Before I went back up to Edinburgh I took the opportunity to celebrate my birthday with some good friends of mine at one of my favourite venues, Castle Cottage.
I posted about this lovely little place here a while back but in the summer this place becomes a great venue for lunch, afternoon tea or even a few drinks in the evening.
I managed to book out the garden for an evening of some good sharing food and drinks to toast my birthday.
It is a beautifully decorated garden with bunting, vintage ornaments and rows of fairy lights and blankets for the cooler summer evenings.
I also brought along this tropical celebration cake-just to make that glimmer of summer sun seem to last a little longer!
Due to all the fruit in the cake, it makes a great gluten free cake that is very moist and light.
To make your own showstopper celebration cake:
150ml sunflower or vegetable oil
300g gluten-free self raising flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
300g caster sugar
50g desiccated coconut
2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
2 ripe bananas
432g crushed pineapple tin
4 ripe passion fruits
25g caster sugar
200g philadelphia cheese
100g soft unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
Adapted from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1104647/passion-cake
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, half the sugar and the coconut. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C fan. Line 3 standard size baking tins with baking paper.
In another bowl, beat the whole eggs and then add in the bananas once mashed. Grate the carrots and add this to the bowl along with the sunflower oil and milk. Drain the crushed pineapple, reserving the juice and add the pineapple pieces to the wet ingredients.
Next, stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth and thoroughly combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until stiff. Then gradually add the remaining sugar until stiff and shiny.
Next, fold this egg white mixture into the cake batter using a large metal spoon or spatula- retaining as much air in the mixture as possible.
Once fully combined, divide the mixture evenly between the three tins.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch. You will need to rotate the cakes between shelves to make sure they bake evenly-however do not open the oven door within the first 15 minutes of baking as this may cause the cakes to collapse. Once baked, cool the cakes on a wire cooling rack.
To make the passionfruit syrup, scoop out the passionfruit pulp into a small pan and add the reserved pineapple juice and the 25g caster sugar.
Heat on a medium heat until bubbling. Leave to bubble until it turns syrupy.
Whilst the cake are cooling, prick them all over with a fork and then drizzle over some of the passionfruit syrup.
Meanwhile make the frosting by whisking together the cream cheese, milk, butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract.
Once the cakes are completely cool, use a knife to spread a neat layer of frosting over two thirds of the cake and then sandwich the layers together.
Using a palette knife, swirl a thicker layer of frosting on top of the third layer of cake and then drizzle over the remaining passionfruit syrup- letting it run down the sides of the cake too!
Serve that day- though I don't think it will last any longer than that!
I also managed to snap these photos of Eddie that I just had to share with you- he's taken up the habit of relaxing on his sun lounger in the garden!
|Our scrummy sharing boards of antipasti|
|The beautiful candlelight garden|
It was a lovely way to celebrate a birthday and have everyone together before we all went our separate ways back up to uni!