My lovely little niece is 3 years old.  The years have flown by quickly! This year my sister asked me to make the birthday cake as the celebrant had made a very specific request. She wanted a chocolate cake with strawberry, raspberry and blueberries.  Given my love of baking I was ready to rise up to the task.  It has been a while since I have baked a chocolate cake and a while since I have made a cake with a fruit topping, so I was quite excited by the challenge. I remember  that in the summer and autumn of 2014, I was frequently baking fruit tops cakes.  I also remember being really interested in replicating national flags (study of flags is called vexillogy)! At time work and especially personal life was very stressful and I found baking and creating a soothing outlet.


Chocolate cake with coconut icing and blueberries 
The Saltire is the national flag of Scotland and, with a white diagonal cross on a blue background, it represents the crucifixion of the apostle St Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint.
Believed to be the oldest flag in Europe, the origin of the flag comes from an old legend. Tradition has it that the flag originated in a battle fought near the East Lothian village of Athelstaneford in AD 832.
An army of Picts and Scots under King Angus invaded the Lothians (at that time still Northumbrian territory), and found itself surrounded by a larger force of Saxons led by Athelstan. Fearing the outcome, King Angus led prayers for deliverance and was rewarded by seeing a cloud formation of a white Saltire against the blue sky.
The king vowed that if, with the saint’s help, he gained victory, then Andrew would thereafter be the patron saint of Scotland. The Scots did win, and the Saltire eventually became the flag of Scotland.
In 2003 the Scottish Parliament specified the official colour of the flag using the international colour coding system and it was decided that the white St Andrew’s Cross should appear on an azure background known as Pantone 300.

Lemon sponge cake with lemon buttercream icing and kiwi fruit topping
The current flag of Nigeria was adopted on October 1, 1960. The flag has three equal vertical bands of green, white, and green. The colour green represents the forests and abundant natural wealth of the country. The colour white stands for peace and unity.


Sponge cake with apricot jam, peach and raspberry topping.
The Spanish flag was adopted on December 19, 1981. It consists of three horizontal bands of red (top), yellow (centre double width), and red (bottom). The colours on the Spanish flag represent the following: yellow – a symbol of generosity and red – hardiness, bravery, strength & valour.

Life is bit different now but my love of baking still goes on. I made the cake for my niece’s first birthday two years ago. This year I took to Facebook for inspiration and advice. I have recently joined a foodie group and I am in foodie heaven, I have joined a group of people that seem love cooking and taking pictures of food as much as me. I asked the group for recipe and presentation ideas and they did not disappoint. I ended up choosing a recipe from Nigella Lawson – Old fashioned chocolate cake.

Below you can see the cake I made in my ‘practice run’.

What happened to that cake? Nacho and I polished it off slice by slice during the week. He ate his slices for tea and I had mine for breakfast!

The final cake was made on Friday evening after work, not before a quick trip to Hobbycraft where I bought myself a tilting cake turntable – yes my life is complete…

During this cake making episode I have learned how to make chocolate ganache. It’s really easy – chocolate and double cream. I cannot wait play about with other recipes. I also made a pseudo-jam filling by heating the strawberries with two tablespoons of lemon juice and two tablespoons of caster sugar. This was basically the cooked version of the macerated strawberries that I have been preparing on a regular basis since I returned from Spain earlier this year.

The final product made it safely to my sister’s house and was eaten in lovely September sunshine.

Happy Birthday to my lovely niece

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: