Friday, September 14, 2012
Two birthdays + forty eight cakes
Georgia & Savannah celebrated their ninth birthday this week. They're growing up but still not too old to ask for toys for their birthday or to take in treats to their classmates. Last year our sea shipment containing all our belongings from California had just arrived and I could barely see the kitchen for packing boxes, never mind attempt to create any kind of homemade treat. This year I was determined to make up for it and so, as requested, whipped up forty eight fairy cakes with 'soft' icing on the morning of their birthday for them to take into school.
I haven't done half as much baking as I used to since moving to France. My Kitchen Aid mixer, the secret of my baking success, did not come in that shipment and in any case it's hard to get motivated about baking when there's a patisserie on every corner! My first choice of recipe was quickly dismissed when I realised I had forgotten to buy any sugar and what was left in the house wasn't going to stretch to the two and a half cups required. Instead I used this muffin recipe an old favourite of ours, but left out the chocolate chips and used a bit less sugar as that was all I had. Miraculously the batter for twelve regular sized muffins stretched to make forty eight mini muffins so I didn't have to make a double batch!
The icing was made using our family's favourite method of adding liquid to powdered sugar (sucre glace à pâtisser in France). You can use water or milk, but I usually like to use freshly squeezed lemon juice to add a bit of flavour. This time I happened to have a box of limes that had caught my eye at the market but hadn't got around to using. The lime juice added a lovely zingy taste that made up for the lack of sugar in the cake! I always find it difficult to know just how much liquid to add to this kind of icing, so this time I paid attention so that I could share it here and create a reminder for myself. Six tablespoons of powdered sugar mixed with two tablespoons of lime juice and a drop of food colouring made just the right consistency. It really is a quick and easy way to ice a cake and when you have forty eight to ice quick and easy is what you want!