I admit it... I have been extremely lazy, which has led to the blog being...well, quite unkept.
So in an effort to start updating again, I thought I shall update you on some recent cakes I have made.
Lemon chiffon cake, lemon curd cream filling, Swiss meringue buttercream and a fondant bow
I was asked to make a cake for a baby shower, the only request being a chiffon cake to use purple as the colour - the rest was up to me! I was originally going to make something completely different but had diffiulty sourcing fresh flowers. Luckily, I came across this cake on the Martha Stewart website.
Whilst it may look quite difficult to do, the ruffle is actually quite simple. It involves using a small petal tip (I used wilton tip #103). Starting at the bottom, holding the piping bag straight with the smaller side of the tip facing outward, do a back and forth motion until you reach the top of the cake then start again beside that row until the cake is covered.
If you are a visual person, watching this ruffle cake tutorial on YouTube will be beneficial.
My technique was a little rough (not too bad for a first effort though!), but it is a very forgiving technique.
Lemon Chiffon Cake (to make a 3 layer cake as I have done, you will need to make 3 of this recipe)
3/4 cup cake flour (this can be found at Coles supermarket)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, (about 4 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Heat oven to 170 degrees and have ready an ungreased an 8 inch round tin. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 cup sugar; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vegetable oil, 1/3 cup water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add reserved dry ingredients, and beat until smooth.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gradually add remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar; beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Gradually fold egg-white mixture into the batter; start by folding in 1/3, then fold in the remaining 2/3. Pour batter into pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth the top. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is golden, about 45 minutes.
Remove cake from oven; invert the pan over 2 glasses (rest the sides of the tin on the glasses) for 2 hours to cool (THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT). Turn cake right-side up. Run a table knife all the way down between cake and pan; invert again, and remove cake.
To read more about chiffon cakes, looky here.
Lemon Curd Cream (adapted from Joy of Baking)
3 large eggs
150 grams granulated white sugar
80 ml fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
56 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest
500ml Thickened Cream, whipped to soft peaks
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate until completely cool.
Once the curd is cool, fold through the whipped cream and refrigerate until required.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
450g unsalted butter, room temperature (if you prefer a saltier taste like I do, use salt reduced butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy and pale. Transfer to small bowl.
In double boiler over simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites until warm and sugar is dissolved, 3 - 5 minutes. Transfer to clean bowl of electric mixer; beat on high with whisk attachment until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes.
Reduce mixer to medium-low; add butter a scant 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
Switch to paddle attachment; beat on lowest speed 3 to 5 minutes (add your require food colouring now). Leave at room temperature if using same day. Or store airtight in refrigerator up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature; beat until smooth.
Lay one of the cakes on a cake stand or plate. Spread desired amount of lemon cream and top with a second cake, spread with another layer of lemon cream and top with the third cake.
Crumb coat the entire cake with approx 2 cups of the buttercream and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Using a wilton #103 tip, fill a pastry bag with the buttercream (don't overfill the bag as it can be a little hard to manoeuvre). Hold bag vertically, slot of tip perpendicular to cake; use swift back-and-forth motion 1 inch wide to make ruffle, pulling tip up side. Repeat until the entire cake is covered.
To finish the top of the cake pipe back and forth around the edge of the cake with the large end of the tip facing outwards.
To make the fondant bow, looky here.
...and matching vanilla cupcakes.
Red Velvet Cake
Isn't this red velvet cake just gorgeous? Not only is this dramatic cake beautiful to look at, it has a wonderfully soft, fluffy texture which is just divine with the creamy frosting.
250 grams sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 grams regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
300 grams granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
240 ml buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food colouring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and place rack in centre of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food colouring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight).
Cream Cheese Frosting
250 grams cream cheese, room temperature
250 grams tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
115 grams icing sugar, sifted
360 ml cups cold heavy whipping cream
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.
Assemble: With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake layers. Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
Rainbow Layer Cake & Choc Mud Cupcakes
How AWESOME is this rainbow layer cake? I've been wanting to make this cake for a while now, but didn't have an occasion until I was recently asked to make a 3rd birthday cake.
To learn how to make this cake, looky here..
And last but not least, here are some chocolate mud cupcakes with a swirl of classic buttercream frosting and fondant toppers.