Saturday, 8 March 2014

Baby Girl Christening Cake

I had a request during the week from a family member to make a classic Christening cake for a family friend. Given that I haven't made any kind of cake since my own wedding cake back in January, I was up for the challenge and happy to have an excuse to dust off my cake making tools. I've been really out of routine the last couple of weeks and this has been my first proper opportunity to get in my kitchen to make something creative. This cake comprises of two layers, a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and the bottom layer is a rich chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting. The decoration was kept simple using ivory fondant along with various shades of pink. Polka dots, bows and baby blocks helped put the finishing touches to this edible creation.





Red Velvet Cake 

(6 inch square cake)

Ingredients
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g caster sugar
2 egg
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring (I recommend Dr. Oetker's or a paste colouring as red food colourings vary in strength)               
1tsp vanilla extract
240ml buttermilk     
300g plain flour
1tsp salt
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
3tsp white wine vinegar

For the cream cheese frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold  



Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
2. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or 
    use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well   
    mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is  
    well incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract   
    to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly  
    combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a 
    rubber spatula). 
4. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until  well  
    mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this  
    process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the 
    bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a  smooth, even
    mixture. 
5. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat 
    until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated
    oven for 40 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted   
    in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before  
    turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. 

For the cream cheese frosting: 
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not over beat, as it can quickly become runny.


E-D's Notes
When making red velvet cake Dr.Oetker Red Food coulouring really is a must. In all my years baking and after lots of trying and testing I have yet to find a brand which produces the same deep red colouring in this cake as the Dr.Oetker liquid red colouring (not the gel!).

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