Retro Birthday Cake

This stunning 8″ round cake is a Vanilla Buttermilk Cake layered with Swiss Lemon Meringue Buttercream and covered in sugar-paste.
One thing I really like about this particular buttermilk cake is that it is essentially a one bowl cake, not following the regular cake pattern of creamed butter and sugar, eggs added one by one and then alternating dry and wet ingredients. That’s the good part. The bad part is that it is imperative that you scrape down the bowl often, all the way to the bottom, overdoing it even. Otherwise, little deposits of unmixed butter or flour will sneak up on you.
Otherwise, the cake is really quite simple.
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake 8’ round / 7’ square cake
Ingredients
700 ml cake flour
 (replace 6 tbsp plain flour with corn flour) explained below
470 ml sugar
4.5 teaspoons baking powder
0.4 teaspoon salt
230 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
245 ml plus 60ml buttermilk
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 
Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 160C / 325°F. Butter an 8-inch round cake tin. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and 245 ml of the buttermilk. Mix on low speed briefly to blend; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 60 ml buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition.
4. Bake for 2 hours, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack by placing a rack on top of the pan, inverting it, and lifting off the pan. Peel off the paper liner and let cool completely. When cool, place a cardboard cake board on top of the cake, invert again, and lift off the rack. Wrap the cake on its board completely in plastic, so it doesn’t dry out, and refrigerate.
What is Cake Flour?
Replace 2 Tablespoons per cup (per 240ml) of all purpose flour (plain flour) with cornstarch (corn flour) to reduce the gluten content without sacrificing volume.
Recipes that call specifically for cake flour should have liquid volumes calibrated accordingly, so the won’t turn out dry, as long as you don’t ADD the corn flour, but incorporate it, so that the dry volume is the same.
Commercial cake flour is also finer than regular flour. Sifting a few times through with the cornstarch or zipping through a food processor can really help when you’re trying for a lighter-textured cake. “All-purpose flour” seems to be labeled “plain flour” in Australia.

Swiss Lemon Meringue Buttercream

This all-purpose buttercream has an ultra-silky, stable texture that spreads beautifully over cakes and cupcakes, and can be piped into perfect peaks and patterns.
The recipe makes enough to fill a 3 layered 8″ cake or for 24 (or 18 if piping a tall topping)  cupcakes.

Ingredients

4 large egg whites
250g Caster Sugar
pinch of salt
250g Unsalted butter/ softened
1.5 lemons, zest only

Directions

Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in lemon zest and a little yellow food colouring gel (optional). Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes

Once the cake is layered with the buttercream it needs a crumb coat. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is not much use for this as it is quite soft. On this occassion I have added a very thin coating of white chocolate ganache but could have used a crusting decorators buttercream instead.
This nice firm crumb coat will make it easy to get a nice finnish on the sugar paste covering.

Brush the cake with a thin layer of water (boiled and cooled) this will help the sugar paste stick to the cake.
I used just under 1 kilo of white sugar paste to cover the cake and coloured a further 200g pink, 200g orange and 200g yellow.
I used a pizza cutter to cut out Paisley pattern teardrops, triangles, long ovals, circles and flowers then randomly placed them all over the cake. I stuck them down with some edible glue but a little water would have worked just as well.
Back view
Side view
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Pink Tatty Teddy Christening Cake Tutorial

7” White Chocolate Caramel Mud Cake Round
Ingredients
180g butter
180g white choc
162ml water
90 SR
180g plain
120g caster
120g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
250g nestle Top’n’Fill Caramel
Ganache
780g white chocolate
270ml pure cream
Fondant
780g sugar-paste
Method for the 7″ round white chocolate Caramel mud cake 
(adapted from Planet Cake Cookbook)
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease tin and line the base and sides with a collar of baking paper that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin. Add baking strips (made from damp cloths wrapped in tin foil) around the outside of the cake tin. Put the butter and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter has melted. Turn off the heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well combined.
Sift the flours together in a bowl. Add the sugars, a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.
Pour the chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add Top’n’Fill and stir till combined
Pour into the cake tin inserting a flower nail in the bottom of the tin. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake. Cover with foil halfway through if the cake is browning too quickly.
Once removed from the oven, use a pastry brush (or similar) to brush the top of the cake with boiled water to keep it moist and save it from cracking and forming crusty bits on top. Then cover with a clean tea cloth to reduce evaporation. Repeat the brushing with boiled water step two or three times at half hour intervals as the cake cools. Remove the baking strips once they can be handled or use oven gloves to remove them.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack before taking the cake out of the tin.

Wrap the cake well in cling film (do not squash cake) and put in fridge till morning.
  1. Process chocolate till it resembles breadcrumbs and place in a large bowl
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and mix with a hand whisk until the ganache is smooth. (Do not use an electric whisk, as you will create too many air bubbles in the ganache.)
  3. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight.

To torte and cover your cake with ganache click here

To make the teddy. Colour white ready made sugar paste with pink gel colour and add half a teaspoon of Tylose powder and kneed till incorporated. Model all the little bits and pieces in the picture above and leave to harden for an hour or two.

Use dark pink petal dust to brush onto the Teddy’s cheeks with a dry paint brush. Use wooden cocktail sticks to attach arms, legs and head to body along with edible glue made from water and Tylose powder. Use the same method to attach the finished Teddy to the cake.

