Sweet 16 Birthday Cake

Wow! A beautiful Carrot Cake to celebrate in style and in fashion too.

YOU WILL NEED

Cake

  • 2 x 595 g Ina Paarman’s Carrot Cake Mix
  • 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (125 g) butter, melted
  • 1 cup (250 ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (250 ml) full cream milk, warmed

Mini Meringue Garnish

  • 3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 x 125 g Ina Paarman’s Meringue Mix
  • red food colour

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 125 g butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g medium or low fat cream cheese OR smooth cottage cheese
  • 3 T (45 ml) full cream milk
  • 250 g Ina Paarman’s Vanilla Icing Kit

Fruit & Flower Garnishes

  • a selection of berries in season
  • edible flowers in season - we used rose petals, violas and camomile flowers together with baby's breath (Gypsophila)
  • mini meringues
Method
Cakes

The cakes are easier to work with if made the day before.

Prepare 2 ‘number’ cake pans (usually available for hire). Wrap the numbers in heavy foil to form a base. Spray the inside with a non-stick spray or butter the pans.

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 180°C.

Decant the dry flour mixes, from the foil packs, into a bowl. Add 4 T (60 ml) of the measured melted butter and toss it with the flour (this ensures a moist, light textured baked cake).

Beat eggs and remaining melted butter together for 30 seconds on high speed until well blended. Carry on beating while adding the oil.

Add warmed milk and beat briefly on high speed.

Add carrot and pineapple mixtures and beat it in.

Add the flour mix and gently fold it in by hand with a spatula. Mix until combined. It is important not to overmix.

Divide the mixture between prepared pans. Level the tops.

Place cakes in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Cakes are done when a thin-bladed knife inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cakes pull away slightly form the sides of the pan.

Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn out on a cooling rack. Do not ice until cakes are completely cold.

 

Meringues

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat the oven to 140°C.

Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

Wipe a spotlessly clean glass mixing bowl out with a slice of lemon or a dash of vinegar. Rinse the beaters with boiling water.

Separate the eggs. The whites go into a glass mixing bowl.

Beat the egg whites with the electric beater on high speed.

Beat until the whites stand up in soft peaks. Do not add Meringue Mix until the soft peak stage. Now gradually add the Meringue Mix little by little while beating on high speed. You will end up with a snow white, thick and shiny meringue.

Divide the mixture into ⅔ and ⅓.

Keep the ⅔ batch white and pipe with a plain nozzle into small buttons (see video).

Tint the remaining ⅓ pale pink using drops of the red colour. Fit a piping bag with one of our star nozzles and pipe small pink meringue stars on the baking paper.

Bake at 140°C for 20 minutes, reduce temperature to 120°C and dry the meringues out for a further 30 – 45 minutes depending on size.

Switch off the oven and leave the meringues to cool down in the oven.

 

Cream Cheese Icing

Cream butter until soft. Add cream cheese and beat lightly until smooth.

Add milk and beat in very briefly.

Add Icing Mix and fold into mixture or beat in on slow speed until evenly blended.

Add a little more milk to soften if the icing is too firm.

 

Assembly and Decoration

Spread the tops of the cooled cakes with cream cheese icing.

Add garnishes as illustrated.