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To round off Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month: How to make a #MUAM cake

31 October, 2018

Author: Roxanne Sicklen, Early Pregnancy Lead Sonographer (Barnet) Royal Free London NHS Trust

MUAM cake

My career in imaging began by chance when I started working as a radiology assistant in an ultrasound department whilst studying for my A-levels.

This gave me the opportunity to witness the work of sonographers and I was inspired by their autonomy and scope of practice. And so, I set off on my own journey to becoming a sonographer; first qualifying as a diagnostic radiographer back in 2003 and completing my postgraduate diploma in medical ultrasound in January 2007. Since qualifying, I have worked at Barnet Hospital, which is part of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

Over the course of my career, I have developed a special interest in ultrasound in early pregnancy and work as lead sonographer on our early pregnancy unit. I am particularly dedicated to ensuring that women receive a timely, accurate ultrasound diagnosis and that the results of the scans are communicated with compassion. As such, I have spoken this year at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, teaching doctors ‘What to say and what not to say in early pregnancy’. I am due to present a similar talk at this year's upcoming Association of Early Pregnancy Units conference in Sheffield.

I have recently become a more active Twitter user, which is where I came across numerous tweets about October being Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month #MUAM. What an excellent idea to have a whole month to celebrate medical ultrasound and most importantly to promote ourselves and the fundamental work that we do!

The team of sonographers that I work with were meeting for a development afternoon, which I saw as the perfect opportunity to celebrate #MUAM as a team. What better way to celebrate than with cake?!?

I made a Victoria sandwich and decorated it with a simplified version of the Society and College of Radiographers MUAM logo.

Below is my recipe to making a #MUAM celebration cake if you’d like to have a go at making one yourself. Let the Great Sonographer Bake Off commence!

MUAM celebration cake

13oz baking margarine/butter
10oz caster sugar
5 eggs
10 oz self-raising flour
6oz icing sugar
Generous helping of jam
500g pack ready-to-roll fondant icing
Blue food colouring
Blue sprinkles/coloured candy (optional)

To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.
Grease two 20cm/8inch cake tins and line with baking paper.
In a large bowl, add 10oz butter/margarine and 10oz caster sugar and beat together.
Add the eggs one at a time and stir well.
Add the flour and gently fold in until you have a well-mixed batter.
Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for approximately 25 mins or until the top is springy to touch.
Allow the cakes to cool completely. You can make the icing topper and prepare the butter icing whilst waiting for cakes to cool.

To make the butter icing
Mix the remaining 3oz of butter/margarine with 6oz of icing sugar and mix until smooth. Remove a heaped desert spoonful and in a separate bowl mix with blue food colouring to reach desired shade.
Add the blue butter icing to a ready-made piping bag or make your own by rolling a triangle of baking paper into a cone and folding over the top to secure. You can snip off the pointed end once filled to achieve the desired thickness of icing.

Once the cakes have cooled, spread generously with jam on one and the uncoloured butter icing on the other and sandwich the two cakes together. Spread a very small amount of butter icing or apricot jam on to the top of the cake to help your icing topper stick.

To make the icing topper
Cut off approx ¼ of the ready-to-roll icing and add blue food colouring to the desired shade.
Remove another ¼ of the remaining white icing to make your probe and cable.
Using corn flour or icing sugar to prevent it from sticking to your work surface, roll out the remaining white icing. With a sharp knife, cut out a circle big enough to cover your cake. A small plate makes a good template for this. Set this white circle aside.
Roll out the blue icing and using the same template, cut out a semi-circle the same size as your white circle. Use a small amount of water to moisten the underside of the blue semi-circle and place on top of the white circle aligning the round edge.
Gently cut away a wide ‘v’ from the top of the blue semi-circle with a sharp knife to achieve the desired shape.
Place your partially assembled cake topper onto your cake at this point.
Use your blue butter icing in the piping bag to pipe curved lines and cover with the blue sprinkles (optional!)
Mould a probe shaped block of icing from the piece removed at the beginning and add a cable. Use a small piece of left over blue to create your probe footprint.
Score an indented line with a sharp knife to add probe features!
Again, using water to moisten the icing surface, place the probe into position and tuck the cable end into the cake middle.
Roll out any remaining pieces of white icing and cut out your lettering.
Moisten and stick on as desired.

Your cake is now complete for you to enjoy and celebrate all things ultrasound with your fantastic sonography colleagues. Happy baking!

Tweet your photos to #MUAM and @SCoRMembers

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