I started EJ Catering 13 years ago, selling my car to buy a van, printing some business cards and putting myself out there. I was and am still keen, I love problem solving and have determination and a fast moving, progressive mind. But its not easy being the boss, it can be a lonely place. As the business grew I started to employ others. I always try and encourage my staff’s opinion and most certainly don’t think I know best. I was never really employed before, although I did have many jobs for short periods of time as I travelled the world and this leaves me without a mentor whom I strive to be like or a bad boss whose style of behaviour I would avoid, so I’ve had to make things up.
I like to work hard and appreciate the same attitude from others. I like to improve and better our ways of working in order to grow and I like to benefit from the input and experience of others. We need to work together as a team and I know it is important to care about my staff. It is Beth’s birthday tomorrow and she is a demon chef, baking, cooking, cutting, rolling and kneading. She makes cakes for all her family and friends and because she is known to be good at it, friends of friends and friends of the family. Whatever is asked of her she puts her best skills forward and produces many fabulous cakes, dishes, canapés, breads, pies and pastries. These days Beth runs rings around me in the kitchen which I sometimes find hard and then I realise that it is actually exactly how I need it to be! I made her this cake and I put her iTunes vouchers inside it. I have to have a little naughtiness…
Beth’s Birthday Cake
- 8 oz softened butter
- 6oz golden caster sugar
- 2 oz golden syrup
- 4 free range eggs
- 8oz self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Double cream
- A spoonful of caster sugar and a splash of vanilla
- Icing sugar
Lightly butter two six inch cake tins.
Cream the butter, sugar and syrup with an electric whisk for a good four minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, keep the whisk on high adding air into the mixture. Remove the whisk and sieve in the flour and baking powder, folding by hand until all incorporated. Spoon it into the two cake tins, and of course lick the spoon! Bake at 150C for about 15 mins or until light brown and firm on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Gently remove from the tins.
Whip a pint of cream, adding a little sugar and vanilla to taste. Cut each cake in half across the middle making four rounds. Place your first round on the base. In a separate bowl crush half the raspberries and mix with the whipped cream. Spread this over the base. Sprinkle a few extra whole raspberries around the edges and gently place the next round on top. Repeat with the blue berries and lastly the strawberries. You will have enough cream left to pipe a nest in the middle of the top cake. Heap fresh fruit in the middle, garnish with mint and dust with icing sugar. Even if your cake looks a little messy the icing sugar will hide all your sins and give a professional finish. Oh yes and remember to hide something in the middle!