It's peak birthday season: December and January see three birthdays in my family, and lots of cake-making. This is my cycling cake effort, which I made for Mr Finchley Kitchen, then hid behind two punnets of tomatoes in the fridge for two days, hoping he wouldn't spot it. Luckily, he doesn't seem to eat that many cherry tomatoes and the bike cake remained a secret.
For the bike, I rolled out fondant wheels, covered spaghetti in silver foil for the spokes, and used some spaghetti to reinforce the main body of the bike too. Putting the various parts in the fridge (or even freezer) in between making them helps them to harden up. Even so, the bike didn't stand up independently so I propped it up against the side of the cake.
And for the cake, I veered away from my usual Nigella recipe (for no more political reason than I didn't have all the ingredients) and opted for this Mary Berry Chocolate sponge cake - although I changed the icing to my own recipe.
50g/2oz cocoa powder
6 tbsp boiling water
3 free-range eggs
4 tbsp milk
175g/6oz self-raising flour
1 rounded tsp baking powder
100g/4oz baking spread or soft butter
300g/10oz natural caster sugar
For the icing and filling
115g Galaxy chocolate, melted
20g dark chocolate
150ml creme fraiche
5 tbsp raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins
Mix the cocoa powder and boiling water to make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combined.
Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
For the icing and filling, melt the chocolates and add the creme fraiche; leave until cool and almost set.
Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely. Spread the tops of each cake with jam.
Fill the cakes with half of the icing and spread the remainder on top.