CANDLE CAKES

Yields3 Servings
 225 g unsalted butter, softened
 225 g caster sugar
 4 large eggs, beaten
 1 tsp vanilla
 225 g self-raising flour
 50 g white chocolate chopped
 50 ml double cream
Butter Cream
 150 g unsalted butter
 300 g icing sugar
 ½ tsp vanilla
1

Heat the oven to 180C/Gas4; grease and line a 21cm square baking tin with baking paper; beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy; then beat in the eggs a little at a time, beating well after addition; add the vanilla with the final bit of beaten egg; add the flour and beat briefly to combine

2

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until risen, golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean, leave to cool completely in the tin

3

To make the butter cream, whisk the butter until it is soft, then add the icing sugar bit by bit along with the vanilla, until it is completely mixed; keep cool but don’t let it set

4

Remove the cool cake from the tin and trim the top to make a flat level surface; using a 6cm straight sided round cutter; carefully cut out 8-9 rounds of cake; arrange the cakes into 3 sets; one of 4-5 cakes, one of 3 cakes and one solo cake; carve the top of each candle to create indents

5

Sandwich the cakes together with a thin layer of the buttercream and press a chopstick or skewer into the centre to help them stay together; gently smooth a thin layer of buttercream over all the cakes, then chill for 30 minutes

6

Once the candles are cool and firm, cover them all over in a thicker layer of buttercream; chill once more for another 30 minutes at least

7

For the drizzle, put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl; heat the cream in a small pan until bubbles form at the edge and it is hot, pour over the white chocolate and stir until it is melted; leave the mixture to cool and firm up, it needs to be thick yet runny, so that it doesn’t slide off the cakes

8

Arrange the candles on a serving plate and remove the chopsticks; press a white birthday cake candle into the hole that the chopstick has left, leaving the wick and about ½ cm of the wax poking out of the cakes; using a spoon, spoon the drizzle over the tops of the cakes, easing it down the sides; the cakes can be chilled and extra drizzle applied to build up the layers of melted wax, if you like; light the candles to serve

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