Thursday, December 29, 2011

pink ruffles

My baby turned 4 yesterday! Yes, I know, F O U R! :)

Every year I say I will organise a party for her early in December, away from Christmas and before it gets overlooked.... and every year life goes crazy and all of a sudden it is the 28th December and we haven't had a party... and, as you know, everyone is always away!

Well, I'm afraid to say that this year was no exception, but, we did manage to have a lovely day, pikelets for breakfast, friends to play, bike riding, dinner out, and a very pink ruffly chocolate cake to mark the occasion. And you never know, I may just get my act together and throw a party later in January... maybe!!

I saw this cake recently on the Maisy & Grace blog and knew it would be perfect. It is also super easy (honestly) which in my books is a sure winner.


I also used the Chocolate Cake recipe from Annabel Langbein's 'The Free Range Cook'

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 
Serves: 12-16 (1 big cake or 2 smaller cakes)
3 cups self-raising flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda, sifted
200g butter, softened
1 cup milk or unsweetened yoghurt
3 large eggs
1 cup boiling hot coffee
Heat oven to 160°C. Grease the sides and line the base of a 30cm round cake tin or 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.

Place all ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix or blitz until the ingredients are combined and the butter is fully incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared tin or tins and smooth top.

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin.
* If not using at once, the cake will keep for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge. You can also freeze it uniced.

Buttercream Icing (from Maisy & Grace)

400g softened butter
1kg icing sugar
Vanilla extract
A few tablespoons hot water
Few drops of food colouring/gel/powder

Cream the butter using electric egg beater or cake mixer, slowly add icing sugar and keep on creaming, adding hot water only a tablespoon at a time just to help with the blending, and not too much as to make the mixture runny.  Just keep beating and beating until it's a smooth creamy mixture.
Test it by putting some through a piping bag, make a shape and wait a while to see if it holds its form.

To Ice

Join the two cakes together by 'gluing' them with some icing. Then cover the whole cake with the buttercream icing using a spatula/knife. This is the crumb layer, just to cover the cake and provide a good surface to pipe the ruffles onto, and needn't be flash.

Then, follow the tutorial on the clip below for the ruffles... honestly, they are that easy!

Good luck x

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