Funfetti Sprinkles Cake

funfetti cake scarletscorchdroppers.com

Hello everyone, how was your weekend?

We had a lovely one. Friday night I went for tea with my friends Becca and Hannah. We ate at Rats Alley, a street in central Hong Kong, far more pleasant than the name suggests. Its basically a little side street filled with tables. The restaurants there dish up cheap but tasty thai and Indian food. The atmosphere is relaxed but buzzing, and its one of my favourite places to go for a casual meal. Becca had just finished a job that was starting to get her down, so it was a night for celebration. She’s got a new job in an international kindergarten with the holy grail of TEFL jobs, a 5 day working week!

funfetti cake slice scarletscorchdroppers

funfetti cake construction

Saturday we popped over the border into China to do a little shopping in Shezhen. It may be only an hours ride on the MTR (metro) but it feels very different to Hong Kong. It feels like China. We wandered around Dongmen, the local shopping area. Its a crazy place, with music blaring from every shop, and lights flashing like you’ve stumbled into a club rather than a mall.  We had lunch at the Shangri-La hotel, and Andy picked up a couple of shirts and bits to take travelling. We came back to Stanley exhausted and had a lovely dinner by the waterfront. Sunday we stayed at home and pottered around the house. I spent a lot of time happily bumbling about the kitchen, and Andy sold yet more of our things ready for leaving!

funfetti sprinkles cake scarletscorchdroppers.com

Friday night I took this cake for Becca to help celebrate her finishing work. It’s essentially a Victoria sponge, but its jazzed up to make it extra special. Its covered in that most celebratory of decorations, sprinkles. Lots and lots of sprinkles. The inside is a confetti, or funfetti cake. Hundreds and thousands sprinkles are stirred into the batter creating little splashes of colour right through the cake. I used the same technique to make cupcakes here.

funfetti sprinkles cake collage

The cake is filled with jam and buttercream, and coated in a thick layer of vanilla cream cheese buttercream. I topped the cake with as many sprinkles as I possibly could. The more sprinkles, the bigger the celebration!

Funfetti Sprinkles Cake

Ingredients 

for the cake

115g butter

115g caster sugar

2 eggs

115g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons condensed milk

2 tablespoons hundreds & thousands sprinkles

for the buttercream

150g butter

150g cream cheese

300g icing sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons strawberry jam, to fill

hundreds and thousands, to decorate (about 4 tablespoons should do it, I used almost a whole small jar)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Grease and line 2 x 6inch round tins.

Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and pale.

Add one egg along with a tablespoon of flour. Beat to combine. Repeat with the second egg and another table spoon of flour.

Fold in the remaining flour and the baking powder, then the vanilla extract and condensed milk until you have a smooth batter.

Gently fold in the hundred and thousand sprinkles. Don’t over mix or the colours will run too much and you won’t be left with spots of colour in the finished cake.

Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake tins. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown, firm to the touch, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack, cool completely.

Once cool, make the buttercream.

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until soft and smooth.

Sift in the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla extract.

Now assemble the cakes.

Level the sponges if needed. If they have domed whilst baking you need to use a knife to carefully slice off the dome of the cake giving you a flat top.

Place one of the sponges onto the plate you plan to serve the cake on. Put it bottom side down. Spread thickly with the jam, then carefully spread on a thick layer on buttercream.

Place the other sponge upside down on top. This will give the cake a perfectly flat top.

Using about half of the buttercream, spread a layer of buttercream all over the cake, top and sides. Put into the fridge for about half an hour for this layer of buttercream to firm up. This is your crumb layer, it will catch any crumbs or jam and stop them showing on the surface of the finished cake.

Once set, bring it back out the fridge and cover with the remaining buttercream.

Top with as many sprinkles as you can!

About these ads

Goats Cheese and Pesto Pizza

Goats cheese and pesto pizza

A quick and simple homemade pizza. An extra thin and crispy crust topped with salty goats cheese, and  swirls of pesto. 

