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.

Lamingtons (for my love)

Valentine’s Day isn’t really celebrated in our house. Having said that I cannot help but do something, even if it’s just little, and possibly an excuse to bake.

The BF is a huge lamington fan. For those of you not familiar with this classically Australian treat it’s basically 2 layers of sponge cake with jam between them and then covered entirely in chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut. If you’ve not had one, I suggest you hunt one down, or as I did, make your own.

Rather than transcribe the recipes I used you can just head on over to Donna Hay… I started with the basic sponge and then referred to the lamingtons.

So we start with an eggy sponge. 
IMG_1639While that’s baking you can prepare your coconut and chocolate sauce, if it goes a little hard (like mine did) add some extra hot water to loosen it back up.
IMG_1642All of the elements…
IMG_1644But before they all go together you need to cut your sponge in half horizontally (like a big sandwich) and cover one side with jam, the pop the top back on. Now it’s time to cut it into chunks, however large you please.
IMG_1643Get your production line ready. When dipping your spongey squares it’s easiest to use two forks, let the chocolate drain off before it goes into the coconut.

It’s messy work, coconut will go pretty much everywhere.
IMG_1646But it’s worth it in the end… And I was told they were delicious!