Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cakecuccino's First Birthday!

A year today I started this blog! I'm really proud that I've managed to keep it updated on a (semi) regular basis, and hopefully will be able to do so for the next year. 

To celebrate such an occasion, we obviously need a cake...
 Though, I actually made this cake for my friend Faye's 21st birthday! (She also has a blog called 'Cooking with Faye'). It took quite a few hours to make, but I blame that on the fact that I only had two cake pans...
Rainbow Cake

250g butter
250g sugar
250g self-raising flour
4 eggs
Vanilla extract (optional).
6 food dyes of your choice.
Ready to roll fondant.


125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add an egg with a tablespoon of flour and mix thoroughly. Repeat with each egg, and then add the rest of the flour. Also, add in the vanilla extract if using.
3. Seperate the cake mixture into 6 different bowls. 

4. Add in your colouring, and mix thoroughly. 
 5. Pour the mixture into prepared 8 inch cake pans, and then bake for around 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean or the sponge bounces back when pressed.
 6. Prepare your frosting while the cakes cool. With an electric mixer, mix together the butter and icing sugar, adding a splash of vanilla/milk until the frosting is light and fluffy.
7. Decide on the order of your layers, and then frost the cake layers together once cool.
 8. If using fondant, spread a thin coating of frosting over the cake which will help the fondant to stick.
9. Dust your counter with icing sugar, and roll out your fondant to around an eighth of an inch. (In order to prevent the fondant sticking to the counter, flip it over and dust with more icing sugar).
10. Carefully roll your fondant over your rolling pin, and then roll back over the cake smoothing down the sides.

 My fondant techniques leave a lot to be desired, but I'm sure there are plenty of how to videos available over the web to help ensure a smoother finish than mine!

(Note : It is best to use food dye gel to produce vivid colours, but I was unable to locate any in the time I had. I used a mixture of liquid colouring, which to help the colour, I added a little bit of cocoa powder to the cake mixture. I also used Sugarflair colouring (the blue and the lilac layers) which I think turned out quite nicely, so I would reccommend those if you can get your hands on them. For the yellow layer, I just left it plain).

Although on the outside this cake looks rather plain, the real surprise comes as the cake is cut! 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Kit Kat & Smarties Cake!

I've seen this idea floating around on various websites, and thought it was particularly clever! I'm not sure if anyone watched 'Baking Made Easy' on BBC1 with Lorraine Pascal, where she decorated a cake with chocolate cigerellos. Although the final product was beautiful, the price of the cigerellos were a bit out of my reach (over £30!), so this idea is perhaps more of a version for those on a budget, but still looks pretty amazing.

For the sponge:
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1-2tbsp of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Decoration (for an 8 inch cake):
18 x 2 finger Kit Kats
5 tubes of Smarties (Or whatever you fancy topping it with!)

1. For this cake, you can use your favourite cake recipe. I chose to use Mary Berry's classic victoria sponge recipe, with a dash of vanilla extract. You can find the recipe and method  here!
 2. After the cake is cooked and completely cooled, you can start the frosting. Whisk together the butter and the icing sugar (for best results, use a hand mixer for this), adding it a splash of the milk and vanilla extract at a time. It is best to whisk for around five minutes for a light and airy frosting. (Also take this as an opportunity to make sure that the Kit Kat is slightly taller than the sponge when placed together, if it is not, you will have to trim the sponge down a little).
3. Place a small blob of frosting on top of your cake board, and then place the bottom sponge on top. This will act like a glue to keep the sponge in place.
4. Using a palette knife, place a large blob of frosting on top of your bottom sponge, and spread across evenly.

 5. Place the other sponge on top, and then proceed to frost the cake entirely. Don't worry if it looks messy, as it's going to be covered completely by sweeties!
6. Using the left over frosting, spread a little on the bottom of the Kit Kat, and press firmly on to the side of the cake. Again, this will act like glue holding the Kit Kat in place. Repeat until the whole cake is covered.
7. Scatter your smarties (or whatever you've chosen) across the top of the sponge. And you're done!
Until next time!