning, yet quick and simple recipes to make the perfect birthday cake for you and your loved ones.
It was my birthday yesterday and I decided on this Limoncello Mascarpone Layer Cake to celebrate – it sounded simply delicious and was a bit of a challenge as I have never attempted anything like this before. It took me less than half a day (including cleaning up and chilling time) and I have to say it looked brilliant and tasted even better!
Limocello Mascarpone Layer Cake
- 4 eggs, large
- 150g caster sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 120g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 60g Stork tub, melted and cooled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsps Limoncello
- 75ml water
- 100g caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 100g caster sugar
- 100ml Limoncello
- 450g mascarpone cheese
- 360ml double cream
- 250g lemon curd
- 100g white chocolate curls
- Prepare 2 x 8” sandwich tins, grease well and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon zest. Whisk for 6-7 minutes until the mixture is thick and airy, almost trebling in volume.
- Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and fold in carefully until fully combined.
- Pour the cooled melted Stork around the edge of the bowl and fold in again until well combined.
- Split the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden on top and springy to the touch. When the cakes are ready they will start to come away from the edges of the tin.
- Carefully remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
- Prepare the lemon syrup. Place the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves and the syrup clears slightly. Remove from the heat and transfer to a jug to cool to room temperature.
- To make the filling first make the Zabaglione. Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the eggs and sugar and whisk well. Add the Limoncello. Continue to whisk, over the pan of water until the mixture thickens. This takes about 10 minutes and happens just before the Zabaglione reaches boiling point and you will start to see small bubbles appear. Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.
- In another large bowl beat the mascarpone so that it is smooth. Beat in the slightly cooled Zabaglione and mix until even.
- Whip the double cream to soft peaks and beat into the mascarpone/Zabaglione mixture.
- To assemble, split each sponge into 2 even layers using a sharp serrated knife. Place 1 sponge layer onto a serving plate, cut side upwards. Soak the exposed sponge with the lemon syrup brushing on with a pastry brush.
- Spread the sponge with lemon curd and then add an even layer of mascarpone filling. Top with a further sponge layer. Repeat the process adding syrup, lemon curd and mascarpone filling to each later until all 4 layers are in place.
- Coat the top of the cake with an even layer of mascarpone filling. Run a palette knife around the sides of the cake to even out the filling. Reserve the remaining mascarpone filling and place the cake in the fridge for 4 hours to firm so that the rest of the assembly can be completed.
- Once chilled, coat the sides of the cake with the reserved mascarpone filling.
- Warm 2 tbsps lemon curd gently and drizzle over the top of the cake.
- Take the white chocolate curls and using a cupped hand gently press the curls onto the side of the cake to coat. To do this with minimum mess it is best to raise the cake using a cake stand or turntable and place a small bowl underneath the edge of the cake to catch the excess chocolate curls as you coat.
- Once the sides are fully coated sprinkle a little around the top on the outside edge.
- Brush any excess chocolate curls from the serving plate with a dry pastry brush.
The cost of my ingredients for this cake was covered by Central Pike Bike Rental