Recipes

Ombre icing

Today is the birthday of one of my colleagues. Without going into too much detail, she’s had a pretty rubbish 12 months so I wanted to help her celebrate in style.

Inspired by The Great British Bake Off, I wanted to up the stakes when it came to both the baking/cake and the icing.

Cake wise, I opted for a traditional Victoria sponge base – with some whole raspberries throughout for a bit of variety, but icing wise, I was inspired by the ombre fashion.

Ingredients
Cake
9 medium sized eggs
16oz butter
16oz caster sugar
16oz self raising flour
200g raspberries
1tsp baking powder
Icing
240g unsalted butter
750g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
75g full fat milk

Method Cake

1. Cream butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale
2. Add eggs one by one (adding a little of the flour if needed to prevent curdling
3. Add flour
4. Add vanilla essence
5. Beat until light and fluffy
6. Split between 3 prepared (greased/floured/lined) cake tins (c25cm diameter)
7. Bake in a preheated over (c. 180) for 25-35 mins – until golden and a skewer comes out clean
8. Allow to cool

IMG_2907

Icing
1. Soften butter
2. Gradually add icing sugar and milk
3. Once incorporated, beat on high speed for around 5 mins, until light and mousse like

I also did three tiers (not something I do very often, and made more difficult by the fact I only have sets of 2 tins!!).

Cake turned out well – and i’ll try the ombre again as it looked pretty!IMG_2917 IMG_2918

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To decorate or not to decorate…

Whilst I love baking, and regularly make cakes good decoration skills are not something I have ever managed to learn.

Don’t get me wrong, I always want the cakes to look good but I always thought decorating took a kind of patience I just don’t have!

For my 30th birthday earlier on this year one of my friends gave me a gift voucher for a cake course of my choice at Cakes4Fun in Putney. Having browsed their website, I decided that now was the time and opportunity for me to start with acuiring the skills required to make cakes look pretty.

I did a course ‘individual iced cakes’ yesterday, and not only was it so much fun, everything was so much more straightforward than I expected.

From having no sugarcraft skill whatsoever, I learnt how to make beautiful sugar lilies, miniature sugar flowers, a gold edible bow and how to smoothly coat individual victoria sponges. 

In a nutshell the key is to have the right tools and not to be scared of the cakes – they are so much more sturdy than I ever gave them credit for!

If you have ever wanted to learn to ice cakes, I would whole heartedly encourage you to visit www.Cakes4Fun.co.uk and enrol on one of their courses!

The output of my class!