Today is the 2nd year of my baking blog. 2 years ago, I started this blog with expectations that I would probably only be able to maintain it for a few months.
Happy birthday, eelmsthebaker. I’ve managed 217 posts! Frankly I’m quite amazed at the amount of baking I did. HA!
To commemorate this achievement and to recover from the shock of having made so much over the past 2 years (oddly, by making more), I decided to make a special cake. Something I have never attempted before. A cake that I’ve ooh-ed and ahh-ed over on many other blogs. An ombre cake.
Originally I wanted to make a rose ombre cake. But I chose to make the wrong type of frosting. I made cream cheese frosting. I don’t like too much icing sugar in my frosting, which is why I usually stick to italian or swiss meringue buttercream, where I can tweak the amount of sugar that goes in. But so much frosting is needed to make a rose ombre cake that I thought the frosting should taste tart, to compliment everything else. If it were just buttercream, whether icing or italian or swiss meringue, it could taste too rich and sweet.
In the end, the cream cheese buttercream was too soft to be able to pipe the roses on the sides of the cake. I piped one and it just slumped there, as tired as I felt. Plan B was put in place. A pink ombre swirl effect was done instead. I kind of like this style too. It uses less buttercream, is much easier to design and looks just as pretty.
Pink ombre cake
Cake (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)
- 270 grams egg white
- 484 grams milk (split into 121 and 363 grams)
- 18 grams pure vanilla extract
- 450 grams castor sugar
- 600 grams cake flour
- 38 grams baking powder
- 10 grams salt
- 340 grams unsalted butter
- Pink/Red coloring
Note: Portion was doubled to make 6 pieces of 6 inch cake. All ingredients at room temperature.
- Grease and line 6 x 6″ round pan. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
- In a medium bowl, mix egg white, 121 grams milk and vanilla extract.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift in flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk for a minute to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, add in butter and remaining 363 grams of milk. When the ingredients are moistened, increase speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Turn the speed to low and gradually add in the egg white mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each batch.
- Scrape down the bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium.
- Weigh the batter. I had enough to make 6 cakes at 364 grams of batter each.
- Color the batter as per your desire. I used a mixture of pink and red for the darkest color, gradually lightening to just pink.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Do the skewer-in-the-middle check. When it is done, the skewer should come out clean.
Frosting (about 6 cups)
- 500 grams cream cheese, room temperature
- 300 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100 grams salted butter, room temperature
- 750 grams icing sugar
- 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pink/Red coloring
- Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and beat for a minute.
- On low speed, gradually add in icing sugar. Beat for 2 minutes on high speed until smooth.
- Scoop out 3 cups of frosting into 3 medium bowls. Color as per desire.
- Chill until use.
- Lemon curd
- According to your preference, either place the lightest colored cake or the darkest colored cake at the base, on a serving plate.
- Scoop out 2 tablespoons of lemon curd and spread evenly over the cake. Take care not to spread all the way to the edge, to prevent smudging on the cream cheese crumb coat frosting.
- Repeat with the rest of the cake.
- Using the uncolored cream cheese, do a layer of crumb coating over the stacked cakes. Chill the cake for half an hour and spread on a second layer of uncolored cream cheese frosting. Chill the cake for half an hour.
- Using the darkest colored cream cheese, spread an even layer over the base (last) layer of cake. With the help of the cake turntable, create a swirl design. Repeat with the other 2 colors. Chill the cake if necessary, between spreading the frosting.
- Pipe a rose on the top of the cake using Wilton 1M tip.
- Chill cake for 2 hours. Remove cake from refrigerator half an hour before serving.
An ombre cake is slow work. It is recommended to take things easy and plan ahead, baking on the first day and assembling on the second day. I baked the layers on Saturday, made the frosting on Sunday morning and assembled the cake on Sunday late afternoon. It weighed around 4 kg. It felt like 8 kg as I was carrying the slices to work. Ha!
I am satisfied with this design, though it is somewhat impractical to transport. Cutting the cake is also a challenge. The frosting did not remain flawless. Oh yeah, notice there are only 5 layers to this cake? What happened to the 6th layer? It was cut up into 2 mini cakes. A cherry compote was used to sandwich the cakes and cream cheese frosting was swirled into a rose pattern using tip 823.
I hope to make a rose ombre cake someday.