Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gigantic birthday cakes...

I think this is the longest break I've ever taken from writing. There's no excuse and no reason, it's just sort of happened!
We are super busy right now. Our Wee Farm is up for sale. It went on the market 2 weeks ago. So far we've only had one viewing. It's just a waiting game - a waiting game where I feel that everything has to be immaculate all the time!

We had a long holiday in Rarotonga in September. It was absolutely wonderful, despite being incredibly sick for a few days near the beginning.

Here's a few holiday pics...

We spent hours in the water.

Hours on the beach...

and on the last day got a tattoo...

Last week it was Lloyd's birthday. We were invited over to NandS for a wee party with a few other friends. I made a birthday cake. Lloyd's only stipulation was could it please be an orange cake. So I ended up making the biggest orange cake in existence.

Here it is! It's always a bit nerve racking when you make a big cake like this, because you don't really get to taste it before!

I made TWO Sicilian Orange cakes ( so double these ingredients)

250 g lightly salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250 g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
250 g self raising flour (i used plain flour and add 1 tsp of baking powder) 
85 ml freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 22-cm clip-sided round cake with non-stick baking paper.

Using the kitchen aid, cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until very pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating very well between each one, if necessary adding a spoonful of flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. Beat in the orange zest. Add the flour all at once and mix in well, then slowly mix in the orange juice.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. If it starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a sheet of lightly buttered foil.

Leave the cake, in its tin, to cool on a wire rack, then carefully remove the sides and base of the tin and peel off the paper. Put it onto a serving plate.

I used a lot more orange zest - than the recipe cos we wanted it really orangy.  I mixed up a batch of buttercream ( adding in a little orange oil) then I put some marmalade and a bit of buttercream in the middle of the 2 cakes to form the sandwich. Then I covered the whole ( huge) cake in a thin layer of buttercream to seal it and keep it from getting crumbs in the main buttercream topping. I let this chill for a wee while then set to work covering the cake in buttercream roses. I only got half of one layer done when I ran out of buttercream. I ended up having to make 3 batches. There was almost a kilo of buttercream on the cake!!!

After that I decorated it with hand made fondant flowers.  Not totally manly, but very spring like!

I have to say, it was the most lovely, moist cake ever, so this is a recipe I will definitely use again.

A birthday snap - and see how huge the cake is!

We were also lucky enough to be invited to the World of Wearable Art down in Wellington, buy Lloyd's work. It was mind blowingly good and we loved every second of it. 

This is a fraction of what we've been up to!

Oh and if anyone wants a nosey, here's the link to the advert for the wee farm...


  1. Phew, you have been busy! Great photos. I love Rarotonga too. Will have to try the cake recipe, love anything with orange in it, delicious. Fingers crossed for the sale of your farm and the adventures that lay ahead xo

  2. That cake looks amazing. Great holiday snaps. Your moving?? Well good luck with the sale.

    1. thank you!! yep, here's a wee post all about it. It's exciting but scary!

  3. Great pics of those beautiful fish and wonderful beach. Your place is so amazingly maintained i'm sure it won't be for sale long.
    I think i gained 3 lbs just looking at that huge cake, Yummmmm!
    Glad your back.

  4. Oh! What fun, what fun! I even love the matching tattoos. Wish I could buy the wee farm.

    Blessings from Ohio...

  5. What a stunning cake! Good luck with the sale. Your place is remarkable...I wish I could come buy it myself! ;)

  6. I was wondering what you were up to! Kept checking your blog for updates but we were stuck on Brioche! So glad you have been holidaying and having fun. Sure The Farm will sell, it is beautiful!

  7. Hi Laura - I haven't caught up with blogland in ages and when I do you're moving! The new house looks gorgeous but I do adore the wee farm - wish could move it here to Yorkshire!


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Laura x