I have been looking forward to the Easter break pretty much since the second of January.
Whilst I still can't quite believe we're in April, Christmas seems a very long time ago. Even though there may be snow in a large part of the country, I'm still going to tell myself that it's spring. And refuse to get my winter coat back out of the cupboard. It seems like a very long time since I spent more than a day away from the shackles of my laptop. Late nights in the office, followed by a couple more hours of work in front of the TV and then a sleep disturbed by seemingly endless to do lists have all taken their toll. The Easter break, therefore, is a more than welcome respite from the madness.
I love all the smells at this time of year. You walk down the street and are assailed by the heady scent of flowers coming into bloom. My flat is filled with sunshine and daffodils. I'm off to France first thing tomorrow for the long weekend and I can't wait to step of the plane and breath in the fragrant air.
I hope everyone has a lovely Easter, filled with chocolate, delicious food and good times (in order of priority).
Orange blossom cake with cream cheese frosting
Makes a 6 inch two layer cake
For the cake:
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 225g plain/all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- A splash of milk (optional)
- 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 130g cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 300g icing/powdered sugar
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease two 6 inch cake tins.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 mins). In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together and then add the egg mixture little by little to prevent curdling.
- When the eggs have been mixed in, add the dry ingredients and orange blossom water and fold with a metal spoon. Your mixture should drop off the spoon when you tap the side of the bowl - if not, add a splash of milk.
- Pour into your baking tins and bake for 20-30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and comes away from the sides of the pan.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning onto a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, beat together all the ingredients until you have a smooth and silky mixture.
- Place a large dollop of frosting on one of the cooled cakes, place the other cake on top and use the rest of the frosting to cover the top. If you want to frost the sides of the cake as well, you will need to make slightly more frosting (65g butter, 200g cream cheese, 1 teaspoon each of vanilla and salt and 450g of icing sugar).