Sunday, 29 July 2012

Pink Strawberry Cake

Oddly enough, today I bring nothing of chocolate. Really. No chocolate. And notice that my first idea was about making a chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream. Or a vanilla cake, strawberry jam filling, covered with chocolate buttercream. But no. It seems that today is strawberry day .And pink. Above all, pink. Well, the pink is my "little" mistake experimenting with a new food colouring, because the idea was to make a pale pink cake. Or at most, bubblegum pink. But hey, looks great next KA ...


The truth is that I wanted to experiment with cakes, toppings and stuff, but in the end, in the rush, I went to play it safe. Yoghurt cake with strawberry jam filling, covered with strawberry buttercream. I know, too unoriginal, but very effective. 
The only experiment was to bake the cake layer by layer (instead of cutting the layers after baked) with this recipe, and it works pretty good. 

Recipes are not new, but here you have them in case you wanna try!


STRAWBERRY CAKE

Yoghurt Cake
  • 1 plain yoghurt 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 55 gr olive oil (not extra virgin) 
  • 250 sugar 
  • 225 flour 
  • 15 gr baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF)

Mix all ingredients in a blender except the baking powder, that we will add at the end, when the rest of the ingredients are well mixed. Then, bake the cake 35-40 minutes. Let it cold in rack and then cut it into 3 layers.

Strawberry Buttercream
  • 250 gr butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 250 gr icing sugar 
  • Pink food colouring (optional)

Beat the butter until cream. Add the jam and icing sugar and beat until blended. If you want, you add a little (or not so little) pink food colouring to colour up a bit (the mixture you'll have will be a very rare -not beautiful- pink ).

To assemble the cake, firsts, with the help of a pastry bag, we outline the base of the first layer with buttercream, which will prevent the jam falling to the borders of the cake. Once we have this, fill the circle with the jam. Put up the second layer and repeat the operation. Then, cover with the third layer.

Now it's time to ice the cake with the buttercream. Make a first coat to level the cake, cover any holes or imperfections and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Past this time  remove from the fridge and cover with the rest of the buttercream. With a palette knife, smooth the surface as more as you can can, and the put the cake again in the fridge about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the fridge. Heat the palette knife with hot water, dry it with a coat and them, smooth all the surface with very low pressure. You'll need to repeat this step (heating the palette knife) every three of four movements. How many time it takes to completely smooth the cake? It depends on how accurate you wanna be ;)


Friday, 20 July 2012

Chocolate Layer Cake

For the record before ... I know, another chocolate recipe...But this time it is not my fault. It's been a long time since my colleagues doesn't play the role of guinea pigs. So, with a pair of cakes in mind to big to be made "for two", I ask my colleague Iñaki to choose between two cakes: Strawberry Ombre Layer Cake or Chocolate Layer Cake. So.. I'm not guilty!!!


This layer cake is pretty easy, except baking the layers of the cake with just one cake pan. So, it was baking one, wait, unmold, wash, bake another... Too much. I need to make an investment and buy a couple more of pan... There's no way to do a rainbow cake in this conditions, and I want to make one soon!!


So, while I was waiting I started to play with my cutters and end up with this kind of rose!


The cake can be filled with chocolate buttercream, as I've done, but you can also use vanilla buttercream, chocolate ganache. Well, the first idea was to prepare it with a ganache, but I was ran out of time to let ganache cold, so, I choose buttercream. Both recipes are adapted from the book "Cupcakes from de Primrose Bakery".


CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE

Ingredients for the cake (3 layers 20cm - 8'')
  • 230 bitter chocolate
  • 170 butter, room temperature
  • 350 light soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 370 flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 500 ml semi-skimmed milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate buttercream:
  • 230 gr bitter chocolate
  • 340 gr butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 375 gr icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF)

In the microwave, melt chocolate (previously chopped) heating in 30 seconds burst until it's completely melted. Let it cool.

In a mixer, cream the butter, add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is creamy. Beat the egg yolks in a clean bowl. Add them to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until it's completely integrated. Then add the chocolate and beat again until all ingredients are perfectly mixed.

In a pitcher, mix well milk and vanilla extract. Sift flour with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add 1/3 of the mixture of flour and 1/3 of milk and vanilla and beat until completely mixed. Repeat this process two more times.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, add them to the mixture and stir with a spatula making soft enveloping movements until fully incorporated.

Divide the mixture into three equal parts in 3 molds of 20 cm, greased (it can be done with just one mold, but you'll have to wait unti the fisrt cake is baked and cold, then clean the molt, grease it, and start again). Bake about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes. Demold and let cool on a rack.

For the buttercream, melt chocolate in the same way we did before and let cool (this is very important, because if we mix the chocolate when still hot it'll melt butter!). Mix butter with sugar (previously sifted), vanilla extract and milk, and beat well until you have a cream. Add the chocolate and beat again until  you get   a creamy but firm mixture.

Now it's time toassemble the cake.Fill a pastry bag with part of the buttercream (about 1/3). Take the first layer of the cake and "draw" a circle of buttercream following the contour of the ckaes (this will prevent buttercream from falling outside the cake), then fill the inside. Place the second layer over the first and repeat the process. Place the third layer and cover the top with buttercream. You can add some sprinkles or fondant decorations if you want. And then ...just enjoy!!


Friday, 6 July 2012

A year bloggin'

Exactly one year ago, I published my first post in this blog. I didn't know where it was gonna take me, or how it would evolve, it was just a way to share a new hobby. 

In a year a lot has happened, just notice the difference between my first "cupcake" and the ones I did yesterday. In this year, I discovered a world that was completely unknown to me.A year ago, didn't know that these cakes with spectacular shapes and colors were made with fondant, and the best, with patience and practice, I can do something similar. I found not only cupcakes, also cookies, cakes or macarons (god, what a great discovery, macarons!). It has grown my interest in experimenting in the kitchen and now I have thousands of recipes I wanna make. It seems, now, one of my biggest concerns is the oven to work properly.

And the best part is sharing it here, read your comments on the blog, or on facebook, because there is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone takes the trouble to spend a few minutes of its time to comment on what you do. So, from here many thanks to all of you who read me always, sometimes, or only occasionally. To all you, thank you very much!

Here you have a compilation of all of this year, which is not little!