Friday, April 13, 2012

A Bee Birthday Cake!

Friday the thirteenth! It's my little sister's birthday today. I say little, however she's well over a foot taller than me! But she's still just my baby sis. Anyway, she is great, she's the type of person that doesn't miss a thing. Like back in November when I made my big sis a birthday cake and wrote how I'd made that cake for "every special person's birthday" - little sis or Anne-Marie as we call her, immediately pointed out I never made her one! Oopsy! I so have to be careful how I word things on here! Anyway,  since then I've been thinking I'll have to make her a "special cake".

A few months ago I was on Baking Addict's blog and saw the most amazing looking chocolate cake with bees on top. Turns out it was Nigella's chocolate honey cake.  I knew straight away I'd have to make it for Anne-Marie as soon as I saw it. You see, she has a bit of history with bees. When we were younger we were deprived of having  actual pets. We had goldfish but there's only so much you can do with a fish in a bowl. And well, we didn't really look after them, so I'm sure the folks had a point. 

Can you spot which ones I made & which ones my 3 year old niece  created? No, me neither! 

Anyway, we were so desperate for animals that we could interact with. I'd my heart set on a big labrador, but instead I had to make do with a football that I'd continuously kick  against a wall and shout "come back Rover". Sad, I know, but I kept myself content enough with that.  Anne-Marie however decided she needed an actual creature she could look after. So one Summer she got an (empty) jam jar and caught herself a bee! She named it Pippa after the foster mother in Home and Away, and through the holes in the lid she would feed it grass. I don't know how, but Pippa seemed to last quite a while. And every Summer for a good few years in a row she went out and "caught Pippa" to, I don't know, keep her company for the long Summer days? Anyway she has since put down the jam jar and has no interest in pets at all. But because I'm her older sister it's my duty to embarrass remind her of how insane she was as a child.

Before and after the raft

So in terms of the whole actual cake making process, I thought it was going fine. The only sign of trouble was when the cake started to sink a bit after I took it out. But I thought I was very clever and just turned it upside down with the nice even part on display. That was nice for a while. But then that side sank. Not good. Then when I was about to make the icing, I took a double look at the amount of chocolate and realised I was 100g short. I quickly realised where that 100g went. Yes, I had put it in the cake mix. Don't ask me how but I did, I put double the amount of chocolate in the cake. I think that's the most stupid baking mistake I've ever made. My mother informed me later that it was probably why the cake sunk. Anyway, I had to plod on. I went and bought an extra 100g of chocolate and made the icing. Poured it into the cake. I had to put the bees on the edge so they wouldn't drown. My niece Belle helped me make the bees and she also made a life raft for the two in the middle. Clever girl.

Almost lost those two in the middle!

Apart from my blunder I still think it tasted quite nice, actually I'd go as far as to say delicious. I suppose it helps that I like chocolate.  But it was really moist, I'm sure with the correct amount of chocolate it would be even more amazing!  I don't really know what everyone else thought of it. They were laughing hysterically when I presented it and even more so when they tasted it. I'm taking that as a positive outcome though.

Oh the birthday girl loved it, so that's the most important thing!

Just realised I've now made two Nigella cakes in one week! I'll have to try another one of hers soon and hopefully it will be third time lucky! :-) 


  1. I think you did a great job! My bees sunk too :( and I don't have any excuses apart from my baking skills! I love your stories about pets and I'm sure your sister was very pleased to receive this cake. Your bees look great and I love the raft! Should have thought of that! I agree the cake was absolutely delicious :)

  2. Thanks BA! Oh it looked a bit dodgy but at least it was (almost) edible! I think your version looked fantastic! I'll have to try it again some day!