It's all about the Baby Love at the moment.
Bonnie Prince George, the most eagerly-anticipated and headline-hogging baby ever was born just over two and half weeks ago.
Were you knitting multicoloured Royal booties before the bookies were even taking bets on there being a Royal baby in 2013? Did your record that moment (to show to the grandchildren of course) when the Duke and Duchess proudly showed the world their baby son? Followed by William expertly showing every new Dad how to coolly fix a babyseat into a Range Rover when watched by about a thousand photographers? Or did the frontpage of Private Eye appeal instead?
And it wasn't just Kate-n-Wills enjoying a delivery from the Stork (no, no, not the margerine kind!). There's another Royal baby on the way and Simon Cowell caused scandal both sides of the Atlantic this week.
There was even news that Tian Tian, a panda at Edinburgh Zoo, may be pregnant. The thing is, we just don't know for sure and indeed won't know until just before the birth. You can imgine Tian Tian staring mischievously at her keepers, thinking: 'Haha, you daren't come near me with an ultrasound so you've no way of knowing for sure I'm preggers until I pop out the sprog-panda and you have to go rushing out to the nearest panda equivalent of John Lewis to buy me a teether, babygro and baby-panda booties!'
Meanwhile, a very good friend of mine had her beautiful little baby the other week, so I baked this cake to celebrate:
Rose, Vanilla and Strawberry Cake
For the cake:
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp rose water
150ml natural yogurt
175g butter, melted
160g caster sugar
240g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the rose syrup:
50g caster sugar
2 tsps rose wter
280g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
6-7 tbsps Strawberry Jam
250g pink cigarellos
100g pink buttons
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch deep, round cake tin.
2. Mix together the eggs, rose water and yogurt in a jug.
3. Stir the flour, sugar, baking powder and pinch of salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the melted butter and the yogurty mixture. Using a spatula, gently combine, making sure not to overmix. Pour the mixture, which will be quite liquidy, into the cake tin.
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
5. Meanwhile, make the rose syrup: place the sugar and rose water into a pan with 100ml of water and bring slowly to a simmer, stirring until all the sugar dissolves. Prick the warm cake with a skewer and pour the syrup over the cake. Leave to cool
6. Once the cake has cooled completely, cut horizontally in half. Beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla to form a smooth icing. You may require a splash of milk to loosen. Spread the jam onto one cake, top with a third of the icing and sandwich the second cake on top
7. Spread the rest of the buttercream on the top with a thin layer around the side of the cake. Decorate with the cigarellos and buttons.
- The cake can be frozen for up to one month, uniced
- Fancy making cupcakes instead? No problemo- simply divide the mixture between twelve cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes
- The Chocolate Trading Company kindly sent me a pack of pink ciagarellos, the first in the world, to try out. Thank you - they are very pretty for baby-sized celebrations and all manner of lovely summer cakes