Every year for your wedding anniversary you think about how to make your partner happy, but every year there is an anniversary in which you can actually be quite selfish: Your birthday!
As soon as anyone mentions the word ‘birthday’ my cake ears prick up. I am totally in love with cake. Whether it’s a sneaky muffin pick-me-up when I get to the office, a decadent slab of chocolate cake to celebrate getting through the week, or a slice of something unusual at a Sunday afternoon tea party, I’m never happier than when I’m staring lovingly at a piece of cake. Well actually, I’m happiest when I’m eating it.
Which brings me on to the subject of my favourite treat of the year. You’ve guessed it – birthday cake! Nothing brings people together more than a birthday celebration rounded off with cake. I’m not about to reveal my age, but with each passing year my birthday cake has had to live up to the last!
I am always on the hunt for the next cake craze, so I thought I’d take the time to share this year’s cake trends with all of you cake-loving folks out there. I’m sharing some of Aussie cake ingredients specialist, Queen’s, cake decorating predictions for 2018.
The artistic masterpiece
Every year my eyes balk at the incredible cakes that are being made by both amateur bakers and professional cakemakers all over the world. Talented cake-crafters are creating artistic masterpieces that look almost too good to eat. I say almost, because nothing yet has stopped me from cutting into cake, no matter how extraordinary the outside looks. For instance, see these incredible creations from London based cake maker Cakes by Robin – they’re almost too good to eat!
So far in 2018, when it comes to the best cakes, edible art and elaborate icing designs are the order of the day. If you have a special birthday coming up, make your next birthday cake a totally elaborate treat. Unless you are a master in the art of cake decorating, this may be a job best left to the birthday cake professionals.
There is really nothing more touching than a surprise birthday cake with a personalised touch. Let your imagination go wild, there’s really nothing that can’t be done in cake form. Whatever your loved one’s passion, get it mapped out in cake form. Be it golf, cars, handbags, shoes, dogs, cats, music, a film character, a favourite flower or a special place, a personalised birthday cake shows just how much you care.
Infuse with booze
Boozy baking is bang on trend. Forget cocktail hour. Simply whack your favourite tipple straight into your birthday cake. I’m not talking boozy fruitcakes. They’re not cakes, they’re Christmas puddings and should be left as such.
Whether your spirited cake has a shot of your favourite liqueur in the sponge or a wee dram of whisky in the frosting, a boozy bake is the perfect treat for any adult birthday celebration. The intense flavour of a spiced rum is seriously good in a banana cake. For inspiration, check out the best ever boozy cake recipes here.
Embrace cultural twists
Yotam Ottolenghi has finally turned his hand to desserts. Hoorah. In collaboration with Australian pastry chef Helen Goh, Ottolenghi brings rose petal, orange blossom, saffron, pistachio, star anise and cardamom to the cake table.
Cultural twists in the recipe book by Ottolenghi and Goh, Sweet, has recipes with names as magical as the ingredients. The middle eastern millionaire’s shortbread with tahini and halva, and the pineapple and star anise chiffon cake are simply delightful takes on traditional recipes.
Inject healthy ingredients
Before you pooh-pooh the idea of healthy ingredients in cakes, let me reassure you. First, I am a serious lover of cakes, so you can be sure I wouldn’t pull the wool over your eyes. Second, healthy ingredients don’t mean there aren’t naughty ones in there too! Aren’t you just a little bit intrigued now?
I recently made a vegan cake for a friend. I wasn’t expecting much. It was more a case of ‘it’s the thought that counts.’ Guess what? I gobbled that slice of cake up and had seconds. What was it? An upside down citrus polenta cake. Thank you Golubka for taking me out of my comfort zone and stripping me of my cake prejudices.
Check out some more great healthy cake recipes and tips here.
Go berserk with berries
There is nothing more fitting for summer than strawberries and cream. Sometimes a simple vanilla cake is all you need to hit the cake spot. Decorate with summer berries and layer with homemade berry jam for a delicious treat. This is honest baking at its best. This one I am sure tastes just as good as it looks.
The berry craze has been on trend for a while but continues in 2018. Naked cakes are also still on trend and are taking form with a waterfall of berries to pimp them up. Chuck heaps of berries on top of your beautifully iced cake rustic style or place with precision in perfect symmetry.
I mean, come on, who doesn’t love berries with cake?
Om nom nom.
Have a brilliant cake-tastic birthday.