What kind of pizza lover are you? Deep dish and doughy? Or thin and crispy?

There used to be two different pizza places in our town. Paisanos, selling enormous slices of thick, gooey topping-loaded pizza, and Pizza Club, doing a trade fresh ingredients, simple flavour combinations, and crispy crusts. Now, Paisanos pizza defiantly has it’s place in my life. There are times when the night has got away from me, and I find I’ve drunk one or two more glasses of wine than I can really handle (which considering I can only really handle one glass of wine really isn’t that hard to do!) and all I need is something greasy, salty, and doughy to soak it all up. Then Piasanos really comes into its own, the smell of its giant pizzas making my mouth water before I’ve even entered the restaurant. 

goats cheese and pesto pizza

Mostly though Pizza Club was our pizza place of choice. It was the type of place where families spilled out onto the pavement, and the manager would stop to sit and chat with you. He kept a big bag of sweets in the back, and he’d whip them out for any children who came in to eat. Occasionally he’d show us pictures of his family, or pull out faded pictures of himself 50 years ago when he was growing up in Hong Kong.  The pizzas came served on huge metal dishes. The crust was super thin, with a crispy, crunchy edge. The sauce was home made from fresh tomatoes, with only a few ingredients thrown in for flavour. The toppings were minimal but full of taste. Sadly, a few months ago Pizza Club closed down, leaving us with a big, gaping, thin and crispy pizza shaped hole in our lives.

goats cheese and pesto pizza www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

I’ve had to turn to making pizzas at home which luckily, considering how easy and delicious they are, isn’t too much of a hardship. 

This pizza is so simple you can go from pizza cravings to pizza in your mouth in half an hour. The base crisps up beautifully, even without using any fancy pizza stones. The sauce is made simply with tinned tomatoes, and doesn’t require any long cooking times.

goats cheese and pesto pizza scarletscorchdroppers

I’ve topped it with lots of pesto and hunks of goats cheese. I love the sharp tang of the goats cheese against the smooth, rich flavours of the pesto.

A few cherry tomatoes and a handful of black olives are thrown on to add more salty sweetness, and its finished fresh from the oven with a handful of fresh basil and a glug of olive oil.

goats cheese and pesto homemade pizza

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Goats Cheese and Pesto Pizza

(Makes 2 – enough to serve 2 greedy people, or 4 more restrained ones with a salad on the side)

Ingredients

for the dough

300g strong white flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon yeast

1 tablespoon olive oil

200ml warm water

for the sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

200ml passata, or chopped tomatoes

1 garlic clove, crushed

salt and peper, to season

1 handful fresh basil

for the toppings

2 tablespoons pesto

100g goats cheese

large handful of pitted black olives

large handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

handful fresh basil

oil and freshly ground black pepper, to finish

Method

Preheat the oven to 220C/430F. You want to get the oven as hot as you can if you want a crispy crust.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the yeast.

Pour in the olive oil. Slowly add the water in small amounts, mixing as you go. You’re looking to create a firm, but slightly sticky dough. You may not need all the water.

Once you have formed a dough, tip out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth, pliable dough. Leave to rest for 10 minutes. Resting the dough relaxes the gluten and makes it easier to roll your dough nice and thin. 

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the garlic and fry for about 2 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t burn.

Add the passata or chopped tomatoes, and rip in the fresh basil. Heat through for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re using chopped tomatoes, blend through with a hand blender until roughly smooth.

Divide the dough into 2 balls and roll each one out on a floured surface. Roll the dough as thin as you can get it.

Divide the sauce between the two pizzas and spread evenly.

Spoon a tablespoon of pesto onto each pizza and swirl through the tomato sauce.

Rip the goats cheese into chunks and scatter across the pizzas.

Add the black olives and halved cherry tomatoes.

Put the pizzas onto well floured baking trays.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden around the edges and is crispy to the touch.

Finish by drizzling over olive oil, and adding some freshly ground pepper. 

Enjoy while it’s hot!