Fairy Bread Sponge - Australia's answer to the Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake
Every Australian knows it's just not a party without Fairy Bread! For those of you residing in outside the wonderful world of Aus, that's a slice of bread, slathered in butter, and covered in sprinkles.. but not those long, slightly soft sprinkles, they're tiny little solid balls of coloured sugar that we've dubbed 100's and 1000's
Apparently, this tradition started in Perth, in 1921, and it's been a staple party food in Australia ever since. As a kid, it was honestly the highlight of the party!
So when I realised that my good friend Brendan was turning 21 tomorrow... I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to adapt this childhood party favourite, into a cake.
This, is Australia's answer to the Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake... The Fairy Bread Sponge Cake!!
MY TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE
#1 For sake of keeping your sponge soft and fluffy, a soft silicone spatula used in soft folding motions is the best way to use to minimise the amount of volume you loose while mixing your egg whites into your batter. If you don't have a silicone spatula, using the whisk in gentle sweeping motions is the next best thing!
#2 Tin preparation for a sponge is slightly different to that for other cakes. You want to grease only the base of your cake tin, and then place a circle of parchment paper on top. The butter under the parchment paper will hold it in place and prevent it from slipping when you pour in your batter, and the exposed sides will allow your sponge cake to slightly grip the tin and climb up it, maximising the rise.
#4 When creaming butter, it helps to have your butter at room temperature, cut into small cubes, and adding the small amount of liquid (in this case, milk) into the bowl with it before you hit it with the beaters will allow it break down and come together quicker and easier.
#5 The dollop of butter cream on your cake board is really important in this recipe! It's good practise for all decorated cakes to ensure the cake doesn't slide off the base, but in this recipe, you'll be tilting and man handling your cake a lot in order to press the hundreds and thousands into the frosting, so that dollop of butter cream will ensure you can do so without dropping your cake.
#6 Apply sprinkles as soon as your final layer of icing has been applied. If your cake is returned to the fridge or left to stand for any period of time in between these steps, it will begin to harden and your sprinkles wont stick to it as easily. It's already a finicky job! don't make it harder on yourself.
#7 You can easily turn this into a double or triple layered cake by doubling or tripling all the ingredients listed. The cake I've made is a single layer cake and will serve roughly 8 people. When baking for a multi layered version, ensure you split your cake batter evenly amongst three cake tins. Using a set of kitchen scales to weigh each tin is the best way to ensure you're batter is evenly split between the layers, resulting in even cooking times, and a uniform cake.
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