No sooner is Valentine’s over, we find Mother’s Day is just around the corner – falling on March 6th this year! Of course we are spoilt for choice – we can show our love and appreciation with a bunch of flowers, a box of her favourite chocolates, giving her breakfast in bed, etc. etc. I have always thought that something homemade – whatever it maybe – counts for much more. When my children were very small this is what I treasured the most – I have kept some of the charming little cards they made.
This year get into the kitchen for an enjoyable hour or so and bake her something! My pink iced heart cake is perfect, and if you don’t have a heart shaped tin then bake it in 2x20cm round sandwich tins for 20-25minutes. It is a simply all in one sponge – iced in any shade of pink of your choice.
Tip: Food colour pastes are strong, so add gradually!
And finally – ensure you don’t leave her with any of your cleaning up to do or all your effort could be in vain!
Pink Iced Heart Cake
For the cake:
- 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 175g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For buttercream and decoration:
- 250g unsalted butter
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pink food colour
- 3 tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam
- 2 x 30g packets multi-coloured dragees (I added a few larger and tiny silver dragees, but it’s fine to use all one size)
- 1 pot clear edible glitter (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan 170˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.
- Butter well a large heart-shaped tin, 23cm at its widest part, and line the base with baking parchment.
- For this batter, I use an electric mixer and beater attachment, but use a food processor, or a bowl and an electric whisk, if you want.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, then add the butter (in knobs), the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat together until thoroughly blended, taking care not to over-mix so you will have a light sponge. Scrape the batter into the tin and level the top.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes, until the cake springs back to the touch or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin, for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the rim to loosen the cake from the tin and turn out on to a wire rack. Peel off the paper and leave until completely cold.
- Make the buttercream by beating the butter, icing sugar and vanilla for 5 minutes until really soft and fluffy. Add drops of the pink food colour. Any shade is fine: from a pale tasteful pink to a brighter shade as in the photo.
- If necessary trim the top of the cake so it is level. Turn the cake upside down, split it horizontally and, using a palette knife, spread some of the pink buttercream over the cut surface, then add a layer of jam. Place the other half of the cake on top and spread the rest of the buttercream all over the top and sides, making it as smooth as possible.
- Straight away, press a collar of the dragees all around the outside edge (the icing will start to set if you leave it) and sprinkle them all with a little glitter if you choose.
Bake and Decorate by Fiona Cairns (Quadrille £12) Photograph: Laura Hynd.