 
 
 
 
 

Pink Tiffany Wedding Cake Tutorial

This cake was made up of two square tiers. The bottom tier was an 11″ dark chocolate mud cake with dark chocolate ganache and the top tier was a 9″ white chocolate mud cake with white chocolate ganache.

Ingredients for the 9″ square white chocolate mud cake

400g butter

400g white chocolate

350ml water
400 plain flour
200g SR flour
520g caster suger
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

White chocolate ganache

1700g white chocolate
600ml pure cream
Fondant
1700g sugar-paste

Method for the 9″ square white chocolate mud cake 

(adapted from Planet Cake Cookbook)
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease tin and line the base and sides with a collar of baking paper that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin. Add baking strips (made from damp cloths wrapped in tin foil) around the outside of the cake tin. Put the butter and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter has melted. Turn off the heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well combined.
Sift the flours together in a bowl. Add the sugar, a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.
Pour the chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Pour into the cake tin, Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake. Cover with foil halfway through if the cake is browning too quickly.
Once removed from the oven, use a pastry brush (or similar) to brush the top of the cake with boiled water to keep it moist and save it from cracking and forming crusty bits on top. Then cover with a clean tea cloth to reduce evaporation. Repeat the brushing with boiled water step two or three times at half hour intervals as the cake cools. Remove the baking strips once they can be handled or use oven gloves to remove them.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack before taking the cake out of the tin.

Wrap the cake well in cling film (do not squash cake) and put in fridge till morning.
Method for white chocolate ganache

  1. Process chocolate till it resembles breadcrumbs and place in a large bowl
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and mix with a hand whisk until the ganache is smooth. (Do not use an electric whisk, as you will create too many air bubbles in the ganache.)
  3. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight.

Ingredients for the 11” square dark chocolate mud cake 

440g butter
440g dk choc
50g coffee
320ml water
250g SR flour
250g plain
100g cocoa
1 tsp bicarb
960g caster
8 eggs
14 tsp oil
200ml buttermilk

Ganache

2400g dark chocolate
1200ml pure cream

Fondant

2.6kg sugar-paste
Method for the 11” square dark chocolate mud cake 
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin. Add baking strips (made from damp cloths wrapped in tin foil) around the outside of the cake tin.

Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.

Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours (for 11.5″cake) or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky.
Once removed from the oven, use a pastry brush (or similar) to brush the top of the cake with boiled water to keep it moist and save it from cracking and forming crusty bits on top. Then cover with a clean tea cloth to reduce evaporation. Repeat the brushing with boiled water step two or three times at half hour intervals as the cake cools.
Remove the baking strips once they can be handled or use oven gloves to remove them.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack before taking the cake out of the tin.

Wrap the cake well in cling film (do not squash cake) and put in fridge till morning.
  1. Process chocolate till it resembles breadcrumbs and place in a large bowl
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and mix with a hand whisk until the ganache is smooth. (Do not use an electric whisk, as you will create too many air bubbles in the ganache.)
  3. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight.

Making the lids

Let the cakes sit for a couple of hours to allow the icing to dry before you make the lids.
Brush the top of the cakes with a little water (or syrup) and run the brush around the top inch of the side of the cakes.
Knead 400g of the pink icing for the top box lid and 600g of pink for the the bottom box lid.
Once the dough is pliable, roll out each piece till they are at least 8 in larger thad the width of each box. Roll the icing over your rolling pin, lift it up and roll it over the cake. Smooth the top and sides with a flexi-scraper. Use a ruler to mark the edge of the lid on all 4 sides.
Trim the lid with a sharp knife.

Making the ribbon

Knead 500g of the white sugar-paste to a pliable dough and roll out to 16 x 40 cm rectangle. Cut into 4 long 4 cm wide strips. Trim one end of each ribbon into a point to help fit the ribbons together on top of the cake. Stick to the cake with water and trim excess ends with a knife.

Making the bow

Instructions on making the bow can be found on this video.

Hannah Montana Cake

  1. I used the Planet Cake recipe for dark chocolate Mud Cake then torted and covered it in dark chocolate ganache also from Planet Cake. Click here for Planet Cake Recipe for dark chocolate mud cake.
  2. I covered the cake in white sugar paste from Bakels and covered the board with it in one go i.e. I cut out a circle of sugar paste that would cover the cake and the board then just shaped it all to fit with my hands. and made the bow using a tutorial on YouTube.
  3. I found an image of Hannah Montana on Google images and also the Hannah Montana logo. Using Photoshop I put the two images together and used ‘Stroke’ to make 3 pink outlines around her to match the colours in the cake. Click here to find those images.
  4. For ‘Lexi’ I picked a font on Photoshop and curved it then printed it out. Next I traced the letters onto tracing paper and used a pin to transfer the outline onto the cake. I piped the outline in pink Royal Icing using a No 1 nozzle and flooded the centres using a larger nozzle.
  5. Flowers and stars were made from sugar paste using small metal cutters and piped on top with white Royal Icing dots. The covered wires were inserted into the flowers and stars before they dried.
  6. Finally I trimmed the edge of the cake board with matching pink satin ribbon attaching it all the way round with very thin double sided sticky tape used by scrap-bookers.

This cake was 7″ diameter and looked really cute and girl