So, things have been pretty quiet around here lately – I’m sorry!
There are two main reasons – firstly life has just been crazy and I’ve barely had time to read any blogs, let alone write them; but I’ve also put a temporary stop to baking for the good of my health…
To summarise the situation, at the start of the year I moved into a new house, with new friends, in a new town. I’ve gone from living in the middle of nowhere and rarely going out, to having easy access to all manor of restaurants, bars and fabulous social occasions.
The upshot of this is that even though I’ve been exercising more, the weight has been creeping on – I’m now a stone heavier than I was in December, and although people are very kind to me and say it doesn’t show, I can see it and feel it, and I don’t like it.
Now I’m not going to pretend that this is all down to cake – copious amounts of rum and coke are definitely to blame too – but I’ve decided that having cakes sat around in the kitchen is one temptation I can do without.
My current health kick definitely isn’t forever, just until I get back down to a size I’m more happy with (and I am going to cut back on the alcohol to help this too… a bit…)
I’ll still be baking for special occasions because as far as I’m concerned nothing says love like baked goods, and I will continue to blog as often as I can. I also have a bit of a blog revamp in the pipeline, and I’m sure that will motivate me to get baking and writing more again!
This strawberry fudge cake was a cake of love, for my dear friend Charlotte’s birthday.
I was inspired by a box of strawberries and cream fudge, and came up with a vanilla sponge studded with fresh strawberries, filled and iced with a strawberry cream cheese frosting, with chinks of fudge between the layers and on top, finished with a few more fresh strawberries and pink sugar sprinkles.
It was everything I wanted it to be – pretty, summery, light and tasty. The birthday girl liked it and I think it was 100% worth the calories consumed taste testing the icing and eating leftover fudge…
Strawberry fudge cake
- 225g butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 225g self raising flour
- 150g strawberry, chopped
For the icing:
- 50g butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 50g cream cheese
- 200g strawberries, chopped, plus extra to decorate
- 100g strawberry (or plain) fudge, finely chopped
- pink sugar sprinkles
For the sponge, follow the usual Victoria sponge method – beat together the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla, then sift in the flour and fold in until just combined. Stir in the strawberries, then divide between three 6″ round cake tins and bake at 170 degrees (150 fan) for about 25 minutes, or until risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean.
To make the icing, start by heating the strawberries in a small saucepan, and cook them until they have completely broken down and turn into a thick puree. Beat the butter and gradually add the icing sugar, adding a little of the cream cheese if it’s not coming together. Finally, add the cream cheese and cooled strawberries and beat until light and fluffy.
Chill the icing in the fridge for an hour before assembling the cake. Spread a layer of icing on the bottom layer of cake, then sprinkle a third of the fudge pieces on top. Add the second layer of sponge, more icing and more fudge, then the final layer of sponge. Cover in a thin coat of icing and refrigerate for half an hour.
Spread the remaining icing all over the cake. Finish by adding a few more strawberries and the remaining chopped fudge to decorate, and scatter some sugar sprinkles on top as well if you like. Store in the fridge until an hour before you’re ready to serve.