Hey there folks!
I've got a fancy smancy cake for you and a few cupcakes as well as this, but as I'm feeling a) lazy and b) intriguing I'm going to eek them out over a few days. So this is my Dad's birthday cake. It was a coffee cake with coffee butter cream and was delicious (although my Dad ate the fondant rope and then complained that the cake was too sweet. Well, yes, it would be if you ate the decorative bit made of 90% sugar. The cake itself was fairly unsweetened actually :-)
4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water
Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy, add egg and flour in batches, a little bit at a time. Adding the flour in stops the mixture curdling and losing air. A tip my Grandma taught me. :-) Add the coffee at the very end - all of it if you want a strong coffee taste, less if you want the flavour to be quite subtle. I found that this cake wasn't overpowering but did taste distinctively of coffee.
Bake for about 20 minutes (or until golden and bounces back when you touch it) at about 180'C.
What's weird is that I really like coffee cake but hate coffee. One of my all time favourites is coffee and walnut fudge cake.... mmmm... okay, I'll be making that some time this week!
And you can have a few pictures of the decorative process as I took them and there's nobody else interested in them :-D
Here's the cake in two leveled halves (I say leveled, I actually didn't level them at all as they turned out beautifully flat. Go me)
Note to self: next time, use less butter cream on the outside. Delicious it may be, but it causes your fondant icing to bulge out unattractively at the bottom, like an obese Aunt.
Just like that, y'see? And I've just noticed my freaky stubby hands in the corner of the photo. I believe I was moving the board around at the time. Also, note a trend - amateur cakes that I'm not selling get presented on crappy chopping boards (or microwave plates if I don't have a chopping board big enough). I'm sure this is perfectly acceptable. And thankfully my friends and family don't seem to notice/care.
And here is the finished cake. I got a tad carried away with my new edible pen and so the tails of the balloons are a bit... long and wiggly. All in all a simple celebration cake.
Happy Birthday Daddy - I love you!