The Eurovision Song Contest was here again. And we didn’t win again!
My friend Ewan always throws a party for the event and this year’s ‘do’ was a select gathering of us boom bang-a-banging, skirt ripping Europop fans.
Personally I don’t know what the BBC have been thinking the past few years. Firstly we no longer get a chance to vote for the act we, the British public, would like to represent us. This year we had Bonnie Tyler foisted upon us. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bonnie and her ‘Total Eclipse’ is a favourite of mine. But for the past two years we have had pensioners representing us (Englebert last year). It’s almost as if the BBC don’t want the extra expense of hosting the event, alongside part funding it. Anyhoo, I digress!
Every year for the party I make a flag cake with the host nation’s flag atop. Last year was Azerbaijan, have a look and see my effort. This year was Sweden, which was a tad easier thanks to foam bananas and blueberries.
I usually make a yellow cake with cream cheese frosting. But I decided to change things up a bit this year and make a Blue(ish) Velvet Cake with a slightly different cream cheese frosting, which incorporates whipping cream. Blue Velvet cake is like Red Velvet, only it’s dyed blue and I’ve put a few blueberries through mine. The cake also has cocoa in it, so the colour isn’t a bright blue, more an aqua blue!
250 grams self raising flour
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
340 grams granulated sugar
370 ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
250 ml buttermilk
Blue food colouring
100 grams fresh blueberries
225 grams full fat cream cheese
115 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500 ml double cream
Grease and line a 9”x13” cake pan. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
In a bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa and bicarb.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs and vinegar until smooth and creamy. Add one third of the flour, incorporate and then add half the buttermilk, mixing that in. Repeat with another third of the flour, last half of buttermilk, then last bit of the flour. Lastly add blue food colouring to get a shade of blue you are happy with. I highly recommend paste or gel food colouring rather than liquid as a little goes a long way. Lastly, add the blueberries and mix through by hand.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick and when it comes out clean from the centre then it’s ready. Allow to cool in the pan before removing and placing on a cooling rack.
When ready to frost, add the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla to the bowl of a mixer and mix with the whisk attachment until smooth. With the machine turned on, add the cream slowly until the frosting becomes thicker and gets to a spreadable consistency.
To make my Swedish flag cake, I cut the cake in half, then frosted the bottom layer, before adding the top layer of the cake and frosting a thin layer all over. Place in the fridge to set. When firm, remove from the fridge and frost with all of the remaining cream mix. To decorate I used more blueberries and cut foam bananas. You could use pineapple for this to if you wanted.