Every viva celebration needs cake…


Pink cake!!

Tonight has been a busy night. One of the PhD students in my office, V, has her viva tomorrow. I will be shocked if she doesn’t pass with flying colours, but will be crossing my fingers for her anyway! V loves all thinks pink and flowery, so as Chief Cake Baker of the Genomics group I have been tasked with providing large quantities of pink cake. 

Being a sucker for punishment I have made no fewer than three different varieties of pink cake, all courtesy of the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. Both the darkest pink ones with strawberries on top and the pale pink with marshmallows are based on the same vanilla cupcake recipe. The dark pink ones each have a whole strawberry at the bottom, while the pale pink are the same but with gooey sticky marshmallow surprises in the middle and marshmallows mixed in with the vanilla frosting.

Short version:  120g flour with 140g caster sugar, 1.25tsp baking powder and 40g butter 120 mL whole milk with 1 egg and a quarter tsp of vanilla All pretty much blended up and baked in 12 cases at 170C for 20-25 mins. The frosting is 250g icing sugar to 40g butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla.

The medium pink with sparkles or balls are Earl Grey cupcakes. (NB these need a hotter oven, and also make an indeterminate amount where the other two recipes make distinctly twelve.) on the plus side, they do really taste of bergamot – but then I used my favourite Earl Grey teapigs teabags, which contain whole tea leaves, so maybe that helps. (A postdoc in the lab has made little bergamot sweets before and had to resort to oil of bergamot as the tea was too faint so I was happy these worked!) Fingers crossed that’s sufficient pink for V!

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2 responses to “Every viva celebration needs cake…

  1. I’ve been using “Perfect Cupcakes, Cookies and Muffins”‘s recipes a lot recently, and they NEVER make the volume they’re supposed to – last night’s “makes six muffins” recipe actually made, like, 36 cupcakes… I can only conclude that American muffin cases and tins much be *huge*

  2. I got caught out that way the first time that I made some maple and pecan cupcakes from the Hummingbird book. They do actually say at the front that they use American cupcake sizes, which are roughly equivalent to British muffin cakes. Now I know that they’re always pretty much perfect 🙂

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