Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Celebratory Layer Cakes!

I have disappeared for the last several months - almost eight months to be exact. Life has been busy and I have not had very much time for baking and blogging. I've been working, researching, organizing, purging, crocheting, singing and doing a little bit of baking here and there. I thought I would take some time to post a few of the cakes I did that I didn't get a chance to write about as I do not foresee a lot of time for blogging in the near future - more on that later in a couple of posts.

I had no idea what to call this post. What cake isn't 'celebratory'? These are two cakes that I did for family way back in May 2014. It has been so long that I'm not even 100% sure of what the flavour of the first one was. It definitely had something to do with almonds! I rarely do cakes that don't involve fondant decorations but I wanted to try some simpler but no less scrumptious looking cakes.

The first one was a Mother's Day cake - I know it doesn't look very Mother's Day-ish but really it was about the flavour. My mom doesn't like chocolate cake - although she has admitted to enjoying mocha cake with dulce de leche buttercream. I know she likes coffee flavour, so I made an almond flavoured butter cake with espresso based swiss meringue buttercream (I'm 98% sure that was the flavour) and garnished with toasted almonds. 

I was insistent that the almonds had to be sliced almonds but not blanched. Without the skin, they would just blend into the colour of the buttercream. They were a little harder to find but they look much better than blanched! 

The second cake was for my sister's birthday (same weekend!). I learned that my sister really enjoys chocolate malted milk balls and decided to run with that for a cake flavour. I wanted the cake to have the flavour of malted milk throughout and have a similar texture. 

I started out with a chocolate butter cake. For the crunchy texture found in a chocolate malted milk ball, I thought dacquoise would work well but it is a meringue that is traditionally made with nuts like hazelnuts or almonds and layered with buttercream or whipped cream and I did not want any nutty flavours overshadowing the malted milk flavour. I ended up making pseudo-dacquoise which was essentially large layers of chocolate meringue (piped in a large swirl) that I also added Ovaltine (original, not chocolate) powder to in place of some of the cocoa powder. The swiss meringue buttercream was chocolate with more Ovaltine added to it. I was worried that the Ovaltine might add a gritty texture to the smooth buttercream but it ended up being fine. The result was my cake version of a chocolate malted milk ball. It was very hard to cut into slices to serve but the flavour and texture was exactly what I wanted. 

I wanted the outside of the cake to be fun and birthday-like and you can't achieve that any better than with colourful sprinkles a-la-Sweetapolita. I originally did not plan to put the sprinkles that far up the cake but I got a little carried away - it just got higher and higher. You can never have enough sprinkles though. I decorated the top with large piped shells and chocolate malted milk balls. I must confess that I think I bought a pound of malt balls of which only 17 ended up on the actual cake and the rest ended up in my stomach - not all at once but they were gone much faster than I'd like to admit!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet and cakes schools us on how to play around with toppings on cakes be it almonds or whatever your preference is, good job i am impressed by this other baking blogs need to follow suit.