Monday, 3 September 2012

In Honour Of Spring: the Basket Of Flowers

Oh happy day, Spring is here! I have seen the sun, for the first time in months, and lo, it is good!

The birds are chirping, my forest pansies are about to burst into bloom, and the cats are poised for their seasonal moulting, where my entire house becomes a living, breathing furball for about three weeks. Yay. Something to look forward to.

Ah, spring - welcome back. I might say though, you took your damn time arriving - it feels as though it's been winter in Melbourne for EV-AHHHHH.

And so in celebration of spring, I baked the Basket Of Flowers. I thought it was appropriately symbolic - the grassy green colours, the pillowy marshmallow flowers, the coconut flavoured green M&Ms - it was a worthy offering.

(As an aside, does anyone else remember the ahem, particular qualities ascribed to green M&Ms back in the mid-80s? Was it universal? Or was it just a strange idiom of the country town I grew up in? Let me know.)

I made a slightly different base cake for this one. It's the standard butter cake mixture from The Book, but I made the spontaneous addition of two handfuls of frozen raspberries, to really freshen up the recipe. It worked a treat too - we cut into this cake at around 11am in the office, and less than fifteen minutes later the entire thing had been scoffed.

I was not happy with the shape of the cake, however. It's a typical round one (and I made mine much bigger than The Book suggested, because of course I had to feed thirty hungry co-workers rather than nine or ten little nine-or-ten year old girls, as The Book imagined.)

I think the basket doesn't really work in the round, flat shape of a standard cake tin. Wouldn't it have looked a bit better if you made this cake in a pudding steamer, which is the shape of a bowl with a flat bottom?

Then you would get the lovely round shape, the wide lip etc, but it would narrow down to a smaller base. I think that would look more delicate than this somewhat flat-footed clumsy version.

Book Editors, please note - something for the next edition!


  1. It looks lovely! Well done.

    This cake is a bit notorious in my family; my mum made 2 of them for my oldest sister's
    10th birthday sleepover party, 30 years ago now. She still (Mum, not oldest sister) gets a look of outrage on her face when recounting how some of the girls at the party snuck off and ATE ALL THE LOLLIES OFF THE CAKE before the candles were even lit. I don't think she's ever going to forgive them!

    The basin idea is a good thought; it would fit rather well with the "basket" shape. THe editors will be contacting you for ideas, soon!

  2. If you mean what I think you mean about the green M&Ms, that particular rumour was also prevalent in my small town in Indiana, USA...

  3. Dude, you are caking BEYOND the limit! You are AWESOME! Love that you are making Women's Weekly cakes and love this blog (ps. found you via Meet Me at Mike's).
    :) Karoline

  4. I must not have been old enough, or it wasn't around in Sydney in the 80s - what's the story about green m&ms?


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