What is the punishment for forgetting your blogiversary, I wonder. Do you get banned from tasting your future creations, or get cursed with really bad food photographs? I certainly hope not! Well, I started my blog on the 5th of February last year (World Nutella Day too apparently), but all this time, I thought it was actually the 25th of February! How in the world did I come up with this 20-day gap date? Must be all that sleep I’m losing that is messing with my head. In any case, I went ahead and made my little blog a cake to celebrate. You know what they say, better late than never!
I’m guessing one of the major causes I kind of lost track of my dates is because I don’t post as often as I should; or perhaps I got a little too caught up with thinking about what I wanted to write about for World Nutella Day? I must admit I am ashamed of how I sometimes neglect my blog because I have a million other things on my mind; yet I know that does not justify in the least how I could forget its birthday. It is inexcusable! (I feel like giving my blog a hug of apology now.) I do love this blog; and I do think it is seen with how every photo and post is written with much fervour and enthusiasm. Hopefully that shines through as much as this cake will.
I debated for a long time what colour I would use to tint my cakes: If I used red it would look too much like red velvet cake, which it is not. If I used green it would look like a “monster” cake, or slime. I considered using my favourite colour, yellow, but I didn’t think the Ombré would be too obvious given this is a Yellow Cake. The blog I got this recipe from used violet food colouring, so I wanted to try a different colour. But then I made this cake for my best friend’s birthday last December, and it just so happened that her favourite colour is violet. Needless to say she was very happy about it. So in the end I settled on that colour again. And once again it turned out beautifully. Mais bien sûr!
The cakes are so moist and rich, basically just a perfect Yellow Cake recipe from Le Cordon Bleu, frosted with a dreamy Salted Butter Icing that is both a marvel to work with and tastes just rightly sweet, which of course is always an A+ on my book. The icing makes me look good in terms of my currently non-existent cake-frosting skills.
Here’s how I frosted the cake the second time, covering the whole cake with waves:
For filling between the cake layers, you have the option of using your favourite fruit jam, or using the icing as filling, in which case you would have to make another 1/2 to 1 whole batch. I used strawberry jam because it’s my favourite kind of jam, although you could use blackcurrant, or even blueberry if you want. I couldn’t resist adding colourful sprinkles on top to add to the fun feel and funkiness of this cake. The result is a marvelous cake, both in appearance and in taste. I pretty much just watched it disappear slice by slice each day.
I would suggest though that before cutting into this cake, you should chill it for a couple of hours first, to help the layers and the icing set; or else the cake might be too soft and may break apart while being sliced and transferred to a plate. I would also suggest that you use 8-inch cake pans for the cake layers. I used 9-inch pans since it was all I had, and felt my layers were just a tad too thin. It would be much easier to handle the layers if they are a bit thicker.
If you would notice, the cake layers are clearer in the photo taken by my best friend of the first version of the cake I made. The more recent one has the gradient going the opposite way so that the white layer would meet with the white frosting. But I used a little less jam in the lower layers than I intended and it ended up making the layers look as though they are one continuous gradient rather than cake layers. That’s kind of cool.
Purple Ombré Cake
adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes | Makes one 8-inch 5-layer cake
For the cake:
355 grams (about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
225 millilitres (less than 1 cup) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
400 grams (about 1 3/4 cups) caster sugar
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 medium eggs
Purple or violet food colour
Choice of berry jam**, to spread between layers
For the icing:
400 grams (about 3 1/2 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
275 grams (about 2.5 sticks) salted butter, chopped into cubes and softened to room temperature
Extra table salt to taste
Sprinkles, to decorate (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease whatever 8-inch round cake tins you have. You may or may not line the base of your tins with baking paper, but make sure to properly grease and dust the tins (and paper, if using) with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
2. Make the cake: Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a measuring glass, mix milk and vanilla together until vanilla is fully incorporated.
4. Using electric mixer on low speed, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until blended. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 mins or until pale and creamy.
5. Reduce speed to medium low. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. Add a third of the flour mixture into the bowl, alternating with half the milk mixture. Add half of the flour mixture again, then pour in the last of the milk mixture. Scrape the bowl before adding the last of the flour mixture, beating until smooth. Make sure to begin and end with the flour mixture.
7. Divide mixture evenly into 5 medium bowls. Leave one bowl of batter white, then very gradually add colouring to each bowl and gently fold it into the mixture, adding slightly more colouring as you do each bowl so that the 5 bowls give you a even gradient of colour.
8. Pour batter into prepared tins and bake each layer for about 15-20 minutes***, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean and the outside is golden. The sides of the cake would have begun to pull away from the tin as well.
9. Cool cakes in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
10. Prepare the icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on high until smooth and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low to prevent the sugar from flying everywhere, and gradually add the confectioner’s sugar until combined.
11. Increase speed to high and beat until icing is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes or so. Gradually add any extra table salt to taste if needed****.
12. Prepare cake for icing: You may want to trim the tops of your cake layers a bit to make sure they are level, but it’s all right if you don’t. Layer cakes with jam (or more icing), using a spatula to gently even out the filling. You may stack the cakes according to your preference, either from the dark colour up or starting from the light colour.
13. Crumb coat the cake with some of the prepared icing and chill for 15 minutes. This will help in sealing in cake crumbs or jam that might later on mess with the appearance of your cake.
14. Cover the cake with more icing, smoothing out the icing with an offset spatula. Decorate as desired. If decorating with sprinkles, place the cake in a large container that will catch any of the sprinkles that will run off the cake as you try to stick them on. Serve cake at room temperature, with the icing slightly softened and creamy.
Storing: Store cake in an airtight container in the fridge, then take it out a few minutes before eating.
*I substituted 100 grams of flour with whole wheat pastry flour.
**I used strawberry jam because it’s my favourite kind of jam, although you could use blackcurrant, or even blueberry if you want. You can also use the icing as filling, in which case you would have to make another 1/2 to 1 whole batch of icing to have enough.
***If baking two layers at once, make sure to rotate your tins top to bottom and vice versa midway through the baking time.
****I added about half a teaspoon more salt to balance out the sweetness.
Happy first anniversary, my little blog! A lot of people have come and gone from this blog and I’ve felt so blessed with all the comments and the likes. Thank you all so much for being on this journey with me! I can’t express enough how appreciative I am, but here’s a fat slice of cake dedicated to you all. I heart my Readers!
And no more forgetting my blogiversary next year! I’m marking it on my calendar as early as now.