Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a glorious weekend. I spent yesterday admiring the gorgeous Grand Wedding Show with some very lovely ladies and my amazing friend who’s getting married this winter, it was such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday! If you were in Auckland, did you manage to go? It was overflowing with so many stunning vendors! Oh, I also stumbled upon this lovely Pastel Blue Petal Chocolate Layer Cake that I’d made for a sweet baby shower a while ago - I love re-finding pretty images hidden on my computer, it’s such a lovely surprise! I still adore how soft the blue is, it’s the perfect hue to match a delicious chocolate layer cake. x
Click read more for the recipe.
pastel blue petal chocolate layer cake
2 x quantities of Chocolate Cake – see below, you can easily double this recipe.
2 x Swiss Meringue Buttercream, for the ruffle – see below
2 1/2 cups (365g) plain flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups (385g) caster sugar
250g butter, melted
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cups cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line the base of a 20cm round cake tin and butter and flour the sides. In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder and sugar, whisk to combine then make a well. Gently melt the butter and cocoa powder in a small saucepan or in the microwave, make sure it doesn’t separate (you don’t want the oil to rise). Measure out the milk and add the vanilla, then pour into the flour mixture. Add the eggs one by one and then the butter and mix until well combined – this is a runny pourable cake mixture, almost pancake mixture texture. Pour 770g of cake mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 30-35min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10min before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely, repeat with the remaining batter.
If you are like me and only have one cake tin (not four of the same size) make sure you throughly clean the cake tin after each use and run it under cold water to cool it down between uses – you will also have to prepare the cake tin each time for each cake. If you don’t want to make a cake with four layers - you can make cupcakes out of the remaining batter.
swiss meringue buttercream
5 large egg whites (30g each–total 150g)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
500g butter, cut into cubes to soften
2 tablespoon vanilla essence
Cornflour Blue food coloring gel
Wipe the bowl and beater of an electric mixer with paper towel and vinegar, to remove any trace of grease. Add thee egg whites and sugar, place the bowl over a pot of simmer water (not boiling). Whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot to touch.
With a whisk attachment on a electric mixer mixer, begin to whip on a medium speed until the mixture is thick, glossy, and the bowl is cool to touch. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on continuous medium speed, gradually add softened butter until combined, mix until it is silky smooth – this icing can curdle, if it does, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. Add the vanilla essence and food colouring* and mix well.
*I used wilton cornflour blue you only need the smallest amount possible so be careful. I dipped the tip of a wooden skewer into the icing one at a time and using a whisk, make sure that the colour is completely mixed in before adding more colouring.
You can keep the buttercream in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, be sure to leave it out at room temperature when needed and rewhipping in mixer for 5-10 minutes until smooth again. It can also freeze for up to 6-8 weeks.
assembling your cake
Layer cakes are all about being patient and having all your ingredients ready to use. While your cakes are baking, I suggest making the Swiss Meringue Buttercream during that time – otherwise you can make it the day before to save on time. I ended up using three of the four cakes as I didn’t want it too high, but you are most welcome to use all four cakes you may need a little extra Swiss Meringue Buttercream though.
Using the blue Swiss Meringue Buttercream, lightly crumb coat the first cake and place in the fridge for 10min to cool. Add a thick layer, roughly 1 cup, of buttercream to the top of the cake, leaving the sides lightly iced, place in the fridge again for another 10min. Repeat until you have either three or four layers with a light crumb coat. Refrigerate your cake while you making the icing for the petals.
for the petal icing
Using a wilton 12 tip or any size circle tip. Fill three icing bags half full with the each of the different coloured swiss meringue butter cream – make sure you push all the icing to the bottom of the bag and squeeze a little icing out to remove any air bubbles.
Starting at the bottom of the cake, pipe a line of vertical dots until you reach the top of the cake and you have a vertical line of dots. Using either a pallet knife or spoon, drag the icing from the middle of the dot to either the right or left until it blends into the crumb icing. Then repeat the line of vertical dots about 2cm over from the last dot, drag the icing from the middle and repeat around the whole cake until complete – then do the petals around the sides top tier before icing the tops of each cake. To ice the top, do the same thing, except you can only do one dot at a time – go around the whole cake, then work your way into the middle until you have a beautiful petal cake.
It helps to keep your hands cool while you are icing so that you don’t melt the butter – every other time you re-fil the icing bag run your hands under cold water… or if you are like me and have naturally cold hands you can skip this step.
Don’t over fill your bag with icing, it will become a lot harder to handle – half full is perfect.
When you fill your icing bag, pipe a little back into the bowl, this helps to push the icing down and get rid of any air bubbles.
Oh, be sure to take your time, it’s not a race - enjoy the process of icing this beautiful cake, you’ll be so proud of it at the end. x