Blue ombre cake

From time to time my sister and I get asked to bake a cake for someone. This one is for one of our parents good friends, we’ve known him forever, there is a photo of me as a baby sitting on his knee, he’s wearing a pink jumper.

But I digress… the inspiration for this cake came from the amazingly talented Steph over at Raspberri Cupcakes. Everything she bakes makes me want to step into the kitchen and never leave. Her blog is definitely worth a visit.

IMG_1880Start with a list, naturally.

IMG_1892Is there anything better than watching eggs slide smoothly into creamed butter and sugar? I think not. This cake was going to require three batches of the Magnolia traditional vanilla birthday cake. Once everything is mixed you’ve got to get the colour in your layers right. The moment we opened the purple colour we realised that there was not going to be enough… blue it is! IMG_1896Four of our six layers. The two missing are darkest and lightest. IMG_1891IMG_1898Layers, baked and trimmed. Now between the layers we decided to jazz it up a little with white chocolate ganache and blackcurrant jam. IMG_1893 IMG_1894 IMG_1895White chocolate ganache is super easy. Break chocolate. Heat cream. Pour cream over chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted. Done. So that it is easier to spread I let it cool and thicken. Then we were ready to assemble. Layer upon layer went on until…

IMG_1905We had this beast. Six layers of cake-jammy-ganachey goodness.

IMG_1906Crumb coat time. It took more than I expected to fill the gaps in the sides, but everyone loves icing, right?

IMG_1907Before the dress coat of icing could happen the crumb coat needed to set. I had some snacks, while staring at the cake, and let it be as long as I could bear. Then it was time to scallop. I’ve seen scalloping many a time on Pinterest and I love the way it looks, however until now I have far too intimidated to actually attempt it. Yes, I probably should have at least given it a try beforehand, but I didn’t. So when I took the piping bag in hand it was the moment of truth. I was terrified but once I started I was on a roll- as a result there are no scallop progress photos.

IMG_1911Just the finished product. It’s not peeeeerfect, but for a first attempted I am exceedingly pleased.

IMG_1909And a swirly top.

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Chocolate-chocolate cupcakes + chocolate-salted caramel donuts

Today, despite the fact it was another day of 35*c, was a baking kind of day. Not in my little hot box of a house though, instead I went to visit a friend who has recently moved into an amazing new house built by her very talented husband. Everything is brand-spanking-new, including the self-cleaning over and crazy effective AC. IMG_1822First up to decide on recipes. After much deliberation we went for Magnolia’s chocolate-chocolate cupcakes (possibly the favourite cupcake variety of the BF) and chocolate-salted caramel donuts.

IMG_1823The thing that makes Magnolia’s chocolate cupcakes better than any other? Melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder.

IMG_1824Sifting, sifting, sifting… this sifter was super cute but not terribly effective. Not a lot was sifted after this point.

IMG_1837IMG_1821Beating. Creaming. Mixing. Whipping.

IMG_1825Action scooping. Ice cream scoops give you the perfect amount every time, so all of your cupcakes will be the same size, no arguments over who got more cake. IMG_1826And with a near empty bowl into the oven they went. In the interests of full disclosure I’ve no idea what happened once these went into the oven. All of them oozed out the sides and were flat as pancakes on top. I was pretty much mortified.

IMG_1833Icing however can do wonders, especially when applied with fervour by a three and a half year old who ate nearly as much icing as she spread. Sprinkle application was also professional as hell- look at the coverage achieved on the far right!

Donut time.

IMG_1836 IMG_1828Mixed and into pans. Donut pans are magic. This is only the second time I have used them and my goodness I was pleased.

IMG_1829Out of the oven, cooling and waiting for salted-caramel icing. IMG_1830Iced and sprinkled with salt.

IMG_1832BOOM. These babies 100% redeemed the cupcake disaster and apparently tasted just like sticky date pudding.

Recipe wise the cupcakes were Magnolia’s chocolate cupcakes with the chocolate buttercream, which you can find here. The donuts have been pinned on my donuts, oh donuts pinterest board for some time, you can them here.

It’s been far too long since I have baked for no reason at all than simply to be in the kitchen, and it’s even more rare to be doing it with someone else, usually it’s just little ol’ me. I loved being in the kitchen with friends, and kids. A very happy Saturday indeed.